Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
about
BBL's Cottage Rental

Table of Contents

Cottage Life Magazine's Recommended Standard Questions

Is Black's Bay Lodge right for me ?

Traveling  to & From Black's Bay Lodge

Cottage Facilities

Safety_at_the_Cottage

Water, Waterfront, Beach

Town of Providence Bay & Surrounding Area


Activities Available at Black's Bay

BBay's Policy for Pets, Multi-Family, Extended Family, or Group Rentals

Rental Contracts, Rates, Costs, Restrictions

Example on Calculating Your Rental Fee

Cottage Life's Recommended Standard Questions

The following standard questions were extracted from page 71 of Cottage Life magazine, March 2005.  These questions are recommended to be asked before renting any cottage, so as to avoid disappointment.  BBay's answers to each of these questions is provided.

Question Answer
What amenities are included (eg. bedding & towels, dishes and cutlery, toaster and barbeque, TV and board games)? Foam mattress and pillow is on each bed.  You are expected to bring your own sleeping bag, or sheets and blankets, towels, face cloths, and pillow case.  BBay has some towels in the Porcupine cupboard in case of emergencies, and you'd be expected to launder and replace them before you leave if emergency strikes.

The kitchen is fully equipped with a service for approx. 12, plus all pots, pans, bowels, etc.  We don't have the fancy equipment (ie. no blender, soufle pan, etc.).  There is a microwave, toaster, bread machine, propane barbeque (outdoors beside deck).

There is no TV, but there is a AM/FM/shortwave radio, and a CD player boom box.  There are numerous books, board games, Scrabble, cards, chess, etc.

How many beds are available and what sizes are they? There are 4 bedrooms, each with a double bed.  The waterfront bedroom has a bunk bed (double bed on top and bottom).  There is therefore room to sleep 8 people on the beds.  The living room couch pulls out into a double bed.  The nearby trailer has another 2 double beds to sleep 4 more adults.

Pictures of cottage bedrooms

Does the rental include a boat or other water toys? There is a 16' canoe (plus paddles, life jackets, bailer, etc.) available for your use.  The outdoor shed has a number of plastic beach toys (ie. pail shovel, etc.) for the under 3 yr. old set.
Is the water potable? A new well was drilled in 2003 (we used to drink from Lake Huron directly).  Water to cottage is filtered through NSF approved filters for 60, 30 with activated charcoal, and 10.  Each spring, the well and all the cottage piping is shock chlorinated to fully sanitize, done by Owner (Glenn Black).  Neither I nor anyone I know of has ever become sick from drinking the water at BBay's cottage.

In 2010, we installed a reverse osmosis purification system with triple filters and an UV sterilization light to guarantee potable water.  This produces soft (low hardness) water at a special tap in the kitchen.  We use the water for use in double boilers when we make homemade yogurt, and for rinsing glassware so as to avoid hardwater spotting.

Based on the above, I believe it is potable water.

Is there hydro and phone service? The cottage is Green Powered, meaning that we generate all our own electricity from solar and wind.  There is an 4000 watt emergency backup generator powered by a gasoline engine. All you have to do to use it is turn on the switch, just like normal, even though the design, installation, & efficiency is totally different from what you may be used to in big cities.

There is a cell phone high gain antenna on the roof of the cottage with the connection cable in the kitchen.  If you have the patch cable, you can connect your cell phone to the antenna cable in the kitchen for excellent reception.  Otherwise, there are 2 pay phones in town (2 km. away).

Are pets allowed? We follow the policies recommended by the Humane Society.

Animals susceptible to fleas must be treated for fleas (ie. flea collar, spray, pill, etc.) at least 2 weeks before they arrive, and be flea-free on arrival.  There is a significant flea population in all wooded areas from wild animals, so your flea treatment must continue during your rental period; especially if the animal goes into or woods, or walks along road or paths.

Those pets susceptible to rabies must be vaccinated at least 1 week before they arrive, and must have been vaccinated within 18 months before the end of your rental period.  This ensures they have built-up antibodies from vaccination before they arrive & during their stay.

Dogs and cats are acceptable inside the cottage, provided they are house broken, do not damage the cottage or contents (ie. chewing,  scratching, spraying, etc.), and you clean up after them (shedding, paw prints, etc.).  If there is damage (eg. chew, flea infestation, odours, etc.), you will be paying to correct the situation.

Other pets will be considered (please contact me and discuss in advance).

Dogs that are on the wild side (ie. they chase squirrels, chipmunks, porcupine, skunks, or deer; won't come when called, bite, etc.) should not be allowed to run free.  It is against the law to harass the wildlife, and the wild animals may bite back if cornered or sufficiently harassed. Owner or guardian is solely responsible for pet's actions.

Pet waste in & around the cottage, on the road or paths, etc. needs to be cleaned up.  In the woods, it can stay where it falls, composting over time. 

We are 0.5 km from nearest neighbour, but continuous barking travels a long way in the quiet woods.  Consider thy neighbour.

