Muskoka Lakes Township is taking a deep dive into the issue of sea cans.
Township council has recently dealt with multiple applications for buildings to be constructed out of shipping containers.
One of the applications was for a 1,600 square foot retail building on Joseph Street in Port Carling and the other was for the use of three shipping containers at Boatworks on Indian River.
There was some concern over the use of these containers, and the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) issued a letter to council regarding some of the potential environmental concerns with using shipping containers for building purposes.
The MLA pointed out that it is standard practice for the wooden floors of shipping containers to be treated with insecticides and pesticides in order to prevent insects from being transported with the containers and to protect the cargo. The steel sides are often sprayed with toxic chemicals, for the same reason, they said.
The MLA’s subsequently made a number of recommendations to council to help remediate any concerns. Those included taking steps to ensure that chemicals on shipping containers are removed or, if possible, never applied before the containers are used as buildings in the Township. The group also recommended that, at a minimum, wooden floors of shipping containers should be replaced with clean material, as a condition of issuing a building permit.
They also requested all the shipping containers be pressure washed to establish that the chemicals on the steel sides have been removed.
In response, council unanimously passed a resolution declaring that all shipping containers utilized for construction materials have the floors removed and replaced, and any metal sandblasted unless they can be satisfactorily demonstrated to be pesticide-free.
Both applicants agreed to this requirement.
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