Winter Cottage Rentals – What to Expect

This is a wonderful time of year to rent an Ontario cottage. There’s little more romantic than wrapping up warm for a moonlit walk on a frozen lake, with the smell of wood smoke in the air, and the canopy of stars glittering overhead. Returning to your cosy cottage to curl up in front of the fire and reflect on yet another beautiful day in Cottage Country rounds off an evening perfectly. And we have plenty of cottages for you to choose from.

To really enjoy the experience you need to be prepared for everything a cottage winter can bring, so please take a few moments to read these winter-wise notes.

Winter Weather

All cottages offered for rental during the winter months have road access and receive a snow plowing service from either municipal or private sources. However, after any major snowfall, snow plow providers are contracted to clear local roads in a predetermined order. Consequently, plowing at your cottage may be delayed for several hours or, in severe storm weather, several days.

Conditions in Cottage Country can be vastly different from those experienced in the city, even just a couple of hours north. For example, snow squalls off Georgian Bay occur regularly in the Southern Georgian Bay/Parry Sound/Huntsville area.

So what happens if there’s a dump of snow the night before you are due to check out? You get up in the morning, look out of the window and there is no way you’ll get out of the driveway.

You shouldn’t expect to pay additional fees if you can’t get out, so just hunker down and wait for the plough to come.

On the other hand, if you can’t get to your cottage because of snowfall blocking a road, you should reasonably expect a refund for the period the road is blocked. However, if your vehicle isn’t fit for winter driving and the road is passable, it’s going to be on you!

Most cottage rental owners will consider refunds for vacations that are shortened by adverse weather conditions but don’t expect it. This is outside anyone’s control, but may, however, be covered by travel insurance.

Shovelling & Ice Clearance

You’ve rented a cottage – not a hotel or resort accommodation. That means you’ll be left a shovel, and hopefully a bag of sand but don’t expect someone to come and shovel off the deck or steps for you if there’s a storm.

You can assume the caretaker will have done this as a final task when they prepare the cottage, however, there may be snowfall between them leaving and you arriving, so there is a possibility you’ll have to do a little clearing to get to the door. Don’t get mad. It’s winter in Ontario and after all, you are in cottage country to embrace it.

Finally, remember to read and follow all instructions sent by the owner or agency. This is especially important when departing the cottage to ensure you leave it in such a condition that water pipes do not freeze between rentals.

CottageLINK Rental Management
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Columbia PO, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2T 0A7

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