houseboats toronto

Someone once flew a drone to get footage over Toronto's hidden floating home village

A drone enthusiast got a bird's-eye view over Toronto's hidden floating home village and a look at how the homes fare in an icy Lake Ontario.

The video posted on Reddit was shot on a long weekend in February 2021, the poster CNDSTUDMAN told blogTO.

The videographer bought a new mini drone and decided to try it out at the Scarborough Bluffs.

The video starts with a view of the bluffs but then focuses on the floating homes and houseboats at Bluffers Park Marina. He had heard about the community before but forgot about it until he started to explore the area with his drone.

The community started with 25 floating homes built in 1999 to 2000 in anticipation of Toronto winning an Olympic bid. It has since grown to include both floating homes (cement base) and houseboats (pontoon base).

The homes are occasionally on the market and recently a houseboat was listed for sale.

CNDSTUDMAN said he is curious about the floating homes and houseboats.

"I chose to focus on them as I think it is a really cool lifestyle which in another life I would love to try as I am fascinated by those that live on the road and the water," he told blogTO.

It's not a typical lifestyle in Canada and there are few houseboat communities, he noted in the video.

From above, you can see how the bubblers work to keep the houseboats free from ice, which would damage the pontoons.

It's also an interesting angle to view the homes from.

"Some of them are really cool," he says in the video.

Life on the boat isn't for everyone but it's wonderful being on the water and close to nature, one resident once told blogTO.

On Reddit, some wondered about the legality of filming drone footage, but CNDSTUDMAN said while the City of Toronto bans the use of drones in parks, they have limited jurisdiction over water, which is under Transport Canada authority.

Last fall, the City of Toronto produced a document outlining the use of drones, which clearly states they are not to be flown in city parks without a permit, but in this case, CNDSTUDMAN said he launched his drone from a public parking lot, which he believes is allowed. Also, there are very few rules for drones under 250 grams, which he used.

Transport Canada's guidelines around privacy while using a drone suggest blurring faces or license plates and warns against voyeurism and mischief

While it is not clear if CNDSTUDMAN violated privacy laws, he told blogTO he did by avoiding flying too low or near people.

Photos by

Screenshot via CNDSTUDMAN 


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