Cottaging in Provincial Parks

Developing Your Vacation Home

When considering new development on a vacation home lot located within the Provincial Park System, please review the development guidelines found in The Cottager's Handbook for Manitoba Provincial Parks - 3rd Edition.

If your vacation home lot is located within the Hecla Historic Village, a separate Resident's Handbook outlines conditions for the development of your lot that includes design and development guidelines that are unique to this area, reflecting the history of previous island settlements. These guidelines are found within the following Handbook:

Site Plan Permit is required for the construction of a new building, alteration or addition to an existing building or structure (i.e. decks), on a lot or on a public reserve area within a Provincial Park. To obtain a site plan permit, you must submit a Site Plan Permit Application to the Parks and Protected Spaces Branch.

The Department has revised its current Site Plan Permit Application form. The new application form can be found within the Development Application Package below.

Previously, cottagers wishing to develop on the public reserve were required to complete the Application for Development on the Public Reserve form. This form has now been consolidated into the new Site Plan Permit Application format; therefore, applicants will now only be required to complete the applicable areas within the Site Plan Permit Application for any proposed development on the public reserve.

If your application is approved for your public reserve development, you will receive a Site Plan Permit and a Crown Land Permit to authorize both the construction and use of the structure on the public reserve.

Depending on your proposed construction and the location of the structure, a Variance Application and Letter(s) of Support may also be required with your application.

Building Permit

If your structure is greater than 108 square feet, a Building Permit from the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) will be required. Building permit applications may also require a Letter of Assurance form (Part A and B). Should you have any questions or wish to obtain more information about a Building Permit Application, Letter of Assurance or Plumbing Permit Application, you may call the OFC at 204-945-3322 or visit online at the following link:

NOTE: If your vacation home lot is located within Poplar Bay Provincial Park, please note that the Winnipeg River Planning District issues a Building Permit for development in this area and not the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

If you are considering a new installation or alteration to an existing Onsite Wastewater Management System (OWMS), please check the OWMS Program website to find information on regulatory requirements, design and installation standards, and registration forms. You can also contact your local Environment Officer if you have any questions or require assistance. Information regarding the use or care of your OWMS can be found on the website and in the Homeowner's Manual for Onsite Wastewater Management Systems.

More Information for Developing on the Public Reserve

On lakefront lots, owners and occupiers have the ability to submit application for a Site Plan Permit to construct a number of structures on the public reserve, such as a boathouse, a boat-port, storage shed, gazebo, pump-house, docks, boatlifts and rail systems.

When considering developing a public reserve, incorporating natural vegetative features into your shoreline such as planting deep rooted native grasses, shrubs and trees to help naturalize the shoreline, and to improve the natural bank stability is encouraged. Maintaining a buffer zone as a "no-mow" area will allow the plant roots to penetrate the soil and provide long-term shoreline protection.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada have also established timing windows to conduct work in or around water. Timing windows are one of the many measures used to protect fish and fish habitat when carrying out a project near water. It is recommended that you follow this measure to avoid harm and to reduce impacts to fish and fish habitat.

The use of wood treated with creosote or pentachlorophenylin in construction near water is a violation under The Environment Act. Copper chromium arsenate, the most commonly used material in treated wood products, is a preferred product.

For more information, please visit the following: