Sunset at waterfront cottage rental on Manitoulin Island, Northern Ontario Canada


Providence Bay,
Manitoulin Island
Ontario, Canada

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Compare & Contrast BBay
 Typical Suburban Home

BBay has a policy of "no unpleasant surprises".  To ensure clear, comprehensive, communication and minimal assumptions, we have prepared the following table describing what BBay currently has and what we do not have.   We have used a standard, single family detached home in a major urban centre as the starting basis for the comparison.

While BBay is only 4 km from the town Providence Bay, it is a rustic, off-grid, remote cottage on a private 113 acre forest.  It requires you to be self-sufficient & self-reliant.  For the details, read the following table.

I f you have any questions, or need further details, please feel free to Contact BBay.
Table of Contents

Water Supply
Air Conditioning
Living Room
Dining Room

Outdoor Patio & Other Facilities
Maid & Housekeeping Services
The Facilities at BBay
What is NOT currently at BBay
This is a cottage located on 113 acres of forest, in the northern Ontario countryside.

At this site there are all the typical risks of a private residence in the city, plus the added risks of small, rural village (ie. reduced & remote emergency services, etc.), plus the risks associated with a wilderness area (ie. few neighbours, no utility tie-ins, forest fires, wild animals, etc.).

The cottage has not been child-proofed.  There are flammable fluids (ie. propane, etc.), hot surfaces (ie. kitchen stoves, fireplace, etc.), toxic or corrosive chemicals (ie. bleach, etc.), sharp objects (ie. knives in kitchen drawer, etc.), roughed-in electrical wiring, stairs, etc.
A totally risk-free environment.
Water Supply
There is hot & cold running water in the bathroom and the kitchen.

A new well was drilled in 2002; 120 ft. deep, striking water at 106 ft.  There are two pumps:

  • 3/4 hp in-well 220 Volts AC pump delivers water at 10 gpm at high pressure & flow (orchard irrigation, fire, etc.)
  • small, high efficiency DC pump at 3 gpm (for showers & drinking water).

The pumps both feed a pressure tank in the basement of the lodge, then goes throughout the site.  There is a 30 micron filter, 20 micron filter with activated charcoal, and a high capacity 5 micron filter on this supply; producing high quality water for the cottage.  This can be used straight from the well, or sent to the attic tank for chlorination & storage; as you choose.

The DC pump is powered by a solar panel on the roof, with batteries in the basement.

As an emergency backup (normally not used), we can also pump water into a 400 litre water storage tank in the cottage attic, then gravity feed it throughout the cottage at 10 psig.  This is typically enough water for a week.

The attic water storage is sufficient for any tap in the cottage, and for filling the tub with hot &/or cold water to the temperature you desire.  However, it isn't enough pressure to run the shower head. There is a booster pump that can be turned on from the main floor to provide additional pressure.

As a 3rd backup, we also have a gasoline emergency generator, and a deep well pump for 10 gpm of water.  This will require you to start the generator & run the well pump while you are showering, or use the small DC water pump.

In addition, there is a separate water pumping system taking water from Lake Huron, and then filtered (30 micron, 5 micron, and 0.2 micron).  If using the Lake water, it is pumped as required into 400 litre tank in the attic of the cottage, and chlorinated manually.

There is a hand pump for raw, untreated lake water located outside which can be used for washing, flower watering, camp fire dousing, etc.

A 50 US gallon hot water heater (propane fired) has been installed inside the cottage to supply hot water to the bathroom sink, tub, & shower.

There is a secondary 30 USG electric hot water heater in the basement.  This is designed to pre-heat the cold water before the propane-fired hot water heater using excess electricity generated by the generator, or the solar/wind generation system.

Two of the three water pumping systems require the electric generator to be running for them to work.  The gravity-feed attic water tank supplies running water without the need of the well pump, nor the generator.  There should be enough water in the attic tank for the typical family of 5 to use during an entire week (for cooking, dish washing, drinking, hand washing, & toilet flushing, BUT NOT baths nor showers).

Without an auxiliary pump, there will only be a dribble of water come out of the shower head in the bathroom.  To take a shower, it requires the generator and well pump to be running, or the small DC water pump.

