Did you know that you can reserve your camping or covered accommodation up to five months in advance of your arrival date?
You can book online (and even get a sneak peek of your campsite) or by calling the Ontario Parks reservation line, 1-888-ONT-PARK (Canada and US).
Here are our top tips to optimize your booking experience:
1. Plan ahead and book early
Competition can be fierce for favorite campsites in busy parks. More than 50% of bookings made between January 1 and March 31 are for the five Ontario hotels. busiest provincial parks.
Your best bet? Reserve in advance.
Our online reservation system opens at 7:00 am, five months before the first date of your trip. If you want the best chance of landing your dream site, choose your campsite early, get your device ready, and book as soon as the window opens.
What if your goal is one of our five busiest parks (see below)? Have a few backup sites on your list – those parks fill up fast.
Starting in 2023, we will take steps to help more people visit their favorite parks by limiting the duration of reservations.
In select parks, we will reduce the maximum length of stay from 23 nights to seven or 14 nights for campgrounds during our busiest camping season, beginning in 2023.
The reduced maximum length of stay applies to travel between 1st of July and Saturday of the Labor Day long weekend. Outside of these dates the maximum stay will be 23 nights. Learn more about this change on our blog.
2. Try a new park
These are our five busiest provincial parks:
We know that many people camp in the same park, even in the same place every year. But many of our lesser-known parks are just as beautiful.
Here are some suggested alternatives to our busiest parks.
3. Book late
Yes, we know, we just saying book in advance.
But not all of us know our vacation days five months in advance.
Our parks receive thousands of cancellations each year, many of them at the last minute. Savvy campers keep a close eye on the reservation system, ready to take advantage of new available sites.
4. Check your filters (and be willing to make compromises)
The more flexible you are about the specific details of the campsite, the easier it will be to achieve this, especially in a busy park or during a busy weekend.
Electric sites and sites that accommodate large RVs are extremely popular. Consider trying an unpowered site or a different campsite.
Whether it is an electrical site or nothing, the following advice is good for you.
5. Book during the week or in shoulder season
Campsites and cabin/yurt rentals book up quickly on weekends, holidays, and during peak holiday seasons (July/August).
However, we often have high-quality cabins and campgrounds (including electric sites) empty during the week, especially in spring and fall.
6. Go north
If you are looking for:
- a more secluded campsite
- a campsite on a busy weekend or holiday
- stunning natural beauty
…why not book a trip further north?
Driving an extra hour or two really expands your options.