A summer job doesn’t have to mean being cooped up indoors or missing out on the best warm-weather activities. If you love to spend time in nature, consider applying for a role at one of Ontario’s provincial parks, which hire many students in the summer months—plus, there’s full-time and part-time positions too.
You can select up to 10 parks to apply to, as each park needs people to fill each position. If you’re living at home, select local parks. But for an adventure this summer, select parks with staff accommodations. You’ll get access to shared living spaces and get to immerse yourself in park life.
Here are some cool Ontario Parks jobs to check out if you’re on the hunt for the upcoming season. The deadline to apply is May 16, 2023.
If you have memories of camping as a kid and attending an interactive talk or guided hike, the person leading it was likely a discovery ranger. Described as park storytellers, a discovery ranger runs programs that help visitors explore the nature around them and get to know the unique ecological environment. There’s also a conservation aspect to this role, where rangers help identify species that are at risk and develop programs to address them.
If you’re an experienced outdoors explorer, this job is definitely one to check out. Some aspects are similar to a discovery ranger, but you’ll mainly be in the backcountry on multi-day expeditions, making sure trails are clear by removing garbage, trees and brush, and so on. It’s a physically demanding job but certainly rewarding for those who love the untouched backcountry. This job is more common at parks with a wide swath of available backcountry trips and portaging, such as Algonquin, French River, Frontenac, and Murphy’s Point.
Another physically demanding but great job for avid hikers, this role involves the upkeep of a park’s trail network, including beginner, advanced, and portage routes. You’ll get to know beautiful hiking routes, and help prevent environmental degradation by ensuring visitors can stay on a clear route, so they don’t disturb the surrounding area.
One of the most vital roles at Ontario Parks, a Park Warden helps with everything from everyday maintenance to park safety, visitor experience, and more. The Park Warden is the public-facing representative of the park, who helps strike a balance between protecting the natural environment and ensuring visitors enjoy their time to the fullest.
Similar to the summer student role of discovery ranger, a park interpreter is a more permanent fixture in Ontario’s Parks, with wide-ranging duties that include providing guided hikes, interactive sessions, historical re-enactments, special events, and children’s programming. It’s also great for people looking for a creative outlet, as it may involve acting and musical skills to create engaging programs for all ages.
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