Setting sail from a municipal boat launch in the Town of Hawkesbury will be more expensive this year. 

On March 28, Hawkesbury Town Council approved a series of increases to boat launch fees, for both day and seasonal passes. Council had directed the Department of Tourism and Recreation to review the fees back in November 2021.

Effective for the 2022 boating season, the boat launch fees in Hawkesbury will be $25 per day. Lifetime season passes for residents will be $25, non-resident season passes will be $225, and overnight docking fees will be $35 per night. 

In April of 2021, the town changed the format for boat launch fee collection to a pay and display machine at the Confederation Park boat launch on Chenail Island and limited the Cyr de Lasalle Park boat launch to seasonal permit holders only. The department reported in November that the revenue from selling passes paid for the cost of the new machine, but a further market comparison analysis boat on launch fees in the surrounding region was necessary, so that a cost recovery plan could be created for the installation of new docks and boat launch maintenance in Hawkesbury. 

Hawkesbury’s previous rate of $10 per day pass, $5 for a seasonal lifetime pass for town residents, $100 for a seasonal pass for non-residents, and $15 per night for overnight docking, was well below the rates in seven other communities. However, comparisons were not made with boat launch rates in East Hawkesbury, Grenville, or Brownsburg-Chatham. The other locations used in the comparison were L’Orignal, Alfred and Plantagenet, Clarence-Rockland, Montebello, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Vaudreuil-sur-le-lac, and Notre-Dame-de-l’île-Perrot. 

Among the communities on the comparison list, only L’Orignal charges $5 per day for a resident boat launch pass and $10 per day for a non-resident pass. However, a seasonal pass for a resident is $150 per year in L’Orignal and a seasonal pass for non-residents is $225. The most expensive passes on the list are in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, where boat launch day passes are $40, seasonal passes for residents are $40, and seasonal passes for non-residents are $300.