A work permit is required to:
- fill shore lands such as creating a beach and constructing shoreline protection works (e.g. break wall, groyne, seawall);
- dredge shore lands such as:
- creating a boat slip, boating channel or swimming area;
- installing a water line, heat loop or cable for commercial use (i.e. marina, resort or large scale development); and
- removal of rocks/boulders from shore lands or the bottom of a lake or stream;
- construct a dock or boathouse where the total surface area of the supporting structure (e.g. pipes, cribs) placed on the bed of the water body exceeds 15 square metres;
- construct a building on public land;
- construct a road on public land, except where constructed under the authority of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act;
- construct a trail on public land, except where constructed under the authority of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act or for purpose of mineral exploration;
- construct a water crossing (e.g. bridge, culvert and causeway) on public land, except where constructed under the authority of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act; and
- remove aquatic vegetation.
Some types of activities do not require a work permit including:
- minor road maintenance on public land;
- cantilever docks where the footings are located off the shore lands;
- floating docks and floating boathouses;
- docks or boathouses where the total surface area of the supporting structure (e.g. pipes, cribs) placed on the bed of the water body is less than 15 square metres;
- removal of an old dock or boathouse;
- ice fishing huts; and
- installation of a water line, submarine cable or heat loop for private use.
Please note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact other agencies and comply with all existing laws and regulatory requirements. Applicants need to be aware that approvals may also be required from other agencies as well, such as municipal building permits, conservation authority permits and Department of Fisheries and Oceans approvals related to fisheries habitat. Approval from one agency does not guarantee approval from another agency.
For detailed information on the Ministry’s requirements for work permits, please refer to Policy
PL 3.03.04 - Public Lands Act Work Permits (Section 14)
If in doubt about whether a work permit is required or not applicants are encouraged to contact their local Ministry of Natural Resources office well in advance and make an appointment to speak with a Ministry staff person.
Please note that while some boathouses or floating docks may not require a work permit, they may require permission for occupational authority (e.g. land use permit, lease) from the Ministry because they are located on Crown lake bed, or they may need to be reviewed by Transport Canada for potential impacts on navigation.
Public Lands Act work permit approvals do not apply to federal waterbodies such as the Trent-Severn and Rideau Canal waterways. For further information on approval requirements for these waterbodies, please contact:
Trent-Severn Waterway Office
P.O. Box 567
2155 Ashburnham Drive
Peterborough Ontario K9J 626
Rideau Canal Waterway Office
34A Beckwith Street
Smith Falls Ontario K7A 2B3