Canada in 2017: Why You Need to Go

 Canada in 2017: Why You Need to Go

This year is a big one for Canada as it celebrates its sesquicentennial, and our neighbors to the north have made it particularly attractive for RVers.with free access to Canada’s amazing National Parks all year, no matter where you’re from, Canada, U.S., or anywhere else.

To learn more, we talked to Eric Magnan, of Parks Canada, who joined us in recent episode of our podcast from his office in Quebec a few weeks ago.

He started by putting it in perspective: Parks Canada has 46 national parks and one national urban park (Rouge Park in Toronto). Parks Canada also has 171 historic sites for which the organization is responsible.

Camping can be found aplenty, he said.

“We have camping at about 40 locations,” Magnan said. “We have camping across Canada for campers with tents, tent trailers, trailers, RVs, fifth wheels…you name it we have sites for it.”

Magnan added that Parks Canada-managed locations offer a wide range of amenities.

To make reservations, Magnan suggests one of two ways, either online (see list of links at end of story) or via phone.

“Going on the website is easy…and this way you are able to see what’s available in terms of available dates, and in terms of maps,” Magnan said.

Those who prefer dealing directly with someone via phone can call 1-877-737-3783.

Magnan said that while making reservations, it’s important to know the meaning of the term “front country camping.”

As Magnan explains, front country camping is when you are camping right next to your vehicle, being in a tent, RV, or anything else. Magnan said it’s important to note that front country camping doesn’t necessarily mean full-service hookups are readily available.

Another question many have is about pets, so I asked Magnan if there are rules that are different about camping with them in Canada.

“Most of our national parks do welcome pets provided that they are under physical control at all times and they are on a leash,” Magnan said, explaining that leash length should not be more than 10 feet long and they must be kept inside overnight.

As far as crossing the border, the process is relatively simple: just make sure you have your passport. Also, firearms can’t be transported across the border so keep them at home.

Here are some links that Magnan suggested. (including a link to obtain a free admission pass for 2017):

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


  • For those who may read the summary and not delve deeper, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
    (1) It’s only the park admission that is free. Camping fees in national parks still apply, and in our experience are around $40 per night (e.g., in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park).
    (2) Many facilities will already be fully booked for the peak summer interval by the time you read this.
    (3) The free admission only applies to federal facilities. All other parks, including provincial parks, are charging regular prices.
    Good luck – it’s going to be a busy summer!

  • Traveling with my dog to Victoria Canada. I assume I need to carry all immunization and rabies records for the border people?

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