Is smoking permitted? Inside the cottage is a no smoking area.  The woods is a no smoking area (forest fire risk, against the law to smoke while walking in the woods).  While on property, butts must be placed in butt cans or your pockets, not dropped on the ground (especially not in the woods, on trails, on the road, etc.).  Absolutely no smoking in bed whatsoever (extremely dangerous on foam mattress).
Is there a restriction on how many guests can be invited? You may invite all those who are listed on your rental application.  You are not allowed any visitors or guests (neither over night nor daytime) except those pre-approved on your rental application.

We have hosted weddings and receptions with 25 people sleeping over and 50 partying for wedding reception.  Property is big enough for party your 200 closest friends, but we would have to have some very special arrangements before we would agree to this.

Rental rates are based on a family of up to five persons (children under 5 are free).  Extra people are charged extra (above the minimum rental fee).

Are the lake and shoreline suitable for swimming and/or fishing? The shore at BBay slopes out very slowly, and is therefore ideal for young children.  The shallows are ideal for tadpole and crayfish hunts.  At the point, the water is deeper and rocky, and therefore very clean; ideal for swimming.  Out deeper (ie. from canoe) fishing is excellent for salmon, lake trout, walleye, and whitefish.  Inland lakes and streams are fantastic fishing sites (over 110 lakes on Manitoulin, all within 1 hr. of the cottage).
Are there any safety issues for small children or elderly visitors? The cottage is not child proofed.  This is a 113 acre forested site where unsupervised children could wander off into the woods and become disorientated.  The grounds, trails, beach are uneven ground and difficult for elderly to navigate easily.  Similar risks are mentioned elsewhere in the FAQ, as well as in the BBay Operating Manual.  We have attempted to do full disclosure on all of these risks, as forewarned is forearmed.
Are there special instructions for operating the heat, water, etc.? Yes.  While you may not need it, it's there just in case.

There is a very comprehensive operating manual, posted on this web site, with a copy in the cottage (colour photos and full descriptions).  The manual is fully indexed by keywords so that it is very easy to find whatever you are looking for.

Who should be contacted in the event of a plumbing malfunction or other emergency? Armed with the comprehensive operating manual, you are asked to be the first line of defense during your stay (self-reliant).  If it is beyond the scope of the operating manual or your capabilities, there is a local housekeeper in Providence Bay (2 km. away) who could assist or co-ordinate the assistance of others (ie. plumber, electrician, etc.).  The Owner (Glenn Black) who built all of these cottage systems is available by phone 24 hrs. per day (daytime work number, home number, and cell number); all of which are posted in the Operating Manual inside the cottage.
Directions to local stores and medical facilities? There is a hardware, grocery store, gas station, restaurant, motel, snack bar, and library (with public Internet access) in the Town of Providence Bay (2 km. away).  The hospital and doctor's office is in Mindemoya, 15 km. away.  The Providence Bay Firehall is at the end of Firehall Rd., 1.5 km. away (volunteer fire department).  Ambulances are dispatched from Mindemoya Hospital , 15 km. away.  Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has an office in Mindemoya(15 km. away) and Gore Bay (30 km. away).  The nearest pharmacy is in Mindemoya (15 km. away).  All of this is described in the Operating Manual

Is Black's Bay Lodge right for me?

Question
Answer
Is Black's Bay Lodge "right" for me & my group?
That depends on what you are looking for.

If you just look at the picture on the main page of our web site, and jump to the conclusion that BBay is what you've been looking for, you may be pleasantly surprised or bitterly disappointed.  Please be sure to look at everything on the website, especially where we compare BBay's Facilities to a standard home in an urban sub-division.  We have tried very hard to do "full disclosure" of who we are, & what we have to offer.  You are responsible for reading & deciding.

People say, "A change is as good as a rest".   In your normal life, you are probably plugged into society more than enough.  BBay is about "unplugging"; getting away from all of this.  BBay is about a different pace, & different priorities.

BBay is not the Holiday Inn, nor an all-inclusive vacation resort.  BBay is less "roughing" than a wilderness canoe trip into a remote lake in Algonquin Park.  BBay is more "roughing" than your home in the city.

While we are just 2 km. from the town of Providence Bay, we are a remote, self-reliant cottage in a 113 acre forest.

By self-reliant, I mean:

  • The cottage is "Off the Grid". We generate our own electricity and pump our own water.  There is a radio for news, weather, music, etc. We haul in our own fuel supply via propane tanks, and cut our own firewood from our forest.  Nobody delivers fuel  to us through a pipe, nor electricity over miles of poles & wires to the switch on our wall.  We do this for ourselves. Also, there is no handyman on site to run everything for you.  The owner lives 6 hrs. away by car.  You are expected to be self-reliant.
  • To help you achieve self-reliance,
    • There is an Operating Manual & Renter's Guide in the cottage.  Most people are able to get along fine without referencing this manual.  It describes most systems, how they work, troubleshooting, operation, etc..  You can see the index to the manual on this website.  If you wish, you can look at the entire manual to know exactly what is expected & how things work.
       
    • There is a mini-manual, 15 pages in total, one page for each of the major systems.  This is enough for most people.

    • The owner, designer, builder, & technical expert of BBay will be available 24 hrs. per day by phone for any questions or concerns you may have (live, immediate response; or leave a message & I will call you back).

