Building a Dock in Parry Sound

Dogs swimming at Parry Sound cottage

Docks & Swim Rafts in Parry Sound

Dock repair is generally not a "permit required" situation. Crib, floaters and pole docks all need attention from time to time so as a rule you can do minor repairs ( ie. stringers, rotten board etc.) without a permit. Some areas have different rules so check with your local building official to be sure. There are differing regulations depending on the size of the dock as well with anything over 15 square meters. Keep in mind that  docks should not cross the property line extended over the lake and many townships have side setbacks. Generally only 1 dock is allowed per property unless they're over a certain frontage, often  90 meters. Check the local by-laws.

On the M.N.R. (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) it states website;

Dock projects that generally DO NOT require a work permit:

  • Docks and boathouses supported by posts, stilts, poles or floats
  • Boathouses not located on shore lands
  • Docks and/or boathouses where the total footprint of the crib(s) or other supporting structures to be constructed or     placed on the bed of the water body does not exceed 15 sq. metres
  • Any combination of the above (i.e. a post dock and a crib dock occupying 15 sq. metres or less of the bed)
  • Boat lifts and marine railways where the occupied area of the bed of the water body is less than 15 sq. metres
  • Removal of an old dock or boathouse, except where rock filled cribs are to be removed and would be considered dredging.

Dock and boathouse projects that DO require a work permit:

  • Any docks and/or boathouses where the total footprint of cribs or other supporting structures to be constructed or placed on the bed of the water body exceeds 15 square meters
  •  Ministry of Natural Resources approval is now required from anyone wanting to build, replace or expand a dock on or above more than 15 square metres of shoreline (161 square feet). The same new rules also apply for single-storey boathouses.
  • If you adding to an existing system or constructing a new dock you will probably, depending on the township, an approved building permit.
  •  If the area you want to place the dock is Environmentally Protected or is a fish habitat area restrictions may be in place. Contact the Departrment of Fisheries and Oceans for current guidelines.
We highly recommend finding a competent local contractor who is well versed in all the new rules and regulations related to new dock construction. Some townships such as Magnetawan do not require a building permit for many dock builds but others do so it’s always safer to check. There can be heavy fines for non-compliance from several levels of government! We know Muskoka and Parry Sound cottage country and would be happy to give you a list of our approved builders, just give us a call.


Lake Joseph near Parry sound
Local Dock Manufactures / Installers

We cover a large area from Kahshe Lake to South River & across to Parry Sound so if you're frustrated looking for a reliable contractor for your dock system just give us a call and we would be happy to recommend one.

For now, here's a few of our go-to companies....

  1. Ahmic Marine & Maintenance - Magnetawan Area ( Ahmic Lake, Lake Cecebe, Neighick Lake etc.)
  2. Kropf Industrial - Parry Sound ( Georgian Bay, Otter Lake, Whitefish Lake etc.)
  3. Dock Depot - Bracebridge ( Lake Joseph, Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau etc )
  4. Innovative Dock Designs - Gravenhurst ( Kahshe, Lake Muskoka, Severn etc.)



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