ERCA offers some of its beautiful facilities as rentals for weddings, showers, meetings and other events. You can rent the visitor centres at the John R. Park Homestead and Hillman Marsh, or the grounds at Holiday Beach. We also offer a beautiful, private cottage for rent at Holiday Beach Conservation Area.

If you want a natural theme and a casual atmosphere for your wedding or special occasions, one of our outdoor locations might be the perfect choice for you.  Please remember that outdoor events usually require more preparation and expense than those held in buildings with facilities. Weather and insects cannot be controlled, so flexibility is important. Remember that fish flies generally peak in late May or early June, so that may be a time to avoid.

It is important to note that for each of these locations, you, as the renter and event host, would be responsible for booking all other necessary infrastructure such as tents, electrical generators, tables and chairs, lighting for your tents, etc.
 

Facilities

John R. Park Homestead

The Homestead includes the expansive grounds on the shore of Lake Erie and our rustic visitor centre, housed inside an 1860s barn. The visitor centre has washrooms, a small kitchen with stove, refrigerator, microwave and sink; a classroom that will seat approximately 35 people, and forced-air heating and air conditioning. The Homestead’s historic buildings are normally locked during rentals. For an additional fee you can have a staff member, dressed in period costume, open the 1842 house and interact with your guests. The Homestead grounds provide a picturesque setting for wedding ceremonies and photography, and there are many near-by amenities perfect for wedding receptions.

 

Holiday Beach Conservation Area

Growing in popularity for couples interested in a beach wedding but who don’t wish to travel out of country, Holiday Beach offers a beautiful and scenic location for your wedding or special event. We do have onsite washroom facilities near where tents could be erected. There are no kitchen or food preparation facilities, so your caterer would have to make most preparations in advance.

Holiday Beach also offers a stunning new waterfront cottage rental, just steps away from Lake Erie’s sandy beach, with breathtaking views. As the only cottage within the Conservation Area, it features a high level of privacy, can sleep up to 8 guests, and has a beautiful outdoor living space with gas barbecue, eating area, conversation area and fire pit. The dark skies in the park are perfect for evening star gazing. The interior includes modern conveniences such as a smart television, full size stove and fridge.

For rental information, please visit Canadastays.com

 

Hillman Marsh Conservation Area

The Hillman Marsh Visitor Centre can accommodate roughly 30 people for a sit down meal. For events large than this, an outdoor tent should be erected. There are washroom facilities on site.

 

Permits

Photography Permits

Conservation Areas provide a beautiful backdrop for family, maternity, wedding or engagement photos! From lush forested areas, Lake Erie shorelines, to the historic John R. Park Homestead’s beautiful barns, and more, our diverse locations allow users to shoot year-round in a variety of settings. Please note that some conservation areas, like HBCA and HMCA do have admission fees payable at the gate.

All photo sessions at the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area require a permit. The site is very popular and often is privately rented, or in use during evenings and weekends.

There are two levels of permits available:

  • A Wedding/Commercial Photography Permit allows you exclusive access to the grounds.
  • A Site Photography Permit is available on an hourly basis, provides access to the grounds, and ensures the site is not closed for a private rental.

The fee includes your admission to the conservation area. Advance reservation is required and offered on a first come, first served basis. Photographers are required to have a copy of their valid photo permit with them during every shoot. Staff may request to see your permit.

Booking

To book your photo permit, please contact 519-738-2029 or education@erca.org
Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

 

Things to Consider

Outdoor Weddings

  • Be sure to check with your officiant to ensure s/he conducts outdoor weddings.
  • You are responsible for renting your own tent, chairs, tables, lights, dance floor etc.
  • Food preparation must be done offsite. The caterer will also need to provide dishes, cutlery and glassware.
  • You must obtain and post a special occasion permit from the L.C.B.O. Please allow several weeks for your application to be processed.
  • You must also provide us with proof of liability insurance (sometimes called special event insurance, naming ERCA as additional insured). You can get this coverage through your home or auto insurance broker.
  • If you are serving alcohol, plan for designated drivers or some other form of transportation, since there are no taxi services in the area.
  • All garbage must be removed from the Homestead, or placed in the onsite dumpsters at Hillman Marsh or Holiday Beach.
  • Conservation Areas are smoke free, and only permitted in the parking lots, or in designated smoking areas at Holiday Beach.
  • In consideration of our neighbours, music and alcohol service must end no later than 1:00 a.m.
  • You are required to meet your tent company, caterer, etc. on site, and to conduct any associated utility locates.
  • You are required to have the site returned to its original condition by 10:30am on the day following your rental. All litter must be picked up, garbage removed from the site and keys returned. At this time a staff will go over the site with your representative and discuss cleanup/damages if any. If there are no damages, your damage deposit will be returned when you return the keys. The tent may stay on the grounds until Monday a.m. if necessary.
  • Your damage deposit is required at the time of contract signing. Your damage deposit will be held until the day after your event, when your representative and the ERCA staff review the site and inspect for damages. If damage has occurred, you will be required to pay for the damage, or have that amount deducted from your damage deposit.