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Algonquin Provincial Park
Management Plan Amendment

May 2019

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

Table of Contents

  • 1.0 - Amendment to the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan
  • 1.1 - Purpose
  • 1.2 - Plan Amendment
  • 1.2.1 - Amendment to Section 5.2 Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan
  • 1.2.2 - Amendment to Text Box “Facility Development Summary"
  • 1.2.3 - Amendment to Appendix A: Construction and Development Standards
  • Appendix A: Limits, Conditions and Standards for Cottage Lot Structures and Sewage Systems
  • 1.0 - Purpose and Guiding Principles
  • 2.0 - General Guidelines
  • 2.1 - Structures to Blend into the Natural Environment
  • 2.2 - Acceptable Building Materials
  • 2.3 - Placement of New, Replaced or Relocated Cottage Lot Structures and On-lot Sewage Systems
  • 3.0 - Cottage Lot Structures
  • 3.1 - Cottages and Sleep Cabins
  • 3.1.1 - Expansion of an Existing Cottage or Sleep Cabin
  • 3.1.2 - New Cottages or Sleep Cabins or the Replacement of an Existing Cottage or Sleep Cabin
  • 3.2 - Ancillary Structures
  • 3.2.1 - Eligibility Requirement for Existing Ancillary Structures
  • 3.2.2 - New Ancillary Structures, and Relocations, Replacements or Expansions of Existing Ancillary Structures
  • 4.0 - On-lot Sewage Systems
  • 5.0 - Water Structures and Land Structures Outside of the Cottage Lot
  • 5.1 - New Water Structures, and Relocations, Replacements, or Expansions of Existing Water Structures
  • 5.2 - New Off-lot Land Structures and Relocations, Replacements or Expansions of Existing Off-lot Land Structures
  • 6.0 - Definitions

1.0 Amendment to the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan


1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this management plan amendment is to reflect the approved Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018 - 2038), and to implement the new, revised construction and development standards associated with the private cottage lots as they relate to cottage lot structures, sewage systems, water structures (e.g., docks and boathouses) and off-lot land structures.

1.2 Plan Amendment

The Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan contains a provision for the occupation of private cottage lots within the park until December 31, 2017. It also provides construction and development standards which guide the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (the Ministry) in reviewing cottagers’ applications for proposed development and construction activities on the cottage lots until 2017. The approved Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018-2038) provides new direction requiring amendments to the park management plan.

This document amends specific sections of the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan as described in sections 1.2.1, 1.2.2 and 1.2.3 below. This amendment should be read in conjunction with the Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018-2038) and the definitions provided in section 6.0.

1.2.1 Amendment to Section 5.2 Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan

Section 5.2 (Land Occupation/Tenure) of the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan is amended by:

(a) Deleting the following text related to cottage properties:

“There are 305 cottage properties held under lease, licence or land use permit in the park (as of January 1998).

  • All cottage leases will be terminated on or before December 31, 2017.
  • There is no provision for renewal.
  • The Park Superintendent is required to ensure that all lessees comply with the terms of their leases, particularly in obtaining authorization from the Superintendent for any construction, clearing or shoreline work.
  • All cottage lot development is controlled by the Construction and Development Standards: Algonquin Park Cottage Leaseholds (Appendix A).
  • The standards may be revised to address new environmental concerns or development restrictions.”

(b) Replacing the foregoing deleted text with the following:

“As of October 2016, new leases or licences of occupation may be issued to existing cottagers to extend their term of occupation for their private non-commercial cottage lot until December 31, 2038 subject to eligibility requirements, policies, limits, conditions and standards in the Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018-2038) and the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan (as amended). Additional details to support the implementation of the cottage lot policy are provided in Appendix A."

1.2.2 Amendment to Text Box “Facility Development Summary”

The text box immediately following section 10.7 of the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan titled “Facility Development Summary” is amended by deleting the entire bullet under the sub-heading “Private/Commercial Facilities” where it states “existing cottage leases to expire in 2017”.

