How To Find Value For Money

annies_signWhat should you expect to pay for your rental cottage?

Setting a rate is not an exact science for cottage owners, since there are rarely two the same.

Some aim too high based on how much their neighbours are charging, without considering a real comparison of features, while others underestimate their rate and you may find a rare bargain.

For good value and realistic pricing, a rental agency is probably the best place to go. Each cottage will have been personally inspected and a rate set, according to a range of features and facilities, as well as occupancy levels.


So what should you expect for your money?

Prices have risen over the past few years.  Cleaning and maintenance services come at a high cost in cottage country, and cottages with air conditioning are pricier so don’t expect a bargain if you want city-like amenities.

In general, rental rates are higher in Muskoka and areas within a 2 hour drive of Toronto.  If you are prepared to travel further, and go east and north east of the city, you’ll get a bit of a break in the prices.  Look at the post on location to read about all the different Ontario cottage country areas.

You’ll pay more on the big Muskoka Lakes – for a better deal, think about a no-motor lake or a riverfront cottage.  These can offer beautiful waterfront with less boat traffic, more tranquility and privacy.

The following price ranges are a rough guide to what you might expect to pay for a summer rental.

$750 – $1000 may get you a small cabin with one or two bedrooms with minimal facilities, or one with a few more amenities but not as good waterfront.

$1000 – $1500 should provide up to three bedrooms, one bathroom, moderate facilities probably including satellite TV and maybe a dishwasher. This is the rate range where you will find the most cottages; because of this it is a more competitive area so you can often find some good deals if you are prepared to compromise on some of your criteria in order to have great waterfront, for example.

$1500 – $2000 brings you to the start of the higher end properties and you should expect the waterfront to be attractive; the cottage to have at least two to three good sized bedrooms, more than one bathroom; upgraded facilities, and to be well decorated and equipped.

Smaller cottages in this range will be fully featured and should include flat screen televisions, up-to-date décor and furniture, good quality linens, high speed internet and post-rental cleaning.

At $2000 and above, there are many variables that can affect the pricing. Sandy beaches, private location, hot tub, sauna, extensive decking and Muskoka rooms, and higher accommodation numbers.

If you are vacationing with another family to save money, be sensible on how much that saving might be. If you have a total of 8 people (including children) think about renting a cottage that sleeps at least 10.

You’ll need extra space believe me. Don’t expect to pack more kids into a smaller cottage by using air beds – not only will you be overcrowding the property, you’ll find it pretty uncomfortable after a few days.

Budget from $2500 for a dual family vacation – at $1250 – $1500 per week per family you could get a lovely cottage with a good amount of space in areas of eastern Ontario and Kawartha.   For a cottage on one of the big lakes in Muskoka, prices can be significantly higher.

Tips for saving some money

The low season – before the end of June and after Labour Day – are great value for your money if you are able to vacation earlier or later in the season.

Book directly with an agency rather than using the big listing sites such as VRBO or Trip Advisor.  They now levy a traveller fee way in excess of the nominal booking fee an agency will charge.

Avoid scams by using a rental agency that is registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO).  Most agencies charge a booking fee ranging between $55 and $110.




CottageLINK Rental Management
Toll Free: 1-866 323 6698

Our Hours:
Mon-Fri 9-5
Sat-Sun 9-5

Business Address:
PO Box 39036
Columbia PO, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2T 0A7

Email Sign Up

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.