City water supply (60 psi pressure of chlorinated, filtered, tested, & certified water available 24 hrs/day), activated charcoal filters (ie. Brita water filters).
The cottage is powered by renewable energy (solar & wind).

There is a 400 watt wind turbine generator, and 900 watts of solar electric PV panels.

The wind generator is on a 45 ft. tall tower at the lakefront.    The solar panels are located next to the wind generator.  These should generate enough power to supply lights for the cottage every evening.

Both of these charge the 24 VDC battery bank having a storage capacity of 550 Amp-hrs (13.2 kilowatt-hrs of power storage). A 1500 watt inverter takes the battery power, and produces pure 110 VAC sine wave power (same as the public utility company).

To get electricity from the solar/wind power system, all you have to do is turn on the inverter ON switch when you first arrive. When you don't need or aren't using power, the system will go into standby mode automatically.  The system should have enough capacity to run 1500 watts (maximum power output) for a full 4 hrs.  After that, the system will have to re-charge.  Most people use between 200 watt-hrs to as high as 1700 watt-hrs of power per day (using about 20% of our installed capacity, leaving 80% in reserve).

If you conserve power and use it reasonably, you will have more than enough power for lights in the cottage each evening for 4 hour (sundown to bed-time), plus the occasional microwave without running the generator.

There is a secondary solar photovoltaic (PV) panel on the roof of the cottage (150 watt PV panel) to charge the cottage's batteries in the basement (700 amp-hrs at 12 V), for the cell phone, and emergency lights.

A 4.0 kilowatt Onan generator (the Cadillac of generators), driven by a gasoline engine, produces 110/220 Volts AC electricity (36 amps maximum at 110 VAC).  The generator is sufficient to run all the lights and appliances in the cottage and around the entire camp (ie. the water pump, lights, the heater at the outdoor shower, etc.).

Electricity is only available when you run the generator, or use the solar/wind power.

There are electric light(s) in every room of the cottage, plus a duplex plug. These lights will only work when you are running the generator, or have the wind/solar power system on.

There are also 2 car-type batteries for 12 DC power supply in the generator shed for starting the generator, as well as a cottage battery system in the basement for the cell phone, emergency lighting, and the DC water pump.  This cottage battery bank can be recharged from the solar PV panel on the roof of the cottage, or the main wind/solar power system at the lake front, or the gasoline generator.

If you use the DC batteries, you will have to re-charge them by starting the generator before you leave half dead batteries for the next family.

Connection to city electrical power supply for power 24 hrs per day, on demand electricity.

Receptacle plugs & lights throughout the cottage.

The cottage electric lights and receptacles are only roughed in.  Since there is no drywall on the interior walls, all the electrical wiring can be seen.  The wiring is as safe as any lamp cord or extension cord plugged in at your house.

Unsupervised children who stick their fingers into electrical sockets can get zapped, just like at home.

Wood stove and plenty of hardwood logs, kindling that has been drying for approx. 1 year.

The wood stove is located in the middle of the cottage, between the living room and the dining room.  During -10 C weather, the wood stove can easily heat the living room, dining room, and kitchen to 25 C.

There are two heat-activated air circulation fans on top of the wood stove for blowing the hot air around the living room & dining room.

The second floor bedrooms, especially those in the addition, and the utility room and downstairs bathroom are somewhat remote from the wood stove, and may be substantially colder (up to 15 C cooler) than the area around the wood stove during cold weather

Natural gas, high efficiency forced air furnace with ducting into every room
Air Conditioning
There are 17 thermopane, low E, vinyl casement windows throughout the cottage which open with screens.

The cottage is well shaded by the surrounding forest which keeps the cottage significantly cooler than the surrounding air temperature.  We find it a comfortable temperature inside the cottage, even on the hottest of summer days.

There are neither curtains nor blinds on any of the windows.  The second floor deck is designed to keep the summer sun out and let the winter sun into the main floor windows (ie. passive solar heating & cooling).
Freon coil in forced air HVAC system, blinds, curtains, window ledges.
Take them to the Laundromat in town (similar to a Laundromat in any city).

If you choose the "pioneer" lifestyle, pound your clothes on clean rock at waterfront, or wear them in when swimming (95% of all dirt is removed by mechanical action and the wash water.  The soap and fancy washing machine gets only 5% of the dirt out of your clothes).
Automatic washer and dryer for doing laundry, iron, ironing board, laundry tub
There is a 4 ft. high crawl space under the new addition (about one half of the cottage) which renters or others should have no reason to enter.

