Algonquin Provincial Park is a provincial park located between Georgian Bay and
the Ottawa River in Central Ontario, Canada, mostly within the Unorganized South
Part of Nipissing District. Established in 1893, it is the oldest provincial
park in Canada. Additions since its creation have increased the park to its
current size of about 7,653 square kilometres (2,955 sq mi).
combined with its proximity to the major urban centres of Toronto and Ottawa,
makes Algonquin one of the most popular provincial parks in the province and the
country. Highway 60 runs through the south of the park, while the Trans-Canada
Highway bypasses it to the north.
Over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometres
of streams and rivers are located within the park. Some notable examples include
Canoe Lake and the Petawawa, Nipissing, Amable du Fond, Madawaska, and Tim
rivers. These were formed by the retreat of the glaciers during the last ice
The park is considered part of the "border" between Northern Ontario
and Southern Ontario. The park is in an area of transition between northern
coniferous forest and southern deciduous forest. This unique mixture of forest
types, and the wide variety of environments in the park, allows the park to
support an uncommon diversity of plant and animal species. It is also an
important site for wildlife research.
Algonquin Park was named a National
Historic Site of Canada in recognition of several heritage values including: its
role in the development of park management; pioneering visitor interpretation
programs later adopted by national and provincial parks across the country; its
role in inspiring artists, which in turn gave Canadians a greater sense of their
country; and historic structures such as lodges, hotels, cottages, camps,
entrance gates, a railway station, and administration and museum buildings.