1.2.3 Amendment to Appendix A: Construction and Development Standards

The existing Appendix A (Construction and Development Standards Algonquin Park Cottage Leaseholds) of the Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan contains limits, conditions and standards for the construction, replacement and expansion of cottage lot structures and sewage systems that may be permitted on the private, non-commercial cottage lots. Appendix A is amended by revoking the appendix in its entirety and replacing it with the following:

Appendix A: Limits, Conditions and Standards for Cottage Lot Structures and Sewage Systems


1.0 Purpose and Guiding Principles


This appendix describes the limits, conditions and standards that cottagers must comply with respecting cottage lot structures, sewage systems, water structures and off-lot land structures.

For the purposes of these limits, conditions and standards, cottage lot structures have been grouped into three categories: cottages, sleep cabins and ancillary structures which are addressed in section 3.0. On-lot sewage systems are addressed separately from cottage lot structures and are discussed in section 4.0. Construction limits, conditions and standards that cottagers must comply with in respect of new, relocated, replaced or expanded water structures and off-lot land structures are addressed in section 5.0. General guidelines that apply to all types of structures are found in section 2.0.

Over the period of January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2038, the Ministry intends to reduce the combined (total) footprint associated with the cottage lots by moving towards the following:

  • one cottage and one sleep cabin per lot, up to a maximum combined (total) footprint of 142 square metres (1,528 square feet) per lot;
  • ancillary structures up to a maximum (total) combined footprint of 44 square metres (474 square feet) per lot; and
  • water structures with a maximum (total) combined area of 30 square metres (323 square feet) excluding existing boathouses.

The Ministry will consider applications from cottagers for new cottage lot structures, sewage systems, water structures and off-lot land structures; and expansions or replacements of existing cottage lot structures, sewage systems, water structures and off-lot land structures, where the new, expanded or replaced structure complies with applicable limits, conditions and standards described in this Appendix, the Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018-2038), the terms and conditions of the cottage lot occupational authority and all applicable laws.


2.0 General Guidelines


2.1 Structures to Blend into the Natural Environment

The exterior of all cottage lot structures (i.e., cottages, sleep cabins and ancillary structures), sewage systems, water structures and off-lot land structures must be of a neutral earth tone colour (i.e., brown, grey, green) that blends in with the surrounding landscape. Existing structures of non-compatible colour must be brought into conformity with this requirement at the time of re-shingling, re-siding, re-painting, etc. Water structures may not be painted, stained or finished in any manner, except for the vertical walls of boathouses.

2.2 Acceptable Building Materials

Materials for the construction and maintenance of new, expanded or replacement cottage lot structures (i.e., cottages, sleep cabins and ancillary structures), sewage systems, water structures and off-lot land structures must not utilize pressure treated materials unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry. Exceptions to the prohibition on the use of pressure treated materials may be authorized where required by the Building Code or for the structural components of decks or other land structures where the structural materials will be directly exposed to the elements (e.g., the posts and beams within the structural portion of a deck).

2.3 Placement of New, Replaced or Relocated Cottage Lot Structures and On-lot Sewage Systems

New, replaced and relocated cottage lot structures, (cottages, sleep cabins, ancillary structures) and on-lot sewage systems, must have a water setback of at least 30 metres, unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry in its full discretion and in accordance with applicable laws. Exceptions to this setback may be authorized where the Ministry has determined that the cottage lot characteristics preclude the water setback (e.g., topography) or where requiring the water setback would be likely to cause more harm to park values than a water setback that is less than 30 metres. In no instance will the Ministry authorize a water setback that is less than 15 metres.

An exception to this setback may also be authorized for the expansion of an existing cottage lot structure or sewage system that currently has a water setback of less than 30 metres so long as the water setback for the expanded portion of the structure is not less than 15 metres.

New, replaced, relocated and expanded cottage lot structures and on-lot sewage systems must also be located within an existing disturbed area, unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry in its full discretion. Exceptions to this disturbed area requirement may be authorized where the Ministry has determined that a suitable disturbed area does not already exist.

3.0 Cottage Lot Structures


3.1 Cottages and Sleep Cabins

Cottagers may keep all existing on-lot cottages and sleep cabins, provided they are consistent with section 4.2.1 of the Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018-2038), until the cottager wishes to expand or replace these structures. Any expansion or replacement would be subject to the limits, conditions and standards outlined below.

