Staff favourites in Ontario
Get the inside scoop on the very best way to enjoy our parks and sites from Parks Canada pros.
Capturing the essence of a Victorian home
As an amateur photographer, I fell in love with the restored childhood home of Dr. Bethune; the curves of walnut and mahogany furniture, elaborate dinnerware, and intricately patterned rugs, fabric and wallpaper. I enjoy challenging myself to create scenes, work with different costumed heritage guides and experiment with the lighting in the historic house at Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site.
Hiking into the past
The Dossyonshing Trail at Georgian Bay Islands National Park combines my favorite things about Beausoleil Island National Historic Site, from the smell of pine covered forest floors, the rocky outcrops of the Canadian Shield and the mossy blanket that inspired its Ojibwe name. Hiking the trail allows me to reset, reminding me of my childhood, learning and falling in love with the natural wonders and the history of the park.
I love drifting off to sleep nestled snugly inside my own little Ôasis on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site. Every now and then a shooting star passes by the windows above and I think: this might be the best campsite in all of Ontario. A gentle morning paddle followed by an afternoon picnic watching the boats lock through makes the perfect weekend on the water.
Beautiful views and more
One feature you can’t miss at Fort Malden National Historic Site is the incredible view of the Detroit River. You can easily find a spot along the riverbank to chat with friends and family. The river has been used by First Nations for 6000 years for travel, trade and resource gathering and it is the only North American river with both Canadian and American heritage designation. I enjoy watching the variety of pleasure boats and working ships pass by and imagining the sailing ships of the past.
Hear the sounds
My first time hearing the A-Gun on board HMCS Haida National Historic Site happened to be for her 79th birthday. Working aboard the last Tribal Class Destroyer is walking into history every day. It’s such an immersive experience to wander the decks that sailors served aboard for 20 years in places such as the Arctic, Normandy, Bay of Biscay and Korea. To hear one of the main guns roar back to life for the first time was icing on the cake. I didn’t even see the gun go off or the smoke that I know would’ve risen from the barrel; but the sound was a great experience.
History in the heat
Among my favourite experiences at Woodside National Historic Site is the original Victorian wood burning stove. Nothing is quite as evocative of the Victorian period as the crackle and warmth of the fire and the fresh smell of smoke in the air. Demonstrating how to start and operate the stove always puts a smile on visitors faces and is the highlight of my day.
Edge of Lake Huron
Standing on the shore surrounded by the ruins of Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site, I enjoy being able to feel the same sense of isolation that the British soldiers must have felt at the end of the 18th century.
Go to the shore trail
Mdaabii Miikna… It’s a magical trail in Pukaskwa National Park! From its 360° views of Lake Superior’s pristine coastline to the brilliant green hues of its mossy inland terrain, I’m always enchanted by this wilderness trek.
Perched over rushing water
Thirty-five metres below your feet, a torrent of water rushes towards Lake Superior. A challenging day hike, paddle or short boat shuttle brings you to Chigamiwinigum Falls in Pukaskwa National Park. You can hear the water long before you get there, and the view is spectacular!
Nature, humans, and history, oh my!
Entering the forests of Woodland trail transports you to a wondrous place filled with the sounds of gray tree frogs, woodpeckers and rustling leaves. I love coming here to take a break from bustling city life and to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, culture and agriculture in Rouge National Urban Park.
Woodland Nature Trail
The Woodland Nature Trail has always been one of my favourite spots in Point Pelee National Park, especially in the spring. I can remember walking the long bridges, under the canopy of large trees always hoping to catch a glimpse of the golden swamp warbler, more commonly known as the Prothonotary Warbler, an endangered species that nests in the park.
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