TORONTO -- A non-profit group is making camping without a car possible with a regular bus service between Toronto and key national and provincial parks in Ontario.
Starting June 29, the Ontario Parkbus Initiative will be running buses between Toronto and popular campgrounds, canoe access points and backpacking trailheads in Algonquin, Killarney and Grundy Lake Provincial Parks as well as Bruce Peninsula National Park.
Started as a grassroots initiative by two York University graduates and outdoor enthusiasts, the program runs in cooperation with Ontario Parks and Parks Canada. Financial backing is provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, along with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
"Parkbus is bringing social, environmental and economic benefits to our province" said Steve Bruno, Partnership Coordinator at Ontario Tourism. Past passengers are equally impressed with the service: “It’s about time, I’m surprised no one thought of this before” said Eric Nguyen, an Annex resident who took Parkbus with his fiancée during the project’s pilot stage in 2011.
Buses are operated by Muskoka’s Hammond Transportation, with one-way adult tickets ranging between $35 and $40. Complete schedule and pricing information can be found at www.parkbus.ca.
Parkbus is a project of Transportation Options (T.O.), a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering sustainable tourism and transportation in Ontario. Since 1992, T.O. has worked on numerous successful projects, including award-winning Bike Train Initiative and the Welcome Cyclists Network. Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Ontario Ecotourism Society are the collaborative partners of the Ontario Parkbus Initiative.
Boris Issaev, Project Manager