By remote, I mean you will be the only people in a 113 acre forest.  This property is part of a 5,000 acre forest on the South Shore of Manitoulin.  There is no connection to the outside world except the road through the forest. The nearest neighbours are 1 km. away.  If you want to be with other people, you will have to go to town, or go visit the neighbours (very friendly people). Remember, there are more white tail deer on Manitoulin Island than people.  Except for the few towns & villages, Manitoulin is not urban, it's countryside as it was 100 years ago. 

Is it necessary to delve into your cottage manual in order to stay there?

Especially if the stay is short, this is not my idea of curling up with a good book.

If we know when you are coming, we will have all the systems turned on & going before you arrive.  In this case there is no need to read anything.

There is a 15 page short manual, one page for each system (ie. solar/wind power, electrical generator, water supply, stove, fridge, propane supply, hot water tank, cottage electrical panels, well pump, etc.) just in case you need it.  This should be enough for most people, especially if everything is set up before you arrive.

The big manual (all 150 pages) has everything I know about the cottage & all of its systems, in case I get hit by a truck. The big manual is fully indexed so you can find anything in 30 seconds or less.  If you don't want to read it, that's OK with me.  You probably don't need to do so.  However, it's probably a comfort knowing it's there if you need it.

A copy of both the mini- and full manual are in the cottage just in case.  Also, I'm available by phone 24 hrs a day if you prefer that method of solving any problems. Most people do quite fine without either of these solutions.

I'm not a hunter or fisher and hope there are few, if any, noisy power boats and ATVs around. If an ATV goes down the Concession Rd., you will have great difficulty hearing it, even if you're outside on the cottage deck. The traffic on the Concession Rd. is minimal (ie. approx. 10 cars per week and 1 ATV per week during the busy summer season).

The commercial fishing boat goes by 2 to 3 times per week on the lake, about 1 mile out, has a loud engine, and can be faintly heard from the cottage deck, but not inside the cottage. The occasional Seadoo goes by in mid-summer, about 1 or 2 times per week. There are other boats that can be seen about 1 to 5 miles away on the horizon, but not heard.

You have over 0.5 km of private beach on BBay's property. The neighbour's beaches are similarly deserted 99.9% of the time. I see someone on the beach (or foot prints from other times) 1 to 3 times per year.

There are many nature trails to enjoy on our property as well as the ~5000 acres of private lands in the area.

Neighbours do hunt, but it doesn't sound like a "war zone". However deer hunting season (3rd week in November) does have significant amounts of gunfire that can be heard when you are outside the cottage (you're not able to hear it inside the cottage). At worst case during other times of the year, you may hear a .22 or shotgun go off once per week, if at all.

I enjoy walking and hiking in the woods. Are those wolves and bears (and humans with rifles) dangerous to the unarmed in the fall? If you do not leave food out, there is only a extremely small chance of seeing a bear.  If you leave honey, doughnuts, deep fat frying grease, bacon grease etc. out on a picnic table for 2 to 3 days, you may get to see bears up close & personal.  Obviously, this would be un-wise, not recommended, & you could be charged under the wildlife act by a Conservation Officer.

There are many nature trails to enjoy on our property as well as the ~5000 acres of private lands in the area.

For 51 weeks of the year, you can walk in the woods everywhere with relative safety.

I would not suggest walking in the woods during deer hunting season for rifles (3rd week in November).  If you insist on walking in woods during this week, I would strongly recommend a hunting orange vest and hat for each person to virtually eliminate the added risk.

Wolves and bears are generally not a problem for adults. Small children need to be within arms length of adults at all times while they're in the woods, or off the deck of the cottage; regardless of the wild animals. This is mainly precaution of them wandering off, and getting lost in the woods (more likely), as well as protection from the wild animals (unlikely).

Instructions for bear proofing yourselves are in the full manual.

Traveling to & From Manitoulin

Question
Answer
How far is it to get to Black's Bay Lodge ?
There is an Ontario Road Map in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf) that shows the area around Manitoulin Island.  Approximate driving distances are shown in the following table:

  Via Tobermory & ferry

(May to Oct)

Via Hwy. 17
(Sault St. Marie or Sudbury) , then Espanola, & swing bridge at Little Current
Buffalo, NY 330 mi. 460 mi.
Chicago, IL 585 mi. 660 mi.
Cincinnati, OH 570 mi. 820 mi.
Cleveland, OH via Buffalo 520 mi. 650 mi.
Cleveland, OH via Detroit 475 mi. 725 mi.
Detroit, MI 300 mi. 550 mi.
Ottawa, ON via North Bay, Sudbury, Espanola  850 km. 650 km., 410 mi.
Toronto, ON 400 km.,
250 mi.
570 km.
355 mi.
How do I get to Manitoulin from Toronto, length of drive, etc? Map for driving from Toronto to Tobermory, then ferry to Manitoulin:

Map showing route from Toronto to Manitoulin Island Ontario Canada via ferry

It's a 3.5 hr drive from Toronto.  For the scenic route, take Hwy 401, 410, 10, 24, 89, and finally Hwy. 6.  As you have breakfast, lunch, or supper on the ferry, you continue to travel to your destination.  After the 1.75 hr crossing, it's 30 a minute drive through Manitoulin countryside to reach Black's Bay Lodge in Providence Bay.

