Conservation Halton Parks Price Increase

Price Increase Overview

Conservation Halton will be increasing park entrance fees and membership prices effective June 14, 2021. We want to share a few of the reasons we made this decision, help you better understand how we operate and provide updates on what you can expect from Conservation Halton Parks in the future.

Conservation Halton Parks currently consists of seven parks, with plans to expand our offering this year. We act as an independent authority and are not associated with Ontario Parks or Parks Canada. Our park operations are 100% funded by self-generating revenue from gate admission and membership fees. We are not funded by tax dollars, so park improvements, maintenance, and staffing are dependent on this self-generated revenue.

It has been more than four years since we have reviewed our pricing, and after a thorough analysis of current resource requirements, future sustainability initiatives, and comparable industry rates, we found that a price increase was necessary. The following price structure was presented to and approved by the Conservation Halton Board of Directors in February 2021.

All Parks – New Visitor Rates
  All Parks - New Visitor Rate
Adult $9.50 +HST
Senior $7.50 + HST
Child (5-14) $6.50 + HST
Child (under 4) Free
 New Membership Fees
  New Membership Fees
Individual $75 +HST
Senior Individual $60 +HST
Family $150 +HST
Senior Family $135 +HST

 

Where does the money go?

Park entrance and membership fees are used to support:

  • Trail infrastructure and maintenance
  • Visitor impact management
  • Visitor management systems (staffing, technology, infrastructure, etc.)
  • Asset management planning
  • Hazard removals and preventative measures within the parks (LDD Moths, EAB, Oak Wilt, etc.)

Why increase prices now?

Conservation Halton has always prided itself on being an industry leader when it comes to innovative programming and park experiences for our visitors. Over the past year, our team have been working to expand these offerings, and are excited to bring these new programs to life over the coming year. We have also been planning to improve amenities and upgrading assets at our parks for our visitors to enjoy.

Further, over the past few years there has been a substantial cost increase in land management, including an increase in insurance premiums and risk and liability management. We have also incurred additional capital costs to maintain infrastructure as we support the growing population in the Halton Region. Even with the investment of our visitor management system to control park capacities during the pandemic, we have seen a 40% increase in visitation in 2020 and 30% increase overall since 2016. While we love seeing more people coming out to enjoy our parks, it means that our visitor impact management efforts have had to increase significantly to ensure we are minimizing the impacts on the environment. The increased visitation, in addition to an eighth park opening this year, means we require additional resources to support the extra volume through staffing, reservation systems, and programming.

Finally, when we began to look at increasing our prices for the first time in four years, we looked to other organizations to assess industry standards. We found that our prices were considerably lower, and even with this increase we are still below comparable organizations, such as Ontario Parks.

The Future of Conservation Halton Parks

We are very excited to announce some of our future projects that our community will be able to enjoy in the coming year. Firstly, this year members and visitors will have access to an additional park to enjoy. After years of restoring the property, we are proud to introduce our newest park, which has formally been known as Kelso Quarry, and which we are currently calling “Area 8,” until an official name is chosen! Stay tuned to learn about upcoming events at the new park and find out how you can help name it!

Other upcoming projects include:

  • Automated gates and contactless payment systems onsite
  • Park infrastructure and facility upgrades
  • Enhanced programs and experiences (COVID-19 compliant and beyond the pandemic)
  • Expanding community partnerships for equitable community access, similar to our “Park Pass It On” program with Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills and Milton Libraries.

If you have any questions, you can contact Visitor Services at visitorservices@hrca.on.ca.