Management of water property in the domain of the State
The Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks is responsible for granting for profit, not-for-profit and public access leases.
Leases must be applied for when installing or maintaining the following:
- Docks and/or boathouses on rock caissons, piles, etc.
- Boat ramps
- Aquaculture sites
- Occupation with no structures, such as a beach
If you do not own the waterfront property that is adjacent to the water property in the domain of the State, the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs is required secure the consent of the owner of that property, which consists of accepting the granting of a lease by the Minister to a third party for the facing property.
Individuals that wish to add new structures are required to submit an Attestation of compliance with municipal bylaws (PDF 209 Kb) (French) signed by the clerk or secretary-treasurer of the municipality. The attestation certifies project compliance with current municipal bylaws.
Lease applications require an appended sketch or certificate of location from a private sector land surveyor.
Sketches are required (PDF 296 Kb) (French) for the following:
- Landings for six watercraft or less
- Docks or boathouses on rock caissons, piles, etc.
- Boat ramps
Private sector surveyor certificates of location are required in the following instances:
- For-profit leases
- Public access leases in favour of a municipality or organization
- Landings for more than six watercraft
- Backfill or median strips
The costs of preparing a certificate of location by a mandated surveyor are borne by the applicant.
Submitting an application
Fill out the online Application to grant or modify rights (French). An acknowledgement of receipt will be provided once the application has been submitted.
Applications are reviewed on a preliminary basis, free of charge.
If the review concludes that the structures are located on on water property in the domain of the State, written notification will be sent and the file will be closed.
If the review concludes that ouvrage se situe water property in the domain of the State and the type of right applied for is confirmed, processing of the file will continue. Additional information may be requested.
During its review, the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs determines whether a sketch (PDF 296 Kb) (French) is sufficient or if a land surveyor must be hired at the applicant’s expense to prepare a certificate of location showing the area to be leased. The surveyor will need to download the files (ZIP 3.40 Mb) needed to perform the mandate and submit the preliminary certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org. The certificate will then be reviewed, with comments added. All information needed to produce the final version will be forwarded by a Ministère surveyor.
Once all documents have been received, the applicant signs the draft lease. This is when payment of the first year of rent is required.
Upon receipt of two fully executed copies of the draft lease along with the payment of rent, the lease is forwarded to the Ministère for signature. A signed copy is then returned to the applicant.
Generally speaking, the duration of leases is one year, renewable on a year-by-year basis.
However, leases granted by the Ministère have a maximum life of 25 years. Consequently, leases that have reached this sunset cannot be used for transfers of rights and obligations, or renewals. In such cases, a new application for rights is required. The annual rent will be calculated on the basis of conditions in effect when the new right is issued.
Before setting the annual rent, the Ministère must first determine the value of the particular parcel of the water property in the domain of the State. The amount is established by applying the standardized unit rate per square metre for the river parcel adjacent to the water property in the domain of the State. Rent will vary on the basis of use (for-profit or non-profit). GST and PST taxes apply to rent.
The final amount of rent will be determined by the Ministère on the basis of conditions in effect when the right is issued.
The Minister is authorized to revise the annual rent paid by the lessee at three-year intervals, to take account of changes in land values.
The following information is needed to calculate the approximate rent:
- Value of the river parcel without buildings
- Size of the parcel as shown in the municipal tax assessment
- Comparative factor
- Size of the rental
Most of the above information can be found on the municipal tax bill.
1- Determine the standardized unit rent per square metre
This is calculated using the municipal land assessment amount divided by the area of the assessed unit, multiplied by the comparative factor. The result gives the standardized unit rate per square metre.
A standardized unit rate per square metre ceiling applies to marinas. See the fee scale (French) for details.
2 - Determine the approximate rent
A minimum rental amount is billed on the basis of type of use. See the fee scale (French) for details. The following methods of calculation apply here:
- Moveable structures (not-for-profit purposes)
Standardized unit rate per square metre (x) the approximate area to be rented (x) 2% = annual rent before applicable taxes.
- Permanent structures (not-for-profit purposes)
Standardized unit rate per square metre (x) the approximate area to be rented (x) 5% = annual rent before applicable taxes.
- Structures used for profit purposes
Standardized unit rate per square metre (x) the approximate area to be rented (x) 10% = annual rent before applicable taxes.
Standardized unit rate per square metre (x) the approximate undeveloped area to be rented (x) 2% = a portion of the annual rent before applicable taxes.
Standard uniform rate per square metre (x) approximate developed area to be rented (x) 5% = a portion of the annual rent before applicable taxes.
The sum of the two calculations gives the approximate annual rent before applicable taxes.
- Structures permitting not-for-profit public access to lakes
Property leased to a municipality or a non-profit for free public access to lakes (excluding marinas): the annual rent per hectare cannot be less than a specific amount.
The final rent is determined by the Ministère on the basis of conditions in effect when the right is issued.
First-year annual rent for new leases can only be paid by cheque or postal money order payable to the Minister of Finance.
Subsequent rent will be invoiced annually. Lessees receive the invoice three months prior to lease renewal and can pay online using the Invoice payment service, which accepts both full and partial payment. Both a customer number and an invoice are required to use this type of payment.
Statements of account, including interest, are sent to lessees by the Direction des ressources financières et matérielles when payment is not received by 30 days from the invoice date.
Last update: November 1, 2023