As the weather warms up and boaters across Ontario take to the water, we want to keep you informed, here’s the latest information for boating on Ontario lakes and waterways.
Boating access in Ontario has begun re-opening, meaning you are now able to get your boat out of storage and on the water. As of May 16th, marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can open for recreational use.
Most of Ontario’s lock systems remain closed or restricted, this includes the Trent Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canal. This includes lock stations, boat launch, and mooring areas, visitors centres and day-use areas.
Municipal boat launches in Ontario, including those in the City of Kawartha Lakes, have reopened (or will open soon), but restrictions are still in place in many regions. Boaters are reminded that even if boating access areas are open, they must maintain physical distancing guidelines.
Another point of confusion for boaters in Ontario has been the guidelines around boat rentals. Some facilities which offer boat rental services are continuing to operate, with increased health and safety measures and physical distancing guidelines. Keep in mind, however, that if you’re planning to rent a boat you’ll need to be sure that the launch you plan on using is also open. It’s recommended that boaters who plan on renting contact the rental service for specific information, restrictions, and availability, and don’t forget to get certified with your Canadian Boating License (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) before you head out on the water.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) has also put together a list of boat launch and public access area statuses, so hunters, anglers, and boaters can easily check the status of their local launch area.
Boaters in Ontario should also keep in mind that if they have access to a private dock, and their boat, there’s no reason they can’t head out on the lake, so long as they’re staying safe and practicing social distancing.
Stay safe and happy boating everyone!