Regulations and Restrictions for Canoeists

o Crown land (public land)
o Conservation reserves
o Excludes parks where different rules apply
Photo: Shangri-La on Lady Evelyn River

Shangri-La on the 

Lady Evelyn River


 Travel Restrictions



 Camping Restrictions

Maximum of 21 days per calendar year on a given campsite in Ontario. After 21 days, a camper must move at least 100 metres. This rule applies only to residents of Ontario.

Non-residents must follow rules set below under Camper Permits and appear to be able to exceed the 21 days.

No limit to the number of total days on Crown land per calendar year for residents or non-residents.

Backcountry parks Overnight camping fees apply.

 Camping Permits

Residents or citizens of Canada

No permit required 

Non-residents of Canada

Permit costing $10.00 per night per person

Permits available from the MNR or a local fishing-license issuer.

Exempt from permit if any apply (carry proof):

1. Under 18 years of age
2. Using a camping unit* rented from a person who carries on business in Ontario (eg. an outfitter).
3. Owns property in Ontario
4. Carrying out duties required by lawful employment in Canada
5. Charitable group that receives exemption from the local district manager of MNR
 (Ontario Public Lands Act, Reg 326/94)  * A camping unit must at least include a tent, trailer, tent-trailer, RV, camper-back or watercraft equipped for overnight accommodation



  RELATED INFORMATION:  Advice for non-Canadians

                                      MNR on Crown land camping

  WEBSITE:  Ontario's official site


 Private Land 

Most backcountry land is Crown land. The major exception is the islands of Lake Temagami. 

As a rule of thumb do not camp on any islands on the lake with the exception of the well-used campsites on the following islands: Horseshoe Island, Deer Island, Temagami Island, Cattle Island. On other islands on other lakes, if the island contains a cabin it is advisable to avoid the island.


 Firewood Cutting

There are no restrictions for cutting firewood on Crown land, except on cutting merchantable timber, which is prohibited without a timber license. To be safe, don't cut live trees.


 Food Containers

There are no restrictions on food containers. But for the protection of our wilderness pack out anything you pack in. There are trash and recycling facilities at the end of the Lake Temagami Access Road and in the village of Temagami. 


 Fire Restrictions

You may light a campfire (as opposed to a fire for another purpose), unless the area has been designated a Restricted Fire Zone (watch signs along the highway or check with the MNR or a local outfitter).  Failure to comply could result in a fine, jail or financial responsibility for the costs of fighting a fire you started.

Even if you were not in a Restricted Fire Zone, you could be held financially responsible for costs of fighting a fire you started. As Smokey says, you can prevent forest fires. 

To report a fire call: 888-863-3473


 Canoe Regulations

You may not agree with them, but here are Canadian Coast Guard regs:

Canoes six meters or less in length must have:


One Canadian-approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket of "appropriate size" for each person in the canoe


Buoyant heaving line of not less than 15 meters in length 


Bailer or water pump 


Sound-signaling device ( a whistle will do) 




Navigation lights that meet regulations if you paddle at night or in periods of reduced visibility

Canoe License: License is only required (Canada-wide) on boats with a motor of 10 h.p. or more. 

Caution: the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has a patrol boat on Lake Temagami and does spot checks on canoes. The OPP also patrols the more popular access points and Cassels Lake.

For more info on watercraft regulations, check the Canadian Coast Guard Web site. 


 Fishing Regulations

An excellent Web site on Ontario fishing regulations.


 Gated Roads

There are numerous gated roads, most of which are closed during the summer. Mechanized travel beyond closed gates is prohibited. Gates often have seasonal restrictions so check the posting.


 Ministry of Natural Resources

Local office:

3301 Trout Lake Road,

North Bay   P1A 4L7
(705) 475-5550

Other offices

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Maps and information herein are not intended for navigational use, and are not represented to be correct in every respect. 
All pages intended for reference use only, and all pages are subject to change with new information and without notice. 
The author/publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for use of the information on these pages. 
Wilderness travel and canoeing possess inherent risk. 
 It is the sole responsibility of the paddler and outdoor traveler to determine whether he/she is qualified for these activities.
Copyright  2000-2014 Brian Back.  All rights reserved.
We do not endorse and are not responsible for the content of any linked document on an external site.