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Planning, Property & Development

Construction Regulations along City Waterways

Uncontrolled construction activities can lead to riverbank failures and waterway obstructions.

Waterway Construction Regulations

  • The need to regulate construction activities was identified in the 1950s. At that time, it became apparent that the impacts of uncontrolled activities (in particular, depositing of any fill and dumping of waste material), led to riverbank failures and waterway obstructions.
  • The City of Winnipeg Waterway By-law 5888/92 identifies regulated waterway areas and establishes a procedure for dealing with Waterway Permits and Orders within the Regulated Areas of the City.

Waterway Permit

  • A Waterway Permit legally authorizes construction within the Regulated Area of the City.
  • It protects the public from construction that may endanger the stability of the riverbank, impede water flow, or adversely alter the waterway.
  • A Waterway Permit is required for the following activities occurring within the Regulated Area:
    • construction or demolition of a building
    • deposit, removal, alteration or disturbance of any material
    • alteration of drainage
    • alteration of a waterway
  • Examples of work requiring a Waterway Permit:
    • commercial and industrial buildings
    • dwellings, additions and garages
    • swimming pools and decks
    • depositing any fill
    • riverbank stabilization (slope regrading, erosion protection, retaining walls)
    • landscaping projects including excavations or the import of earth materials, bricks or concrete
  • Waterway Permit Application
  • Why You Should Get a Waterway Permit

Description of the Regulated Area

  • The riverbed and lands extending 106.7 m (350 ft) on each side of the Red, Assiniboine, Seine and LaSalle rivers.
  • The creek bed and lands extending 76.2 m (250 ft) on each side of Bunn's, Omand's, Sturgeon and Truro creeks.

regulated areas of riverbanks


Other Approvals May Be Necessary

  • Waterway Permit holders may also require other approvals, such as zoning variances, building permits or local district approvals prior to proceeding with work.
  • For information on other approvals, call the Zoning and Permits Branch at 204-986-5140.

Last update: August 1, 2017