Canadian Tourism Directory At The Cottage.com Predicts By-law Enforcement Will Hurt Wasaga Beach

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At The Cottage.com, a directory lead by experts in Canadian real estate and tourism, predicts that the enforcement of controversial by-law 2003-60, which prohibits short term rentals of R1 residential zoned properties in the town of Wasaga Beach, is going to hurt the popular Ontario vacation community..

According to Shawn Hisko, owner and operator of At The Cottage.com (http://www.AtTheCottage.com), a directory lead by experts in Canadian real estate and tourism, a controversial by-law passed in 2003 by the town of Wasaga Beach, but never enforced, could dramatically reduce the supply of vacation rental properties available in this popular Ontario tourist town. The by-law in question, known as the 'Town of Wasaga Beach Zoning By-law' (2003-60), states that possible fines for a first offence can begin as high as $25,000.00, As zoning violation notices have started to appear, Hisko believes that many owners of R1 zoned properties will be thinking twice about renting out accommodations on a short term basis. “There has already been a drop in the inventory of private cottage rentals available in Wasaga Beach and I am predicting that this trend will continue, unless the Town of Wasaga Beach modifies the by-law. Wasaga Beach depends on its summer visitors to survive. It’s not a stretch to suggest that if there are fewer rental accommodations, there will be fewer tourists coming to the area, spending their money at Wasaga area businesses. Overall, our online vacation directory has seen an increase in the number of private cottage rental listings in other popular Ontario tourist destinations, while Wasaga Beach rental listings have fallen,” says Hisko.

Famous for its 14km strand of white sandy beach which is, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the longest freshwater beach in the world, the town of Wasaga Beach on Southern Georgian Bay is a popular summer tourist destination that has been attracting visitors for more than one hundred years. Less than a two hour drive from Toronto, Wasaga Beach offers a practical and relatively low cost option for people from the GTA to escape the city for a day trip or for a few days of fun at the beach. Part of the allure of Wasaga Beach was the availability of inexpensive private cottage rentals where entire families or groups of friends could pool their money and stay for a weekend or a week-long summer holiday at a fraction of the price of renting multiple motel rooms. “Up until recently, it has never been an issue that many of these cottages were not zoned for rentals. Some families have rented cottages in Wasaga Beach for generations and may choose not to return if they can no longer rent where they want. Adding to the problem are the owners who rent out these residential zoned properties to tourists in order to cover some of the carrying costs of owning the property. Many need that rental income to pay their bills. With the threat of heavy fines hanging over their heads, many will choose not to rent at all and lose a once reliable stream of revenue. Wasaga Beach could see a substantial rise in the number of properties for sale by people who can no longer afford to keep them. This could be disastrous for Wasaga Beach, as the past few years have already been tough on this community,” states Hisko.

Although no one has yet been charged or fined, according to the March 22, 2012 minutes of the regular meeting of the Town of Wasaga council, there have been warnings issued to a number of Wasaga Beach households advising of the potential consequences of renting out accommodations in dwellings that are not zoned for short-term rentals. Also according to the minutes, Wasaga Beach’s commercially zoned accommodation providers have welcomed the enforcement of the by-law and hope at least some of the tourist that have been turned away from private cottages will chose to stay at their establishments instead.

About At The Cottage.com: An online resource directory for those who love cottage country,
At The Cottage.com is the ultimate guide to buying and selling Canadian cottage real estate and finding the best in tourist accommodations and private cottage rentals in popular Canadian vacation destination areas like Muskoka, Georgian Bay, the Bruce Peninsula, Algonquin Park, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Ottawa Valley, Mont Tremblant and throughout the Maritimes.
At The Cottage.com also features a wealth of cottage country information, everything from local events, area attractions, things to do, and a comprehensive directory of businesses and services. For over 12 years, At The Cottage.com has helped vacationers and cottage owners get the most out of their time in cottage country by delivering personalized service. For more information about At The Cottage.com, visit their website: http://www.AtTheCottage.com or call 416-466-1452.

Contact Information:
Shawn Hisko
At The Cottage
171 De Grassi Street
Toronto ON M4M 2K8
416-466-1452
info(at)AtTheCottage(dot)com
http://www.AtTheCottage.com

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