How far from shore can I anchor a swim raft?

Updated: June 12, 2017

Swim raft

How far from shore (on a lake or a narrows) can I anchor a swim raft?
—Going the Distance

The answer is really, “It depends.” All swim rafts need to comply with Transport Canada’s Navigation Protection Act, which governs structures in, on, over, through, or across “navigable water”—basically any body of water where any kind of floating vessel can travel. Typically, when it comes to location, a swim raft should be no more than 30 metres from shore, anchored directly in front of your property, at a depth of 1.8 metres or less. But regulations can vary depending on the lake or the channel. Your municipality, local ministry of natural resources, or conservation authority may have other rules about a swim raft’s placement. Plus, some waterways (for example, the Rideau Canal or the Trent-Severn Waterway) have their own restrictions.

Swim rafts also must meet various size, visibility, and anchoring standards. A good first step is to contact your lake association, your municipality, or your regional Navigation Protection Program office, which you can find through the Transport Canada website.