OUR MISSION: To be a leading voice in promoting safe, quiet waterways and respectful boating practices through education, advocacy and legislative change.

June 2023 Newsletter

Chair’s Message

Another wonderful summer season on the lakes is upon us!


We’ve dragged the Muskoka chairs back onto the dock and have had our first boat and kayak trips on the water. It is still so quiet and pristine and we have had a few lucky encounters with loons when we go out early in the morning.


As we start the cottage season we are thankful for the beauty of nature and also the generosity of the volunteers and donors who help us make a difference. As we do every year we are looking for fresh ideas and talent to take us further on our mission to be a leading voice in promoting safe, quiet and respectful practices through education, advocacy and legislative change. We do this through evidence-based-advocacy and a pro-active approach to education, inclusive of all of our stakeholders.


If you are interested in joining our volunteer efforts with your time, energy and passion please contact me at chair@safequiet.ca

Warm regards,

Diana Piquette

Chair, Safe Quiet Lakes

Floating homes making big waves on our lakes

Floating homes that can pull up and park on any lake or river have put our cottages, waterfront communities and marine environments at risk. They have also exposed major gaps in the oversight of Canada’s waterways. 

Transport Canada (TC) has labelled them vessels, which means they are under federal jurisdiction on any navigable waterway. Others call them water squatters – they are exempt from all provincial and municipal rules and regulations so long as they are classified as vessels and are not physically connected to the shoreline. 

And they have floated into Port Severn, Ontario, on the Trent-Severn Waterway, and into Georgian Bay. One manufacturer of the floating homes – essentially converted shipping containers on barges – is advertising them as affordable waterfront alternatives and Airbnb accommodations. 

Aside from the encumbrances on lakes and waterways, the floating structures take advantage of other loopholes. They do not have to pay taxes yet can consume a municipality’s resources in the event of a fire, for example. They are also not subject to municipal bylaws on noise, lighting, safety, building codes, environmental controls or waste disposal. The National Post and Cottage Life have reported on the controversy. 

The risks to safe, quiet and sustainable lakes is real in any province except British Columbia. Dealing with a rising number of houseboats and floating homes in Victoria harbour, B.C. was able to obtain a TC policy that specifically regulates float homes around 20 years ago. 

Now others are picking up where B.C. left off. Gloucester Pool Cottagers' Association, on the Trent-Severn Waterway, where the floating structures first appeared, has formed a national coalition to lobby TC to change their designation, consistent with B.C. Float Homes Not Vessels Coalition currently represents more than 30,000 cottagers. Organizers have started a letter-writing campaign to TC; are educating municipalities on the issue; lobbying MPs and submitting paper petitions to Ottawa to reclassify them as floating homes.

They are not trying to ban the floating structures, the coalition says. But by reclassifying them as float homes not vessels, they can then be managed by the same municipal and provincial rules that apply to landowners, cottagers and communities. A municipality does have the right to govern what’s in their lakebeds – so long as they are not labelled vessels. 

“Right now, nothing is stopping them from going anywhere they want,” says Cheryl Elliot-Fraser, co-chair of the coalition. Those interested in joining the coalition’s efforts can find the petitions and instructions here. For more information, contact the group at mail.gpca@gmail.com.

Safe Quiet Lakes is also interested in your views on the issue. Drop us a line at outreach@safequiet.ca.

Community Volunteers Needed

Are you someone who cares about the recreational enjoyment and sustainability of our lakes? Safe Quiet Lakes and Board of Directors would like to invite those interested in promoting safe, quiet waterways and respectful boating practices through education, advocacy and legislative change to consider joining one of our committees or our Board of Directors.

If you have skill, knowledge or passion in one of these areas, please consider applying:

1) Finance, Budget and Treasury - This committee provides independent advice to the Board in all aspects of financial matters

2) Fundraising - We are looking for committed volunteers to assist our efforts.


Send a brief bio or resume and a short written letter telling us why you are a good candidate for an SQL volunteer or board position. Email to chair@safequiet.ca by June 15th. All applicants will be acknowledged, and interviews will be scheduled in June.

We are hiring a summer Education and Awareness Coordinator

Safe Quiet Lakes is looking for an enterprising and outgoing post-secondary summer student to help us with our efforts to educate and promote safe and responsible boating behaviour. The role would mainly involve marketing and communications, social media outreach, meeting with the public, and organizing webinars. The position is remote work, but is based in Muskoka. Access to a car is essential. Some weekend and local activities. Interested candidates can contact us for more details or send their resumes and short cover letters to outreach@safequiet.ca. The position is funded, in part, by the Canada Summer Jobs program.  

Safe Quiet Lakes in the Community

Top Left - Fire Safety Night in Port Carling. Top right, Colleen & Lawton with our No Wakes Signs. Bottom left - Crystal (Outreach & Administrative Coordinator) with our Boater's Code sign at Skeleton Lake Marina.

Join us in helping to keep our waterways safe

We build partnerships to encourage conversations about respectful boating and to lead change through education and advocacy. Your donation will help drive our programs.

Have questions? Contact us at outreach@safequiet.ca

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