Frequently asked questions

Parks Canada is monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely and will communicate regularly. Please visit Parks Canada's COVID-19 information page and social media channels frequently for information and updates.


Last updated: 9:45 AM EST on April 2, 2020


Closing Parks Canada places and cancelling activities

Why is Parks Canada closing national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas?

The health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and Parks Canada team members is of the utmost importance to the Agency. We are following the advice of public health experts and taking steps to support the Government of Canada’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce risks to visitors, employees, and other users of Parks Canada spaces.

To reduce the number of visitors at Parks Canada places and to minimize risks to visitors and employees, all Parks Canada facilities are closed, all visitor services and all motor vehicle access by visitors is temporarily suspended until further notice.

Parks Canada is calling on Canadians to stay home. Anyone considering a visit to a Parks Canada location, including those in urban areas, should cancel their plans.

How long will Parks Canada places be closed?

All Parks Canada facilities are closed, all visitor services and all motor vehicle access by visitors is temporarily suspended until further notice. Parks Canada is focusing on critical basic operations at Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.

The Agency will be monitoring the situation and will communicate regularly.

A complete list of Parks Canada closures and the parameters of the closures will be available on the website soon. Please visit Parks Canada's COVID-19 information page regularly for updates.

What facilities are closed?

Parks Canada is temporarily suspending all visitor services at all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas, and closing all facilities including:

  • Parking lots
  • Secondary Roads
  • Entry kiosks
  • Visitor centres
  • Historic buildings
  • All campgrounds and campsites, including oTENTiks, roofed accommodations and backcountry campsites
  • Washrooms, shower buildings and change rooms
  • Kitchen shelters
How will Parks Canada inform people of the closures?

Please visit Parks Canada's COVID-19 information page and social media channels frequently for information and updates.

What services will Parks Canada continue to provide?

Where possible and appropriate, and following the applicable workplace health and safety precautions, the following critical basic operations will continue:

  • Waterways dam operations, water level monitoring, and water level management;
  • Highways operations, roads and snow removal
  • Avalanche control
  • Law Enforcement
  • Visitor safety and search and rescue
  • Town sites management
  • Water and waste water treatment
  • Fire response and management
  • Emergency dispatch
  • Call centre services
  • Construction project implementation support
Can people still visit national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas during this closure?

Parks Canada is calling on Canadians to stay home. Anyone considering a visit to a Parks Canada location, including those in urban areas, should cancel their plans.

During the temporary suspension of visitor services, there is no access to visitor facilities. All public buildings, day use areas, washrooms, campgrounds and fixed roofed accommodations are closed to the public.

Additionally, Parks Canada has temporarily suspended all motor vehicle access by visitors at all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas.

Can visitors drive to Parks Canada places and enter?

Parks Canada is calling on Canadians to stay home.

The Agency has suspended visitor services and visitor motor vehicle access. This means that all parking lots, washrooms, day use facilities, showers, visitor centres, and all camping facilities, including oTENTiks, yurts and backcountry camping, are closed until further notice.

Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open for through traffic.

Will highways and major roads that run through Parks Canada places remain open?

Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open. Commercial and through traffic is permitted on these corridors. Please note that parking is not permitted on highways and roadways.

Parks Canada is asking all visitors to follow the advice of public health experts and stay home. The Agency strongly recommends essential travel only.

Will Parks Canada be cancelling any events, group activities and interpretive activities during this closure period as well?

Yes. All events, group and interpretive activities will be cancelled during this temporary closure.

Are trails at Parks Canada places closed?

Many trails across the Parks Canada Network are closed for public safety, for the protection of ecological or cultural resources, because of human-wildlife interaction concerns, or limited search and rescue capacity.

Can people walk or bike in Parks Canada places?

To reduce the number of visitors at Parks Canada places and to minimize risks to visitors and employees, Parks Canada is asking Canadians to support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 by staying home. Parks Canada has suspended all motor vehicle access by visitors, all visitor services are suspended and all facilities are closed.

While pedestrian and bicycle access is not affected, many trails across the Parks Canada network are closed for public safety, for the protection of ecological or cultural resources, because of human-wildlife interaction concerns, or limited search and rescue capacity.

Those who choose to access open trails on foot or by bicycle must obey all signage and closures. They must follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing. They must be conservative in their choices to avoid injury and minimize any need for emergency response. They must leave no trace, remove their garbage and human waste.

Is fishing permitted in national parks during this temporary closure?

Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and implementing measures to support the Government of Canada’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19) and reduce risks to Canadians, visitors and employees. Parks Canada is asking Canadians to support this national effort by staying home and not visiting national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas.

The sale of all Parks Canada passes and permits has been suspended until further notice. In addition, entry kiosks and visitor centres are closed, as a result fishing permits cannot currently be sold or validated.

Please note that visitor services are suspended and all visitor facilities are temporarily closed. Many trails and day-use areas are no longer accessible due to road closures. Park users must obey all signage and closures.

Fees and reservations

Will people be refunded for cancelled reservations or activities?

Visitors who made reservations with Parks Canada for camping, accommodation or activities that take place prior to April 30, 2020, will receive a full refund. All reservations due to arrive during this period will be cancelled, and all fees paid will be refunded automatically. You do not need to cancel your reservation. Your refund will happen automatically.

In these exceptional circumstances refunds may take some time to process. Your refund may take place in multiple payments. Please be patient, it will take a few weeks for you to receive your full refund.

Will people be refunded for passes?

For current pass holders, Parks Canada will automatically extend the end date of Discovery Passes for the full duration of the suspension period. That means that for each month or part of a month that visitor services are not offered due to Parks Canada's efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, a full month will be added to the end date of the annual pass.

I already own a pass. Should I request a refund?

Parks Canada will extend the validity of all current passes for a period equivalent to the full duration of the temporary suspension of visitor services. For example, a valid Discovery Pass will be extended for one month for every month or partial of this temporary closure. Current pass holders who would like to extend the validity of their passes do not need to take any additional action.

Can I currently buy an annual pass?

The sales of all passes has been temporarily suspended until further notice.

Jobs at Parks Canada

Will Parks Canada still be hiring new employees during this temporary suspension of services?

Yes. Parks Canada will continue with hiring processes. However, while the Agency focuses on critical basic operations, some hiring processes may be delayed. For more information, on opportunities at Parks Canada, visit our website.