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Permitting is one of the most essential services provided by Kawartha Conservation and by all 36 Conservation Authorities across Ontario. It is one of the most difficult parts of a Conservation Authority’s job, but one that is necessary and entrusted to us by our member Municipalities, the Province, and the Federal Government. This service is of vital importance to protect you and your property from the dangers of natural hazards.

If you are living near a lake, watercourse, or wetland, you and your property may be at risk from natural hazards. Before constructing or altering any structures or buildings, grading, excavating, placing any materials (soil, sand, or gravel), changing any watercourse, improving or altering your shoreline, or working in or near a wetland, you will need to contact the Kawartha Conservation Planning & Regulations Department to determine if a permit is required.

The permit process is meant to protect you and your property from natural hazards such as flooding, erosion, and unstable soils. The permit process also helps protect water quality and wetlands to ensure our lakes and rivers remain healthy for future generations to enjoy.

  • Do I need a permit?


    You may need a permit if:

    A) You are proposing to undertake work in a regulated area; and
    B) The type of work/activity is regulated.

  • What areas are regulated?


    Regulated areas include:

    • Shorelines
    • Wetlands
    • Lands within 30 or 120 metres of a wetland
    • River, stream, or lake valleys
    • Watercourses, such as creeks, drains, or ditches
    • Hazardous lands (i.e. steep slopes, unstable soils, and unstable bedrock)
    • Areas subject to flooding (i.e. flood plains)

  • How do I know if my property is in a regulated area?


    To find out if all or part of your property is in a regulated area:

    • Visit our Regulations Mapping page where you can view maps showing the regulated areas in each part of our watershed
    • Contact a member of our Planning & Regulations Department

  • How do I apply for a permit?


    Go to our Apply for a Permit page where you will find more information on the application process as well as our detailed Permit Application Guide.

    You can submit a permit application by: 

    • Submitting a completed application form and permit fee in person at Kawartha Conservation's Administrative Centre
    • Submitting a completed application form and permit fee by mail
    • Submitting a completed application form via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (If using this option, alternate plans must be made to pay permit fee (i.e. phone call with credit card info, or a mailed cheque)

  • When should I contact Kawartha Conservation to get started?


    The earlier the better! You must obtain a permit before you begin any work on your property, including any demolition, site grading, or foundation work. You cannot obtain a building permit or sewage system permit until you have first obtained a permit from Kawartha Conservation if you are proposing work in a regulated area.

    We suggest you schedule a pre-consultation meeting with a member of the Kawartha Conservation Planning & Regulations department when you are in the early stages of planning your project and you have questions.

    Our staff can tell you how the Regulation and policies may affect your property. They can also offer advice on how you can change your plan so that it fits within the Regulation and policies and a permit can be obtained. They will help you determine what documents you need to submit or if you need to carry out any additional studies on your property.

    In some cases, a staff member may need to visit your property to learn more about your project.

  • How much does a permit cost?


    The cost of a permit depends on the type of work you are undertaking and how complex it is.  Please view our Full Permit Fee Schedule for more information.

  • How long will it take to get my permit?


    Within 21 days of recieving your permit application, we will notify you, in writing, as to whether your application is complete or not.  If it is incomplete, we will outline any missing information that must be submitted to complete the application.

    From the date we confirm your application is complete, we will make a decision on your permit application within:

    • 15 days for a streamlined application (available for minor works only)
    • 30 days for a standard application
    • 90 days for a major application (complex projects, or those requiring engineering review or technical studies)

    Please note: April through September are the busiest months for permitting.  Please allow a minimum of 6-8 weeks for permit processing during this time, and be sure to submit applications as early as possible.  

  • If I get a permit from you, will I still need a building permit or any additional approvals?


    Yes.  Your Kawartha Conservation permit does not replace other Federal, Provincial, or Municipal/Local permits or approvals you may need.  You are responsible for obtaining all other necessary permits or approvals before you start any work on your property.

  • Where can I learn more about Kawartha Conservation's Regulation and policies?


    You can read or download these regulations and policies:

    Ontario Regulation 182/06: Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses
    Kawartha Conservation Permit Policies
    • More information is available on our Policies & Guidelines page

    If you have any questions about our policies, please contact a member of our Planning & Regulations Department.

  • What could happen if I start my project before I get a permit?


    When Kawartha Conservation staff learn that a violation has taken place, they will discuss the situation with the landowner and contractor (where applicable).

    Kawartha Conservation will attempt to address minor infractions by working with cooperative landowners to go through the remediation process or develop a Remediation Plan to restore the property or bring it into compliance with our Regulation and policies. 

    Please keep in mind:

    • If Kawartha Conservation issues a Remediation Agreement for work that has been completed without a permit, the fee is twice the regular permit fee.
    • If Kawartha Conservation and the landowner cannot work out a solution, Kawartha Conservation can take legal action.  The landowner may be charged and taken to court.  If convicted, the court may require the landowner pay a fine and restore the land to its original conditions, at the landowner's expense. That could include removing a structure, removing fill, or restoring a natural feature such as a wetland.
    • It is a risk to avoid the permitting process and often results in project delays and additional costs.

    If you have any questions about our policies, please contact a member of our Planning & Regulations Department.

    To report a potential violation, please contact: 

    Jim Shrubsall
    Compliance Officer and Permitting Technician
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    705.328.2271 ext. 250

  • What is ice jacking?


    Each spring many lakefront property owners experience a natural phenomenon known as ‘ice heaving’ or ‘ice jacking’.
    Winter can result in substantial changes to the shoreline of the lakes in our watershed. Ice can push mud, clay, soil, and rock from the bottom of the lake and from along the shoreline up onto the land, often resulting in large ridges or mounds. The mounds or ridges are referred to as “ice ridges”, “ice pushes”, or “ramparts”.

    Learn More: Ice Jacking Fact Sheet

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Kawartha Conservation
277 Kenrei Road
Lindsay, ON
K9V 4R1
705.328.2271 ext. 210 

Meet our Permitting Staff

Meet with our staff to discuss the requirements for completing a permit application for your project.

Click here to book a pre-consultation meeting.

Property Information Requests

Submit an information request to find out about environmental features, natural hazards, building envelopes, permit requirements, outstanding permits, and violations on a specific property.

Click here to download an Information Request Form.