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Floating Cottages

This is an issue that GBA has been working on for around 25 years, but recently there has been a proliferation of new manufacturers and designs, and a consequent interest in developing appropriate regulations. This includes municipal regulation and possibly making these accommodation units subject to local taxes. GBA’s primary concern is to ensure that environmental protections are in place. Proper disposal of black water, grey water and garbage are the most concerning environmental issues.

What is a Floating Cottage?

Floating cottage design varies between those that need to be towed from place to place, and those that have their own means of propulsion and navigation. However all are clearly accommodation units built on rafts, rather than within a hull. At present there is therefore a clear distinction between floating cottages and houseboats. This may change as more imaginative designs are developed.


Key developments on this issue so far are:


There have also been some useful press coverage and presentations as follows:

Members of GBA’s Floating Cottage Strategy Group spoke to CBC recently to discuss the need to property regulate pop-up floating cottages:

GBA has:

GBA will:

  • Continue to advocate to Transport Canada, MNR, and other government agencies for changes required to ensure municipalities can regulate floating cottages and full environment protections are in place
  • Continue to work with municipalities, cottage associations and other stakeholders to establish a coordinated approach to determine how municipal regulations can be implemented and enforced
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