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Dock Construction

Breakthrough in Dock Construction Discussion


Posted June 7, 2012


There has been a breakthrough in the issue concerning dock construction and dock repair on private properties within provincial parks. The regulations that were made known to us last year allowed for construction of new crib docks by commercial interests, but non-commercial properties such as cottages could only repair an existing dock after a Work Permit had been approved. We have heard that an amendment to the legislation will address this point. While this is not finalized, we anticipate it will be shortly.  We thank Bill and Sam Goodwin for their efforts in patiently pursuing this, and we thank Chuck Miller for his ongoing support.

A letter from Park Superintendent Chuck Miller may be viewed here.


Docks – New Information On Construction And Repair

Posted Feb. 23, 2011; updated March 5, 2012 
In the summer of 2010, questions arose regarding dock repair and construction. Recently, Chuck Miller (Park Superintendent for French River Provincial Park) supplied the following information which is summarized below.
Previously, permits to work on docks were obtained through the MNR under the PLA (Public Lands Act), but due to changes in the PPCRA (Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act) any permits, if required, are now obtained through an Ontario Parks Office. Note that this information applies only to cottages that are within French River Park and do not apply, for example, to Sandy Island.

Construction of new crib docks will not be permitted except for commercial properties. (This would require a Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) for a major construction project).

The issues concerning dock construction and repair remain at the discussion stage. To put it simply, there has been no clarification of what the process entails if someone wants to rebuild a crib dock that needs repair. We advise using common sense when it comes to applying for a permit from Ontario Parks. Bill Goodwin has been in contact with Chuck Miller, Park Superintendent, and information on the web site is being updated as it becomes available.  

Request a work permit application from:

Ontario Parks Office,
Northeastern Zone Office, 
199 Larch Street,

Sudbury ON P3E 5P9  
Attention: Louisa Ferguson

To facilitate the process, you may wish to speak with them in person:

Ontario Parks Office - 705-564-3165

Louise Ferguson - 705-564-3169.

Applications may be mailed, faxed, picked up or delivered in person or electronically.

The process will take 2-6 weeks depending on complexity and the need for a site visit. Provide good photos, details such as impact on any neighbors. See further information below.

Even if previously unauthorized, no one will be asked to remove existing crib docks and no existing crib docks will be posted as unauthorized

If the floating dock is adjacent to patent land, no work permit is required as a floating dock does not occupy any crown land on the lake or river bed.

** Please read the following communication received from Chuck Miller, specifically the section “Maintenance of Existing Private Crib Docks”. Note also the comments regarding the authorization of existing private crib docks.
Construction of New Docks
Floating Docks– If the floating dock is adjacent to patent land: we would not ask for a work permit as we (Parks) would only own the lake bed and a floating dock would not be occupying any crown land. 
If the floating dock is adjacent to a LUP (Land Use Permit): We would request a work permit application to be done.
Crib Dock– Considered Major construction in the Class EA and a footnote 2.  This would also be considered a new disposition which we can’t entertain unless it is commercial.
Maintenance of Existing Private Crib Docks
Even though some existing crib docks are not authorized under PPCRA they may have be authorized under the PLA before the area became park.  If someone were to come to us requesting maintenance on this dock (unauthorized crib dock not authorized under the PPCRA) adjacent to their patent land and even though issuing a work permit would be considered a disposition we would not say no, we would ask for a work permit application to be done and upon review may allow for the work to be done after screening with our Class EA and depending on the work upon approval from the DFO.
Authorization of Existing Private Crib Docks
We don’t have an answer to this right now but we are working on it.  We will not be asking for any to be removed.We will not be posting crib docks as unauthorized.   
The following questions were submitted to Chuck Miller and his answers are noted below.
1.       Is there a cost for a work permit?
2.       Are there any restrictions on type of wood used – pressure treated vs. natural woods?
3.       Are there any restrictions on other activities such as chain sawing wood near the water or applying paint or stain?
1. There is no cost for a work permit

2. Use untreated materials (e.g. cedar, tamarack, hemlock, rocks, plastic, etc.) as supports for dock structures that will be submerged in water. Treated lumber may contain compounds that can be released into the water and become toxic to the aquatic environment. Use only treated lumber that is environmentally-friendly (Environmentally-friendly lumber and stains – Chemical wood preservatives used in Canada are regulated by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada. Approved preservatives used most commonly in lumber are Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) and Copper Azole (CA). Creosote treated wood should not be used in or near water. Ask your local building supply outlet for further information on available products.)

3. Cut, seal and stain all lumber away from the water using only environmentally-friendly stains (see definition below). All sealed and stained lumber should be completely dry before being used near water. Operate machinery on land (from outside of the water) and in a manner that minimizes disturbance to the banks of the water body. Machinery is to arrive on site in a clean condition and is to be maintained free of fluid leaks. Wash, refuel and service machinery and store fuel and other materials for the machinery away from the water to prevent any deleterious substance from entering the water. Keep an emergency spill kit on site in case of fluid leaks or spills from machinery.

First posted: 6/21/2011

Dialogue Continues On Dock Construction Regulations

At the AGM we learned of the upcoming (2012) retirement of Park Superintendent Chuck Miller and we have lately learned that Ed Chevrette will also be retiring. In that regard we are continuing to press the issue of the dock construction regulations in the hope that the issue can be resolved before new personnel who are unfamiliar with the region assume these positions.

AGM Report On Dock Construction

At the AGM July 31, 2011, Bill Goodwin outlined the main thrust of our conversations with Chuck Miller. The discussions, led by Sam Goodwin, who has much experience dealing with government agencies, have been very positive and Chuck is very supportive of our position. The new regulations are not part of legislation so there is a very good chance of some sort of exemption. Our main concerns relate to the need for crib docks in many locations due to high wind and wave action and the difficulties that might be encountered if a property is sold or subdivided. The inability of new owners to construct a crib dock would affect the re-sale value of a property. Bill explained this would be a long process; current priorities are meeting with Chuck Miller and finding out whom to take our concerns to. 

New Dock Regulations Committee Formed


A committee comprised of Sam Goodwin, Bill Goodwin, and Dave Minden has been formed to represent the UFRCA in discussions with the Park about the new dock construction regulations. We hope to have something to report at the AGM on July 31 and will keep the membership informed through this web site.

Updated June 21, 2011

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