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Old 03-13-07, 12:32 PM   #1
Turd Ferguson
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Camping Ontario - PP Alternatives.

Aside from stealth camping, are there any low cost alternatives to provincial parks in Ontario? They charge $28 for the site, and $12.00 for the booking ( each site ). If your on tour for 5-10 days it can be expensive considering your just pitching a tent ( I don't have a fire ). At that price, you might as well stay in a cheap hotel. F#*$ing Ontario goverment.

Camping in the states is much less expense..usually about $20.00 and no reservation fee.
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Old 03-13-07, 06:49 PM   #2
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Sounds like a rip-off. Then again, it's at least €12-16 for a campsite in Ireland. And they are all over you like a cheap suit. The next tent is only 10 feet away, instead of 10 metres! You can hear them fricking breathing!
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Old 03-14-07, 05:38 PM   #3
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Low-cost alternatives? Only if you have a friend nearby with a big yard.

LP...bring a big pillow to smother out the sound.
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Old 03-15-07, 03:18 AM   #4
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lol, thanks IronMac.
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Old 03-15-07, 03:20 AM   #5
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Turd, what about contacting your MLA? Those parks are supposed to benefit (tax-paying) residents, aren't they??
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Old 03-15-07, 09:21 AM   #6
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never heard of MLA?

They should offer something different for people on a bike. I can understand $40 for a car with more than 1 person, but for a guy on a bike it's insane. It's cheaper to stay at a private campground or crusty hotel. Things are so much better in the US for touring. Less expensive, better facilities and best of all, you can buy beer nearby. The stores also have better selection of food !!

I did ask the guy a Ontario parks what the fine was for those who didn't pay for a site...he didn't know.
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Old 03-15-07, 10:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson
never heard of MLA?

They should offer something different for people on a bike. I can understand $40 for a car with more than 1 person, but for a guy on a bike it's insane. It's cheaper to stay at a private campground or crusty hotel. Things are so much better in the US for touring. Less expensive, better facilities and best of all, you can buy beer nearby. The stores also have better selection of food !!
By MLA she means MPP.

The $12 booking fee is only applicable if you reserve in advance. You generally only need to reserve in advance for weekends.
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Old 03-15-07, 12:24 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip !!
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Old 03-16-07, 04:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
The next tent is only 10 feet away, instead of 10 metres! You can hear them fricking breathing!

I was in a campground in Auckland where all the tents were cheek to jowl, I was next to a Swiss couple and I could hear much more than just their breathing.


What about private campgrounds? They usually like cyclists because we don't take up much space and prices are often negotiable. I toured Norway two years ago, it is reputedly the most expensive country in Europe and I never paid more than $20CDN for a site.
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Old 03-16-07, 05:42 PM   #10
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By MLA she means MPP.
ya, what he said.

your elected provincial representative. whatever the heck they are called these days.
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Old 03-16-07, 07:06 PM   #11
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The private campgrounds are just as expensive if not more so than the provincial ones. Trust me, I looked last October for an abortive BikeForum trip down to Niagara. The problem is that Southwestern Ontario is just so crowded! To get anything cheap you really have to start looking north of Barrie.
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Old 03-17-07, 09:08 PM   #12
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Ontario Conservation Areas

Check out Ontario's Conservation Areas. If they're like the ones I bike-camped at back in the 90s, they're low-cost and have fewer facilities. Here's a link, though many of the sub-links don't work:

http://www.out-there.com/ca00ont.htm
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Old 03-18-07, 12:03 PM   #13
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That cool, thanks for the link...can you Mountain Bike the Bruce trail?
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Old 03-18-07, 02:11 PM   #14
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I don't know, Turd. I was only passing through when I last camped (while on a tour) at a conservation area, and that was back in the 90s. Anyone else with current info?
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Old 03-18-07, 05:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson
That cool, thanks for the link...can you Mountain Bike the Bruce trail?
No, Turd, you cannot mountain bike the Bruce Trail. It is meant for hikers. That said, it is possible to stealth camp on the Bruce Trail. I've done that several times. Once I was heading for Niagara, and I got to a town just outside, but it was getting late. I think it was Jordan, Ontario. I biked up the road, found the link to the 'Bruce' and walked my bike a over trees and rocks until I was well away from the road and set up my hammock for the night. Another time I was biking a rail trail where the 'Bruce' crossed. Again I found myself on land that was marked for the trail and was not private land, so it was great for stealthing. That time I ran into a bear, so it wasn't as great.

Often bike trails parallel the Bruce Trail. I suggest you find some good maps.
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Old 03-18-07, 08:16 PM   #16
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What he said. There are bikeable sections of the trail where the trail starts down closed-off roads so you can quickly get into walkable sections without trying to bike over the walking trails. You can presumably hike you bike in also. I have biked over parts of the trail in the good old days before signage. A lot of the trail is on private agri, etc... land so you are often tresspassing in the legal sense if you camp, though how else are you supposed to through hike it. I stay away form the main weekends, and have never had a problem getting a campsite at a provincial camp, that's one advantage of the high costs, and low service level for the sites-who wants them. Marginally off-season often finds provincial sites unattended, or closed. It's too bad the emphasis has moved to long term trailer camping cattagers, but without that they probably would have sold the stuff off already. You main alternative is stealth camping which is possible almost anywhere in Southern Ontario.

I have stayed at KOA, not in Ontario, and been better satisfied, it's usually quieter, and it's expensive, but you get the usual campground stuff like showers, normally better maintained. I have never been turned away with a tent from a KOA including ones in sub-urban big cities, so unless it's A major holliday you probably don't need to book.

