Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Staying safe around hydroelectric facilities

From streams and ponds to rushing rivers and the sprawling Great Lakes, Ontario’s parks are home to a network of more than one million hectares of lakes and rivers. So it’s no surprise that spending time near or in the water is an integral experience in most of the province’s provincial parks.

We want to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience in our parks and practicing proper water safety is a key component to achieving this.

A winding river that runs through a forest.

You may have noticed that some provincial parks are located near or along the same body of water as a hydroelectric facility (such as dams) operated by our friends at Ontario Power Generation.

Today, we’re sharing some important water safety tips you can use when enjoying the water in any provincial park:

1. Always follow park signs.

Whether you visit a park located near a hydroelectric facility or not, always read and follow posted signage.

Looking for fun and safe activities during your visit? Ask our park staff for recommendations, maps, rentals and more!

2. Stay away. Stay safe.

No matter the time of year, always follow these key messages:

  • Stay behind of water above or below hydroelectric facilities;
  • Exclude of areas with culverts, fences, buoys, barriers and barriers;
  • Never place, anchor or moor your boat under a hydroelectric facility;
  • Always Obey all warning signs.
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Some portions of rivers and hydroelectric facilities can be safely admired from shore in designated areas.

Warning signs placed on the edge of a lake.

Did you know? In the winter months, the ice that forms near hydroelectric facilities is deceptively thin and should always be avoided. In warmer seasons, water levels and flows near hydroelectric facilities can change rapidly with little or no warning.

3. Don’t forget your life jacket!

When spending time in the water, always wear a PFD!

With the support of our partners like Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Parks offers PFD loan programs in 70 provincial parks across the province. At any of the participating parks, visitors can borrow a PFD free of charge for both children and adults.

An Ontario Parks staff member holding a blue PFD on a hanger and smiling.  They are standing in front of a kayak rack in the woods.

Do you want to rent a life jacket during your visit to the park? Ask the staff along the way where they are located within the park!

Remember that water safety is your responsibility: children and people who do not know how to swim should always wear a PFD when near or in water.

4. Have fun!

A safe visit to Ontario parks is a fun visit!

The signage and information displayed in the parks is there for your safety; Follow them as you explore all that our beautiful parks have to offer.

For more information on hydroelectric facility safety, visit the Ontario Power Generation website.

OPG Ontario Power Generation logo Text: "Where a brighter tomorrow begins."