3.1.1 Expansion of an Existing Cottage or Sleep Cabin

As described in section 1.0, the Ministry is moving towards one cottage and one sleep cabin per lot, up to a maximum combined (total) footprint of 142 square metres per lot. As such, the expansion of a cottage or sleep cabin will not be authorized where there is already more than one cottage or more than one sleep cabin on the lot. For clarity, there must not be more than one cottage and one sleep cabin on the lot after the expansion of any cottage or sleep cabin.

The expansion of a cottage or a sleep cabin may be authorized where the expanded cottage or sleep cabin complies with the following limits, conditions and standards:

  • the combined (total) footprint of the cottage and sleep cabin after expansion must not exceed 142 square metres;
  • the expanded cottage or sleep cabin must:
    • be located entirely within the cottage lot boundary;
    • have a water setback of at least 30 metres unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3;
    • be located within an existing disturbed area, unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3; and
    • be painted, sided, roofed, shingled, etc., in a neutral earth tone colour (i.e., brown, green, grey) that blends in with the surrounding landscape; and
  • the expanded cottage or sleep cabin must not:
    • be more than one storey or have a basement;
    • have an inside bearing wall exceeding 2.44 metres in height; or
    • have a roof pitch exceeding 6:12.

3.1.2 New Cottages or Sleep Cabins or the Replacement of an Existing Cottage or Sleep Cabin

As described in section 1.0, the Ministry is moving towards one cottage and one sleep cabin per lot, up to a maximum combined (total) footprint of 142 square metres per lot. As such, the building of a new cottage or sleep cabin or the replacement of an existing cottage or sleep cabin will not be authorized where there is already more than one cottage or more than one sleep cabin on the lot. For clarity, there must not be more than one cottage and one sleep cabin on the lot after the building of a new or the replacement of an existing cottage or sleep cabin.

In addition, the building of a new cottage or sleep cabin or the replacement of an existing cottage or a sleep cabin may be authorized where the new or replaced cottage or sleep cabin complies with the following limits, conditions and standards:

  • the combined (total) footprint of the cottage and sleep cabin after building or replacement must not exceed 142 square metres;
  • the new or replaced cottage or sleep cabin must:
    • be located entirely within the cottage lot boundary;
    • have a water setback of at least 30 metres unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3;
    • be located within an existing disturbed area unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3; and
    • be painted, sided, roofed, shingled, etc., in a neutral earth tone colour (i.e., brown, green, grey) that blends in with the surrounding landscape; and
  • the new or replaced cottage or sleep cabin must not :
    • be more than one storey or include a basement;
    • have an inside bearing wall exceeding 2.44 metres in height; or
    • have a roof pitch exceeding 6:12.

3.2 Ancillary Structures


3.2.1 Eligibility Requirement for Existing Ancillary Structures

As outlined in section 4.2.2 of the Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy 2018-2038, to be eligible for 2038 occupational authority, cottagers must either remove or relocate onto the cottage lot any off-lot ancillary structures. Any relocated ancillary structures must meet the requirements of section 3.2.2 below.

Further, to be eligible for 2038 occupational authority, cottagers must ensure that all existing ancillary structures comply with the following limits, conditions and standards. Where ancillary structures do not meet these limits, conditions and standards, cottagers must remove or adjust ancillary structures to bring them into compliance.

  • the combined (total) footprint of all ancillary structures must not exceed 44 square metres. For the purposes of calculating the combined (total) footprint of all ancillary structures, only half of the footprint of decks will count towards the total combined ancillary footprint. For example, if a cottage lot has a shed, patio and gazebo that add up to 33 square metres, plus a deck that is 19 square metres, only half or 9.5 square metres of the deck footprint would count towards the total combined ancillary footprint. This would result in a total combined ancillary footprint of 42.5 square metres which is within the allowable combined footprint of 44 square metres;
  • ancillary structures must not contain cooking, kitchen or bathroom facilities, sewage systems or water intakes, with some limited exceptions (e.g., outdoor showers, hot tubs) as authorized by the Ministry; and
  • the ancillary structure must not be a camper vehicle.