For the "fast" route, go North on Hwy. 400, then cut West along  Hwy 89 to Aliston, then up Hwy 6 to Tobermory

Take the Chi-Chemaun ferry to Manitoulin Island.  See maps on website for trip on Island side.

It takes between 3 to 4 hrs. to get from TO to Tobermory (non-rush hr. traffic)

How do I get to Black's Bay Lodge from Michigan, USA?
You have two options.  You can go North in Michigan using I-75 till you get to Sault St. Marie, then cross into Canada.  Turning East, you follow the Trans-Canada Highway back to Espanola, then go South to Manitoulin Island and the town of Little Current.  Once you have crossed the swing bridge to Little Current, you go West to West Bay (M'Cheeg), and then South to Mindemoya, then South-west to Providence Bay.  See maps for details.

The second option is to go to Port Huron at the South end of Lake Huron, crossing over to Canada into Sarnia.  You can then drive North along Hwy. 21 (along the eastern shore of Lake Huron) until just after South Hampton, then go North on Hwy. 6, up the Bruce Peninsula to Wiarton, & finally Tobermory .  You can then go across on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry (runs from approx. May 17 to Oct. 17).  The ferry costs about $45 for a car & driver, about $65 for a carload under the family rate.  Trailers and excess height vehicles are extra.  See ferry website for details  Manitoulin ferry information   Reservations are recommended.  You must arrive 1 hour before sail or your reservations are canceled.  Car and driver is about $38 CAD + 13% HST one way, adult passengers are $12 one way.
How do I get to Black's Bay Lodge from Toronto?

Cottage Facilities

Question
Answer
What are the sleeping accommodations at BBay?
Master bedroom (waterfront view) at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaBedroom #1 12' x 12', large window looking out over waterfront, French doors onto 2nd. floor deck overlooking waterfront.  Has double bed with 5" foam mattress that will sleep 2 adults comfortably.


Bedroom # 2 (Waterfront view) at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaBedroom #2  16' x 10', 2 large windows looking out over waterfront, door out onto 2nd. floor deck overlooking waterfront.  Has bunk beds with 5" foam mattress that will sleep 2+2=4 adults comfortably



Bedroom # 3 at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaBedroom # 3  8' x 18'   Has bunk bed with 5" foam mattress that will sleep 2+2=4 adults comfortably.  Has small windows looking out over woods.

 

Bedroom # 4 at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaBedroom # 4  8' x 18'   Has bunk bed with 5" foam mattress that will sleep 2+2=4 adults comfortably.  Room has window looking out over woods.

 

Bedroom # 5 (with loft) at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaBedroom # 5   8' x 14'   Has dresser drawers and access to attic loft.  One double bed is currently set up in this bedroom.  Room has window looking out over 2nd. floor deck.
 


Living room at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaLiving room has pull-out couch that will sleep 2 adults (in  semi comfort ?).  Has 2 large picture windows (4' x 16') looking out to waterfront.





Travel Trailer (sleeps 4) at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada Travel Trailer:    14' x 7' trailer has 2 bunks which sleeps 2+2= 4 adults on 3" foam mattresses, has icebox, propane stove, dining table (converts to one bed), propane light, electricity from camp generator, located 100 ft. from main cottage, 14' x 14' deck with swing seats, private location surrounded by trees.


Total Maximum sleeping capacity:  8 adults in beds.

Could small tents be set up around the house for kids? How many?
Yes.  There are large flat areas on the beach, but you will need air mattresses as the rock is as hard as it is flat.  There are large clearings (grassy meadows) between the cottage & the orchard that could hold an entire scout jamboree.  These areas are approx. 100 yards from the cottage down a path through the woods.  There is another clearing by the trailer on the path to the water.
What do we do for drinking water?
The water system currently at BBay is described in full on the BBay Facilities pages  Water is available through two different systems (water well, and Lake Huron).  There is drinking water available at the kitchen sink, and the tap at the bathroom sink on the main floor .
What are the toilet facilities at BBay?
There is an indoor flush toilet (composting, not septic tank) in the main floor bathroom of the cottage. This is part of the 4 pc. bathroom on the main floor of the cottage.

There is also a  single hole outhouse located about 20 yards from the cottage.  
What is available for baths and showers?
There are three options for bathing at BBay.

  1. There is an indoor full size tub, and shower in the main bathroom with a propane fired 50 US gallon hot water heater for piping hot water.  You can run the generator (to run the well water pump), or use the small DC water pump.

  2. There is one of the world's biggest bathtubs available at BBay (Lake Huron).  We suggest using Ivory bar soap; as it always floats and you don't lose it.  In addition, it is very environmentally friendly compared to soaps with oils included (ie. Ponds, Dove, etc.)

  3. There is an outdoor shower with solar water heater.  For those who are impatient (or need a shower on a cloudy & cold day), there is an auxiliary electric water heater (requires generator).  See BBay's Auxiliary Cottage Facilities for more info and pictures.
Please describe the outdoor facilities in more detail
Outdoor shower at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaThere is a outdoor shower with heated water at the beach. The renters who have used it said it was FANTASTIC!  I agree.

There is a 1 seater outhouse about 20 yards from the cottage.  See above.

