April 25, 2022
The provincial government of Ontario had been testing “flat fees” for the past 2 years. While it may be good news for the people who travel in bigger groups, it received a lot of complaints from solo travelers and those who travel in pairs. Previously, all campers were charged on a ‘per-person per-night’ basis for the campsite permits. However, the government is piloting a program to charge a ‘flat-rate per-night.’ With this change, the solo traveler would be get a huge increase in permit fees, an increase of over 300%! No wonder there is a petition going around with over 11,500 signatures. (https://www.change.org/p/jeff-yurek-minister-of-the-environment-back-country-camping-fee-increases-in-ontario)
From the Ontario Parks standpoint, this change may increase the revenue it brings in to continue the maintenance work. The change would make backcountry camping fee model consistent with the province’s car camping fee model.
The ministry will continue to monitor the situation and review all feedback to decide if they will go ahead with the change in the future, but at least for one more year… most backcountry parks will remain the status quo for 2022 season.