Shore Road Allowance example
Shore Road Allowance - What you Need to Know

If you've been searchng waterfront real estate for any length of time you'll no doubt come across the term "Shore Road Allowance" or "SRA" in MLS listings and property write-ups for cottages & vacant lakefront. It's generally comprised of a strip of land 66' wide between your property and the lake or river it faces. As a waterfront property owner in Ontario you have what are known as “riparian rights” to the shoreline. What this means for example is you can have a dock (with the correct permits) and enjoy the use of it without owning the S.R.A. 


History of the S.R.A.

Way back in the mid 1800s the Ontario government created the Shoreline Road Allowance to allow access to the shore from navigable waterways for business and public passage in a era that travel by lakes and rivers was used prior to the road systems we now enjoy. Even though they were created, many of these ‘roads’ were never opened but keep in mind that even today this in no way limits the original conveyance nor obstructs the right of use by the public.

There are several things to keep in mind if you own a cottage and not the SRA: 

Purchasing the S.R.A

There can be several reasons but the main ones are:

Steps to Purchasing

To purchase your Shoreline Road Allowance, referred to as “closing your SRA,” there are several steps. Every township has their own guidelines but the process is simular in most districts.   As well, the Ministry of Natural Resources has guidelines affecting closure of some roads for the preservation of wildlife and fish habitat. We highly recommend consulting a lawyer familar with the process! To close your SRA, you will need to make applications and are responsible for the costs that are determined by the municipality.  The purchasing and closing costs will vary but at this point in time are quite reasonable.  The MNR must agree to the disposal of shore road allowances, as well as the township and sometimes adjoining property owners.  There is no standard fee for this land as each municipality has the right to set their own price usually on a "per square foot" basis.  The applicant is responsible for all costs associated with the purchase including surveys, application fees, town legal fees, etc. We can give you contact information for lawyers familar with the process, give give us a call.

Township links for S.R.A applications

Lake of Bays    Seguin   Muskoka Lakes  Gravenhurst

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