This serves as cool storage for vegetables, the composting toilet unit, well water pressure tank, water filters, cottage battery bank, and storage.
Full height basement with cement block walls
Living Room
The interior walls are not finished and there is no decorating on the walls.  It is plain 2" x 4" unfinished stud wall construction.  In other words, there is no drywall on the inside walls of the cottage.

There is a large wood stove in the middle of the room, between the dining room and the living room.  This is the only heat for the cottage in the fall & winter.

The living room couch is a 2 pc. corner unit with a pull out bed.
Drywall, interior doors, fancy light fixtures
Dining Room
There is a 4' x 8' table with 4 chairs and a 2" x 12" x 8 ft. long bench seat along the wall of the dining room, adequate to seat 12 people simultaneously for meals.

The interior walls are not finished and there is no decorating on the walls.  It is plain 2" x 4" unfinished stud wall construction.  In other words, there is no drywall on the inside walls of the cottage.
Fancy, formal dining room furniture
Full size propane stove with 4 surface burners, oven, and broiler, small propane fridge (approx. 16 cu. ft.) with very small freezer compartment inside (approx. 2.7 cu. ft.), large jug for ice water, full set of kitchen cupboards, "every day" dishes for 12 including dinner plates, cups, glasses, salad plates & bowls, eating utensils, cooking pots pans & dishes, baking dishes, microwave, toaster oven, crock pot, bread making machine, double sink with hot & cold water supply.

The interior walls for most of the kitchen are insulated and drywalled, but not mudded, sanded, nor painted.  For the other half of the kitchen, the walls are not finished and there is no decorating on the walls.  It is plain 2" x 4" unfinished stud wall construction.  In other words, there is no drywall.
Electric stove, large fridge with ice maker, dish washer, fancy dishes and specialty items (ie. no melon balling tool, no cake decorating pastry icing bags, etc.)
There is a full size bath tub with tub surround, and shower.

The marble bathroom sink & countertop has hot & cold running water.  A large mirror and bright lights just above complement the light and ventilation from the bathroom window.

The bathroom walls for the tub and shower have been drywalled, mudded, and painted.  For the rest of the interior walls, there is full privacy from unpainted drywall on all the other walls (bathroom side only).  The ceilings have not been done yet (open joists). There is a door with a bathroom privacy lock set.

There is a low water consumption  flush toilet installed (1/2 pint per flush), connected to our waste composting toilet system in the basement.

This composting system only requires the addition of a scoop of wood shavings with every use (bin & scoop beside the toilet), otherwise it's the same as a city toilet for the renter.  It operates odor free and with maximum environmental efficiency.

For those who like to "rough it", there is also an outhouse (single seater) located next to the cottage.

There is an outdoor shower with a solar heater and instantaneous electric water heater (operates from the generator).  The solar heater takes between 2 to 6 hrs. to heat the water on a sunny day, so plan ahead of time, and start the water circulating around 9:00 AM so as to get lots of hot water by mid afternoon.  A solar PV cell converts the sun into electricity, which drives the recirculation pump.  This maximizes the heat collected from the solar hot water heater.

There is no drywall on the majority of the interior walls, nor on any of the ceilings.

There is only enough drywall on the interior walls of the bathroom to give you privacy from wandering eyes.

Full inside plumbing, Jacuzzi whirlpool tub, hot tub, sauna, etc.
There are five good size bedrooms (approx. 12' x 12', 9' x 16', 8' x 14', 8' x 18', and 8' x 18'). Both the Master bedroom and the South bedroom have a door out onto the second floor deck.

In four of the bedrooms, there is one double bed (sleeps 2 adults) for a total of 12 adults in the cottage.  The beds are made out of a 2" x 4" wood frame, plywood, and 5" of soft foam for a mattress.

In one of the bedrooms, there is a double bunk bed (2 adults on the top bunk, 2 adults on the bottom bunk).

The interior walls are roughed-in drywall, but not mudded nor painted, and there is no decorating on the walls.  There are doors on 3 of the bedrooms

It is plain 2" x 4" unfinished stud wall construction.

