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 Post subject: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 7:21 pm 
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Location: Milton
I read this today and it really got me concerned.
As campers wether P.P. fixed sites or back country camping this will affect how much you pay.
The big thing is we do not want fees going to general revenues and not maintaining the facilities we use. Back country users will know not a lot gets done away from the crowds.
Paying 30 to 50 $ for a tent site a night and maybe soon to be more is going to "discourage" some people.
Now is the time to act and make our concerns known.
We may not be able to stop too many increases but we could make sure they are not too much and the fees stay in the parks.
I have learned that to be successful you will need to act early.
Share this post and pass it on, it is the only way to ensure we can enjoy our wilderness areas at a reasonable price/cost.

The time to write is now!

This quote just to inspire you to get involved.

Quote "Paying more to camp at provincial parks;" unquote

Here is a link to the Toronto Star Article.

http://www.thestar.com/business/persona ... ayers.html

Jeff

edit
This article is in response to the Ontario budget that came out the end of April.
So the fees are in our future!

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Last edited by jedi jeffi on May 5th, 2015, 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 7:46 pm 
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It has been about twenty years since I have stayed in a southern Ontario Park - it was Killarney in the early 90's. As a canoe tripper the whole experience just didn't feel right. I can't remember what we paid but I'm sure the cost was one of the things that bugged me.

Next week we're going to Bon Echo for a couple of days. I almost canned the idea when I saw the final cost pop up on the computer screen -

$78.50 for two nights' use of a walk-in tent site
$9.74 for me to fill in my reservation myself instead of bothering some Park employee
$11.47 in HST

Total - $99.71 for two nights of hopefully level tent space at an admittedly very scenic spot just across from Mazinaw Rock. Free parking for the car is included and I am guessing that we must have access to toilet and shower facilities?

I sure hope this increase you are referring to has already happened!

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 8:05 pm 
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Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
Quote:
Ontario Parks is committed to providing world-class recreational opportunities to our visitors at reasonable and competitive prices.

Our parks system is largely funded through user fees, which – along with other park revenues – are deposited in an account dedicated solely for the use of Ontario Parks. The money that you pay for services and merchandise in provincial parks, stays in parks. The Harmonized Sales tax (HST) of 13% will be charged on all Ontario Parks’ fees where the tax is applicable.


http://www.ontarioparks.com/fees

Ontario Parks usually raises the fees on May 1st. Across the board, campgrounds, backcountry, day-use, etc.

Sort of a spring tradition.

They did give a warning back in February, I believe it was. Pushing buying the day-use pass before the fees went up for 2015.



Barbara

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 8:22 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Biting my tongue and headed for Newfoundland. :o Somehow getting robbed of money by Marine Atlantic is more palatable than forty five bucks for dirt.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 8:30 pm 
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This article is in response to the Ontario budget that came out the end of April.
So the fees are in our future!
Jeff
( I will add this to my original post.)

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 8:52 am 
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Joined: March 14th, 2005, 6:02 pm
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Location: Wawa, ON
Ontario Parks has been operating under a "cost recovery" model for many years. They are currently recovering almost 90% of their operating costs from user fees (and they plan to get to 100%).

The debate: your taxes subsidize the operating costs of Provincial Parks (and many other non-essential government services) or the user pays all costs.

Ontario has a $12 billion dollar annual operating deficit and they are going to cut services and/or raise fees/taxes.

Ontario residents can camp for free on Crown Land.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 10:07 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Quote:
Ontario residents can camp for free on Crown Land.


Yep... 85% of Ontario's area is crown land. Being close to Algonquin, IIRC the interior permit is about $12.50 per night and probably best spent when the summer crowds aren't about. The rest of the time, camping and canoeing on crown land is free.

How to find it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snbMdL0ZK1M

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 4:55 pm 
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Location: Wawa, ON
I camped in a KOA campground in NW Ontario last September. We paid $42 for one night. The campsite was about 12'x20' with some level grass to pitch the tent and a gravel driveway to park the van. In September the place was not busy so we did not have close neighbours but in peak season they would have been immediately adjacent to our campsite. The campground had nice, clean facilities and a country radio station played in the comfort station.

