Group of people standing on the shore and enjoying the sunset at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park.

Here’s to another 125 years

As our 125th anniversary year comes to a close, we would like to say a huge thank you for an amazing year.

Now etched into our history, here’s a few of the highlights from this exciting year.

Encapsulated in time

In August, we buried a time capsule in the floor of Algonquin Provincial Park’s Visitor Centre! The time capsule captures the essence of Ontario Parks in present day.

time capsule speakers

Thank you to all of our online visitors who voted on items to be included, and to everyone who attended this historic event! Mark your calendars for the year 2043 to attend the opening event!

crowd shot of time capsule event

When stars align

Killarney Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park were written in the stars this year! in 2018, the two parks were designated as dark sky preserves by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada!

Killarney observatory

Stars over Killarney was a star party event held in partnership with Science North to celebrate this exciting achievement.  Thanks to everyone who came out to Killarney to celebrate the night sky.

telescope at Killarney

David Archibald: The Happiest Camper in Ontario tour

Singer-songwriter, David Archibald sang his way across Ontario, stopping at 31 provincial parks. David wrote five brand new songs to celebrate Ontario Parks’ rich heritage and camping culture.

Park visitors enjoying an outdoor concert by David Archibald

A big thank you goes out to all of David’s new and old fans who came out to one of his concerts to sing along!

Wakami Wailers concert tour

Long-time camper favourites, the Wakami Wailers performed at seven parks in celebration of the anniversary. The Wakami Wailers wowed the crowds with old favourites and songs from their new album, Un, Deux, Trois…Four.

Three members of the Wakami Wailers playing music at Algonquin's logging museum.

Go Wild for Art

Park visitors went wild for art this summer with the new Go Wild for Art program. Select parks offered a series of art-based programs to celebrate Ontario’s rich connection to Canadian art.

Ontario’s landscapes provided inspiration for the aspiring artists. They used miniature paddles and tree cookies as a canvas to record their favourite park memories to take home.

A mother and daughter painting miniature paddles at a picnic table.

Legacy projects

In celebration of the 125th anniversary, Ontario Parks launched a new online donations campaign to invite visitors to give back to parks by donating to a series of legacy projects.

Each project focused on making improvements to accessibility, trails, interpretive displays, or recreational facilities in provincial parks.

View of the white quartzite hills and lakes at the top of The Crack Trail.

Thank you to everyone who generously donated to support our five legacy projects. Your donation helped make these projects possible. Stay tuned for updates on the finished projects in the coming months.

Indigenous partnership projects

In recognition of Indigenous peoples and their unique connections to the land, Ontario Parks worked closely with Indigenous communities on a series of collaborative projects.

Projects included interpretive programming, interpretive panels and products, and park signage.

Indigenous person etching a bear into the side of a birch bark canoe

Murphy’s Point Provincial Park hosted an Indigenous canoe builder and apprentice to build a 12-foot birch bark canoe with materials from the park and surrounding area.

The canoe build took place at the park’s picnic shelter daily for two weeks in July to share the experience with park visitors. The completed canoe will continue to be used for interpretive programming. Read more about the project here.

Stewardship & citizen science programs

Volunteers across the province rolled up their sleeves to help with stewardship projects. Volunteers assisted with bioblitz events, invasive species removal, native species planting, and wildlife monitoring projects.

staff member holding snake, talking to students

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to lend a helping hand!

Thank you to our partners

Thank you to all of our partners for their support during our 125th anniversary year. We could not have done it without you! 

Cheers to another 125 years

Thank you for celebrating with us and making 2018 a memorable year! Here’s to another 125 years of stunning sunsets, sticky s’mores, and starry skies.

Silhouette of a boy sitting on a rock watching a sunset