The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Riverine Flood Status
Lake Simcoe Shoreline Status
Low Water Status

Policies and Guidelines

Policies and Guidelines

Note: On April 1, 2024, Ontario Regulation 41/24 (Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits) and Part VI of the Conservation Authorities Act will come into effect.

This regulation replaces the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authorities previous “Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses” regulation.  

The proclamation of the new legislative and regulatory framework necessitates updates to existing Conservation Authority policies and procedures, including the Ontario Regulation 179/06 Implementation Guidelines.   

As of April 1, 2024, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority will review and make decisions on applications for permits in accordance with Part VI of the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 41/24. Amendments to the Implementation Guidelines will be forthcoming to reflect this new framework. Per section 12 of O. Reg. 41/24, the Authority will consult with stakeholders and the public during the review and update process as the authority considers advisable. Where discrepancies exist between the text of the legislation or regulation and the information provided within the Implementation Guidelines, the text of the legislation and regulation will prevail.  

Regulation Implementation Guidelines

These Regulation Implementation Guidelines (formerly Watershed Development Guidelines) have been developed to help enhance consistency and administrative decision-making for the implementation of Conservation Authorities Act and Regulation. 

These Guidelines provide general approaches to the processing of applications. They are the operating principles or the general norm for the implementation of the Regulation.

Please note these guidelines will be updated in accordance with part VI of the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 41/24.

Stormwater​ Management Guidelines

This document will provide guidance to municipalities, the development community and their consultants regarding the stormwater management and Erosion/Sediment Control requirements of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority in accordance with the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan and Provincial Policy Statement.

Download the Stormwater Management Submission Guidelines >>

Comprehensive Stormwater Management Master Plan

The Lake Simcoe Protection Plan sets out specific requirements for the management of stormwater in existing and planned settlement areas, through the preparation of comprehensive Stormwater Management Master Plans (CSWM-MP). This document provides direction to municipalities on how to prepare and implement CSWM-MPs for settlement areas located in the Lake Simcoe watershed, in accordance with the intent of Policy 4.5-SA of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan.

Download the Comprehensive Stormwater Management Master Plan >>

Hydrogeological Assessment Submission

This guidance document has been developed by the Conservation Authorities Geoscience Group which is made up of Conservation Authority hydrogeologists. The main purpose is to provide information and guidance material to Conservation Authorities, their municipalities and consultant hydrogeologists related to hydrogeological assessment requirements that can be used to ensure comprehensive evaluations of potential impacts associated with development on natural ecological features and functions that are supported by groundwater resources.

Download the Hydrogeological Assessments Submission Guidelines >>

Permit Application Hearing Guidelines

The Conservation Authorities Act requires the applicant be party to a hearing by the local Conservation Authority Board, for an application to be refused or approved with conditions. Further, where staff are recommending that a permit be revoked a hearing will be held to provide the applicant with the opportunity to show cause why the permit should not be cancelled. 

Download the Permit Application Hearing Guidelines >> 

Offsetting Plans and Policies

Phosphorus Offsetting

As new urban growth occurs, phosphorus loads will be controlled to meet pre-development phosphorus loading levels. Any remaining stormwater phosphorus that cannot be controlled would require an “offset” to achieve pre-development phosphorus loading levels.

Download the Phosphorus Offsetting Policy >> ​

Ecological Offsetting

Development proposals and infrastructure projects subject to Planning Act or Environmental Assessment Act approvals that will result in the loss of wetland and/or woodland natural heritage features, despite having followed the mitigation hierarchy, will be required to compensate for the loss of these features. Learn more about the Ecological Offsetting Policy. 

Download the Ecological Offsetting Policy >>

Water Budget Policy

Recognizing the importance of recharge areas to sustaining a healthy watershed, the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan includes a number of policies to help identify and protect SGRAs and ESGRAs.  ​

The approach taken within the LSPP follows three basic steps: 1) define and identify SGRAs/ESGRAs; 2) develop guidance for their protection and restoration, and 3) incorporate policies into municipal official plans to protect, improve and restore. This document will expand on the three points above by developing a Water Budget Offsetting Policy for those areas where it is demonstrated that the post-development infiltration is unable to match the pre-development infiltration volume and an infiltration deficit remains in the post development scenario.​​

Download the Water Balance Offsetting Policy >>​ 

Lake Simcoe Climate Data: A Reference Document to Support the Completion of Water Balance Assessments ​

This document aims at providing a standard dataset for land development applicants and their consultants to use when completing water balance analysis. Qualified Persons should exercise professional judgment and flexibly to adapt the data provided when considering specific site conditions and when new information or data becomes available.

Download the Reference for Water Balance Assessments >>

Office Hours

Our new public office hours will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
We highly recommend making an appointment in advance to ensure there is staff available to help you.  

phone icon   Who to Contact 

Permits & Regulations
1-800-465-0437 Toll free

Submit electronic applications to​

form icon   ​​General inquiries can be sent to:


Regulations: ​

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