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Lake Ranger

Shoreline Rights

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Hi, does anyone out there know the deal with shoreline rights? If someone owns vacant waterfront property and pays high taxes on such property, what is the setback in footage for public access to that shoreline? If someone docks boat or fishes from a rocky shoreline on a private property, falls out, cracks their head open on the rock or drowns from falling off the cliff, who's liable? If someone starts a fire for their shore lunch during an open fire ban, and burns the forest down, who's responsible? Can the owner of the property be sued for any or all of these situations? Do "No Trespassing" signs need to be posted along the shoreline? What's the deal? I've been welcoming campers and fishermen/women to hang out and fish from my land for years and have been told by other property owners that I shouldn't in case of an accident. I would prefer to think that people are responsible, but that's in an ideal world. Looking forward to some interesting feedback.

Thanks a bunch.

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If someone docks boat or fishes from a rocky shoreline on a private property, falls out, cracks their head open on the rock or drowns from falling

 

 

:stretcher: :stretcher: I'd keep the boat!

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When people go fishing there is an expected risk...falling, drowning et al are part of the possible things that can happen when you fish.

Unless YOU personally do something that causes a dangerous situation (rotting stairs or docks, etc) what nature places in the way is not your problem.

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Read your deed dear. Do you own to the water... or is there the usually Northern Ontario 66' (one chain) crown shore reserve?.. that is there to use for vessels in distress and public passage.

 

If the Crown Shore Reserve exists you can apply to buy this from the MNR (at fair market value now, I may add). Just google purchasing a crown shore reserve in ontario... and I hope yours isn't a natural reproducing lake trout lake.

 

Also if it's truely vacant land and has no buildings on it.. you are covered for liability under your house property with no need for it to be listed on the policy.

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You do need to consult a lawyer. I am not one, but teach a class on risk and legal liability in the tourism industry. Here's what I know.

 

Whether or not you are liable has to do with your "duty of care" to any users of your land. That duty of care is determined by your relationship to them. If you invite them, intentionally or unintentionally, you have a higher duty of care than if they use your land uninvited.

 

"If someone docks boat or fishes from a rocky shoreline on a private property, falls out, cracks their head open on the rock or drowns from falling off the cliff, who's liable?"

 

In this case, they are using your land uninvited and you therefore have a fairly low responsibilty to protect them from inherent risks. As long as you have not intentionally created dangerous conditions that then lead to injury or death, you have a very low chance of liability.

 

Putting No Trespassing signs may help keep people off your land, but will probably not reduce your liability. There are numerous cases of people being injure while trespassing and the fact that they are trespassing has been no defense against liability.

 

In additon to checking with your lawyer, you need to check with your insurance company. They will tell you what you need to do so that they will insure you if you are found to be liable.

 

The other questions you ask are outside of civil law, and are easily answered by a lawyer and a visit to the tax assessment office.

Edited by singingdog

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