Canada 150 at Parks Canada

Questions and Answers

Parks Canada is inviting Canadians and visitors from around the world to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary at national parks, national historic sites and marine conservation areas from coast to coast to coast.

To mark this special year, we’re offering free admission to natural treasures operated by Parks Canada. These important places allow visitors to experience Canada’s rich history and heritage in a special way, and we want you to join us for the celebration.

Here are answers to key questions to help plan your visit.

What is the Discovery Pass?

Each Discovery Pass provides opportunities for families and groups of up to seven people to enjoy national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada across the country. As Canada’s gift to you, the 2017 Discovery Pass is free! Passes obtained in 2016 are valid for 24 months from time of purchase.

Learn more about the Parks Canada Discovery Pass

Where will the free passes be available in 2017?

Canadians are encouraged to order their free 2017 Discovery Passes online now.

Discovery Passes will also be distributed at Parks Canada places and through our partners. A full list of distribution partners will be available here shortly. Discovery Passes will be available at Parks Canada entry gates.

Which sites will offer free admission in 2017?

Canada is lucky to have a multitude of parks and historic sites throughout the country. All national parks are managed by Parks Canada, while a portion of national historic sites are. See the full list of Parks Canada places before you visit to avoid any confusion.

  • Admission to all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada (day use and front-country use) will be free;
  • Lockage at the seven canals administered by Parks Canada on historic waterways will be free;

Since entry will be free in 2017, will there still be a need to obtain a pass for 2017

If you purchased a Discovery Pass in 2016, it is valid for 24 months, which covers the 2017 season. Holders of 2016 Discovery Pass will not need to obtain another pass for 2017. All other visitors must obtain a free Discovery Pass for the 2017 season.

By getting your Discovery Pass early, you’ll be helping us to anticipate and monitor visitation to better serve visitors and make sure they have the best experience possible. It will also help the Agency ensure these special places continue to be protected to the highest degree possible.

Are canal lockage fees included in free access in 2017?

Yes, lockage fees will be free for all boaters. Just as admission fees give visitors access to the wonders of national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas, canal locks give boaters access to Parks Canada’s historic waterways. Mooring fees for boats will still be in effect.

Is everything in Parks Canada locations free in 2017?

Only admission will be free in 2017. Fees for services and goods such as camping and firewood, special interpretation programs, reservation fees, soak fees at hot springs or overnight backcountry use will remain. Likewise, mooring fees for boats will still be in effect. Visit your favourite place’s website for all the details

Will there be staff at the gates and reception areas in 2017?

Parks Canada staff will continue to operate parks gates and reception areas throughout 2017. They can tell you all about special experiences available and about why the Parks Canada place you are visiting is special and answer your questions

We have heard that as of 2018, children under 18 will receive free admission, is that correct?

Yes, as of January 1st, 2018, children and youth under the age of 18 will have free admission to all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada.

How will tour operators, wholesalers and travel agents access free admission for their clients?

To speed up and simplify admission for travel trade clients, we recommend that companies make reservations for groups and obtain passes for their clients in advance. Further details for the travel trade can be found on Parks Canada’s website

Where can I see all the activities planned for Canada 150?

The Department of Canadian Heritage is the leading federal Canada 150 initiatives.

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