Skip to main content

Ontario banning floating homes on provincial waterways


Ontario is banning floating homes from being docked overnight on provincial waterways.

The restriction, which goes into effect on July 1, impacts “floating accommodations” only and will not apply to other traditional watercrafts such as sailboats.

The government has defined a floating accommodation as a building or structure that is equipped or useable for overnight accommodation. These vessels are not primarily designed for navigation.

Examples include a raft, barge or floating platform with a structure on top that can be used as a shelter for camping or overnight stays.

“We heard a number of concerns about the use of floating accommodations on Ontario’s waterways, including their potential effects on the environment as well as concerns about safety,” Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, said in a statement on Friday.

“With these changes, we are taking action to protect our waterways by preserving access to lakes and rivers, ensuring access for recreational users, and reducing the potential for pollution of lakes and rivers.”

The ministry reiterated the changes will not impact anyone “exercising their right to navigate, including reasonable mooring, or anyone exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights.”

It also does not impact floating accommodations on private water lots or waterways under other jurisdictions.

The proposal was first posted publicly in February.

According to the regulation decision, there was broad support from property owners, cottager associations, and municipalities.

The public commentary participants also mentioned that the occupants of floating accommodations were living on public land without authorization and therefore were not paying property taxes.

This is in addition to noise complaints and safety concerns related to emergency services and waterway congestion.

There was some concern about enforcement, however it is unclear if those issues were addressed. Top Stories

Stay Connected