Shore land development

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Shore lands function as areas that can safely accommodate water level fluctuations and erosion associated with the operation of the river’s hydroelectric generating stations. We monitor the shoreline for signs of erosion regularly and take corrective action based on the criteria in the Winnipeg River Bank Protection Program.

You need a permit to occupy Manitoba Hydro land even with existing structures. Only cottages adjacent to Manitoba Hydro property and existing cottage associations are eligible for a permit.

There is a process to apply for a development permit in your area. The Shore Lands Use Permit can only be issued to eligible/qualifying waterfront cottage owners who may then apply to develop the permit area. The Shore Lands Use Permit must be obtained before you apply to perform any work on the shore land portion of the Winnipeg River System.

If your land borders Crown Lands, phone the Government of Manitoba, Department of Natural Resources and Northern Development, Lands and Planning Branch at (204) 945-7781.

The development must follow all laws and regulations, and our shore lands use guidelines.

Read all the steps before you start the application. The steps list your responsibilities and possible timelines.

Step 1

Review restrictions, application checklists, and drawing examples

Due to concerns for the environment and bank stability, there are restrictions on development on Manitoba Hydro shore land. Development must not contribute to erosion, riverbank movements, or overdevelopment of the shore.

Read about restrictions, application checklists, and drawing examples:

Read more about restrictions.

Step 2

Apply for shore land development in your permit area

Once you have reviewed the restrictions, application checklists, and drawing examples, you will need to complete the Winnipeg River System Application for Shore Lands Development. There are 3 ways you can get an application:

Once you have completed your application

Mail to:

  • Manitoba Hydro
    Shore Lands Permit Program
    PO Box 808
    Lac du Bonnet MB R0E 1A0

Deliver to:

  • 120 Minnewawa Street in Lac du Bonnet

Email it to us.

Your application must include all the information as detailed in the guidance letter. Failure to include all necessary information could lead to your application being returned.

Step 3

On-site inspection

We will do an on-site inspection before the approval of the structure or work.

After the on-site inspection, a letter of approval (subject to conditions) will be mailed to you and a copy mailed to the appropriate Rural Municipality building inspector.

  • From May 1 to September 1 routine applications are typically processed within 2 weeks of receiving a completed application with all necessary information.
  • Incomplete applications will result in longer timelines.
  • Applications that are non-routine and include excavation or require examination by an external regulator will result in longer timelines.

Step 4

Get a municipal building permit

Once you’ve got the letter of approval from Manitoba Hydro, contact your local RM for a building permit.

Municipality of Alexander

Municipality of Lac du Bonnet

Municipality of Whitemouth

Local Government District of Pinawa

Step 5


After your development is completed, another inspection is made to confirm the structure and its location matches your application. This inspection takes place the following year.

Winnipeg River Bank Protection Program

The Winnipeg River Bank Protection Program (WRBPP) provides shore land protection work in exchange for transfer of additional Water Storage Land to Manitoba Hydro within the Water Power Act license boundary (“WPA license limits”). Eligible requests are prioritized having regard for the proximity of residential structures (cottage/home) and private property to erosion and/or riverbank movements within WPA license limits.

If you own property within the WPA license limits between the Seven Sisters and Pine Falls generating stations and your property is within close proximity to erosion and/or riverbank movements attributable to Manitoba Hydro operations, you may qualify for this program. Contact your RM for more information.

To determine if your property is within the WPA license limits between the Seven Sisters and Pine Falls generating stations, view WRBPP map (PDF, 95 KB).