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Our Letter Campaign is LIVE!

By Access

In response to the recent climbing closures by Ontario Parks, we’re asking you to take 5 minutes of your time to write a letter to government officials to help save climbing in Ontario.

We’re asking you to write David Piccini, Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, as well as your local MPP.

Tell them to allow Ontarians to rock climb in our provincial parks! By doing so, they will help boost tourism, expand recreational opportunities, and collaboratively conserve and care for nature with the community.

Use our pre-written forms found at the campaign site, or copy and paste to send it directly from your own email for a greater impact.

We need EVERYONE on board for this. Fill it out, get everyone you know who climbs to fill it out, and then ask your friends and family to speak up on your behalf! We’ve made it as easy as possible for them to send a letter in just a few minutes.

Make sure you CC on your email if you send it on your own! It’ll help us keep track of how many letters go out. We’ll also be raffling off prizes to campaign participants, and your CC’ed email will be your proof of participation!

Don’t wait, send an email now!

Devil’s Glen Update

By Access, News
Allow Climbing at Devil's Glen graphic depicting a raised fist holding a quickdraw. designed by Michelle Ang.
Graphic design credit goes to @michyllica ❤️


There have been 10 signs posted at Devil’s Glen (6 at the top of the cliff, and 4 at the bottom of the cliff). The signs state ‘Protection Area / No Rock Climbing Here to Next Sign’, and were first noticed on Thursday May 11.

The signs span the climbs between Morning Star and the easy way down on climbers’ right, only on Ontario Parks managed land. Routes from Nutcracker to the west are not affected and not in park boundaries.

The Ontario Parks signs appeared without warning. Late Friday May 12, the OAC received both voicemail and email responses from our inquiries to Ontario Parks confirming that the new signage at Devil’s Glen is official, and was placed by their regional ecologist.

This is extremely disappointing. The OAC has been in regular meetings with Ontario Parks. We have repeatedly requested science-based evidence supporting any potential closures, and were informed by OP that a list of affected routes would be provided to us prior to any changes. We have received no such information.

Ontario Parks has repeatedly stated that they wish to work “collaboratively with the ON climbing community” — but these recent events run to the contrary. We are taking this violation of the terms of our proposed communications framework very seriously. Unilateral action of this nature is deeply concerning for the climbing community, and should be of grave concern for ALL recreation-based user groups.

We’re in the process of building a strategy to counter the recent closure by Ontario Parks of climbing routes at Devil’s Glen. We’ve requested the results of the environmental survey which Ontario Parks based their decision off of, and they have told us we can expect to receive the results before the end of the month.

Here’s what you can expect from us over the next two weeks:

  • We’ll be sending out a survey on the economic impact of climbing in Ontario. Keep an eye open for it and be sure to fill it out!
  • Patagonia Toronto will be hosting a screening of Stone Locals on May 25th — and we’ll be there! Come visit our table and talk to us in person.
  • We’ll be holding a town hall in early June (date TBD). This will be an important meeting for everyone concerned about the future of climbing at Devil’s Glen.

What can YOU do right NOW?

Stay up to date as we share news. Join the OAC if you’re not a member yet! And help us SPREAD THE WORD. Repost and share our messages to your socials. Tell your friends. Make sure *everyone* you climb with is aware of what’s going on.

Because this goes beyond Devil’s Glen. This has the potential to affect climbing access throughout all of Ontario.


Get your 2024 Ontario Crags Calendar NOW!

By Community, Fundraisers

Just in time for the holidays, our 2024 Ontario Crags Calendar has arrived!

Featuring local climbers shot by local photographers, the OAC calendar is a tribute to everything Ontario climbing has to offer.  With a mix of climbers, crags, and disciplines featured, there’s no better way to celebrate the growing Ontario climbing scene.

Calendars are available for a $25 donation each, plus shipping via Canada Post*.  All proceeds from calendar sales go toward promoting, advocating for, and maintaining open access all across the province. Calendars are shipped in an untracked cardboard envelope for protection.

** Online sales are now SOLD OUT. Pick up a copy at a gym or retailer near you! They can be found at:

Fall News: AGM Announcement & Calendar Submissions

By Access, Community, Events, Fundraisers

Save the Date: The OAC Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday, November 7th, at 7PM! We will once again be holding our AGM virtually.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions about our organization and to share input on our future direction. We’ll also be holding the election for board membership, talking about recent developments, and speaking about what’s on the horizon.

