Are Conservation Parks free in 2017?

No they are not.  If you ordered the 2017 Discovery Pass  you will have access to national parks and national historic sites across the country. The pass is issued by the Government of Canada in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

The Discovery Pass offers a great opportunity to get out and discover our national parks. As you head out this summer to explore, please make sure you understand the difference between national parks and our local conservation areas.

Why can’t I use my 2017 Discovery Pass at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) or Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) Parks?

The 2017 Discovery Pass issued by Parks Canada allows free entry to national parks across the country. These parks are funded by the Federal Government of Canada. Conservation areas are operated by Ontario conservation authorities. Conservation authorities are funded through the generous support of municipal levies, provincial grants and self-generated revenue (like memberships and gate fees). We are completely separate from the national parks system.

This means that your Discovery Pass does not permit entry into any of CVC’s or TRCA’s conservation areas. Only Parks Canada national parks are offering free day-use admission this year.

How can I tell the difference between these outdoor spaces?

There are many different kinds of outdoor spaces for you to explore this summer.  In addition to our national parks, you can explore the following areas:

• Conservation areas
• Ontario parks
• Amusement parks
• Municipal parks (like the local playgrounds in your community)
• Regional forests
• Crown lands

National parks offered by Parks Canada are easily recognized by the logo that greets you at the entrance to their parks:

Parks Canada Logo







Provincial parks can be recognized by:

Ontario Parks Logo






CVC and TRCA parks can be recognized by:

What national parks are in Ontario?

There are five national parks (Parks Canada) in Ontario:

• Bruce Peninsula National Park
 Georgian Bay Islands National Park
 Point Pelee National Park
 Pukaskwa National Park
 Thousand Islands National Park

How do I get access to Conservation Parks?

The best way to access Conservation Parks is to become a member. .

The Conservation Parks membership is issued in partnership with CVC and TRCA and offers access to the following parks:

• Albion Hills
• Boyd
 Bruce’s Mill
 Glen Haffy
 Heart Lake
 Island Lake
 Ken Whillans
 Kortright Centre
 Petticoat Creek
 Terra Cotta

Your Conservation Parks membership also includes additional benefits:

• FREE cross-country ski trail admission at Albion Hills
• FREE general admission to special events like the Maple Syrup Festival, Kite Festival, and more!
• Discounts at pools located at Albion Hills, Heart Lake and Petticoat Creek Conservation Areas
• Discounts at Treetop Trekking located at Heart Lake Conservation Area and Bruce’s Mill
• 15% discount on CVC’s parks equipment rentals
• Discounts on a variety of events at CVC parks
• Discounts on Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Christmas By Lamplight tickets
• Savings at Albion Hills, Indian Line and Glen Rouge campgrounds
• 10% discount on food and retail purchases at TRCA locations
• 10% discount on workshops at Kortright Centre and Black Creek Pioneer Village
• Members e-newsletter

Why aren’t CVC and TRCA park memberships free this year?

The membership program and gate fees collected by CVC and TRCA provide essential revenue used to help operate our parks throughout the year. We work hard to responsibly maintain and monitor park lands so people can enjoy nature’s beauty and to help protect and preserve nature for our children, and our children’s children.

All revenue we collect through our membership program and gate fees goes directly toward operating our conservation areas. This includes funding for education programs, public events, maintaining trails and environmental enhancement projects.

Members support our environmental efforts and enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature. Nature helps:

• Reduce stress
• Increase energy
• Boost immunity
• Improve fitness and weight loss
• Reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and cancer

Time outdoors is a great way to explore together with family and friends.

This year, grab your national parks pass or your Conservation Parks membership to discover all the beauty our great country has to offer!

What is CVC and TRCA doing to celebrate Canada 150?

This year, CVC and TRCA are launching the 150 Days of Giveaways with Conservation Parks contest. Up for grabs are 1,867 one-year ‘Family and Friends’ Conservation Parks memberships to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Beginning April 29, you can enter the contest for free by visiting during the contest period. All entries will be collected online and prizes will be awarded weekly throughout the summer. The contest closes Sept. 29, 2017.