Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park. Image courtesy Ontario

Ontario’s first Urban Park opens in Uxbridge on Canada Day

The Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park – billed as Ontario’s newest and first urban provincial park, opens to the public free of charge on July 1st.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore existing trails at the park while the province begins the process of developing a park management plan, which will help determine the types of recreational opportunities and facilities that will be offered and what steps need to be taken to protect nature, said a provincial statement.

There is also Darlington Provincial Park located east of Oshawa along the Lake Ontario shore in Courtice and Bowmanville area of Clarington. It was established in 1959 and is classified as ‘recreational’. The Uxbridge park will be the first with ‘urban’ classifiation if a pending bill is passed (see Quick Facts below). Rouge National Urban Park is a national park.

“With 83 per cent of Ontario’s growing population located in urban centres, it’s imperative that we build more provincial parks closer to home,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “The establishment of the Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park marks a significant step in our government’s commitment to expand our park system. I look forward to working with our partners to protect and expand green spaces for future generations to enjoy.”

Located just 50 kilometres northeast of downtown Toronto, this new addition to Ontario’s provincial parks system will provide more recreational opportunities for people living in or near the GTA.

The government will release the preliminary park management plan in the coming months, with consultation on the draft plan expected to begin in the fall.

“The Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park is an incredibly exciting addition to our community… I can’t wait to see the no trespassing signs removed and these lands open and ready to enjoy by the people of Ontario. This is an enormous opportunity for economic activity in Uxbridge,” said Dave Barton, Uxbridge Mayor.

Activities permitted:

  • Hiking/walking
  • Biking/Mountain Biking
  • Pet Exercise (pets must be on a leash at all times)
  • Skiing and snowshoeing are welcomed on hiking trails. However, please note that trails are not maintained or track set and be sure to use caution during winter months.

Activities not permitted:

  • Camping
  • Campfires
  • Off-road Motorized Vehicle Use (e.g., all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), dirt bikes, snowmobiles, etc.)
  • Hunting

Access and parking

  • 565 Old Stouffville Road – limited to 6 parking spaces
  • 579 Old Stouffville Road – limited to 4 parking spaces

Quick Facts

  • In the 2024 Ontario Budget: Building a Better Ontario, the government committed $19 million over three years for the creation of Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park. This funding will be used to support costs related to regulation of the initial parcels of land, park management planning and consultation, park operations, and possible future expansion.
  • At this time, there are no facilities or services offered at the site of the new park, and parking is limited. A couple of existing trails are available for the public to use, free of charge.
  • On May 7, 2024, a Private Member’s Bill was introduced in the Ontario legislature that would, if passed, add an “urban” classification of provincial park to the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, which would support access to nature-based recreation in, or near, urban centres. If these amendments are approved, Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park could be classified as the province’s first Urban Class provincial park.
  • Ontario manages and protects more than 340 provincial parks (116 operating parks and 226 non-operating parks) and nearly 300 conservation reserves totalling 9.8 million hectares (24.2 million acres) – an area larger than the province of New Brunswick.

Earlier Story

Uxbridge to host Ontario’s first Urban Provincial Park


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