Details for the virtual meeting will be announced October 24 via official email to all OAC members.

If you would like to run as a candidate for the board of directors, please submit your bio to by end of day October 22 in order to have your bio included with the formal meeting announcement. You may also submit your name for the election during the meeting on November 7th.

Hope to see you all there!

Also, it’s that time of year again!

Photo submissions for the 2024 Ontario Crags Calendar are now OPEN!!

We’re looking for a variety of photos showcasing the diversity of Ontario climbing: different crags, different people, different seasons, different disciplines (ice, trad, sport, AND bouldering!). Show us what you got!

Submissions are open until the end of the month, closing at midnight on October 31. Send your photos to All entered photos will be subject to the full Terms of Submission, found below:

Register for the Virtual Town Hall Now!

By Access, Events

Registration for our Virtual Town Hall is now open!

Join us this Wednesday, June 7th, at 7pm to hear all about the current state of affairs at Devil’s Glen, and about our campaign to #SaveClimbingAtDG.

We’ll present some preliminary findings from our Economic Impact of Climbers survey. We received a total of 1644 responses — a phenomenal result, thank you everyone! We’ll also share the bigger plan, which will involve more action from YOU ❤️

Other Recent Updates:

Last week, on May 31, the OAC met with Ontario Parks.

We voiced our concerns regarding the lack of communication or consultation concerning climbing at Devil’s Glen, and emphasized that we maintain SIGNIFICANT concerns regarding access, including the basis for their recent decisions.

Ontario Parks has not yet provided the requested scientific information supporting the closure.

We provided them with the latest ecological studies regarding climbing on the Niagara Escarpment which support rock climbing as a recreational activity. These studies propose that climbing can be supported sustainably by land managers while achieving preservation goals.

Study 1: Kuntz, Larson — Influences of microhabitat constraints and rock-climbing disturbance on cliff-face vegetation communities

Study 2: Sommer — Rock Climbing and Talus Vegetation on the Niagara Escarpment: Impacts and Management Implementations

We also raised concerns about mountain bike trail closures in neighbouring Pretty Valley as additional evidence of Ontario Park “limiting recreational resources” to specific user groups.

Emphasizing that a restrictive approach to climbing is misaligned with approaches taken by their Canadian, U.S. and European conservation and management peers, we maintained that the current policy will not lead to their desired conservation outcomes.

Ontario Parks has agreed to review the signage and consider possible alternatives to achieving their ecological goals, and to discuss these with the OAC.

They have confirmed their desire to work with the climbing community towards achieving a balance that includes climbing in some form within Devil’s Glen.

Ontario Parks recognizes that the current situation at Devil’s Glen and their lack of communication with the OAC did not benefit either party. Both Ontario Parks and the OAC are committed to working together in an open and transparent manner going forward.

Save the Date: Virtual Town Hall June 7th

By Access, Community, Events

SAVE THE DATE: We’ll be holding a virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, June 7th, at 7pm!

This is your opportunity to hear from us about the latest news concerning Devil’s Glen, and to learn about what’s to come. As with previous Town Halls, registration will open closer to the date, but it will be held online so as to be as accessible as possible.

Also, if you haven’t yet filled out our Economic Impact of Climbing survey, please do so NOW! The survey window is only open until Wednesday May 31st. Your responses will help us advocate for the importance climbing has on our greater community.

Complete the survey NOW!

Fill out the 2023 Economic Impact of Climbers Survey!

By Access

The 2023 Economic Impact of Climbers in Ontario survey was live until May 31. Thanks to the 1645 people who responded! We’re looking to better understand the impact of climbers on the local economy.

Click here to fill it out now!

✅ It will take only 3 minutes to complete.
✅ Share the link with friends, get everyone you know who’s climbed in Ontario to fill it out!
✅ Survey closes Wednesday May 31. Once closed, we’ll share the results.

More to come, this is just the start. We’ll still need your help in the coming weeks!

2023 Ontario Crags Calendar Available Now!

By Fundraisers
Marisa Chung on ‘Red Line Fever’ at Mount Nemo
Photo by Will Tam @willtam85

Fresh off the presses – the 2023 Ontario Crags Calendar has arrived! Featuring local climbers shot by local photographers, the OAC calendar is a tribute to everything Ontario climbing has to offer.  With a mix of climbers, crags, and disciplines featured, this is our biggest fundraiser and celebration of climbing across the province!

