Safe & Respectful Boating

The Muskoka Lakes Association supports Muskoka’s lengthy boating history and we advocate for safe and respectful boating on all Muskoka waterways. 

  • We encourage you to get out on the water and enjoy the Muskoka Lakes in a safe, fun and Respectful manner, keeping in mind that our lakes are a shared space.
  • Please obey the 9km speed signs and follow the 9km speed limit when travelling. In Muskoka a vessel must limit its speed to 9 KMH within 30 m of the shore or of a dock, pier, raft, floating platform or another vessel that is anchored, moored or underway, and does not apply to a vessel moving perpendicularly away from the shore while it is being used for water skiing or kite flying while the water skier or kite flyer is in the process of taking off.  Watch your wake to help protect our shorelines.
  • Boats in Muskoka should have a muffler designed to eliminate excessive or unusual noise. Boats with through-hull exhaust and little or no muffling are a deep concern for cottagers and other users of the Muskoka waterways.
  • Boats with no muffler should direct exhaust through the propeller hub or underwater, unless the boat is more than five miles from shore.
  • Outboards and inboard outboard motors should direct exhaust through the propeller hub or below the cavitation plate.
  • We encourage, when safe to do so and if possible, to have open and positive communication with your neighbours to discuss any concerns you might have. By doing this, a compromise or resolution could be reached to benefit all.
  • When you spot inappropriate behaviour, speed or noise on the Lakes that is not an emergency, please call the OPP non-emergency line 1-888-310-1122 to report it.  They want to hear from you, and the more information provided such as the boat registration number, colour, make, model, time of day, location, description of driver and frequency , the more likely they will be able to address the issue. When getting this information for The OPP please do not go on private property! If you witness or are involved in an emergency then please call 911.
  • We encourage you to review the Boater’s Code below that was originally designed by the MLA but updated substantially by Safe Quiet Lakes.

The following links serve as a useful resource to our members and the Muskoka boating community.

Modernization of the Pleasure Craft Licensing Program and the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program

Transport Canada (TC) is responsible for developing and maintaining the regulations, standards, policies and guidelines related to recreational boating, including licensing. Please see the guide for complete knowledge on how to obtain your PCL

Boating Regulations

Canadian boating regulations change frequently.  The Muskoka Lakes Association encourages boaters to stay up-to-date on current boating regulations.

Safe, respectful boating in Muskoka

At the Muskoka Lakes Association, we encourage the safe and respectful use of Muskoka’s waterways.  The following position statements highlight the MLA’s perspective on issues relevant to the Muskoka boating community.

Government of Canada Resources

The Government of Canada offers recreational boaters a wide range of useful resources related to boating safety, navigation, vessel registration and enforcement.

Safe Quiet Lakes

The #1 mission of Safe Quiet Lakes is to make the Muskoka lakes safer and quieter to ensure the sustainable enjoyment of a treasured shared resource. Safe Quiet Lakes was formed in 2011 by representatives of lake associations in Central Ontario. They work collaboratively with lake community stakeholders to promote safer and quieter lakes.