There is a hand pump for lake water, dish pan, mirror, soap dish, and clothes line about 20 yards from the cottage.  We find this is very useful for getting kids & adults washed up before meals so that there isn't a huge line up at the kitchen sink while meals are being prepared.
Is there an electric coffee pot?
There is a percolator coffee pot for use on the gas stove.  There are basket filter papers & it uses regular ground coffee.  I like it just as well as the fancy machine we have in our regular home. Put the coffee in, fill with water, set on stove, & turn burner on high.  Once it starts percolating (about 4 minutes) it will quickly turn brown.  Leave percolating for about 1 minute, turn off the burner, and let sit for about 2 minutes to drain.  Remove the basket of grounds & enjoy.  After the first cup, we usually turn the burner back on  (very low) to keep the pot warm.  After 2 hrs. of warming, it's no longer a joy to drink.

As we are not connected to Ontario Hydro, most things work on propane.  As our primary electrical supply, we have a solar/wind power generating & storage system.  As a backup, we have a large 4,000 watt generator , but you probably don't want to be running it continuously.

There is a microwave oven, bread making machine, toaster oven (as well as for the gas stove), full set of pots, pans, cooking, & eating dishes, glasses, utensils, etc.

The Operating Manual has a full listing of what's in the cottage, and what you should bring with you.

Is it ok to jerry-rig curtains of some kind (or do you already do this)? I actually prefer to do my sleeping in the dark, and the darker, the better (city boy). Manitoulin, and especially this area of Manitoulin around Providence Bay, is "dark Sky" region. After the sun goes down, it's pitch black unless there is a full moon.

The cottage is nestled in a bank of trees, so even this is dark during a full moon; similar to having a nightlight on in your bedroom.

Mornings get bright when the sun comes up around 7:30 AM in late October. If you want blackout curtains, feel free to bring your own. Currently, none of BBay's windows have any window coverings whatsoever.

Is the generator noisy?

 I would likely use the lights of an evening.

What's the difference between the generator and the solar or wind generator?
 

The cottage is equipped with 470 watts of PV solar panels, 400 watt wind generator, 12,000 watt-hr of battery power storage, and a 1500 watt inverter (changes the DC power in the storage batteries to 110 Volts AC, standard household current).

This system supplies approximately 3100 watt-hrs. of power each day; sufficient for most people so they never have to run the generator.

Most people use a maximum instantaneous power draw rate of 200 watts in the average day.  The wind/solar system has a continuous power capacity of 1500 watts, and can supply up to 2000 watts for 10 minutes.  Therefore, most people only use 13% of the system's maximum power rate capacity.

Most renters use a total of 1700 watt-hrs of solar-wind electricity per day. This represents 55% of the total power generated by the system on a typical day.

If it's cloudy and no wind, you will generate less power.  This is when the batteries will supply sufficient power.  At 1700 watt-hrs used per day, and assuming no wind and no sun whatsoever, there is 3.5 days of power available by taking the batteries from 100% full charge to 50% full.

During normal days of wind and/or sun, and normal rates of power usage by the renters, you can go forever without running the generator.  Even though the solar/wind power is more than adequate for most people, you are expected to use the solar/wind power reasonably (consume no more than what you generate (so there is battery power for the next renters after you leave).  It can take up to 6 days to recharge the batteries if you run them down completely).

If you do run the generator, it's inside its own building, but can be heard as a soft noise (about 60 dBA) inside the cottage even with the windows closed. It never bothered me before we got the wind/solar power system, but I notice the generator running now when I'm working & need the generator for my power tools.

Safety at the Cottage

Question
Answer
There will be three small children who are under 4.  Are there any dangers that we would have to consider for them?
Yes.  I don't want to scare you, but I also don't want to make light of the risks.

The risks can be managed.  Just like in the city, you will have to watch small children like a hawk.  This is what we did with our own children when they were little.

The cottage has not been "child-proofed".  There are no child gates on the various stairs. There are no child locks on the cupboards, etc.

Our Operating Manual covers the major risks and our suggestions to avoid or protect.  Once your application has been approved, I will send you a copy of the Operating Manual to review with everyone.  Kids have a fantastic time with the freedom, the outdoors, and all the neat things to do.  However, the cottage has all the risks that a city home has, plus the risks of rural living, plus the risks associated with a forest in Northern Canada.

I first brought my two children to Manitoulin Island when they were 4 weeks old. They are now 19 and 16 yrs old; having survived many summers on Manitoulin.

The waterfront is very shallow close to shore and slopes out to deeper water very, very slowly.  At the Point (way out at the tip of Black's Bay), the water is approximately 1.5 ft deep at the shore.  This is where I usually go swimming.  Also, Lake Huron is a BIG lake. Boats, canoes, kayaks, dinghies, inner tubes, etc. should only be used with life preservers and close supervision by adults able to rescue. Hypothermia is an issue, even in the hottest part of summer.

When are the black flies & mosquitoes at their worst?
At the cottage & on the beach, we don't tend to get black flies.  The breeze off the water tends to keep them in the woods & away from the camp.  There is the occasional one, but they are not in swarms.  I usually get bit once or twice a year over a 6 week period in the outdoors.

