May 16, 2019 7:17 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 9:39 am

Ontario provincial parks gear up for first Victoria Day long weekend since cannabis legalization

The shoreline at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Ontario Parks / Flickr

For some nature-loving Canadians turning to provincial parks for their Victoria Day celebrations, campfires won’t be the only thing set ablaze over the long weekend.

Park officials are gearing up for their first Victoria Day long weekend since cannabis was legalized in October 2018.

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Ontario Parks marketing and education specialist Sheila Wiebe said that while several parks will be observing an alcohol ban, cannabis consumption is a different matter.

“You are allowed to enjoy cannabis on your site or anywhere that you would be allowed to smoke or vape,” said Wiebe.

“So where you can’t smoke or vape would be buildings, within 20 metres of a playground, sporting areas, swimming areas, that sort of thing.”

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The differing rules for cannabis and alcohol are due to different legislation governing the substances.

Wiebe added that since legalization, campsite cannabis consumption has been problem-free.

“We’re keeping an eye on it and we’ll be able to potentially make changes if necessary,” Wiebe said. “We’re going to go through a bit of a growing period in understanding how cannabis and alcohol affects your body and keeping safe in a recreational area.”

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Wiebe advises would-be campers to find a spot at local provincial parks as soon as possible with most campsites expected to fill up by Friday.

The Fanshawe Conservation Area in London and St. Mary’s Wildwood Conservation are reporting that a few dozen non-electric campsites remain available.

Those unable to nab a spot will still be able to enjoy other attractions at the campgrounds, including Fanshawe’s firework display scheduled for holiday Monday.

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