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Buffer Zones

Vegetation at the water’s edge

Definition: Areas of natural or replanted vegetation adjacent to the shore or banks of streams which buffers the property use from the lake/stream ecosystem.

Why a Buffer Zone is important

  • Intercepts rainfall reducing runoff and enhances infiltration.
  • Intercepts ground water and septage and takes up moisture and nutrients.
  • Root systems stabilize soil and prevent soil erosion.
  • Protects the immediate shore from wave and ice action.
  • Provides privacy.
  • Keeps activities like fertilizing further from the lake.
  • Provides shade and refuge for shore aquatic habitat.
  • Screens property uses and maintains “”green shoreline vistas”" which are considered scenic.
  • Vegetation buffers provide ideal habitat for birds and small mammals.

Regulations and Recommendations

  • A minimum 15 metre vegetative buffer of saplings, mature trees, shrubs and ground cover native to the area, existing natural vegetation shall be maintained along the shoreline of Lake Nipissing/Callander Bay.
  • No construction or development, no placement of buildings or structures and no removal or cutting of vegetation shall be permitted within the vegetative buffer except where existing landscaping provided access between the dwelling and shoreline. An access corridor of not more than 3 metres is permitted.
  • No other removal of vegetation or removal or alteration of the soil mantles within the vegetative buffer shall be permitted except for the removal of noxious plants, dead or hazardous trees and debris.


  • Plant native species for maximum success.
  • Selective limbing in front of key windows can permit views without destroying the forest canopy.
  • There is no maximum area for vegetation buffers.
Municipality of Callander 705-752-1410
North Bay District Ministry of Natural Resources 705-475-5550
North Bay – Mattawa Conservation Authority 705-474-5420

This information has been prepared as a guide only. Please contact the appropriate authorities prior to any works on your property to ensure that rules and regulations are interpreted appropriately for your individual circumstances.