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Development Rules

Lake of Bays Shoreline is Protected - Know the Rules

The Township of Lake of Bays has a shoreline vegetation protection system known as The Development Permit System (DPS). This law was supported by the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation and the Lake of Bays Association. It took effect January 1, 2006.

The DPS also serves as the new planning system designed to combine and replace zoning, site plan and minor variance applications in one streamlined process. It is intended to protect the environment and make local government more efficient.

It is important that all waterfront property owners understand the DPS before they consider altering their shoreline, building structures such as docks and boat houses or removing vegetation.

The General Rules to follow are as follows (reprinted from a Township brochure):

  • Removal of any vegetation within 66 feet or 100 feet of the water's edge requires a Development Permit, depending on the lake your property is on.
  • A Shoreline Activity Area (SAA) is the area where shoreline structures and human activity (including cleared areas) may be located. A property may have two of these areas, and cumulatively they must not exceed 25% of the shoreline, or 76 feet, whichever is the lesser.
  • Depending upon the lake your property is on, the setback for structures from the water's edge may be either 66 feet or 100 feet.
  • A development Permit may be required prior to the site alteration or removing vegetation within wetlands, steep slopes, or identified natural heritage areas.

These guidelines are a very small excerpt of the entire by-law. Please consult the entire by-law, as well as other supporting information available at the Township web site at www.lakeofbays.ca

The objective of this by-law is to protect the critical environmental area where water meets land, known as the Riparian Zone. The place is vital to the survival of much of the natural life in the area. The DPS will also protect the beauty of the area so that the view from your dock (and your neighbours) is mostly natural.

Our Results
  • Acquired over 50 per cent of the Lower Oxtongue River for permanent protection, including 6.5 km of shoreline.
  • Preserved one mile of natural shoreline and 47-acres of forest at Port Cunnington.
  • Partnered with the Ontario Heritage Trust to be the steward of the 100-acre Pyke property near Brown's Brae.
  • Recognized more than 30 building owners with plaques for heritage property protection.
  • Encouraged the Township to create a Heritage Committee of Council to encourage protection.
  • Rescued the Bigwin ferry from a sunken mooring in 1991 and conducted feasibility studies to transfer to the current Navigation Society for restoration.
  • Established the Harriet T. Weaver Memorial Trust which funds two bursaries each year to assist one student from each of Bracebridge and Huntsville high schools to help pay for their first year of university or college.
Dr. Cathy Charles Stay-at-home Spring Bird Count, weekend of May 9
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The wherever-you-are butterfly, damselfly & dragonfly challenge, July 11 weekend
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Annual General Meeting of Members - by Zoom, Wednesday August 19 5:00pm
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Contact Us

Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 81
Baysville, Ontario
P0B 1A0