Penalties for people who sell Ontario Parks reservations for profit

·2 min read

WATERLOO REGION — Anyone found reselling a site reservation for profit will be penalized, says Ontario Parks.

As of April 24, reservation holders are not permitted to resell any reservation for profit, according to Chelsea Dolan, communications director for the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

If anyone is found to be reselling a reservation for profit, for example on social media or on a buy-and-sell website, the reservation will be cancelled and the person who reserved will be charged all applicable penalty fees, she said.

“We don’t condone reselling Ontario Parks reservations for a profit and we take concerns raised by our visitors very seriously,” Dolan said.

Penalties for cancelling reservations range from 10 to 50 per cent of total fees paid, depending on how long the reservation was held.

So far in 2021, Ontario Parks has been made aware of 57 reservations advertised for resale for profit, out of 379,750 total reservations made, said Gary Wheeler, another ministry spokesperson.

Wheeler said members of the public are encouraged to contact Ontario Parks at op-reservations@ontarioparks.com if they hear of people or third-party resellers advertising or attempting to sell reservations for profit.

People are asked to provide as much information as possible about the suspected reseller. For example:

Screenshots or copies of the advertisement or post.

Link to the advertisement or post.

Name of the party attempting to sell.

Dates of the campsite for resale.

Park of the campsite for resale.

Booking number of the reservation.

Site number of the reservation.

Campers across Ontario are frustrated with how difficult reserving a camping site has been recently, with many people scrambling to book a site the day it opens at exactly 7 a.m. on the reservation website, only to find sites fully booked.

Currently, Ontario Parks are open only for day-use activities like hiking. Campground and back-country sites, as well as roofed accommodations like cabins, yurts and cottages, are closed in response to the extension of the province’s stay-at-home order until at least May 20.

Leah Gerber’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about the Grand River Watershed. Email lgerber@therecord.com

Leah Gerber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Waterloo Region Record