Category:Parks and Protected Areas

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Ontario’s system of protected areas includes a total of more than 630 provincial parks and conservation reserves, covering almost 10% of the province’s land base. The Ministry of Natural Resource is responsible for the planning, management, monitoring, and enforcement for these protected areas.

The first priority in the planning and management of these protected areas is the maintanence of ecological integrity, as required by the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006. Ecological integrity is a condition in which biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities are characteristic of their natural regions and rates of change and ecosystem processes are unimpeded. It also includes healthy and viable populations of native species, including species at risk, and the maintenance of the habitat on which the species depend; and, levels of air and water quality consistent with protection of biodiversity and recreational enjoyment.

Protected areas range from small areas intended mainly for recreation, such as Devil’s Glen Provincial Park covering just 61 hectares, to huge wilderness parks, such as Woodland Caribou Provincial Park encompassing more than 450,000 hectares. Within this protected area system, 95 operating parks have approximately 18,000 vehicle-accessible campsites and 7,000 interior campsites. According to MNR, Ontario’s parks host more than 10 million visits each year and generate an economic impact of approximately $380 million a year. At the same time, these protected areas are meant to conserve habitat for many of Ontario’s 2,900 species of vascular plants, 160 species of fish, 80 species of amphibians and reptiles, 400 species of birds and 85 species of mammals.

In June 2009, the Ontario government introduced the Far North Act for First Reading in the Ontario legislature. It passed Third Reading in September 2010, was given Royal Assent a month later, and proclaimed in February 2011. It created a third class of protected areas in Ontario beyond provincial parks and conservation reserves; this law can be used to designate and regulate "protected areas" in northern Ontario. One of its purposes is: "The protection of areas of cultural value in the Far North and the protection of ecological systems in the Far North by including at least 225,000 square kilometres of the Far North in an interconnected network of protected areas designated in community based land use plans."

The Government of Ontario also an obligation to expand its protected areas system as part of Canada's commitment to conserve biodiversity. Canada, as a signatory of the Convention on Biological Diversity, has committed to expand the coverage of its terrestrial protected areas system to 17% land cover by 2020. In our province, the Government of Ontario is chiefly responsible for meeting this goal as the vast majority of lands are under provincial control. The ECO reported on this obligation in a Special Report in 2012.


2002 - 2002 Request to Review the Provincial Parks Act

2007 - The Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006

2011 - Far North Act, 2010

Protected Areas System

2003 - Creating a Biodiversity Framework for Ontario - 2003

2007 - Conserving woodland caribou: the benchmark for Northern sustainability

2010 - Mixed Results: Wildlife Management of Caribou, Moose, Elk and Deer#Caribou

2012 - Biodiversity: A Nation's Commitment, an Obligation for Ontario

Creating Protected Areas

2002 - Ontario's Half-Parks? Conservation Reserves and Mining

2007 - Silo Mentalities: Protected Areas and Mining – Lessons Learned?

2007 - A clean slate for land use planning in the North

2008 - Application to Review the Mining Act

2009 - Barriers to Protecting Ecological Integrity: The Wolf Lake Area

2012 - Wolf Lake Old Growth Forest Saga Continues


2004 - Needed: Better Planning for Protected Areas

2007 - The Whitefeather forest and adjacent areas community-based land use strategy

2008 - Protected Areas Planning: Managing for Ecological Integrity?

2008 - Planning for ecological integrity: O'Donnell Point

2008 - Planning for ecological integrity: the Temagami area

2008 - Trends in the coverage of protected areas

2010 - Bringing Ecological Integrity to the Landscape: Ontario’s Protected Areas Planning Manual

2010 - Climate Change and Biodiversity Turmoil

2012 - Fire Management Planning for Provincial Parks and Conservation Resources

2012 - Guide for Crown Land Use Planning

2013 - Protected Areas Planning: A Lost Priority

2014 - Cutting into Ecological Integrity: Commercial Logging in Algonquin Provincial Park


2002 - The Wolves of Algonquin Provincial Park

2005 - Management Strategy for Double-crested Cormorants at Presqu’ile Provincial Park

2006 - Regulating Logging in Algonquin Park

2007 - Algonquin: Can ecological integrity and logging be reconciled in our flagship park?

2009 - Protected Areas: Nature Must Come First

2011 - Toilets in Parks: Peering into the Vault

2011 - Wolf Conservation in Ontario: The Disconnect Between Science and Policy

2012 - Protecting Algonquin's Brook Trout from the Impacts of Commercial Timber Harvesting

2013 - Turtle River – White Otter Lake Provincial Park Management Plan


2011 - When Two Worlds Collide: Cottages in Rondeau Provincial Park


2007 - Doing Less With Less

2008 - Doing Less with Less: Rebuilding MOE and MNR – A Glimmer of Hope

2011 - Less and Less: Budgets for MOE and MNR not Meeting Needs

2013 - What Happens When Parks Stop Making Enough Money?


This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.

Pages in category "Parks and Protected Areas"

The following 40 pages are in this category, out of 40 total.