The Ontario Parks camping fee for a similar campground in a similar location would now be $44. Maybe an argument can be made that an Ontario Park with a minimal subsidy is not unfair competition to the private sector campgrounds?


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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 6:08 pm 
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The province would make so much more money if they would just sell this prime real estate.... actually wait I will pay, hopefully these hikes deter people and I can get the sites/dirt I actually want. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 6:32 pm 
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Joined: July 30th, 2006, 1:31 pm
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Location: Hamilton ON
Happy to hear that the money stays in the parks.
When we go with our family, a single backcountry site in Killarney for 2 seniors, 4 adults and 3 kids is $86.55 a night plus booking fees.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 6:39 pm 
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woodywood1925 wrote:
The province would make so much more money if they would just sell this prime real estate.... actually wait I will pay, hopefully these hikes deter people and I can get the sites/dirt I actually want. :)


Nice first post........

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 7th, 2015, 7:05 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
<snore>

I don't see any dirt here so maybe somewhat OT...


Image

Admittedly this is not an option if sitting round the campfire singing Alouette and burning marshmallows with kids is on the agenda. Still, reduces costs while on the road.

Most governments in developed countries have heavy debt loads to overcome... they begin their press releases with 'Good Day,' then proceed to tell you why it isn't. Good news is our governments aren't like that of Greece, which by comparison makes our nation look like a utopian space age paradise.

Gotta look on with interest at Alberta's big swing to the left with the NDP megavote... people sure don't like paying more taxes.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 7th, 2015, 9:47 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
PS... Ontario's user-fee cost-recovery system for funding parks does go into a special-purpose account set aside for parks only, but fees from individual parks aren't limited to use in that particular park... popular parks such as Algonquin and Sandbanks generate millions of $$$ of fees in excess of their operating costs, and the excess money is applied towards less popular parks, and non-operating parks and conservation reserves (which don't generate any fee $$$).

So there is an upside to the increased fees in that some of the fee money will be applied to protection of poorer parks and CRs, and some of these will include canoe routes in wilderness areas... many of which will be in need of funds from those much more popular campground parks.

(I know this has been discussed previously here, still worth repeating).

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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 7th, 2015, 4:07 pm 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Frozentripper is correct in asserting
Quote:
fees from individual parks aren't limited to use in that particular park.
However, fees earned in excess of operating costs by some parks are not necessarily
Quote:
applied towards less popular parks, and non-operating parks and conservation reserves (which don't generate any fee $$$).
My understanding is that 75% of the user fees generated is returned to each park from the provincial coffers while the balance is held by Ontario Parks to be used to fund infrastructure improvements including construction of facilities that a particular park could not afford to finance from its own budget. Park managers work together to prioritize how this 25% is spent each year. Bottom line, 100% of user fees is returned to Ontario Parks.

Ontario Parks is not responsible for Conservation or Nature Reserves. They are managed by the MNRF District in which each is located. The question to ask is whether non-resident Crown land camping fees are simply dumped into provincial coffers or whether a mechanism is in place to return these funds to each District to be applied to management and development of these protected areas.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Ontario Park fees to increase?
PostPosted: May 7th, 2015, 4:55 pm 
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Voyageur wrote:
The question to ask is whether non-resident Crown land camping fees are simply dumped into provincial coffers or whether a mechanism is in place to return these funds to each District to be applied to management and development of these protected areas.


A good question is how much does the Province actually recive from non-resident crown land camping fees? My guess would be not much compared to Ontario Parks, actually I wouldnt be surprised if it was a minminiscule amount. In my experience it seems many non-resident campers don't know about the fee. Sure, camps and lodges include this cost in your fly in fish camp cost but I still have my doubts the Province makes a lot of income off the non-resident crown land camping fees. Still, I could be shocked at the actual income figures.

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