PortsToronto is responsible for ensuring the safe navigation of Toronto’s waterways for both recreational boating and commercial shipping – this includes operating our Powered Vessel Operator’s Permit (PVOP) program and removing navigational hazards such as large debris or driftwood through our Harbour Hotline program.
PortsToronto works closely with Transport Canada and the TPS Marine Unit to promote safe boating in the Toronto Harbour, including through programs like our PVOP program – an in-person training session that provides an opportunity to educate recreational boaters on speed limits and other safety regulations.

Practices and Procedures

PortsToronto’s Practises and Procedures are made pursuant to the Canada Marine Act Section 56, Subsection (1) (b), and are intended to promote safe and efficient navigation, and environmental protection in the waters of the Port of Toronto.
Under Section 59 Subsection (1) (a) of the Canada Marine Act, it is an offense if a person or ship does not follow these Practices and Procedures.  
These Practices and Procedures are enforced by the Toronto Police Marine Unit.
Clause 14
  • Unless otherwise authorized by the authority:  
  1. No vessel shall exceed a speed of 5 knots (10 km/hr) within 150 metres of any shoreline or breakwater.  
  2. Except as provided for above, no vessel shall exceed 10 knots (19 km/hr) elsewhere within the ‘Inner’ and “Outer” Harbours.  
  3. No vessel shall produce a wake within Toronto Island lagoons, nor navigable waters between the shoreline and Western Breakwater.
Clause 16
  • Not withstanding the above, no vessel shall be operated on any of the waters of the Port and Harbour of Toronto in a reckless manner, or at an excessive speed so as to endanger life or property. 
As per these clauses, any recreational powered vessel operating in the jurisdiction of PortsToronto – between Humber Bay and the Eastern Beaches – is required to hold a valid PVOP along with a Transport Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card and respect no wake zones and a speed limit of 5 knots when within 150 metres of any shoreline and not operate in a reckless manner.
Clause 18
  • Except when provided for under written authorization from the Authority, every
    motorized vessel navigating the waters of the Port and Harbour of Toronto shall be equipped with a stock factory muffler, under water exhaust or other improved device capable of adequately muffling engine sound, and that such will be employed, and kept in proper working order at all times.
Clause 61
  • No owner, operator, charterer or master of any vessel shall make, cause or permit to be made or cause undue noise in excess of 85 decibels when measured 15 metres from source of noise.
As per these clauses, vessels operating within the jurisdiction of the Toronto Port Authority - Humber Bay to Eastern Beaches - are required to maintain a noise level of less than 85 decibels when measured within 15metres of the source including a muffler in proper working order.


Feedback? We want to hear from you. Please use the form below to send us your comments, questions and suggestions related to vessel operation in the Toronto Harbour.

Boaters Notice

PortsToronto is responsible for keeping the Toronto Harbour safe and navigable. See Boater’s Notices about everything from swimming in the harbour to obtaining permission for a marine event.

Do you have one?

A Power Vessel Operator’s Permit is required to operate a powered vessel in the Port and Harbour of Toronto.

Get permit