The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Education Facilities

Explore the facilities offered at Tiffin

The Tiffin Centre for Conservation is a 300-acre property located inside Tiffin Conservation Area. It features a mixture of wetlands, forests and open meadows along Bear Creek.

The Tiffin Centre for Conservation is located about 10 minutes west of Barrie, and 15 minutes outside of Angus and Innisfil. It offers a wide range of properties and facilities for your students to explore and enjoy!

PA day camps for kids

Outdoor spaces

Winding through the Tiffin is a network of 12 km of accessible and clearly marked trails. Popular outdoor facilities include:

  • two small ponds, used for wetland studies
  • a red pine plantation, used for a variety of games and ecology studies
  • a maple sugar bush, including replicas of aboriginal and pioneer syrup making techniques, used for maple syrup tours
  • several hundred acres of mixed and sugar maple forest, used for a variety of outdoor learning experiences
  • a professionally designed 9-hold disc golf course
  • a professionally designed low ropes course with over 15 elements that foster teamwork and leadership skills
Free Play Space at Tiffin Fence 4

Free Play Forest / The Hive

Especially​​ for our younger visitors, the Free Play Forest ​(aka “The Hive”) gives students the opportunity to venture on their own into a large and fully enclosed forest plot to explore and learn.

One hundred-fifty sections of cedar rail fence snakes through our forest creating a well-defined labyrinthine space for free play in nature. As a build-it-yourself loose parts playground, students transform the Hive using child size rails, logs and planks. Free play forest is a place for imagination, exploration and problem solving through open-ended play.

Thanks to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for their financial support of this project!​

Jose - exterior 3

John L. Jose Environmental Learning Centre

This multi-use facility boasts a large stone fireplace, an exposed-beam ceiling and a large auditorium that can accommodate up to 100 people. Audio/visual equipment in the auditorium enables instructors to effectively incorporate a variety of digital media into their educational presentations.

Students have access to a fully equipped laboratory/classroom and large mudroom to hang their belongings. Indoor accessible washroom facilities and water fountains are conveniently located and available for students.  Well water is UV purified and tested regularly. This building is equipped with a first aid station, Automated External Defibrillators and eye wash station.

Picnic Pavilion - outside 1

Picnic Pavilion

The pavilion is an enclosed wood-heated picnic pavilion, located near our sugar shack, which can accommodate up to 80 people. 

Running water is available seasonally and a UV purification system is in place for students to fill up water bottles. Two outdoor washrooms are located nearby.


Outdoor Classroom

Our outdoor classroom is connected to the learning center via a covered boardwalk. Furnished with sturdy benches, this small building provides additional (three season) programming space. 

This classroom can accommodate up to 50 students; washroom facilities and water fountains are located nearby.

Group Camping

Group Campground

Situated in a peaceful wooded area, the Group Campground offers plenty of flat ground for tenting. It also includes a large lockable storage shed, two accessible outdoor washrooms with running-water sinks (potable), large stone fireplace, picnic pavilion and electricity. It is suitable for up to 100 people – larger groups may be accommodated with the rental of additional outdoor toilets.

Sugar shack making maple syrup Tiffin

Sugar Shack

Used during maple syrup season, our sugar shack is fully equipped with a wood-burning evaporator and a propane finishing pan. Staffed by highly experienced volunteers, visitors can get a peek into the conventional method of making maple syrup. Maple syrup tasting may be available subject to availability. The sugar shack can accommodate up to 20 students, and is part of eight maple syrup related educational stations.

Forest Cabin Tiffin

Forest Cabin

This cottage-style building is equipped with benches and woodstove.

It can accommodate approximately 20 students.


We have the tools and technologies to bring science and environmental learning to life for students. These include, among many others:

  • a class set of GPS units
  • child-friendly compound and stereo microscopes
  • animal and plant artifacts, and 
  • replica tracks, rocks and minerals for students to pick up, examine, and experience!

Further, we provide students with all the necessary tools and equipment to physically experience our programs to their fullest capacity, including rubber boots, rain ponchos, snowshoes, kicksleds, and all-terrain wheelchairs as required.

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