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Navigable Waters Works Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1232)

Regulations are current to 2024-04-01 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Navigable Waters Works Regulations

C.R.C., c. 1232



Regulations Respecting Works in Navigable Waters

Short Title

 These Regulations may be cited as the Navigable Waters Works Regulations.


 In these Regulations,


Act means the Canadian Navigable Waters Act; (loi)


engineer means a district marine agent, district manager or superintending engineer of Marine Services of the Department of Transport; (ingénieur)


work means a work to which Part I of the Canadian Navigable Waters Act applies. (ouvrage)

Duration of Approval

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), where the Minister has approved a work and the site and plans thereof pursuant to paragraph 5(1)(a) or subsection 6(4) of the Act, such approval is valid for a type of work set out in Column I of an item of the schedule for the period of time set out in Column II of that item.

  • (2) [Repealed, SOR/88-461, s. 1]

  • SOR/86-966, s. 1
  • SOR/88-461, s. 1

Buoys and Marks

 No person shall build or place a work in a navigable water unless all lights, buoys and other marks required in the approval are installed and maintained to the satisfaction of the Minister.

Equipment and Debris

 No person shall permit any tools, equipment, vehicles, temporary structures or parts thereof used or maintained for the purpose of building or placing a work in a navigable water to remain in such water after the completion of the project.

 Where a work or a portion of a work that is being constructed or maintained in a navigable water causes debris or other material to accumulate on the bed or on the surface of such water, the owner of that work or portion of that work shall cause the debris or other material to be removed to the satisfaction of the Minister.


  •  (1) In this section, work means a dam or power plant in a navigable water.

  • (2) The owner of a work shall, when required by the Minister,

    • (a) install, maintain and operate log chutes to permit the transport of logs through or over the work;

    • (b) provide and maintain roads or foot-ways for the free passage of the public by vehicle or foot around the work between the upper and lower reaches of the river; and

    • (c) furnish to the Minister the records of flow, elevation of water above and below the work and all plans and other material relating to navigation that may be required by the Minister.

  • (3) The Minister or his authorized representative shall be permitted to measure the discharge of water in the various channels and passages through or over a work.

  • (4) The owner of a work shall maintain the limits of flow and elevation of water for navigation purposes as required by the Minister.

Exploration and Development


  •  (1) The owner of a work built or placed for the purposes of exploration or development of natural resources, and the transport, removal or handling of such resources from the waters or bed of a navigable water shall, whether such work is of a permanent, temporary or floating character and whether fixed to the bed or otherwise moored by anchors, spuds or cables, install and maintain

    • (a) on a work having a maximum horizontal dimension of 9 m or less on any one side or through any diameter thereof, one light visible in all directions;

    • (b) on a work having a maximum horizontal dimension of over 9 m but less than 15 m on any one side or through any diameter thereof, two lights on diagonally opposite corners or in a position satisfactory to the Minister, each visible in all directions and mounted on the same horizontal plane; and

    • (c) on a work having a maximum horizontal dimension of 15 m or more on one side or through any diameter thereof, a light visible in all directions at each corner of the work or at the outer limits of each quadrant thereof with 90° separation, mounted on the same horizontal plane.

  • (2) A light installed pursuant to subsection (1) shall

    • (a) be white, displaying a quick flash characteristic of 60 flashes per minute;

    • (b) have a nominal range of at least 12.8 km;

    • (c) be powered by a reliable power source and possess an auxiliary power source; and

    • (d) be installed not less than 6 m above the water so that at least one light will be visible from any angle of approach until within 15 m of the work.

  • (3) Lights shall be displayed between sunset and sunrise, and from sunrise to sunset in periods of restricted visibility, and where more than one light is installed the lights shall flash in unison.

  • SOR/84-182, s. 1
  • SOR/86-966, s. 2(F)
  • SOR/88-461, s. 2(F)

Sound Signals

 The owner of a work referred to in subsection 8(1) shall install and maintain thereon a sound signal

  • (a) that is powered by a reliable source of power;

  • (b) that possesses an auxiliary power source;

  • (c) that emits a sound of two seconds duration with an 18-second pause during every period of 20 seconds;

  • (d) that has its maximum intensity at a frequency between 100 and 1 000 Hertz and has a usual range of 3.2 km in any horizontal direction, measured at a height not exceeding 7.5 m;

  • (e) that has not more than eight sound sources;

  • (f) that is not less than 3 m or more than 30 m above the surface of the water and is so placed that the signal emitted is audible, up to and including the required range, in all directions in a horizontal plane from the work when there is no wind; and

  • (g) that is sounded whenever the visibility is less than 8 km in any direction.

  • SOR/84-182, s. 2

 The owner of a work referred to in subsection 8(1) shall install thereon identification panels displaying block letters for the purpose of identifying his work, which letters shall be

  • (a) black in colour;

  • (b) on a yellow background;

  • (c) not less than 1 m in height; and

  • (d) outlined in retro-reflectors or retro-reflecting material or otherwise illuminated at night.

  • SOR/84-182, s. 3

 [Repealed, SOR/84-182, s. 3]


  •  (1) [Repealed, SOR/88-461, s. 3]

  • (2) Where an applicant seeks approval of a work subsequent to the commencement of the construction of the work, a fee of $1,000 shall be payable to the Minister.

  • (3) Subsection (2) does not apply in the case of

    • (a) a work that, pursuant to subsection 5(2) of the Act, is exempted from the application of subsection 5(1) of the Act; or

    • (b) a work the construction of which was commenced prior to January 14, 1970.

  • SOR/86-966, s. 3
  • SOR/88-461, s. 3


 The owner of a work shall notify the office of the engineer within whose district the work has been located of any lights or sound signals that have ceased to function or of any change in the position of a work or any other facts affecting the safety of navigation.

 Every person who violates any provision of these Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for a term of six months or to both.

  • SOR/86-966, s. 4

SCHEDULE(Subsection 3(1))

ItemColumn IColumn II
Type of WorkPeriod of Time Approval Valid
1Bridge (wood, trestle type)25 years
2Boom25 years
3Causeway35 years
4Terminal Facilities30 years
5Breakwalls/Fill30 years
6Artificial Islands10 years
7Marina Facilities30 years
8Aquaculture and Fish Rearing Faciliites5 years
9Cables30 years
10Any work not listed in items 1 to 950 years
  • SOR/86-966, s. 5
  • SOR/95-372, s. 13

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