Shore Road Allowances

Waterfront properties within the Township of North Frontenac may have a 20 metre (66 feet) wide strip of land that separates their property from the water. Referred to as “Shore Road Allowances”, these strips were put in place in the 19th century, on Crown Land, to allow for logging and the transportation of goods. These Shore Road Allowances have been transferred from the Crown to the Township.

Shore Road Allowances exist today and, unless title to a portion of the Shore Road Allowance has been purchased by the abutting land owner, they are owned by the Township. This means a property owner may not own to the water’s edge and may be limited as to what they can and cannot do on the Shore Road Allowance.

Municipalities are permitted to sell Shore Road Allowances, except any portion covered by water. The Township has established a process for property owners to apply to purchase the Shore Road Allowances abutting their property.

Documents are compliant with Accessibilities for Ontario with Disabilities Act (AODA) Legislation. 

Please reach out to Sonia McLuckie, Assistant to Clerk/Planning Manager and Fire Chief by email or call the Township Office 613-479-2231 should you require further information.

 Road Closing Policy 
View our Road Closing Policy for more information on the Township's Civic Web Portal where all Township By-laws are e-published.

 Shore Road Application

 Concession/Lot/Reserve/Forced Road Closing Application


What is a Shore Road Allowance?


A Shore Road Allowance is defined as a public highway as defined by the Municipal Act that is located along the shore of a navigable waterway. Waterfront properties within the Township of North Frontenac may have a 20 metre (66 feet) wide strip of land that separates their property from the water.


Who can purchase a Shore Road Allowance?


Municipalities are permitted to sell Shore Road Allowances, except any portion is covered by water. Only the property owner who owns the land directly behind the Shore Road Allowance can apply to purchase the land.


Would a Shore Road Allowance be shown on a survey of my property?


A Shore Road Allowance may be surveyed or just shown as a reference. If the property was surveyed in the past, keep in mind that, over the years, many water levels have changed and actual distances to the water’s edge may vary. In some cases, the shore road allowance may be completely under water.


What is the first step I should take in the process to purchase the Shore Road Allowance?


The first thing an owner should do is determine if the Shore Road Allowance has been purchased. This information may be reflected on the deed of the property or there may be a separate deed for the Shore Road Allowance

Property owners can contact the Land Registry Office for information regarding their property. Property information can also be obtained from the Ontario Land Registry Access at


How long does the process to purchase to Shore Road Allowance take?


The approximate length of time to purchase the Shore Road Allowance from the Township is between 8 and 12 months, as there are several steps involved in the process. The length of time depends on how quickly information is provided to the Township at each step.


What are the steps involved in the process to purchase the Shore Road Allowance?

  1. An application is submitted to the Township Office. Please note if the application is submitted electronically, the original, signed application must be provided as well.
  2. The Township Road Inspector will complete a site inspection and prepare a report to Council. On-site inspections will not be completed during the winter months, as per the Township’s Road Closing Policy.
  3. An administrative report, including the information provided by the Municipal Road Inspector, is prepared by the Clerk’s Department and provided to Council for consideration. Council may provide approval in principle or deny the application.
  4. If the application is approved in principle, the applicant must provide a Registered Survey and the Administrative Fee to the Township.
  5. The Township will notify the abutting neighbours of the application to close the Shore Road Allowance, as well as applicable outside agencies. The applicant is required to post a Notice on the property, indicating the intent to purchase and close the Shore Road Allowance.
  6. The Clerk’s Department will provide an administrative report to Council to consider a By-law to close and sell the Shore Road Allowance. If the By-law is passed, it will be sent to the Township Solicitor to be registered.
  7. The land costs to purchase the Shore Road Allowance are $0.55 per square foot (area to be determined by the Registered Survey).  Land Costs are to be paid by money order or cheque made payable to the Township of North Frontenac. Cash payment or debit transactions are accepted at the Township office. E-transfers and credit card payments are not acceptable methods of payment.
  8. Legal documents are sent to the applicant’s solicitor to complete the transfer of land from the Township to the applicant. Once the transfer (deed) is registered and a copy provided to the Township, the Shore Road Allowance file is closed.

How much does it cost?


The following costs are associated with the Application to purchase the Shore Road Allowance:

  • Administrative costs ($1,200 + HST) (due at time of Application Submission)
  • Land Costs ($0.55 per square foot)
  • Ontario Land Surveyor costs (contact a surveyor for an estimate of cost)
  • Legal Fees for applicant’s layer (contact a solicitor for an estimate of cost).


Please Note: Township legal fees are covered by the Administrative Fee.


Is there any benefit to purchasing the Shore Road Allowance?


You cannot obtain a building permit for property you do not own. The Building Department will require proof of ownership of the Shore Road Allowance for any repairs and/or renovations to any building or structure located on the Shore Road Allowance. This will also apply to any new construction on the Shore Road Allowance (i.e. dock, marine storage shed, viewing platform, gazebo).

Many older dwellings have been constructed on the Township owned Shore Road Allowance. If you have determined your structure is on the Shore Road Allowance which is owned by the Township, it is beneficial to purchase the Shore Road Allowance for future sale or financing of the property.


If I own the Shore Road Allowance, can I do whatever I want on it?


Protection of lake quality is important to the Township of North Frontenac. A natural vegetation buffer must be maintained to a minimum depth of 15 metres for the entire width of the lot, excluding the activity area which is a maximum of 25% of the shoreline frontage or up to 15 metres of shoreline (whichever is the lesser).

Additional information regarding the natural vegetation buffer and waterfront activity area can be found in the Township’s Zoning By-law, which also includes provisions regarding waterfront structures.

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