Calendars are $20, plus $8 for shipping via Canada Post*.  All proceeds from calendar sales go toward promoting, advocating for, and maintaining open access all across the province.

Get your copy now before they sell out! 

Want to save on shipping costs?
You can also find copies for sale at the following Ontario locations:

Basecamp – both Bloor West and Queen West locations
Boulderz – both Etobicoke and Junction locations
Climbers Rock
Grand River Rocks – both Kitchener and Waterloo locations
Guelph Grotto
Junction Climbing and J2 Climbing
Ontario Resoles
The Core Climbing
Toprock Climbing
True North Climbing

We will also be tabling at the following holiday pop-up shops!

December 3rd – The Hub Mississauga
December 10th – Aspire Vaughan
December 17th – Basecamp Queen West 

Don’t see your gym listed?  Have them contact if they’re interested in selling copies!

NOTE: We are currently only shipping within Canada.

2023 Ontario Crags Calendar Donation

2023 Ontario Crags Calendar Donation


Buy now
2023 Ontario Crags Calendar Donation x2

2023 Ontario Crags Calendar Donation x2


Buy now
2023 Ontario Crags Calendar Donation x3

2023 Ontario Crags Calendar Donation x3


Buy now
*Please allow 3 business days for us to ship your order.  Calendars will be shipped via Canada Post in untracked cardboard envelopes so as to protect them.
Shipping for the first calendar costs $8 to account for the price of the envelope + mailing by weight.  Up to 3 calendars can be shipped in one envelope with incremental weight costs.
If you wish to order four or more copies of the calendar to be shipped together, please contact!

OAC 2022 AGM Recording

By Access, Community

Thank you to everyone who tuned into our 2022 Virtual AGM last week!

Congratulations to Patrick Lam, Mike Makischuk, and Randy Kielbasciwicz on their re-elections to the board! Also a big thank you goes out to Joshua Leyte-Jammu, the recipient of the 2022 OAC Service Award, for his work as OAC treasurer.

As always, we are looking for more volunteers to join us in ramping up efforts for the next year. If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to for more information!

As presented at our AGM, our financial statements have been made available here:

If you were unable to attend this year’s AGM, the recording is available here:

Submit your photos for the 2023 Ontario Crags Calendar NOW!

By Community

It’s that time of year again!  Our call for photo submissions for the 2023 OAC Ontario Crags Calendar is now OPEN!!

The Ontario Crags Calendar aims to celebrate and highlight the wide variety of climbing that Ontario has to offer. We want to showcase everything from as many different crags, seasons, and climbers as possible — ICE, SPORT, TRAD and BOULDERING are all honoured here.  Let’s celebrate the diversity of our province and our community!  Valid photo submissions must have LANDSCAPE orientation (i.e. horizontal), and be of climbers at Ontario crags only (of course!).  In order to meet print standards, full size images must be clear and at least 8.5″x11″ at 300 dpi.

Submissions do not need to be dated from this year, but they DO need to showcase your love for Ontario climbing.  So make the most of this tail end of the season, or take some time to venture down memory lane and rediscover some forgotten gems!

The Crags Calendar helps us raise awareness and funds in support of Ontario access.  Please consider donating a photo!  Send your best shots to by WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND for a chance to be featured.  Chosen entrants will receive a free copy of the calendar, credit complete with name and website, and a little slice of local fame 😉

Please see additional rules of submission here:

Save the Date: AGM to be held November 8th!

By Community, Events

The OAC Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday, November 8th, at 7PM! We will once again be holding our AGM virtually.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions about our organization and to share input on our future direction. We’ll also be holding the election for board membership, talking about recent developments, and speaking about what’s on the horizon.

If you would like to run as a candidate for the board of directors, please submit your bio to Those who submit their candidacy before October 21 will be included in our formal email announcement. Miss the window? That’s okay, candidates are able to declare their application all the way through to our live meeting!

Details for the virtual meeting will be announced October 25 via official email to all OAC members. Hope to see you all there!

A Call to Action: GRCA Board Elections

By Access, Community

Do you live in the Region of Waterloo or another municipality touching the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA)? If so, the upcoming municipal elections are an opportunity for you to  advocate for pro-climbing policies. Waterloo has the greatest number of seats on the GRCA Board, but you still have influence  even if you’re as far west as Hamilton, or as far east as Halton.

