Protect your property from high water levels

This past spring, waterfront property owners learned the hard way that the impact of high water levels, especially in flood conditions, can be extreme and costly. We heard several tips from our members to minimize structural damage and property loss, including, but not limited to:

  • Place water-filled, plastic garbage cans or barrels on your dock to hold it in place. Fill to three-quarter mark to allow for ice expansion. Alternatively, store canoes, paddle boats or kayaks on your dock and fill them with water. Be sure to tie them down also to dock rings.
  • Wrap thick ropes or chains around your dock beam stringers and tie to major crib logs.
  • Disconnect floating docks from stationary docks and tie to shoreline, not your cribbed dock.
  • Leave boathouse slip door raised a foot above fully closed height.
  • Clear docks, boathouse, sheds and the shoreline of anything that can float.
  • Store boats on beams, boat lifts or lifts with steel beam `feet` or extensions. Raise beam location using wood or cement blocks. Be conscious of the clearance height to the top of your boathouse in the event of rising water levels.
  • Install a bubbler system on a timer.
  • Turn breakers off for all unused electric plugs and circuits near the water or in your boathouse.
  • Recruit a neighbour, hire a property manager or install security cameras to monitor docks and waterfront.
  • Check and track the late November and spring water levels using the applicable MNR tracking for your lake (daily water level readings) — follow the Muskoka Water Web news:
  • Follow MNR postings on flooding at
  • Take your MLA yearbook home and stay in touch with your neighbours over the winter.

The MNR reports that the likelihood of another spring flood is 1 in 100; however, even normal spring run-off can cause high water levels and subsequent damage or loss. If you have any other ideas that you would like to share with your neighbours, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 705-765-5723.