Parks Canada announces free admission for youth

Todd Shearon
By Todd Shearon December 4, 2017 13:52

The tip of Point Pelee National Park funneling into Lake Erie is the southernmost point of land in Canada. Photo by Todd Shearon.

By Todd Shearon

National parks across Canada will be free for people 17 and under in 2018.

As part of the Canada 150 celebrations parks were free to all visitors during 2017.

The free passes boosted attendance at national parks by 12 per cent during the first seven months of the year, according to Parks Canada.

Tecumseh resident Mike Purdy said he took full advantage of the Canada 150 pass during 2017, visiting Point Pelee several times during the year instead of only once.

“If kids are free that pretty much cuts the cost of each visit in half,” said Purdy. “In reality, even at full price with kids free, they’ll (Point Pelee) break even because two visits (to the park) will make up the difference.”

Point Pelee is the only National Park in Southwestern Ontario.

“Other (National) parks are too far away. I wouldn’t travel that far but we will definitely make use of Point Pelee,” said Purdy.

“It’s a good thing to help get the younger generation interested in the parks and their preservation,” said Purdy, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

Parks Canada budgeted about $76 million on the free parks program this year, including lost gate revenues, addressing increases in visitors and distributing free discovery passes.

The 2018 discovery passes are now available online and admission fees for adults and seniors will not increase over 2016 prices.

Todd Shearon
By Todd Shearon December 4, 2017 13:52
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