Georgian Bay Township issues statement on floating “container dwellings”

The municipal council of Georgian Bay Township has issued a statement saying it is cracking down on “container dwellings”:

Using a Floating Structure as a dwelling unit is an illegal use per the Township of Georgian Bay Zoning Bylaw 2014-75, as amended. The municipality reserves the right to take enforcement actions as deemed appropriate to ensure compliance with the zoning bylaw.

The Township of Georgian Bay has been actively working with multiple partner agencies to ensure compliance to all applicable regulations and bylaws, as well as determining the most appropriate enforcement actions.

The statement is in plain response to the vexatious problem I’ve written about earlier, of the prospect of floating container homes/cottages becoming a reality in township waters. It’s not clear to me how the township can override the navigation rights (which include anchoring) if the floating residences qualify as a vessel. I tried to look up the zoning by-law in question, modified last August, but the township website says that it is under appeal. There are other tools at the disposal of various interests that could also be brought to bear, as I have also written. Foremost (as I have explained here) would be the power of the province to forbid occupation of the bottom of the bay (which is Crown land) by anchoring in any one spot for more than 21 days, which would at least address quasi-longterm occupations. The township has provided a list of contacts for residents to air complaints, including Parks Canada, Transport Canada, and the Ontario Provincial Police.

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