Ontario Parks experimenting with wireless Internet - Macleans.ca

Ontario Parks experimenting with wireless Internet

Parks service says it’s losing campers to KOAs with Wi-Fi


Camping used to be a great excuse to ignore e-mail on holidays, but Ontario Parks is now considering bringing e-mail right to people’s tents. Pinery Provincial Park, near Grand Bend, Ont. has installed Wi-Fi service for campers at one location and is seeking input from campers about the service. “We’ve had people call and say they are going to a private campground like KOA because they do have wireless,” John Salo, southwest zone manager told the Canadian Press. Parks Canada said last fall that it was considering wireless Internet as a way to combat a steady drop in visitors.

Hamilton Spectator

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Ontario Parks experimenting with wireless Internet

  1. Good god no! That's WHY I go camping, to get away from all that crap!

    • But then *you* don't have to use it. If it shuts up the screaming kids by letting them post how bored they are on Facebook, I'm all for it!

      • Depends if they're using it to stream media over speakers. Which they will. Which I'll hear. Which I'll hate.

        • If the kids claim to be bored while camping, then somebody's doing something wrong ……

      • But you don't have to use the Internet when you are at home. The challenge of technology is that it is pretty addictive stuff, which is why going to the great outdoors is a good idea. If your kids scream because they can't go on facebook, then you have a problem, and one that will only be made worse by giving in.

  2. this is just plain stupid….if you want wifi go to a coffee shop…

  3. Take a walk through any campground and count how many people are watching DVDs or listening to radios, technology has already infiltrated parks. Being able to walk to the visitors centre to "check in" with work will allow me to camp beyond the weekend. This is overdue and people are overreacting without knowing the facts. You can still 'get away from all that crap', just leave the laptop at home.

  4. Campgrounds need clean toilet!!! Campgrounds tend to be very filthy these days. Spend the $$$ on that instead.

  5. It will be great to have. Personally I have a data plan on my phone so I'll have internet anyway but having internet on my laptop is always a plus. For the people who are saying no to this you may as well shut up because this service isn't for you and it won't affect you at all. Also for the kids being bored while camping… what's the big deal not everyone is into outdoorsy stuff and it's not always fun. Sometimes it rains sometimes theres nothing to do.

    • Not everyone is into the outdoorsy stuff…Then why on earth would you want to go to a Provincial park? I think you would probably be better of going to a KOA or a privately run campground where they can cater to the non outdoorsy type.In return us outdoorsy types can enjoy our campfires and Smores ( throw in a Canadian or two) and not have to put up with someone else's bored and cranky children.

      • Provincial Parks are trying to compete with KOA? KOA may be fun but it's not camping, and the KOA experience doesn't require the wilderness that Provincial Parks are preserving. Are they losing customers? All but the awful sites are reserved within seconds of being available 5 months in advance. I don't mind if the KOA crowd goes elsewhere.

  6. I'd rather be hiking than camping.
    Too often camping ends up meaning: let's sit around for a few days getting trashed.
    I have no qualms about a Provincial Park getting wi-fi as long as it doesn't make them more expensive to run. If getting in becomes more expensive because of morons who can't live without the internet, I'm going to be angry.

  7. Kind of defeats the back to nature cliche doesn't it? Seriously if want a vacation with hot showers, take out food, internet, tv and without bugs than book a resort. Leave nature for those who want to enjoy … getting away from it all!

  8. Okay I am American and I have heard about several parks having this for years here in the US. When I was growing up we used to do real rugged camping outside of camping grounds, and I always suggest that to those who do not want to hear their neighbors blasting radios or playing on the laptop.

    • In our provincial parks here in B.C. if there is loud music or behaviour that is disruptive to your fellow campers you are given two warnings to abide by the rules, third time the PFO`s (Park Facility Officers.) will evict you from the park, your Licence plate number is recorded when you register and pay your fees so if the offending parties try and re-register and come back you will be denied entry, generaly speaking though, most people that come to the Provincial Parks come for the same reason, to enjoy the peace and quiet and toast weenies…….

      • That is nice park rangers keep noise levels down there. The few times I camped at camp grounds here in California most people were loud and noisy. I used to like when we went on rugged camping trips to isolated spots in Death Valley as a kid because no one else was around, except the people that came with us, and you really could explore nature that way.

        • Agree with the rugged camping thing, it a different experiance all together but some people just can't (or shouldn't ) do rough camping, I prefer it myself. In our early days of camping my wife flat out refused to camp unless there was running water…. no problem….so I made camp down on the river, well,, I will leave out the gory details… went out and bought a Truck and camper !

  9. If Ontario Parks really does have falling camping rates, maybe they need to lower their outrageous camping charges. The rates have doubled in less than ten years from $17 to camp to nearly $35.

  10. I always figured you go camping because you like nature. You want to recharge and relax. You get away from traffic jams, bosses at work, people yelling, tv, away from technology, all of the headaches in life.

    I also don't like the idea of wireless internet waves pulsing through people.

  11. Provincial camp grounds in Ontario are alive and well. I doubt it is due to declining numbers. Without wireless many couldn't leave to enjoy natural outdoors because business and daily pressures demand many to stay connected. Love to camp but I need a job thank you very much.

  12. personally I don't see the big deal. I like being able to check my email every now and again and being able to connect to work if there is some sort of emergency – otherwise I`d not be able to really enjoy the outdoors if I knew I could come back to some mess. I generally camp in areas where cell coverage is bad and no wireless internet so wifi would certainly be a big plus for me.
    just my $0.02.

  13. This is a great idea, now I can camp for two weeks instead of 3 days. Every three days I can login to work for 20 minutes to put out any fire and ensure my stress level when I return to work doesn't make me wish I didn't take a vacation. My kids aren't allowed to bring any electronics camping, but they love the fact that we can stay for two full weeks playing on the beach.
    If you don't have self control, leave your laptop at home, if you are that addicted to the internet, you will connect through your phone any where and not have to make the trip to the visitor center.
    This is perfect for the Pinery. If you have ever been there, You know that the location with access is pretty isolated and away from any camp sites.

  14. So lets see here… the parks contractor people have jacked camp site prices through the roof in the last number of years… now they are planning on adding more charges for internet service… yet every washroom you go into stinks to high high heaven because they dont clean them more than once a day …there is no security staff/service to speak of in the majority of car camping areas… these contractors have single handedly dissuaded droves of people from camping through consistently underserving and overpricing….

    I guess now we have to add wi-fi free to the radio free camping areas to ensure people can get a real vacation.