Closest Places To Use the Canadian National Parks Pass from Toronto

     The Canadian National Parks Pass allows entry into pretty much every national park, national historic site and marine conservatory area in all of Canada. There are a few exceptions (most notably from a Toronto standpoint is Fort Henry in Kingston and Point Clark Lighthouse in Amberley). To celebrate Canada turning 150 years old the National Parks Pass was free to everyone for the entire year. I looked up where to use the national parks pass and couldn’t find any information that really fit to me. Most articles and pages focus on the national parks (which are amazing) but there’s plenty of other things to see in Canada. Obviously this article is focused on where you can use it from Toronto but I encourage everyone to look up everything around them and use it as often as possible. My goal is to check out most things on this list and learn more about the country we live in.

If you haven’t ordered your pass yet, it can be ordered here. You can also pick up a free copy with a map from any of the sites when you visit them!

Disclaimer: The times from Toronto are going to vary depending on when in the day you’re looking the trip up and where in Toronto you’re looking it up from. For the intents of this post I simply typed in Toronto (as opposed to an address) which tends to center around City Hall.

 

Battle Hill National Historical Monument

What: National Historical monument marking the battleground of a skirmish during the War of 1812 on 4 March 1814 in which a small American force drove off a British attack on their position.
Where: Longwoods Road, Highway 2, Southwest Middlesex, Ontario, N0L, Canada
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours and 23 minutes
When: This one appears to be open 24 hours as it’s theoretically just out in the open. It also means you technically don’t have to use your parks pass here but you should still check it out if you’re in the area!

Battle of Cook’s Mills National Historic Site

What: National Historical monument marking the corner of the battleground of the Battle of Cook’s Mills. This was where the British and Canadian forces fought the American forces and forced them to retreat in October 1814.
Where: Corner of Lyons Creek and Matthews Roads, Cook’s Mills, Ontario, Canada
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 28 minutes
When: This one appears to be open 24 hours as it’s theoretically just out in the open. It also means you technically don’t have to use your parks pass here but you should still check it out if you’re in the area!

Battle of the Châteauguay National Historic Site of Canada

What: National Historical monument dedicated to 300 Canadian soldiers beating 3700 Americans in October 1813. There’s also an interpretation center showing how the battle was won.
Where: 2371 chemin de la rivière Châteauguay, Très-Saint-Sacrement, QC J0S 1G0
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 28 minutes
When: Opened Saturday/Sunday between 9 am and 5 pm during the summer season

Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site of Canada

What: National Historical Site dedicated to the November 1838 Battle of the Windmill. In 1873 the windmill got converted to a lighthouse which opened to the public in 1996.
Where: 3401 Windmill Road, Edwardsburgh, ON K0E 1T1
Distance from Toronto: 3 hours and 54 minutes
When: June – Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. | July 1st to September 4th – Thursday to Monday bewteen 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. |
September 4th to 30th – Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. | Closing date: September 30th

Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site of Canada

What: National Historic Site commemorating one of the most important battles of the war of 1812. This site’s very close to the Fort George National Historic Site as well.
Where: 454 Queen St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 32 minutes
When: This one appears to be open 24 hours as it’s theoretically just out in the open. It also means you technically don’t have to use your parks pass here but you should still check it out if you’re in the area!

Beausoleil Island National Historic Site of Canada (inside of Georgian Bay Islands National Park)

What: The largest of the 63 islands in Georgian Bay Islands National Park
Where: 2611 Honey Harbour road, Honey Harbour, ON P0E 1E0 (this is the direct address to Georgian Bay Islands National Park, to access the Beausoleil Island and the National Historic site you’ll need to take a boat)
Distance from Toronto:  2 hours and 6 minutes
When: Open year around.

Bellevue House National Historic Site of Canada 

What: A restored house and gardens where Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir. John A. Macdonald, lived between 1848 and 1849.
Where: 35 Centre Street, Kingston ON K7L 4E5
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours and 40 minutes
When: May 20th to October 9th – Open daily, including statutory holidays between 10 am and 5 pm | October 9th (Thanksgiving) to October 31st – Monday to Friday between 10 am and 4 pm

Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site 

What: Birth site and home of the medical pioneer Dr. Norman Bethune
Where: 235 John Street North, Gravenhurst, ON P1P 1G4
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours and 2 minutes
When: Open during the summer season. For specific hours check here.

Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada 

What: An over 100-year-old lighthouse which was the scene of an invasion in 1838 by Canadian “Patriots”
Where: Bois Blanc Island ON (but can only be viewed from the shores of Amhertsburg, ON)
Distance from Toronto: 4 hours and 23 minutes
When: You can’t actually get into this but can view it from the shores of Amhertsburg, Ontario so therefore there’s no actual opening times

Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada

What: National park with hiking, camping, wildlife and cliffs
Where: Visitor Centre – 120 Chi sin tib dek Road, Tobermory, ON N0H 2R0
Distance from Toronto: 3 hours and 35 minutes
When: The park is pretty much always open. For the visitor center hours check here.

Canadian National Parks Pass

Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site of Canada 

What: A historic military complex which has 5 buildings. This is on the same property as Fort George, just behind it
Where: 440 King Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 26 minutes
When: The site is accessible year-round.

Carillon Barracks National Historic Site 

What: Former barracks for soldiers that was used in the mid 1800s. Now it houses a museum.
Where: 44 route du Long-Sault, Saint-André-d’Argenteuil, QC J0V 1X0
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 31 minutes
When: September and October – Sundays, from 11 am to 4 pm. Complete schedule here.

Carillon Canal National Historic Site of Canada

What: This canal was built for military purposes and is today used for pleasure boating. It’s also got a lock that allows boats to be raised 20 meters vertically in only 40 minutes.
Where: 230 du Barrage Street, Saint-André-d’Argenteuil, QC J0V 1X0
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 29 minutes
When: The national historic site is open every day of the year from sunrise to 11 p.m. The navigation season runs from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving (mid-May to mid-October).

Carrying Place of the Bay of Quinte National Historic Site of Canada 

What: Plaque commemorating where the British and the chiefs of Mississauga signed a peace treaty in 1787
Where: Loyalist Pkwy & Old Portage Road, Carrying Place, ON K0K 1L0
Distance from Toronto:  1 hour and 56 minutes
When: 
The site is accessible year-round (since it’s a plaque you probably don’t need to use your pass here but still check it out!).

Chambly Canal National Historic Site of Canada

What: A 20 km canal with 8 still functioning locks
Where: 1899 De Périgny Boulevard, Chambly, QC J3L 4C3
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 40 minutes
When: The national historic site is open every day of the year from sunrise to 11 pm. The navigation season runs from mid-May to mid-October.

Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site of Canada

What: This site has over 7000 years worth of history. The historic site features Canada’s first lock as well as some ruins of a fort.
Where: 308 A Chemin du Fleuve, Coteau-du-Lac QC JOP 1BO
Distance from Toronto: 4 hours and 46 minutes
When: Open during the summer season. For more exact hours check here. 

Fanthom Five National Marine Park

What: National park with rock formations, ship wrecks and crystal clear waters
Where: Parks Canada Visitor Centre – 120 Chi sin tib dek Road, Tobermory ON N0H 2R0
Distance from Toronto: 3 hours and 45 minutes
When: Open year round

Canadian National Parks Pass

Fort Chambly National Historic Site of Canada

What: A historical fort from 1711 where the French soldiers lived
Where: 2 De Richelieu Street, Chambly QC J3L 2B9
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 44 minutes
When: Open for the summer season. More specific schedule here.

Fort George National Historic Site of Canada

What: A military post that defended Upper Canada against attacks from the Americans. You’re able to experience 19th century style food and fire a musket!
Where: 51 Queens Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON L0S 1J0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 28 minutes
When: 
May 1 to October 31 – Every day | Nov 1 to April 30 – Weekends only (see here for more specific hours)

Fort Lennox National Historic Site

What: Miliary fort. View the permanent exhibition or take part in activities that mimic miliatry life.
Where: 1 61st Avenue, Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix, QC J0J 1G0
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 46 minutes
When: Open in summer season. For mores specific hours check here.

Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada 

What: The site of the longest American occupation on Canadian soil among other historical moments
Where: 100 Laird Avenue, Amherstburg ON N9V 2Z2
Distance from Toronto: 3 hours and 58 minutes
When: Open during the summer season. More specific hours here.

Fort Mississauga National Historic Site of Canada

What: The remains of a large, square, brick defensive tower
Where: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 27 minutes
When: The site is accessible year-round.

Fort Ste. Thérèse National Historic Site of Canada

What: Site of French fort for defence against Iroquois
Where: Part of the Chambly Canal Historic Site – 1899 De Périgny Boulevard, Chambly, QC J3L 4C3
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 42 minutes
When: The national historic site is open every day of the year from sunrise to 11 pm.

Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site of Canada

What: Trading post where the French and English competed for control of the fur trade.
Where: 834 Chemin du Vieux-Fort, Duhamel-Ouest QC J9V 1N7
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 21 minutes
When: Open during summer season. More specific hours here.

Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada

What: Fort built during the War of 1812 that defended the St. Lawrence River from the United States
Where: 370 Vankoughnet Street, Prescott, ON K0E 1T0
Distance from Toronto: 3 hours and 33 minutes
When: Open during summer season. More detailed hours here.

Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada

What: National Park in the world’s largest freshwater archipelago – there’s over 63 islands here!
Where: 2611 rue Honey Harbour, Honey Harbour ON P0E 1E0
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours and 38 minutes
When: Open year round.

Glengarry Cairn National Historic Site

What: Conical stone monument, with stairway, to the Glengarry and Argyle Regiment, erected in 1840
Where: Cairn Island, ON K0C 2C0
Distance from Toronto: 4 hours and 30 minutes
When: Not open to the public but view able from shore

HMCS Haida National Historic Site of Canada 

What: HMCS Haida is the Canadian Navy’s most famous ship. It fought in World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War.  The boat is currently docked in Hamilton and open to exploration once you board it.
Where: 658 Catharine Street North Pier 9, Hamilton ON L8L 8K4
Distance from Toronto: 50 minutes
When: Open during the summer season. More specific hours here.

Canadian Nationals Park Pass

Inverarden House National Historic Site of Canada

What: A grand relic of eastern Ontario architectural history
Where: 3350 Montreal Road, Cornwall ON K6H 5R5
Distance from Toronto: 4 hours and 54 minutes
When: Closed to the public but you can view the outside which remains open.

Lachine Canal National Historic Site

What: A 14.5-kilometre canal that runs through Montreal between the Old Port and Lake Saint-Louis. It is a navigable waterway punctuated by five locks.
Where: 105 McGill Street, 6th Floor, Montreal QC H2Y 2E7
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 20 minutes
When: The national historic site is open every day from sunrise to 11 p.m

Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada

What: The former residence of two Canadian prime ministers; Sir Wilfred Laurier and the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Where: 335 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa ON K1N 6R4
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 6 minutes
When: Open during summer season. For mores specic hours see here.

Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site

What: the house of Louis-Joseph Papineau, leader of the Patriotes that was attacked on November 6, 1837
Where: 440 Bonsecours Street, Montréal QC H2Y 3C4
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 27 minutes
When: Closed to the public so no need for your parks pass here but you can see the beautiful exterior of the building still

Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada

What: The grand estate of Louis-Joseph Papineau who was a leading figure in Canadian politics. Visiting includes a guided tour of the house and the grounds.
Where: 500 Notre-Dame Street, Montebello QC J0V 1L0
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 54 minutes
When: Open for summer season. For more specific hours check here.

Canadians National Parks Pass

Merrickville Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada 

What: Blockhouses erected for the defence of the Rideau Canal around 1832.
Where: 279 Saint Lawrence Street, Merrickville-Wolford, Ontario, K0G, Canada
Distance from Toronto: 4 hours and 28 minutes
When: Open during summer season. For more specific hours see here.

Mississauga Point Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada

What: Plaque remembering the first lighthouse built on the Great Lakes in 1804
Where: Niagara-on-the-Lake ON L0S 1J0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 39 minutes
When: The site is accessible year-round.

Mnjikaning Fish Weirs National Historic Site of Canada 

What: The bottom of the Narrows between Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching, a part of the Trent-Severn Waterway which allowed fish to be caught between the two lakes
Where: Mnjikaning Fish Fence Circle-205 Nottawasaga St, Atherley ON L3V 3K2
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 32 minutes
When: The site is accessible year-round.

Navy Island National Historic Site of Canada

What:  A wooded, uninhabited island on the Canadian side of the Niagara River just above Niagara Falls
Where: Niagara Falls ON L2E 6S6
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 28 minutes
When: Closed to the public but accessible by boat.

Peterborough Lift Lock National Historic Site of Canada

What: World’s highest hydraulic lift lock
Where: 220 Hunter Street East, Peterborough, Ontario
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour an 30 minutes
When: A plaque that’s open to the public year around – you can also view the locks year around

Point Pelee National Park of Canada

What: National Park that encompasses the Southernmost point of land bound Canada
Where: 1118 Point Pelee Drive, Leamington ON N8H 3V4
Distance from Toronto: 3 hours and 37 minutes
When: Open year round.

Canadian Nationals Park Pass

Queenston Heights National Historic Site of Canada

What: The site of one of Canada’s most famous battles, where the British forces in Upper Canada protected Niagara during the Battle of Queenston Heights in the War of 1812
Where: 14184 Niagara River Parkkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON L0S 1J0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 18 minutes
When: The site is accessible year-round but visiting hours for formal tours and events can be found here.

Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

What: The Rideau Canal has been around since the 19th century. You can do any number of activities along it both in the water and outside of it.
Where: 34 Beckwith Street South, Smiths Falls ON K7A 2A8
Distance from Toronto: 4 hours and 25 minutes
When: The navigation season runs from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving (mid-May to mid-October) – the hours of operations refer to the locks, not access to the canal itself.

Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site of Canada

What: 1866 Battlefield
Where: Garrison Road, Ridgeway ON LOS 1N0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 33 minutes
When: The site is accessible year-round.

Rouge National Urban Park

What: National Park in Toronto itself that’s 13 times larger than Central Park in New York City
Where: Located right next to the Toronto Zoo which can be found at M1B 5W8
Distance from Toronto: 35 minutes
When: Open year around.

Canadian National Parks Pass

Saint-Louis Mission National Historic Site

What: Site of Huron Village destroyed by Iroquius in 1649
Where: Granny White Sideroad, Victoria Harbour ON L0K 1A0
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 53 minutes
When: Open during summer season.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site

Where: The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal connects Lake Saint-Louis and Lake des Deux-Montagnes. It opened in 1843 and was involved in shipping lumber and transporting immigrants.
When: 170 Sainte-Anne Street, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 1N1
Distance from Toronto: 4 hours and 47 minutes
When: The national historic site is open every day of the year from sunrise to 11 pm. The navigation season runs from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving (mid-May to mid-October).

Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site

What: The home of Sir George-Étienne Cartier who was both a lawyer and businessman of great influence during the Confederation
Where: 458 Notre-Dame Street East, Montréal QC H2Y 1C8
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 28 minutes
When: Hours vary by season. September 5 to December 1 – Friday to Sunday and holidays: 10 am to 5 pm. For other seasons click here.

Sir John Johnson House National Historic Site

What: One of the oldest buildings in Ontario
Where: 19692 William Street, Williamstown ON K0C 2J0
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 30 minutes
When: The archives are open during the summer and on Mondays during the winter.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier National Historic Site

What: The Quebec home of Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s youth. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the 7th prime minister of Canada and the first francophone one.
Where: 945 12th Avenue, Saint-Lin-Laurentides, QC J5M 2W4
Distance from Toronto: 5 hours and 36 minutes
When: Opened during summer season. For more specific hours see here.

Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site

What: the remains of a pre-contact village site of the Neutral people, occupied about AD 1450 to 1550
Where: 7930 Iona Road, Fingal ON N0I 1K0
Distance from Toronto: 2 hours and 14 minutes
When: The grounds at Southwold National Historic site are open to the public to enjoy self-guided visits.

Thousand Islands National Park

What: National Park consisting of 21 islands and many smaller islets
Where: 2 County Road 5 RR 3, Mallorytown ON K0E 1R0
Distance from Toronto: 3 hours and 8 minutes
When: Open between May and October

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

What: Lock 32, built more than 160 years ago, was the first lock constructed on the Waterway
Where: 2155 Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough ON K9J 6Z6
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 53 minutes
When: The navigation season runs from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving (mid-May to mid-October).

Waterloo Pioneers Memorial Tower 

What: An 18.9 metre high tower on the banks of the Grand River that pays tribute to the contributions of the hardworking Pennsylvania-German pioneers who settled the Waterloo Region between 1800 and 1803
Where: 300 Lookout Lane, Kitchener, ON N2P 2X8
Distance from Toronto: 1 hour and 8 minutes
When: The ground are open year round. To view the actual tower requires a reservation which can be made here.

Woodside National Historic Site

What: The childhood home of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s tenth, and longest-serving Prime Minister
Where: 528 Wellington Street North, Kitchener, ON N2H 5L
Distance from Toronto:  1 hour and 9 minutes
When: Grounds Open: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week | Historic House Open: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between October 4, 2017 and December 23, 2017

Tips:

1 . Have a look at the map at the bottom of the post to see what sites are close to each other to maximize the number you can see!
2. Make sure you look up the days/hours the locations are open. While I’ve done my best to include it where available they could change without notice.

Also, not everyone seems to be aware that is only for NATIONAL sites and not for provincial! So unfortunately this won’t work for parks like Algonquin!

Hopefully this article is of some use to you all! I mainly composed this article because of the ability to get the free pass during the 2017 season but it doesn’t mean that this article won’t come in handy for future years so please pin and share this post to let others know how many national historical sites and parks are close to Toronto!

Follow:

2 Comments

  1. October 18, 2017 / 7:54 am

    We’ve just briefly tasted Canada last month and we decided we need to get back for more, so this article was a very interesting and useful read! We’re saving it for later use, thank you very much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *