Buying and selling in the Lake Simcoe watershed
This page is for you, the realtors working within the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority watershed. If you’re on this page, you’re probably interested in knowing whether or not a property is regulated by us. Or maybe you have questions about how our regulations impact your business.
Click here to look up a property to see if it’s regulated by us (this will open a new browser window)
If you have questions about using the mapping tool above or about a specific property and whether or not it’s regulated by us, you can call us at 905-895-1281 (during regular business hours) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is some general information that we hope will help answer some basic questions.
What does the term regulated land mean?
Regulated land is property that is subject to restrictions on development because it may contain hazards like: being prone to flooding or erosion, or it has a watercourse through it, or it abuts a shoreline, or it has wetland features. Within the Lake Simcoe watershed, approximately 30% of our watershed is regulated. That means there’s a 1 in 3 chance a property you’re representing, for either a buyer or seller, is regulated.
We regulate land to protect you and your clients (everyone in the watershed) from hazards that might exist on these lands. When we say we regulate land, we mean we restrict development. The reason for restrictions on regulated land it to ensure that it doesn’t put people or property at risk of things like flooding.
What do we mean when we say “development”?
Development includes the following activities: site grading, fill placement, construction, re-construction or placement of a building or structure or any change of use to a building or structure.
If you represent a buyer or seller, it’s good practice to make sure you know whether or not the property is regulated by us so it’s clear during the buying/selling process what, if any, restrictions might be on development. That means knowing not just what you may or may not be able to do in the future, but if what was done in the past was done in accordance of the regulations. It’s in your own best interests, to avoid disappointment and even possible litigation.
What is the role of the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority?
We’re a local watershed management organization, incorporated under the Conservation Authorities Act of 1946, and one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the province of Ontario. Our role is protect and conserve the natural features in the Lake Simcoe watershed and to protect people and property from natural hazards like flooding and erosion.
We are governed by a board of directors that are appointed on a four year cycle by our member municipalities.
What is a watershed?
Think of a watershed like a bathtub or basin. All the water in a bathtub flows downwards toward the drain hole. In a watershed, all the water that lands on the ground (snow too) drains in one particular direction, towards the lowest point, generally a stream, river, creek and then eventually a lake.
Watershed boundaries do not follow municipal boundaries. This means that some cities and towns may be regulated by two different conservation authorities. This map outlines our boundaries.