The GRCA Board Elections

The Grand River Conservation Authority controls a number of cliffs, including those at Rockwood and Elora. The OAC has been working to establish climbing access on GRCA land, but we have not been able to convince GRCA staff to work with us. However, the staff do not get the final say. The GRCA Board, which is made up mostly of elected municipal officials, is responsible for matters of governance.  While the Board usually defers  to the wishes of the staff, these elected officials are ultimately answerable to you, the voting public. So you, too, can have a say in how these cliffs are managed.

The GRCA Board has 26 members, 10 of which are appointed by Waterloo Region. Guelph and Brantford each appoint 2 members, while Hamilton and Halton each appoint 1 member. Outlying towns and counties appoint the other 10 members. 

Ontario municipal elections take place on October 24, 2022.

Members will be re-appointed next election, but you can look at who is currently on the Board for your municipality to get an idea of what’s likely to happen next term. Here is the current composition of the Board, so that you can check what your representation is.

Waterloo Regional Council candidates:

Current GRCA Board members: 

Guelph candidates:

Current GRCA Board members: 

  • Bob Bell (not seeking re-election)
  • Cathy Downer (

Brantford candidates:

Current GRCA Board members:

Hamilton candidates:

Current GRCA Board member:

Halton local elections links (choose your local municipality):

Current GRCA Board member:

The full list of GRCA Board members is available at

What can I do?

This is a once-in-4-years opportunity for you, as a climber, to open discussions with your candidates for elected office as they seek election or re-election. Turnout is often low in municipal elections and the number of voters is small, so if you live in the right city you have a disproportionately valuable chance to gain the attention of your elected officials.  Let them know that open access to our public lands is an issue that matters to you!

Here are some suggested points you can discuss with your candidates for Regional Council (Waterloo Region) or for your municipal councils:

  • Are you engaged with what goes on with the Grand River Conservation Authority? Have you served on the GRCA Board?
  • Rock climbing is a recreational activity that is strongly supported by our neighbours at Conservation Halton and appears in many of their promotional materials. Yet, next door, we are unable to legally climb on GRCA land. Why is that?
  • Did you know that rock climbers are a responsible and fast-growing user group that contribute substantially to the local economy? 
  • Rockwood is a unique climbing area in Southern Ontario, with a type of rock that is found nowhere else nearby. We have had Olympic and World Cup downhill skiers whose home club is Chicopee in Kitchener. Imagine if we had an Olympic climbing champion who started climbing in Ontario!

We encourage you to politely email your candidates, and identify yourself as a climber and a voter in your local municipality. We’d be very interested in learning about anything you find out from your local candidates! If you have information to share after following up with your campaigning candidates, please reach out to

Crag Updates, Spring 2022

By Access, News

Here’s a brief rundown on Crag Updates for Spring 2022.

Halton Crags

Bookings are here to stay for the foreseeable future. However, Halton allows climbers to book back-to-back slots, giving you more time to enjoy the crag.

Turtle Crag

Good news: The new booking system is working well, and our relationship with landowners has improved! For a link to the reservation page and the Turtle Crag Code Of Conduct, click here.

Great work, everyone, and continue to enjoy the space responsibly.


We need your help! We seek a team to help with advocacy and access in the Hamilton area. Please get in touch with us about volunteer opportunities. Contact Us!


Currently, no change – there is no climbing permitted at Rockwood. The stakeholders have no interest in allowing climbing at this time.


The Niagara Conservation Authority is still undergoing an ecological assessment of the cliff in order to protect the bat population.  Because of this Campden is still closed for climbing, but we remain in constant contact with the NCA.

Cow Crag

We have published parking and access guidelines – click here to see the latest.

Devil’s Glen

The situation is ongoing. For the latest news and new parking guidelines, click here.


We have porta-potties again this season (Yay!). The porta-potties are a collaboration between Arc’teryx and the OAC. The OAC is also hard at work with a parking expansion project. We will keep you posted on developments.

Lion’s Head

Paid parking continues to be enforced. For tips and best practices for a fun day at Lion’s Head, click here.

The Nooks, Sudbury (*new guidebook)

The Nooks is one of Ontario’s newest bouldering areas, featuring over 150 problems. You can purchase a new The Nooks Guidebook here. This is a newly developed area, where special care is required to minimize climber impact: stay on the trails, and no camping.

If you have any news or questions about your favourite crag, contact us!

Have Fun!