Are there any boating restrictions near nuclear power plants on the shore of Lake Ontario (Canada side)? For example, is there a law that says you should stay back a certain distance from Darlington Nuclear Station?

I found a website that mentions darlington nuclear: Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations. But I haven't been able to make sense of the coordinates. I tried to enter them as waypoints in Google Earth, but the resulting points didn't make much sense to me:

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I'd like to know what the regulations are without needing to go close enough to read any possible signs on shore, and getting way too close in the process.

Edit #2:

This is what the property boundary map looks like. Source: OMAFRA AgMaps; enable the Assessment Parcel layer and the Ontario Imagery layer.

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I imagine the property boundaries that stretch out into the lake delineate underwater pipe infrastructure. So the Transport Canada coordinates make a bit more sense now -- they seem to outline a rectangle around the property boundary/infrastructure.

Edit #3:

Transport Canada said this in an email:

There is a Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations Schedule 1 restriction applicable to the area referenced below, restricting this area as “Waters on Which All Vessels are Prohibited.”

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  • 1
    Have you consulted an official navigation map of the area? That's what those are for.
    – PMF
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 5:45
  • 2
    It's conceivable that the prohibited area is correct and marking water-based hazards, such as cooling intakes or outlets. They may well not care whether you take your boat right up to the shore of Darlington as long as you don't damage the cooling water intakes. Nuclear reactors are very tough and even a very big boat would not be able to damage it just by running into the shore near it. Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


This sort of information usually comes off the navigational charts, but sometimes those are supplemented by Sailing Directions.

In this specific case, we can refer to "Sailing Directions, CEN 302 — Lake Ontario" which tells us on page 55:

117 The Ontario Hydro Darlington Generating Station at Raby Head is conspicuous. It is floodlit at night.
118 Two submerged pipelines 0.6 and 0.7 mile west of Raby Head extend 0.4 and 0.8 mile offshore and are marked by privately maintained buoys.
119 Caution. — All vessels are prohibited from entering an area around the Darlington Generating Station. The prohibited area extends 1 mile offshore and is marked by buoys.

I don't know if it's technically illegal to disregard these instructions, but that would seem, at the very least, imprudent.

  • do you think the yellow pins in the picture in the question refer to the pipelines in 118? Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 16:24

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