The provincial government is looking into the use of “floating accommodations” on Ontario’s waterways.
Provincial officials explain a floating accommodation is a “floating structure designed principally to provide accommodation for longer stays (similar to a cottage) rather than for the purposes of camping or navigating.” They add that the province is seeing an increase in these types of vessels on some lakes and rivers.
The input comes as the province looks to amend the Public Lands Act in relation to camping on waterways. According to a post on the province’s website, the change is aimed at “reducing the environmental and social impacts of floating accommodations and long camping stays.” As well, officials say the proposed changes will change the conditions that must be met when camping on water, clarify what can be a camping unit on water, harmonize non-resident and resident camping rules, and make other minor clarifications.
Comments can be made on the province’s website. The submission deadline is April 11.
“The proposed changes to clarify that a floating accommodation is not a camping unit is anticipated to reduce potential environmental impacts of pile anchors and pollution,” say the officials.
In April 2022, Gravenhurst was one of many councils in the area – and province – that spoke out against floating accommodations. The discussion in Gravenhurst came about a month after the province posted a notice that they were looking for input on floating accommodations.
“This could be a disaster for the lakes,” said then-Coun. Heidi Lorenz.