They are in the woods.  If you walk into the woods, they will soon find you.  With repellant applied, I've only been really bothered by them sometime about 1989.  I know it was warm when they were bad, I think sometime in July or August.  So I'm not really sure the answer to that question.  My guess is May/June is the worst.

Mosquitoes are ever present at dusk and 2 hrs. after the sun goes down.  Netting (mosquito suit) or repellent is highly recommended at those times
I can see from the web site that there is hunting done in the area.  Are there any traps on the property?
There are no traps.  Traps are illegal except for someone who has a trapping license and has an approved trap line on government land or with landowner's permission.  There are no animal traps on our property.  You will be unable to tell there was any hunting occurring on the property.

Lake, Waterfront, Beach

Question
Answer
How far to the waters edge?  Last year (at another cottage we rented), we had to walk down three roads and over a bridge, but the website had said 200 meters to the water.  We found out too late that it was 200 meters "as the crow flies".
Close-up view of waterfront as seen from BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada Waterfront seen from cottage deck at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada We believe in "full disclosure".  See BBay Facilities where we compare BBay to a typical single family dwelling, in a typical  subdivision, in a typical Canadian suburban centre (ie. our house in London, ON).  Hopefully, you can get full answers to all your questions, as well as the questions you "should" have asked (ie. you currently assume to be the same as at your house, &/or you forget to ask).

Attached are pictures from the main deck of the cottage, looking towards the water (normal view & close-up view).  I estimate it to be 200 yards (by crow and foot) from the cottage door to wet feet at the water's edge of Lake Huron.

You have about 1500 ft. of private shoreline available to explore on our property, can walk all the way to Providence Bay (about 2 km) by way of shore, or go all the way around the entire island of Manitoulin if you'd like (approx. 600 km in total).
We have been to a beach near Providence Bay and it was always cold there with the wind coming off the water, has it been like this in the last few years?
Water in N. Canada tends to be colder.  However, the bay at Black's Bay is very shallow, so in the summer it tends to heat up after a few good days of sunshine.  The further out you go, the deeper it gets and the colder.  However, I swim in it all the time during the summer.

The Mindemoya River that empties into Providence Bay (at the sand beach in town) tends to be much warmer & most small kids play in the water at the mouth of the river (where it meets Providence Bay) for hours on end  & find it nice.

When the wind is out of the South  to South-West, it blows in over Lake Huron.  This tends to take about 5 off the temperature from other wind directions.  I find this very cooling during a hot summer.

If you want to bake your body, go inland about 200 yards, surrounded by trees in a clearing, and spread out your beach blanket in the sun.  The reduced wind will heat you very quickly in the summer sun.  There is a nice clearing right beside the orchard (about 300 yards from the cottage) for doing this.

Town of Providence Bay & Surrounding Area

Question
Answer
Is there any horseback riding in the area?
There are horses & mules (small, medium, & large) on the Government Rd (just 5 km. from Black's Bay at Kicking Mule Ranch.  They have programs for kids, trail rides, approx. 200 acres to ride on, & country music jamboree hoe-downs on Friday or Saturday nights each week.
Where can we buy groceries?
There is a grocery store inside the hardware store at Providence Bay (2 km. away).  They have more than a corner variety store, but less selection than a major chain (ie. Loblaws, A&P, etc.).

In Mindemoya (15 km. away), there is a full grocery store.  This is a store for a local chain of stores.  Its buying power means the prices here are about 10 to 50 cheaper than in Providence Bay.
Should we bring our food with us, or buy it locally once we arrive?
All grocery prices in the North will be higher than the South (lower volume & more transportation costs).  Therefore, it is recommended you bring as much with you as you can reasonably manage, then buy replacement (ie. milk, bread, eggs, etc.) as you consume what you brought.

Lettuce, eggs, etc. tend not to travel as well as a jar of peanut butter.  You may choose to buy these more fragile items locally as you need them.

Remember, the cottage only has a small fridge.  At most, you will be able to fit 2 Coleman coolers (or a little less) of food into the fridge.

We have 8 different salad dressings in our fridge at home.  Isn't variety nice?  I suggest you bring only your one favorite salad dressing, and leave the other 7 types at home. This saves a lot of space in the fridge & pack/unpack.

If you bring more than what will fit into the fridge, you'll have to be constantly running to town to get ice to keep it all cool.  You will soon tire of this.

Activities Available at Black's Bay

Question
Answer
I would also like some information about getting a proper fishing license for American's visiting into Canada, also with their own boats, if at all possible.


