Main Content
Support Important GBA Initiatives.
Support Important GBA Initiatives. Support GBA

Georgian Bay For Everyone

With the continuing surge in boating interest and many newcomers to the Bay, both cottagers and boaters, GBA and Boating Ontario have revamped our Georgian Bay for Everyone messaging. These suggestions to encourage safe and respectful boating behaviour and protect the Georgian Bay environment are equally important for cottagers and boaters. We are working with our member associations, marinas and other boating organizations around the Bay to spread the message.










Georgian Bay waters are for everyone’s enjoyment. Whether a cottager or a boater, respect for each other’s interests and concerns is paramount to the enjoyment and protection of our pristine environment.

While out and about:

  • Respect your surroundings
  • Minimize your impact
  • Keep nature clean

Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide has everything you need to know about safe and responsible boating practices. 

GBA also has tips for operating personal watercraft here.


Sound travels great distances across water, particularly on still nights and early mornings. Unmuffled engines, power generators, loud music, loose halyards on sail boats, and even quiet voices, can all intrude on the quiet time of everyone nearby – on land or water.


Anchor out of sight of cottages, or, if that is not possible, try to maintain reasonable sightline distances between boats and cottages. Anchor well away from boating channels. Minimize lighting but always have an anchor light on moored boats

  • Get tips for anchoring your boat here


Many parts of the shoreline host endangered or threatened species, so letting dogs run free is inappropriate. Refrain from trespassing (people and pets) on private property and respect signage. Tie lines to private shorelines are illegal.



Maintain cottage and boat sewage systems in proper order. Never discharge black water into the Bay. Use environmentally friendly soaps and cleaners. Refrain from bathing directly in the water as even “environmentally friendly” soaps and shampoos deplete oxygen in the water as they degrade.


When you use public lands (crown land, provincial and national parks, conservation reserves or Georgian Bay Land Trust properties) check for restrictions before going ashore and/or adhere to posted rules. Be mindful of any fire restrictions. Take all your garbage with you when you leave. Always leave a site in better condition than when you arrived. Where pets are allowed on shore, pick up and remove their waste.

  • Georgian Bay Land Trust has Property Visiting Guidelines which offers simple tips to appreciate and protect natures while visiting properties in the Bay.

As the boat operator you are responsible for the safety of your passengers and for maintaining and operating your boat legally and safely.

  • There is a 10 km speed limit within 30 meters of a shoreline unless in a buoyed channel
  • Minimize speed and wake where they may cause damage to docks, moored boats, fish habitat and nesting waterfowl, or create safety concerns for swimmers and smaller boats
  • Travel at speeds appropriate to visibility, channel size, weather and presence of other craft
  • Large boats have difficulty in maneuvering, allow adequate distance when operating a smaller craft
  • High traffic channels are not conducive to activities like water skiing, swimming and windsurfing
  • Boating at night requires extreme caution and appropriate navigational lighting

Unintentionally inhibiting someone else’s enjoyment of the water can be stressful for everyone involved. Make sure you know and follow the laws whenever you are on the water. GBA has refresher on boating laws here.

Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide has everything you need to know about safe and responsible boating practices.


  • More information on our partner in this project, Boating Ontario, and what they do, can be found here.
  • You can also find GBA information on boating safety and navigation here.
View past eUpdate issues

SIGN UP TO OUR Email newsletter eUpdate

Email address format is incorrect.
Please select your nearest association.

Please provide name of other association.

You can unsubscribe at anytime