The Ontario government is prohibiting floating accommodations from docking overnight on provincial waterways. The regulatory change will come into effect July 1, 2023. The following definitions will come into effect:
“camping unit” means a structure or vehicle that may be used for camping purposes or as an outdoor accommodation and includes a tent, trailer, tent-trailer, recreational vehicle, camper-back and any watercraft equipped for overnight accommodation but does not include a floating accommodation;
“floating accommodation” means a floating building, structure or thing, or a combination of floating buildings, structures or things, equipped or useable for overnight accommodation and not primarily designed to be used for navigation, and includes a floating building, structure or thing, or a combination of floating buildings, structures or things that,
(a) is primarily designed for or able to be used for residential purposes,
(b) is a raft, barge or floating platform that has on top of it a building, structure, vehicle or thing that may be used for overnight accommodation, for camping purposes or as an outdoor accommodation,
(c) would reasonably be expected to require towing to be placed on public lands or is placed on public lands by means of towing or any other type of assistance,
(d) is equipped with jack-up technology or a similar mechanism used to anchor or rise above the surface of the water, with or without spud cans, or
(e) has a floating foundation or a floatation platform which may include floats constructed of polystyrene, plastic, concrete or logs and stringers;
“watercraft equipped for overnight accommodation” means a watercraft that is,
(a) equipped for overnight accommodation,
(b) primarily designed for and able to be used for navigation, and
(c) self-propelled and steered independently.
We are very pleased to see these new definitions and thank the Provincial Government for listening to our concerns. These amended regulations will not adversely affect NOTO member and resource based tourism interests including:
- open and free navigation of provincial waters by watercraft including overnight use by commercial house boat rentals and
- extended/overnight use of certain lakes and rivers by houseboats, where said commercial activities have been specifically authorized by MNRF issued PLA land use permits.