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What is Shore Road Allowance in Muskoka?

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Blog by Ragan Zilic Lovegrove | November 1st, 2015

Do you know what the words Original Shore Road Allowance mean in Muskoka?

I certainly didn't a few years ago - I have to be honest, I sold condos in Yorkville and maybe I sold a few on the Lakeshore but that was as close as I got to the water.

So when I moved to Muskoka and had to learn the location of  22,000 lakes,  I also had to learn what Original Shore Road Allowance means (OSRA).

From some research and asking the "locales" this is what I have put together to make sense of why this was done.
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Years and years ago at the turn of the century before there where automobiles, surveyors of Crown land were instructed to lay out a 66-foot strip of land for commercial road allowances.   This 66 feet or 1 chain lies between the cottage property and the river, or lake, it faces  

From what I understand these strips where used for logging and to transport goods, remember we didn't have roads back then like we do now.  By reserving the 66 feet for themselves, the crown also allowed lake travellers to land/camp on any shoreline without the risk of tresspassing.   Another reason for retaining this strip of land was for safety.   People depeneded so heavily on boats and steam ships (I will disccuss that in another blog) that if a ship capsized people could swim to shore and they too would not be lableled as a tresspasser.

It was very logical back in the day but how does OSRA affect you as a new cottage owner?

Ask me, I can help.

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