Unregulated floating cottages are becoming a growing concern on Ontario waterways. Deemed “vessels” by Transport Canada, these floating homes are taking advantage of a loophole allowing owners to drop anchor on crown land and lakebeds on any navigable waterway. Because of the “vessel” designation these structures are currently exempt from all forms of oversight and regulation, including building code adherence, environmental protection, navigation and public safety, taxation and location management.
In British Columbia, where Transport Canada classifies them as “float homes”, these structures must conform to strict building standards and can be duly regulated by the province and municipalities to ensure environmental protections.
Transport Canada needs to change the regulations in Ontario to make them consistent with those in BC. In short, floating cottages need to be classified as “floating homes” and be subject to strict building standards and appropriate safety and environmental regulations.
You can email The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, using our tool here to ask that Ontario regulations be made consistent with those in BC to better protect our waterways. The email takes only a minute to populate and requires only your name, the postal code of your home or cottage and your email address.