Twelve Fascinating Facts About Presqu'ile Provincial Park
How did Presqu'ile Provincial Park get its name?
Presqu’ile literally means “almost an island” but its true translation is “peninsula.” French voyageurs travelling across Canada would have named many ‘presqu’iles’ along their routes. As maps began to be made, the name stuck to this peninsula. The oldest map that we know of with the Presqu’ile name dates to the 1790’s.
How many staff does it take to keep Presqu’ile Provincial Park running smoothly during peak summer season?
The park has:
4 full-time staff
14 long-term seasonal (4 to 9-month contracts)
43 summer students (10 weeks)
Where does Presqu’ile rank in terms of popularity?
In 2018, the most visited provincial park was Wasaga Beach (no camping) with 1.69 million visitors. The other busiest parks (combination of camper nights and day use) are:
Algonquin (2) 1.02 million
Sandbanks (3) 757,000
Pinery (4) 572,975
Bronte Creek (5) 366,715
Sibbald Point (6) 323,973
Killbear (7) 310,289
Presqu’ile (8) 213,439
Interestingly, Presqu’ile sells more than 1,200 season park passes annually, the highest percentage of season passes to total visitation of any of these top eight parks, showing a great loyalty to, and fondness for, the park by Brighton area residents.
When it comes to season passes, Presqu’ile ranks third highest behind Chutes and Rondeau provincial parks.
Campers from across Ontario come to Presqu'ile. But were there any international visitors in the 2019 camping season?
Yes - Americans, Belgian, Italian, Dutch, British, and Australian! But 98.8 percent of campers come from Ontario.
Anecdotally what is the oldest and youngest camper to have spent a night at Presqu'ile this year?
Anecdotally – visitors ranged from newborn to people in their 80’s.
How many bags of firewood does Presqu'ile sell to campers in an average year?
About 12,000 bags of firewood and an additional 2,500 bags of kindling.
What wildlife lives in the park?
Lots – the largest would be White-tailed Deer, most famous is the Monarch, and the longest migrating bird is the Red Knot which nests in the arctic, winters at the southern tip of South America and drops in at Presqu’ile for a few days in spring (usually late May to early June) and fall (usually September). These birds have been known to fly 5,000 kms non-stop during migration!
What is the most unusual bird to have landed in Presqu'ile this year?
Two American White Pelicans landed at the park in May 2019 – these were only the eighth recorded here at the park. Also seen was a Snowy Egret.
How many total park visits were recorded in 2018?
Camper nights: 112,225. Day-use only: 94,494
How many vehicles accessed Presqu'ile for day use only during the popular summer months?
Almost 8,000 cars entered the park for day use only during July and August 2019.
When did Presqu'ile Provincial Park first open?
People started camping at Presqu’ile for leisure in some numbers in the 1880’s.
Presqu’ile became a park legislated by the provincial government in 1922 to be run by a park commission for the Department of Lands and Forest. The commission was formed by appointment from local citizens and was very much a patronage appointment by the government of the day.
In 1954, a Parks Act was passed by the provincial government. On January 1, 1956, Presqu’ile was folded into the new division and the commission was dissolved.
In an average year, how much money is raised by Friends of Presqu'ile for park projects?
The Friends have contributed over $5 million in funds raised and volunteer hours since 1988. In 2018, the Friends spent over $93,000 and 10,000 volunteer hours on Park Programs and Projects.