Authorization exemption

Water property in the domain of the State may, under certain conditions, be occupied free of charge without authorization from the Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks.

An owner of shoreline property adjacent to water property in the domain of the State or their authorized assignee may, without authorization from the Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, occupy a parcel of the facing State water property free of charge. Exceptions to this include:

  • Platforms
  • Docks
  • Footbridges
  • Boathouses 

Nonetheless, structures covered by an exemption must in all cases meet the following criteria:

  • Be floating, moveable or on piles
  • Not exceed 20 m2 in size
  • Not exceed 1/10 of the width of the watercourse

Where the size of installed structures exceeds 20 m2, applications for the granting of rights are required.

It is important to mention that the concept of “acquired rights” does not apply to the occupation of lands that are part of the domain of the State. Under section 916 of the Civil Code of Québec, State property cannot be prescribed. Thus, regardless of the year of construction of a structure, its presence constitutes an occupation of the water property in the domain of the State, and this situation, once known, must be regularized by the granting of a right by the Ministère de l'Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs.

Last update: June 30, 2022

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