Jurisdictional Review of Lakeshore Planning Practices for Ontario

September 2014 – Ontario’s existing Lake Capacity Model (LCM), which is based primarily on in-water phosphorus targets, was officially released as planning guidance in 2010. For a variety of reasons it has limited practical applicability for much of Ontario’s lake geography.

Research into potential future approaches to determining the development capacity (or limits to growth) on Ontario lakes is underway.

As an initial step in evaluating the options for the future, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has recently commissioned a report entitled Review and Analysis of Existing Approaches for Managing Shoreline Development on Inland Lakes. This lengthy jurisdictional review compiles the best practices from 14 (Canadian and US) jurisdictions to consider as part of a possible new Ontario approach to managing shoreline development.

In the report, the approach in each jurisdiction, including scientific tools and policy and regulatory approaches, were analyzed and evaluated in terms of their success and potential for application in Ontario and specifically:

  • the flexibility to be used under different planning regimes i.e. unorganized areas vs. organized municipalities
  • their ability to be applied  across a range of geographic conditions and lake characteristics
  • their supporting technical basis
  • their alignment with Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), and
  • the related resource requirements for implementation and follow up monitoring and performance measures.

As part of FOCA’s ongoing interest in sustainable waterfront communities on Ontario’s inland lakes, we are continuing to contribute to the  conversation about better planning, and more effectively managing our lakes’ natural limits for development. To this end, FOCA will be reviewing and commenting on this report on behalf of our members.

Lake associations can get a copy of the report and provide comments, by contacting Eleanor Stainsby at eleanor.stainsby@ontario.ca.

Terry ReesJurisdictional Review of Lakeshore Planning Practices for Ontario