Dock Permit Resolution

Submitted by FOCA

In May 2017, after more than a year of advocacy efforts on this issue, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Association (FOCA) provided input into a proposed revision to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Public Lands Act, to enable certain occupations of public land without the need for a permit, lease, or license of occupation.

FOCA is pleased to be able to announce that, effective June 1st, 2017, Ontario Regulation O.Reg.161/17 came into effect. The important changes now mean that a person can occupy public lands without a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry - subject to some conditions, and only if allowed by municipal bylaw or Federal statute. This applies to:

  • docks, boat lifts, boat ramps, and marine railways
  • swim rafts
  • single-storey boathouses
  • break walls and related backfill
  • recreational boat caches which includes canoes, kayaks and motor boats
  • ramps and jumps and slalom courses
  • bridges, culverts and causeways
  • recreational camping units (21 days)
  • ice fishing huts

Some clarification on regulated structures was also provided, for example, a “dock” includes any associated shade structures affixed to the dock such as a gazebo or pergola.

Link to the full decision, and get further information at