Non-Ontario residents (including Americans) are able to purchase a non-resident fishing license.  These give you the same rights to fish as an Ontario resident, but are more expensive to purchase.  Also, each year there is one weekend designated as Family Fishing Weekend when everybody can fish without a license.  The licenses can be purchased just about everywhere (ie. hardware stores, fishing & sporting goods shops, Ministry of Natural Resources government offices, etc.).  See the Ministry of Natural Resources website   http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/index.html    for the latest on prices and fishing regulations, open seasons, etc.
Can American's visiting into Canada bring and use their own fishing boat ?
As with anything, you will have to declare the boat at the US border before you enter Canada (so the US Customs have a record that it was originally in the USA).  It has to be properly registered in the USA, and it has to be clean on the hull, inside the boat, wet well etc. (to prevent the spreading of zebra mussels, foreign plants, & micro-organisms from foreign lakes & rivers.  There are new regulations in Canada requiring captains of vessels to be certified operators and that each boat must have a minimum set of safety gear.  This includes Jet skis and other personal water craft.  See Canadian Coast Guard  website for details  http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/main_e.htm  Boating regulations, drinking while boating, safe operation of water craft are also enforced by the Ontario Provincial Police http://www.gov.on.ca/opp/welcome/english/
Is there a boat at BBay, or are there boats available for rent nearby?  I want to be able to take my kids fishing.
BBay has a canoe (see below), as well a a small day sailor sailboat (16 ft. Albacore).  The sailboat is not currently rigged, ready for use at present.  The canoe is ready to go.

There are 10 ft. aluminum boats with or without an 10 hp outboard motor for family fishing fun, available on Lake Mindemoya, as well as Lake Kagawon; starting around $25.00 for 4 hrs to rent.
I want to bring my own boat.  Is there a dock at BBay so I can keep it right at the cottage?
On Lake Huron, there are no docks unless you have a million dollar breakwater.  Anything else is readily removed by the first storm.  Therefore, we have no dock.  There is a government wharf in town (Providence Bay), just 5 km. away from BBay (10 minutes by car, door to door). Be sure to look how a 40 ft. section of this reinforced concrete wharf was wiped out by a Lake Huron storm, in spite of a million dollar breakwater.

The Providence Bay dock has many finger docks you can rent for the duration of your vacation.  There is also a boat launch ramp, parking, fish cleaning station, ice, freezers to store fish, etc.  There is a Dockmaster during the day & video surveillance at night for security.
What activities are available right on Black's Bay ?
  • Rock collections.  This area has a collection of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks of all shapes & sizes.  Did you know that gold freezes out in igneous rock right next to quartz (the bright white or clear crystalline rock)

  • Fossils.  The sedimentary flat rock at the beach is dolomite formed on the bottom of a vast ocean millions of years ago.  There are millions of fossils in this rock; plants, animals, insects, fish, etc.  Looking for 5 minutes is bound to find a fossil.  Look longer, and you will find some important discoveries.

  • Nature Trail  The property has numerous trails, meadows, swamps, forests, and grasslands.  There is a different ecosystem in each.  Look for the birds, insects, mammals, flowers, garter snakes, frogs, fungus (mushrooms), trees, and bushes in each of these areas.  There are numerous guide books in the cottage.  Take a very slow walk in the woods.  Stop occasionally, then stand very still for 5 minutes (laying down on the ground is even better).  After 5 minutes as a statue, the woods will resume normal activity, and you will experience it first hand.  Some things you will only hear; others are completely noise free but you can see what's going on.  Every trip will be different.

  • Stars & Planets   Manitoulin Island is recognized as one of the darkest skies in Ontario, almost as good as Algonquin Park.  There are star charts in the cottage.  Wait 20 minutes to get your night vision & find your stars by bare eye observations, or with one of the 3 pairs of binoculars.

  • Satellite Watching   If you lay flat on your back, look straight up, and stare; watching for something moving, you will see a satellite traveling across the sky about every 30 minutes.  You don't need binoculars; in fact, I've never been able to find a satellite with binoculars, even after I spotted one with my bare eyes..  They are very small (ie. a grain of sand at 1 ft. from your eye), sparkle slightly from the sun reflecting off of them, usually traveling from North-east to South-west (they really go due South, but the earth's simultaneously rotation makes it look different).  No where else will you be able to see a real satellite in flight.

  • Deer Watching   The deer move first thing in the morning (approx. 30 minutes after sunrise for about an hour), and last thing at night (1 hr. before sundown).  To increase your odds of seeing a deer, place a cup of corn/oats mixture (there is a full bin in the Mud Room) on the ground for aa day or two, watching who shows up.  If only the corn is eaten, it was a rabbit or a bird.  Only the deer (and bears) eat both the corn and the oats.  Only a cup at a time isn't worth while for a bear, but the deer will certainly participate once they find it.  It takes 12 to 24 hrs. for the smell of the corn/oats to travel sufficiently for the deer to reliably find it.  Bring your camp stools and your camera.  Sitting in the car keeps the noise and human odor to a minimum, increasing your chances.

  • Art Contest   Crayons, pencils, watercolours, or oils; it's all the same.  Do one of the local scenes, or use your imagination.

  • Bonfire & Weenie Roast   Sharpen a stick and stick your favorite sausage in the fire to a golden brown.  Serve with flaming marshmallows.  There is a shaking pan for making popcorn over the open fire

  • Fire Building Skills   Give everyone 15 minutes to find their own tinder (no man-made materials allowed) and 3 matches.  Who can get the first fire to burn?  Who can get the cup of water to boil first?

  • Card & Board Games  For the Phase 10 card game, luck, skill, pattern recognition, memory, and probability calculations (combinations and permutations) all help win this game.  There are many other board games (Scrabble, Monopoly, Uno, etc.) available as well.

