Frequently Asked Questions

If you have other questions, please contact our Information Service at 888-773-8888 or information@pc.gc.ca.

Why should I purchase a pass and/or permit?

Parks Canada’s seasonal, annual and national passes and permits offer excellent value. They pay for themselves quickly and make multiple or longer visits more affordable. They offer faster access and greater convenience, and may free you from having to detour to a payment location. And your fees are reinvested in Canada’s national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and national parks to help maintain and improve the places you love.

As a Discovery Pass holder, you can enjoy 15% off official merchandise purchases made online at ParksCanadaShop.ca and at participating locations. A promo code will be sent out with your pass. Every purchase supports national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas.

The Discovery Pass is free in 2017. When will my pass be valid if I purchase it in 2017 for 2018?

If you purchase your pass in 2017, it will be valid starting January 1, 2018 and expire January 31, 2019. Your free 2017 Discovery Pass is valid until December 31, 2017. You will need a paid Discovery Pass starting January 1, 2018. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

Where can I purchase a pass or permit?

You can go online to order a Discovery Pass, a single-location annual or seasonal pass, a seasonal mooring permit, or a lockage permit (seasonal, one-way transit, and six-day). Or call Parks Canada’s National Information Centre at 1-888-773-8888 to order.

Visitors can also purchase a Parks Canada Discovery Pass (and seasonal or annual pass, where available) upon their arrival at any of the participating locations. Boating permits are also available upon arrival at these places.

If I buy online, can I go to a participating location immediately? How long does it take to receive my order by mail?

You must have your pass with you upon arriving at a participating location. If you plan on travelling within two weeks, it would be better to buy your pass upon arrival or at one of our third-party distributors, rather than ordering it online.

Express orders placed by 1 p.m. EST will be shipped the next business day. Express orders placed after 1 p.m. EST will be shipped within two business days. First Class orders will be shipped as soon as possible. Once you have received your shipping confirmation email, you can expect to receive your order within the period indicated in the following timetables provided by Canada Post (First Class) and FedEx (Express):

Shipping Method Delivery Time Fee
Canada First Class 5-7 business days No extra charge
Canada Express 2 business days $10.50
United States First Class 5-7 business days No extra charge
United States Express 2-3 business days $12.53
International First Class 10-14 business days No extra charge
International Express 3-4 business days $27.35

*Please add 2-3 business days for remote locations.

Where is my pass or permit valid?

The Parks Canada Discovery Pass and Single-Location Pass are valid in national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. See the full list of Parks Canada places before you visit for additional information.

Parks Canada lockage and mooring permits are valid at the following locations:

In Quebec:

  • Carillon Canal National Historic Site
  • Chambly Canal National Historic Site
  • Lachine Canal National Historic Site
  • Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site
  • Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site

In Ontario:

  • Rideau Canal National Historic Site
  • Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site
  • Georgian Bay Islands National Park
  • Thousand Islands National Park
  • Fathom Five National Marine Park(Flowerpot Island)

* Mooring only. Some restrictions may apply in national parks.

Note: St. Peter’s Canal (Nova Scotia) and Sault Ste. Marie Canal (Ontario) national historic sites do not require a lockage permit for recreational vessels.

What is the validity period of my pass or permit?

The Discovery Pass is valid for a full 12 months from the date of purchase, and expires on the last day of the month. (For example, a Discovery Pass bought on January 15, 2018 will be valid until January 31, 2019.) If a pass is purchased online within the last seven days of the month, it will have an activation date of the first day of the following month to allow time for delivery.

Single-Location Seasonal Passes are valid for the operating season of the calendar year indicated on the pass.

Seasonal lockage and mooring permits are valid for the entire navigational season of the year in which they are purchased. Six-day lockage permits allow passage through any number of locks at national historic canals for any six days (consecutive or not) during the navigation season.

How do I display my pass or permit?

When you enter a national park, the Discovery Pass or Single-Location Pass should be hung from the rear-view mirror of the vehicle with the date facing forward or it can be placed on the front driver side dashboard with the date facing up. If you are motorcycling or bicycling through a national park, you must produce your pass at the gate or upon request by a Parks Canada staff member. The Discovery Pass must be presented in person at the admission kiosk of a national historic site.

