Canada is offering free admission to its national parks and a variety of other tourist attractions throughout 2017, as a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. But the freebie does enable you to scope out what Canada has to offer while spending a little less money — whether you’re only interested in being a tourist or considering becoming an expatriate. As the Canadian national parks system, known as Parks Canada, says in anannouncement:
Whether you’re looking for adventure, fun for the whole family, or a break from the everyday, you’ll find it at a Parks Canada place. There’s never been a better time to connect!
The freebie entails:
- Free admission to national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada.
- Free lockage fees for boaters to Parks Canada’s historic canals and waterways.
That translates to free admission or lockage to well over 200 destinations, as Parks Canada comprises:
- 47 national parks
- 171 national historic sites (including eight historic canals)
- Four national marine conservation areas
The only exception to free admission is for the Canadian Rockies Hot Springs, a trio of hot springs located in Banff, Jasper and Kootenay national parks. Fees also remain for things other than admission such as camping, firewood and guided tours.
To access free admission or lockage next year, you have two options:
- Purchase a Discovery Pass, which provides admission to all Parks Canada places for a year. If you buy one this year, however, it will be valid for two full years to incorporate free admission next year. The pass will be all you need.
- Stay tuned to Parks Canada’s website for more details as 2017 approaches.