image: cottage shoreline, dock with Canada flag

Responsible Cottage Rental

What FOCA sees: FOCA recognizes that occasional rental of our cottage properties has become a financial reality for some cottage owners. We hear from members interested in finding out about how to rent (and how to insure for rental), and also from those who have been frustrated by experiences with poorly-managed rental properties in their vicinity.

FOCA supports a philosophy of responsible use, that encourages cottage owners to:

  • educate and inform guests about cottage country living and etiquette (see link to a sample visitor information sheet, below in Related Posts)
  • work with neighbours to promote harmonious relationships
  • be environmental stewards by ensuring the sustainable use of cottage properties, recognizing the limits of the existing septic system, road capacity and other community considerations.

Looking for more information on the topic of responsible rental? See the article from our partners at CottageLINK Rental Management, in FOCA’s 2017 Lake Stewards Newsletter (page 23: “Cottage Rental: What you should know.”)

Concerned about possible issues arising from a rental property?


September 13, 2021 – Short-term rental owner ‘laughing in our face,’ Severn mayor says (Orillia Matters)

September 13, 2021 – (Belleville) City council may license, regulate short-term accommodations (Kingston Whig Standard)

September 10, 2021 – Vrebosch putting Airbnb operators on notice (Timmins Daily Press)

August 26, 2021 – the Township of Gravenhurst has produced an educational brochure, “Be a Good Renter” and seeks public input on short term rental in a survey (respond by September 30th)

August 25, 2021 – ‘The problem is just getting worse’: COVID-19 has Peterborough County weighing pros and cons of short-term rentals (Peterborough This Week)

August 17, 2021 – Regulating cottage rentals and charging fees controversial in NBP (Owen Sound Sun Times)

August 4, 2021 – ‘We have to do something’: Fed up cottagers call for crackdown on rule-breaking rental operators (Peterborough Examiner)

June 14, 2021 – Short-term rentals require long-term planning in Gravenhurst, say lake associations; Education at heart of short-term rental strategy, but is this enough? (Gravenhurst Banner)

June 14, 2021 – Changes in Store for Short-Term Rentals in Township of Lake of Bays ( …with changes expected to take effect January 2022. … The new licensing regulations would see three different STR categories, A, B, and C, which vary depending on the scale and intensity of the STR’s use.

April 30, 2021 – STRs necessary to afford both Tiny Township cottage, downtown Toronto home, council hears (Orillia Matters)

April 19, 2021 – Fort Erie mayor wants to root out bad apples in short-term rental business (Niagara This Week)

April 6, 2021 – a new staff report to the Lake of Bays Council about short-term rental (STR) regulation provides a detailed overview outlining potential costs to administer licenses, as well as summarizing feedback from public consultation. The report suggests NOT regulating STR at this point, with follow up to Council scheduled for Fall 2022. While specific to Lake of Bays, the report may be of interest to other municipalities considering the question of STR. Click to download the report (PDF, 31 pages)

April 1, 2021 – Seguin Township issues notices to stop short-term cottage rentals; Staff hand out 40 infraction notices (Parry Sound North Star)

Feb.25, 2021 – Cottage rentals get the green light, as province lifts short-term rental ban imposed on April 4th (

Feb.15, 2021 – Staycations mean a run on cottage country (Toronto Sun)

Feb.13, 2021 – La location de chalets, une industrie en plein essor en Ontario (ICI Nord de l’Ontario)

Feb.3, 2021 – Ontario cottage rentals already already in high demand for summer (Global News)

Jan.122021 – the Municipality of Trent Lakes has deferred Council desicion on short term rentals until September, as a result of the ongoing pandemic and inability to have fulsome public consultation on the issue.

Jan. 2021 – the Township of McKellar (Parry Sound) has created a committee to review its bylaws regarding rental. Read news here (

Dec. 2020 – At Council’s November meeting, Seguin Township deferred making a final decision about short term rental regulations. The current by-law stands in the meantime, prohibiting short term rentals of residentially zoned waterfront cottages.

Nov. 2020 – The Town of Gravenhurst also debated short term rentals at their November Council meeting, and voted to have a staff report on possible regulations, in addition to deciding on an informational “good neighbour” campaign. Read news here. (

Sept.29, 2020 – With ‘nowhere else to go,’ fall, winter cottage rentals surge (London Free Press)

September 26, 2020 – Township of Lake of Bays Seeks Input On Regulations For Short-Term Rentals (Muskoka 411)

September 10, 2020 – Already under pressure, Toronto Airbnb operators face registration rules (CP24)
As Toronto’s short-term rental market fades, rentals in rural Ontario have bounced back with a vengeance.

September 3, 2020 – Beware of cottage rental scams (blogTO)

August 2020 –  Effective September 10, 2020, the City of Toronto is going to licence companies like Airbnb as businesses. Airbnb and other such platforms will have to pay for a business license and adhere to the City’s rules and regulations. Short term Rental (STR) hosts will have to obtain a City-generated registration number. In order to be registered, hosts will have to prove to the City that they are renting their own principal residence, or up to three rooms within it. Platforms like Airbnb will have to display a valid City-generated registration number on all their rental advertisements. By 2021, only bylaw compliant and City-permitted STR listings should appear on STR platforms.  For detailed information on the registration and licensing system, please visit the City of Toronto website. (City of Toronto)

August 13, 2020 – Rental property owners appeal Oro-Medonte’s ‘gross overreach’  (Orillia Matters)

August 7, 2020 – Severn resident irked by party house (Orillia

July 23, 2020 – STA operators organizing as Northern Bruce Peninsula nears regulatory bylaw draft (Owen Sound Sun Times)

July 15, 2020 – the Township of Oro Medonte passed a zoning by-law clarifying that short term rentals are “Commercial Accommodations” which are prohibited in residential areas. An appeal may be made to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal until August 12, 2020.

June 4, 2020 – …province gives green light to resume short-term rentals (CBC)

June 4, 2020 – Ontario lifts restrictions, reopens short-term rentals starting today (CityNews)

June 4, 2020 – Can you still rent a cottage this summer during the pandemic? It depends (CBC)

May 30, 2020 – Cottage country facing quiet summer (Toronto Star)

April 6, 2020 – Ontario joins Quebec in restricting short-term rentals during coronavirus pandemic (Globe and Mail)

April 2020 – In the response to the pandemic, accommodations other than hotels, motels and student residences are not considered essential services. Read more on the FOCA COVID-19 Update webpage.

FOCA has been following media reports about municipalities debating the regulation of cottage rentals:

Some benefits of cottage rental to rural and lakefront communities (provided by CottageLINK Rental Management, 2016):

  1. Help to maintain property values
  2. Support for the local economy
  3. Properties are regularly maintained
  4. Occupied properties are a deterrent to theft
  5. Contribution to cottage country awareness.


Click here to download an information sheet about responsible rental (PDF, 1 page) that you can circulate to your fellow association members.

Click here to read a blog by Heather Bayer of CLRM on the subject creating a great Welcome Binder for your cottage guests.

See more posts related to Cottage Rental, from our partners at Cottage Life Magazine: is a coalition effort that brings together groups from the regulated hotel and B&B industry with property owners.

AirBnB “Supporting Communities”


Michelle LewinResponsible Cottage Rental