Display of Lockage or Mooring Permits

Affix permit as indicated below:

  • Sailboats—bottom of mast, facing the bow
  • Powerboats—bottom of windshield, in the middle, facing the bow
  • Dinghies—inside of transom, facing the bow
What qualifies as a family or group?

For the Discovery Pass, a family or group is defined as up to seven people arriving in the same vehicle at any participating Parks Canada site.

For the Single-Location Annual Pass, the family or group includes up to seven people arriving in the same vehicle at the national park indicated on the pass.

Family/group passes are not valid for commercial groups.

Can I buy a pass or permit for someone else?

Yes! And they make excellent gifts!

Just remember that a Discovery Pass or Single-location Annual Pass must be signed by the holder, and is not transferable once it has been used. In the case of a Family/Group Pass, only one person needs to sign, and they must be present when using the pass.

If you are purchasing a lockage or mooring permit for someone else, you will need to have the vessel length and its registration number issued by Transport Canada.

Can I transfer or resell my pass or permit?

No. The Parks Canada Discovery Pass and Single-Location Annual Passes must be signed by the holder. They are void if resold or transferred. The same rule applies to lockage and mooring permits.

What do the letters and numbers on my pass or permit mean?
Family/Group Passes. Lockage-Permit Passes. Mooring-Permit Passes. Senior Passes.

The letters on a pass refer to the category: A for Adult, SI/AI for Senior, and F/G for Family or Group.

The numbers (e.g. 03/19) refer to the expiry date of the pass. This date is written based on the mm/yy model, and the pass is valid through to the last day of the month indicated. For example, a Discovery Pass with the characters, “A 03/19” would be an adult pass valid until March 31, 2019.

Seasonal lockage and mooring permits show the two-digit year of the navigation season of validity, along with the vessel length in feet.

I have already paid the daily fee today. Can I upgrade to an annual pass or permit?

Yes, you can upgrade to a higher-value pass or permit within 30 days of the original purchase. This includes upgrading a daily entrance pass from any national park, national marine conservation area or national historic site to a seasonal or annual pass (if applicable) or Discovery Pass, or upgrading from a seasonal annual pass to a Discovery Pass.

Upgrades can be completed at any participating Parks Canada location, but you will need to present the receipt for the initially paid purchase.

Are there other discounts or benefits that come with a Parks Canada annual pass or permit?

Seasonal and annual permits and the Discovery Pass provide all the opportunities and services that normally come with a daily admission pass or permit.

Activities such as boat launch or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not be included in the price.

These passes and permits represent excellent value and make multiple or longer visits more affordable. As well, they will save you valuable time when visiting a location.

Browse your favourite national park, national historic site or national marine conservation area to see which benefits are included with your pass or permit.

Are camping fees included in the price of annual passes or permits?

No. Fees for backcountry excursions are also excluded.

I have arrived at a participating Parks Canada location, and realized that I forgot my pass or permit at home. What should I do?

If you do not have your pass or permit with you upon arrival at a participating location, pay the required daily admission fee and keep your proof of purchase. Next time you return to that location, show your receipt with your annual or seasonal pass or Discovery Pass and the cost of the daily admission fee you purchased will be refunded.

If you are not planning on returning to the location, contact them by phone (see our website) and ask how you can get a refund.

What happened to the youth pass?

Beginning January 1, 2018, admission is free for all youth aged 17 and under. Parks Canada is therefore no longer offering a Youth Individual Pass.

I am a new Canadian citizen. Where can I get my pass?

New Canadian citizens can obtain free admission to participating national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas by presenting a Cultural Access Pass. To register and to find out where you can pick up your Cultural Access Pass, please visit the website of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

I am part of the travel trade. Can I order passes for my FIT clients?

Yes! Our commercial sales office would be pleased to place your order. Please email us at tourism.tourisme@pc.gc.ca or call 1-844-365-2645 (toll-free US and Canada) or 1-647-438-5668 (International) for applicable commercial rates.