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Have Your Say on MNRF's Proposed Changes for Floating Cottages

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is asking for your feedback on proposed changes to how floating cottages may be used on Ontario waterways. These changes are intended to reduce the environmental and social impacts of floating accommodations which GBA’s Floating Cottages Strategy Group has been working toward over the past year.

MNRF is proposing to amend the Public Lands Act with regards to camping on water over public lands. The proposed changes will clarify the types of camping units that can be used on water by allowing watercrafts equipped for overnight accommodation (live-aboards and houseboats), but excluding floating homes or barges with residential units or camping facilities

These changes would not apply to a person exercising rights that are protected by Aboriginal or treaty rights.

Feedback on the above changes is requested by April 11, 2023. MNRF’s full proposal and details on how to comment can be found here. GBA has developed the following comment which can be inserted at this , should you wish:

I support the proposals to amend Ontario Regulation 161/17 (O. Reg. 161/17) under the Public Lands Act described in ERO 019-6590 posted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on February 24, 2023. The key proposed amendments relating to preventing floating accommodation units from camping on water over public lands will reduce the environmental and social impacts of floating accommodations and help to ensure that floating accommodation units can be appropriately regulated to:

  • Reduce the potential environmental impacts, such as disposal of black/grey water and garbage, and lower the spread of plastics pollution from the use of unencapsulated dock foam for flotation
  • Reduce the safety issues for those on board these units, which have poor navigability and are unstable in high winds/waves
  • Keep these floating accommodation units safely moored at shoreline locations, where they can benefit from services such as water, sewage, hydro and garbage disposal
  • Create the potential for municipalities to apply taxes to these accommodation units to pay for the services provided


You can find full information on GBA’s involvement in the floating cottages issue here.



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