In Ontario, approximately 10.6 million hectares (9.9% of the province as of 2010) are designated as protected. Environment Canada maintains 19 protected areas in Ontario, including 10 National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) and 9 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs), comprising over 32 thousand hectares of the province's protected lands and waters.
Map of Environment Canada's Protected Areas in Ontario
Long description for the Map
Map showing the number of Environment Canada's protected areas in Ontario, a total of 19 divided among 10 National Wildlife Areas (NWAS) and 9 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs).
List of Protected Areas in Ontario
The tables below contain information about the NWAs and MBSs shown on the map above. In addition to the name, year of establishment, and size of each protected area, the tables indicate how these sites fit into national and international networks of conservation areas. The following entities may be noted:
|NWA Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Big Creek NWA||1978||766|
|Eleanor Island NWA||1971||0.81|
|Long Point NWA||1980||3,263|
|Mississippi Lake NWA||1978||307|
|Mohawk Island NWA||1976||2|
|Prince Edward Point NWA||1980||518|
|Scotch Bonnet Island NWA||1979||0.97|
|St. Clair NWA||1978||354|
|Wellers Bay NWA||1978||83|
|Wye Marsh NWA||1978||48|
|MBS Name||Year established||Size in hectares|
|Beckett Creek MBS||1969||184|
|Chantry Island MBS||1957||18|
|Eleanor Island MBS||1971||0.81|
|Hannah Bay MBS||1939||252,228|
|Mississippi Lake MBS||1959||3,008|
|Moose River MBS||1958||26,908|
|St. Joseph's Island MBS||1951||986|
|Upper Canada MBS||1961||2,604|
Although access to NWAs is not restricted, the primary purpose of these areas is to protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats, and therefore most NWAs are not equipped with facilities to accommodate public visitation. Unless otherwise posted, all recreational activities are prohibited within NWAs.
Although access to most MBSs is not restricted either, the primary intent of these sanctuaries is to protect migratory birds, and therefore hunting, as well as disturbing or molesting migratory birds, their eggs, nests or habitat, is prohibited.
A permit may be obtained from the Minister of the Environment authorizing the conduct of certain activities in an NWA or MBS, if the Minister or delegate is of the opinion that the proposed activity:
- will not interfere with the conservation of wildlife; or
- is consistent with the purpose for which the protected area was established; and
- is consistent with the management plan for the protected area.
Additional information on entry, prohibited activities and permits in Environment Canada's protected areas is provided on the Management and Activities web pages of the National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. For more information on Environment Canada's protected areas in Ontario please contact the regional Environment Canada office:
Environment Canada – Ontario Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
4905 Dufferin Street
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
- Date Modified: