Ontario Opening Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park

Public gets an early look at Ontario’s newest provincial park starting Canada Day

The Ontario government is marking Canada Day by giving people an early look at Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park – Ontario’s newest provincial park, which 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.

“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 Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park will offer countless opportunities for families to connect with nature while providing access to the local economy. I am excited to see this vision come to life, enhancing both our community’s prosperity and Uxbridge’s environmental legacy for future generations,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge.

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. People are welcome to share any new ideas or information to help develop the plan. A background information document is available for comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario until July 28, 2024.

Establishing the Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts and shared vision of the Township of Uxbridge, The Regional Municipality of Durham, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, The Schad Foundation, and Green Durham Association. The government will continue working with local partners and landowners to identify lands that could be added to the park in the future.

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.