There are 8 good pillows you can use, but you need  to encase them in your own pillow cases before using them.

There are some blankets and sleeping bags available in case there is an exceptionally cold night, but you should plan to bring all sheets and blankets (or sleeping bags) for what you would normally be using.

There are 3 chests of drawers available for use, one for each bedroom.

There is additional sleep space available in a 14' travel trailer with 2 bunks for 2 adults each, and a small upper bunk for 1 or 2 children for a maximum of 4 adults and 2 children.  The trailer has a furnace, propane stove, icebox, and kitchen table with bench seats for 4 people (converts to one of the beds, and a couch (converts to the other bed).

There are no sheets, pillow cases, nor sleeping bags; you need to bring your own.

There are doors on 3 of the bedrooms, the other 2 bedrooms are still "open concept".

There are no closets nor hangers.

There is a TNC aerial connection in the cottage's kitchen for a cell phone antenna on the roof of the cottage. If you have your own cell phone, this will allow most 0.3 watt handheld cell phones with the correct TNC connector to be able to make or receive cell phones through Bell Cellular (analog and digital) or Rogers AT&T in Mindemoya ON, 15 km away from BBay.

A Cell Socket interface unit has been installed for use with a Nokia cell phone (Model 6185 or similar) .  This unit permits the wiring of phones throughout the cottage which provide regular phone service through the one cell phone mounted in the Cell Socket.

If you don't have your own cell phone, or you don't have the proper aerial connector patch cord, then there is a pay phone in Providence Bay at the Huron Sands Motel , as well as at the Providence Bay Trailer Park on the beach road.
The is no standard phone service.
There is a portable radio (AM, FM, SW) and a portable CD player.   You will need to run them on AC power, or supply your own batteries, or replace ours if you run them down.

There is a small library of books and magazines, cottage activities book for children, some board games, and playing cards.

There is no TV, video games, video recorder/player, DVD, nor computer at BBay.
There is linoleum in the main entrance hall (mud room), and the bathroom.

There are unfinished, plywood floors throughout the rest of the cottage.

Carpeting, tiles, linoleum, floor coverings throughout the cottage.
Outdoor Patio & Other Facilities
There are two huge, wrap-around cedar decks with seating all around (seating for approx. 60 people), covering 3 sides of the cottage.  There is a second floor deck with sitting area for 2 people.  On the main floor deck facing the water, there are 6 wood Muskoka chairs.

On the back deck, there is a glass patio table with umbrella, 6 chairs with cushions, and a rocking love seat.

There is a standard size gas barbeque with propane.

At the trailer, there is a 12' x 16' wood deck with two love seat swings for 4 people.

There are two small flower gardens on the South side of the cottage, and numerous planters with annuals at various locations on the deck

There is a large hammock.  Children have a  rope swing and climbing rope to play on.  There is a children's tree house currently under construction not far from the cottage.
Manicured grass lawns, backyard pool, backyard fence, landscaping
Maid & Housekeeping Services
There is a custodial person who arrives at 11:00  AM on the day of your arrival and departure.  This person will do the following between 11:00 AM departure time and the 2:00 PM arrival time by the next renters:
  • change the security codes for access by the next renters.
  • check the cottage inventory to ensure nothing is missing/broken/out of place
  • remove the garbage bags and recycle bin contents which the previous renters have neatly piled outside the cottage at the roadway.
  • check, & if necessary, sweep/vacuum the floors, beds, etc.
  • check, & if necessary, clean the oven, fridge, countertops, and table surfaces.
  • check/clean the bathrooms (toilet, sink, shower, & tub

  • remove/replace wet or dirty cloths, towels, etc.
  • check/clean windows inside & out (as required)
  • Find & remove any personal belongings left by the previous renter (for return where possible)
  • Dusting, as required
  • Security check (gas off, fire out, electricity off, batteries charging, doors & windows locked, etc.)
Maid service who will clean up after you.  You are expected to leave the place the same way you found it, as you would like it to be when you arrived.

If you forget, or ignore you cleaning responsibilities, BBay staff will do it for you, then bill you for all costs plus a service charge.

Original Date: Aug. 14, 2002
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Latest Update: April 26, 2013 11:24:24 -0400