March 6, 2023
Morrisburg, Ontario — It may be cold and snowy outside, but thousands of people are now holding on to a little promise of summer – their summer camping reservation at Parks of the St. Lawrence campgrounds in Eastern Ontario.
The Parks of the St. Lawrence online reservations website opened for reservations at 9 a.m. on February 23 for the 2023 season. Campers were able to book for any time of the season at nine Parks of the St. Lawrence campgrounds, which line the shores of the St. Lawrence River from the 1000 Islands Bridge U.S. border crossing to the Quebec/Ontario border. By the end of the first day of sales, there were more than 6,000 reservations in the system.
Demand was high, with campers storming the digital doors at opening time. Between 9 and 9:30 a.m., there were 3,945 unique visitors to the site, peaking at 2,289 visitors right at 9 a.m., and by 10 a.m., there were already more than 4,500 reservations made for the summer.
An emphasis on online reservations has enabled more campers to book simultaneously, with the online reservation system processing more than 1,100 transactions in five minutes, versus three minutes to process a single phone transaction.
Since 2019, first-day sales have more than doubled. The uptake in reservations is good news for local communities. In 2022, with a total of 27,411 bookings, Parks of the St. Lawrence attracted more than 318,000 guests, at least 43% of whom were from outside Ontario.
“Our mission at St. Lawrence Parks Commission is to generate lasting visitor growth and drive economic prosperity in Eastern Ontario,” said SLPC Chair, Hon. Bob Runciman. “With 10 campground locations, approximately 1,600 campsites and roofed accommodations, and 163 nights of operation, our campgrounds represent a significant opportunity to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to this region to take advantage of the local hospitality, retail and tourism attractions. With the strong opening numbers we have seen so far, we look forward to another year of positive economic impact for Eastern Ontario.”
— Hon. Bob Runciman, SLPC Chair
“Parks of the St. Lawrence is one of eastern Ontario’s premier tourist destinations, offering an array of opportunities to experience the great outdoors. It is inspiring to see such promise for the success of the 2023 camping season, which will bring tourists and boost the local economy. I encourage everyone to book their next camping adventure and experience the natural beauty of the region.”
— Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
“Every citizen in our area knows of the beautiful region we live in, including the Parks of the St. Lawrence. It does not surprise me that there is so much interest in our campsites along the St. Lawrence River. It is great to see the investments into the online systems can handle the surge of first day reservations!”
— Nolan Quinn, MPP, Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry
“The St. Lawrence River is one of Ontario’s most important natural features and a great destination for families and tourists. I’m very pleased to see the enthusiastic response and look forward to welcoming visitors to Eastern Ontario this summer.”
— Steve Clark, MPP — Leeds–Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes
In response to increased interest in outdoor recreational experiences post-pandemic, Parks of the St. Lawrence is piloting extended seasons at two campgrounds this year. Farran Park Campground in Ingleside will open early on Friday, May 12 and will stay open two weeks later, until Sunday, October 22, 2023, along with Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary Campground. Opening and closing dates for campgrounds vary. Day-use areas operate on weekends from May 21 to June 24, 2023 and then daily until September 6, 2023.
More information is available at www.stlawrenceparks.com.
About Parks of the St. Lawrence
Parks of the St. Lawrence is one of the largest tourism destinations in Eastern Ontario. Guests are invited for a camping getaway, a road trip through Eastern Ontario to explore the picturesque landscapes or relax on a beach or surrounded by nature. Parks of the St. Lawrence operates two scenic waterfront parkways, six sandy beaches and day-use picnic areas, a bird sanctuary, extensive multi-use trail networks, and ten beautiful waterfront campgrounds. These areas, which span 7000 acres from the 1000 Islands to the Quebec border, are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, families, boaters, and scuba divers. Parks of the St. Lawrence welcomes guests to enjoy our spacious campsites and waterfront cabins, winding bike paths, pristine nature trails, boat launches, picnic areas, scuba diving and remarkable fishing. We are the perfect destination for campers, runners, cyclists, photographers, anglers, scuba divers and explorers alike.
About St. Lawrence Parks Commission
The St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an agency of the Government of Ontario, operates facilities stretching from Kingston to the Quebec border, including Upper Canada Village, Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Kingston Pen Tours, Crysler Park Marina, Upper Canada Golf Course, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and 10 campgrounds and 6 beach day-use picnic areas including the Long Sault and Thousand Islands Parkways.
To learn more, visit www.parks.on.ca.
Communications and Media Relations
St. Lawrence Parks Commission
Parks of the St. Lawrence