It's easy to think of camping in wilderness areas, and I can easily dream up places to camp in my own area, ravines, bush lots, etc... where I would never be seen. It's a little harder to figure out where to camp in other people's back yards. Geocashing sites can point to areas where people seem to feel a sense of entitlement for areas you might consider visiting. i don't have google earth, but surely it could allow you to scope out abandoned areas that are close to areas you want to stop at. Look for places adjascent to a campsite you may not get into, or look at older golf courses and then look for areas that connect by ravine of river back to a parallel road. However, the real sites you find can be a lot smaller than that. It's really not necesary to work at it, but if you like to know in advance where you are staying that's an option. Fishing site maps, abandoned miltary (lots along the waterfront).

Oh, another thing. My actual experience with motels is that they still cost a lot more than even paid camping. I always figure they should be cheap based on, the fact that up till 20 years ago there were places, one or two outstanding, that offered rooms for as little as 10-15 bucks. The last 20 dollar place I stayed at was full of roaches, and my notes show 50-60 is more average. A lot of those motor hotels were built in the 50s and 60s, and have since been sold to people who finally raised the rates, but certainly haven't renovated them to the standard that makes them nice. If I go back to when the motels averaged 20, the campsites were 10.

Last edited by NoReg; 03-18-07 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 03-21-07, 12:33 AM   #17
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My main point was to check into the annual permit, not all that other garbage. They are much cheaper. Not sure how that works out for camping, but at the very least you would gain access to showers and other fascilities. Used to be that for the cost of a half dozen day entries you could get a season pass.
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Old 03-24-07, 12:38 AM   #18
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There are a few campsites (PP and otherwise) listed on this page:
http://www.hedney.com/waterfront.htm

It's also an amazing route to take if you want to go from Toronto to Montreal!

Another bad thing about the Ontario government: the rediculously over-taxed liquor and beer stores!
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Old 03-24-07, 09:50 AM   #19
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Good link. It's interesting you posted that particular link - it's what got me interested in touring. Some time ago I thought of doing a ride from Toronto to Montreal. A quick google and that was the first link I found. Months later the trip changed to a trip around Lake Ontario after reading this gents site;

https://media6.magma.ca/www.torontob...1999/page1.htm

They made it look so easy

What can I say..now I'm hooked !!

I'm with you on the beer tax. Perhaps thats why I liked riding on the US side...beer available at the gas stations at considerably less cost. Note: I bought a 12 pack of can and kept them in one of my MEC panniers. It's a a seriously hot day although fortunate for me it kept the beer cool for much of the day. Cordura must be a good insulator? Was pleasantly suprised. :>P
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Old 03-24-07, 09:57 AM   #20
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"rediculously over-taxed liquor and beer stores"

What do you mean? It's not as though we want people drinking the stuff.

Another thought is to find routes that parallel locks, some of those allow free camping. I heard there is a good run to Ottawa like that.
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Old 03-24-07, 01:57 PM   #21
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Another bad thing about the Ontario government: the rediculously over-taxed liquor and beer stores!
Just for the record, the Beer Stores are owned by Ontario brewers, not the Ontario govrenment. Only the LCBO is owned by the government and it pumps several billion dollars each year back into the economy and helps pay for our health system.
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Old 03-25-07, 08:37 AM   #22
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That's right: Brewers of Ontario, aka BOO.
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Old 03-25-07, 08:51 AM   #23
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The Beer Store is owned by Labatt's, Molons & Sleeman, large Multi-National corporations regulated by the Ontario goverment, acting as a distrubition nextwork their products and other breweries.

The taxes that apply to both the LCBO and beer purchased at the Beer store are the same. Companies like Lakeport, Laker etc can charge less money for beer as they are restricted in the quantity of beer produced., Eg, 24 bottles for $24.00. This restriction affect the taxes they charge consumer. Large beweries such as Molsons and Labatts have different tax obligations due to the large quantity of product produced and are passed onto the consumer. That being said, they also charge more for profit.

My complaint has never been the cost of beer/spirits, rather, or taxes, but the goverment control over it's sale. Ontario needs to grow up and follow the lead of Quebec and the US and allow for beer to be purchased an convience, grocery stores etc.
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Old 03-25-07, 11:11 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson

My complaint has never been the cost of beer/spirits, rather, or taxes, but the goverment control over it's sale. Ontario needs to grow up and follow the lead of Quebec and the US and allow for beer to be purchased an convience, grocery stores etc.
Does that mean that all grocery store and convenience store owners in Ontario will have to sack their employees under the age of majority? After all, they will be serving liquor. The LCBO also does a great job of not serving those under the influence. Without proper legislation and control this could be a huge issue around fighting drunk drivers. You also choose not to deal with the main issue, which is that those taxes help pay for our health care. This is something that should be protected at all cost. By the way, booze is not any cheaper in Alberta where the Tories chose to privatize the service. Only the selection is poorer because the profit becomes more important that service and community safety.

Then again, what the heck as this got to do with touring?
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Old 03-25-07, 11:52 AM   #25
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When on tour I like having beer available after a hard days ride. Nothings beats sitting around a campfire with some friends, enjoying the outdoors and having a beer. While I appreciated the reduced cost in the states, I can afford to pay the taxes, at the end of the day it's matters little to me.

Anyway, 6 packs in convience stores are coming to Ontario, it's just a matter of time. I doubt we will ever see liquor or wine sold anywhere other than the LCBO.

Come to think of it, I've never seen liquor sold at gas stations, grocery stores etc in the US, only liquor stores. There is probably a law of some sorts stating they need to be kept separate.

Also, please, let's not get political. I'm not here to debate taxes and funding healthcare.

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