Over the past few years there has been a number of camping
sites added to MacDonnell Island, which previously was allocated for day use
only. Most of the sites were at the western end but last year a few were added
to the eastern end.
This past long weekend, perhaps as a response to increased demand, the park staff allowed a number of adhoc camp sites to be added to long-standing day use areas on the eastern end of the island. The park staff even went as far as to ask picnickers to pack up and move to allow still more campers. I also was asked to move but refused to do so. The area is designated for Day Use and there is no reason to give this up. Park staff acknowledged this and moved on to harass others.
Regardless of the Day Use / Camping allocation, there is another issue here. The park seems more than happy to cram many more campers on to MacDonnell Island, and to reap the additional fees associated, but they have done nothing to provide reasonable facilities for these campers. Only two filthy port-a-pottys on the whole island to service 15 or more campsites is woefully inadequate. This will only lead to disgusting toilets, and more than likely, to people using the forested areas for urgent requirements.
In addition, there is no fresh water available anywhere on the island. The park would do well to examine the water facilities at Ontario Provincial Parks.
So while I am not in favour of increasing the camping spots on MacDonnell, the park has a moral obligation to provide better facilities if this is the direction it is choosing to follow.