In addition:

  • hot tubs must be drained to a sewage system (i.e., grey water pit or septic) that a qualified sewage inspector has determined is capable of handling the volume of water contained within the hot tub, in addition to any other water / sewage that drains into the sewage system. Water must not be drained directly into the lake or onto the ground, regardless of whether or not the water is chlorinated / treated;
  • outdoor showers must:
    • have a water setback of at least 15 metres and be constructed over a surface that will ensure water percolates into the ground and cannot run off into nearby water bodies (e.g., a grassed surface with no platform above the ground or a shallow dug pit containing pea gravel and/or sand with or without a platform); or
    • drain into a sewage system (i.e., grey water pit or septic) that a qualified sewage inspector has determined is capable of handling the volume of water from the outdoor shower and any other water / sewage that drains into the sewage system.

3.2.2 New Ancillary Structures, and Relocations, Replacements or Expansions of Existing Ancillary Structures

New ancillary structures or the relocation, replacement or expansion of existing ancillary structures may be authorized where the ancillary structure complies with the following limits, conditions and standards:

  • the combined (total) footprint of all ancillary structures (new, expanded, replaced, and existing) on the lot must not exceed 44 square metres. For the purposes of calculating the combined (total) footprint of all ancillary structures, only half of the footprint of decks will count towards the total combined ancillary footprint. For example, if a cottage lot has a shed, patio and gazebo that add up to 33 square metres, plus a deck that is 19 square metres, only half or 9.5 square metres of the deck footprint would count towards the total combined ancillary footprint. This would result in a total combined ancillary footprint of 42.5 square metres which is within the allowable combined footprint of 44 square metres;
  • the ancillary structure must:
    • be located entirely within the cottage lot boundary;
    • have a water setback of at least 30 metres unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3;
    • be located within an existing disturbed area unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3; and
    • be painted, sided, roofed, shingled, etc., in a neutral earth tone colour (i.e., brown, green, grey) that blends in with the surrounding landscape; and
  • the ancillary structure must not:
    • be more than one storey or include a basement;
    • have an inside bearing wall exceeding 2.44 metres in height; or
    • have a roof pitch exceeding 6:12; and
  • the ancillary structure is not a root cellar, camper vehicle, or retaining wall (unless the retaining wall is required to protect existing authorized cottage lot structures from erosion).

In addition:

  • water lines must not be buried on the cottage lot;
  • hot tubs must be drained to a sewage system (i.e., grey water pit or septic) that a qualified sewage inspector has determined is capable of handling the volume of water contained within the hot tub, in addition to any other water / sewage that drains into the sewage system. Water must not be drained directly into the lake or onto the ground, regardless of whether or not the water is chlorinated / treated;
  • outdoor showers must:
    • be constructed over a surface that will ensure water percolates into the ground and cannot run off into nearby water bodies (e.g., a grassed surface with no platform above the ground or a shallow dug pit containing pea gravel and/or sand with or without a platform); or
    • drain into a sewage system (i.e., grey water pit or septic) that a qualified sewage inspector has determined is capable of handling the volume of water from the outdoor shower and any other water / sewage that drains into the sewage system.

4.0 On-lot Sewage Systems


New on-lot sewage systems or expansions, relocations or replacements of existing on-lot sewage systems may be authorized where the new, relocated, replaced or expanded on-lot sewage system complies with the following limits, conditions and standards:

  • The system must be located entirely within the cottage lot boundary;
  • The system must have a water setback of at least 30 metres unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3;
  • The system must be located within an existing disturbed area unless otherwise authorized by the Ministry as outlined in section 2.3; and
  • The system must not be a class 4 sewage system (septic tank and leaching bed).

For clarity, as with all cottage lot structures, the new, expanded or replaced sewage system must comply with the policies outlined in the Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018-2038), the terms and conditions of the cottage lot occupational authority and all applicable laws.

Criteria and requirements related to sewage systems located outside of the cottage lot are prescribed in s. 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07.


5.0 Water Structures and Off-lot Land Structures


Water structures (e.g., docks, on-water boathouses and swim platforms) and/or off-lot land structures (e.g., driveways, utility lines) require separate occupational authority (i.e., a land use permit). Land use permits may be issued pursuant to ss. 14(2.1) of the PPCRA and s. 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07.

Any new, relocated, replaced or expanded off-lot structures – i.e., water structures and land structures – must, at a minimum, be constructed in a manner that conforms with the limits, conditions and standards set out below. Additional conditions for construction related to the environment, safety or other matters may be imposed by the Ministry in the terms and conditions of the relevant land use permit or such other authorizations as may be required for the construction activity.

5.1 New Water Structures, and Relocations, Replacements, or Expansions of Existing Water Structures

A new water structure or the relocation, replacement or expansion of an existing water structure must:

  • satisfy the applicable criteria and requirements prescribed in s. 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07 and any other applicable requirements of law;
  • where reasonably possible, be constructed such that the structure is connected to the shore only within the existing disturbed shoreline area approved by the Ministry; and
  • be constructed in accordance with the applicable limits, terms and conditions of Section 2 (General Guidelines) above.

5.2 New Off-lot Land Structures and Relocations, Replacements or Expansions of Existing Off-lot Land Structures

A new off-lot land structure, or the relocation, replacement or expansion of an existing off-lot land structure must:

  • satisfy the applicable criteria and requirements prescribed in s. 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07 and any other applicable requirements of law;
  • have a water setback of at least 30 metres, unless otherwise directed by the Ministry (e.g., for the placement of a water pump shed);
  • be constructed at a location that is an existing disturbed area, unless the Ministry has determined that a suitable disturbed area does not already exist; and
  • be constructed in accordance with the applicable limits, terms and conditions of section 2 (General Guidelines) above.

6.0 Definitions


In this document;

2038 occupational authority An instrument such as a lease or licence of occupation that grants the holder the legal authority to occupy and use the lands described therein for private, non-commercial cottage-related purposes until December 31, 2038.

Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan The Algonquin Provincial Park Management Plan (1998) as amended from time to time.

ancillary structure Any human made structure on land that is not a cottage, sleep cabin, or sewage system. This may include, but is not limited to, sheds, on-land boathouses, tent platforms, pump houses, saunas, decks, gazebos, hot tubs, boat ramps/trolleys, etc. Ancillary structures shall not contain cooking, kitchen or bathroom facilities, sewage systems or water intakes, with some limited exceptions (e.g., outdoor showers, hot tubs) as determined by the Ministry.

boathouse Has the same meaning as in section 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07.

camper vehicle A camper trailer, tent trailer, motor home, or any other recreational vehicle on wheels designed with sleeping facilities; a watercraft designed with sleeping facilities; or any other vehicles that may be used for overnight accommodation.

cottage A structure designed for private, non-commercial use, that typically contains sleeping facilities, cooking or other kitchen facilities, and may include bathroom facilities and other habitable rooms. A cottage shall not be used as a principal residence.

cottager(s) The holder of an instrument, such as a lease or licence of occupation that authorizes the occupation of lands in Algonquin for private, non-commercial cottage-related purposes.

cottage lot boundary The boundary of the cottage lot as established by the Plan of Survey (property survey) completed as an eligibility requirement for 2038 occupational authority (section 4.1 of the Algonquin Provincial Park Cottage Lot Policy (2018-2038)).

cottage lot structure A cottage, a sleep cabin, or an ancillary structure, but does not include a sewage system.

dock Has the same meaning as in section 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07.

footprint (for cottage lot structures) The total area occupied by a structure at ground level measured by the exterior walls or in the absence of exterior walls (e.g., decks or carports) the outer boundary of all components of the structure as seen from above (bird’s eye view).

land structure Has the same meaning as in section 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07.

off-lot Refers to structures that are not located within the cottage lot boundary.

on-lot Refers to structures that are located within the cottage lot boundary.

qualified sewage inspector A person registered with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to conduct sewage system inspections and has a current Building Code Identification Number (BCIN).

sewage system The same meaning as in the Ontario Building Code Act, 1992; includes outhouses, grey water systems, holding tanks, composting toilets, and septic systems.

sleep cabin A structure that provides sleeping facilities only. Sleep cabins are typically supplemental to a cottage. Sleep cabins shall not contain cooking or other kitchen, bathroom facilities, sewage systems or water intakes. Also referred to as a “Bunkie”.

swim raft Has the same meaning as in section 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07.

water setback The distance been the structure and the waterfront as measured from water level specified in subsection 38(9) of Ontario regulation 347/07.

water structure Has the same meaning as in section 38 of Ontario Regulation 347/07.