  • Waterfront   The shallow, warm water in the bay is the home of newly born fish.  They are very small and well camouflaged to protect them from being eaten by the birds and bigger fish.  If you use a net or stay very still by the water (they are scared by the slightest vibration in the ground or moving shadows over the water) you will be able to watch them.  There are also thousand of crayfish in the bay.  Families of raccoons come down ever night to catch the crayfish by moon or starlight.  You can catch them too.  Build a rock cairn to mark your stay.

  • Woodcrafts   There are numerous wood tools in the work room.  There are many branches, cut trees, birch bark, and other raw materials.  Feel free to make yourself something.  Take a rock and all kinds of different seeds, pine cones, dried flowers, etc. arrange them to look like something familiar (ie. an animal), then glue them on the rock as a decoration & souvenir of your vacation at Black's Bay (much better than a plastic souvenir made in China).

  • Water Sports   Swimming, swimming races, longest holding of the breath under water contests, snorkeling, throw a rock & dive for it, water skiing (requires boat or powerful swimmer pulling you),

  • Canoeing   There is a 16 ft. plastic walled canoe (Kawartha brand), adequate for 750 lbs. of people & gear, but weighs only 69 lbs. (my wife can lift it by herself).  It comes complete with 2 paddles, safety equipment, & buoyancy vests.

    Canoe specifications for BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

    Length: 15'6"

    Width: 35"

    Weight: 65 lb.

    Capacity 750 lb

    Canoe at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada The Kawartha is the perfect family canoe. At home on the lakes or in the rivers, this versatile canoe can take all the abuse you can dish out. The hull is constructed with a three layer linear polyethylene sandwich. This creates an exceptionally stiff canoe with reasonable weight. Our standard trim includes 2 webbed wood seats (ash), a carry yoke (poplar), a thwart (ash), and 4 carry handles (2 plastic tube & rope, 2 wood) .


  • Sunsets   On a clear evening, start 1 hr. before sunset, walking along the beach to the West.  Wear a good pair of boots with ankle support & bring 2 or more flashlights (in case 1 fails or is dropped).  Bring a camera.  When you reach the point between Black's Bay and Dean's Bay, sit down on the rocks and admire the sunset.  You can return by continuing to walk West and then join the Concession Road (check it out from the road side first so you don't get lost in the woods at night), or walk back along the beach by starlight &/or moonlight (it's amazing how much you can see after you get your night vision), or use your flashlights.

    An even better sunset trip is to drive out to the lighthouse at Meldrum Bay (far West end of Manitoulin Island), a 100 km. drive each way.  Be sure to start out at least 2 hrs. before sunset (I recommend 3 hrs minimum, or leaving after lunch is optimum) so you have time to explore the town, the lighthouse, the quarry, etc., topped off by the sunset at the end of the day.  Take a picnic lunch, binoculars, camera, coats (it gets cool at sundown with the wind off the water), & sturdy shoes/boots.
What is there to do in town, and on Manitoulin?  Are we stranded in the woods, miles from nowhere? There is lots to do on Manitoulin.  Horseback riding, museums, waterfalls, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing are just a few.  See BBay's more detailed list of Manitoulin tourism activities.

You are not stranded in the woods.

What is there to do if we have bad weather?
I like to think it never rains during the daytime on Manitoulin Island.  However, there are some days with low flying clouds or very high humidity.

In the cottage, there are a number of board games for the kids, playing cards, kids activity books, and a reasonable library.  After the rain is over, get on your boots and go see the stream on the East part of the bay.  The water flows through the woods can be very interesting.

Rental Contracts, Rates, Costs, Restrictions

Question
Answer
Are pets allowed?

Are there any special rules about pets?

We have dogs ourselves, and therefore permit dogs & cats to come.  Other pets, in reason, are welcome.  Of course, if they aren't house-broken, they should be kept outside or controlled so they don't damage or make a mess.  Even when cleaned up immediately, urine will stain, & smells on wood floors forever.  In all cases, you are responsible for all damages caused by your pets.

If your pets have a habit of wandering or chasing wild animals, you may want to keep them caged or chained, especially if you intend to leave them out at night unsupervised.  City pets have poor defenses as compared to wild animals.  For example, dogs could chase a porcupine that wanders by at night.  Not knowing any better can cause a painful lesson if Fido tries to get too close.

When you leave camp & don't want to take your dogs with you, there are two hitching points & chains to tie up Fido at the trees just South of the cottage, next to the big waterfront deck.
I would like some information mailed out to myself about renting the cottage.
All we have in the way of brochures is a  one page flyer we post here & there for advertising.  It contains 3 pictures taken from the website, and some brief text taken from the website.  Everything else is on the website  http://www.blacksbay.com  If you are unable to access this or print it out for some reason, give me a call at (705)-377-4039 leaving your information where I can get in touch with you by phone.  We will make other arrangements.
Can anyone rent the cottage ?
All responsible adults are welcome.

Our insurance policy does not cover any damages done by people who rent the cottage.  Therefore we have established a policy of only renting to "responsible" adults (ie. people who meet our risk management requirements). Families or mature adults are readily welcome.

For our protection , you will be asked to complete a rental application form, sign a waiver and indemnification agreement, and pay a damage deposit (usually 50% of the rental fee).  If you damage or destroy something, you will be expected to pay to put it right.  So far, everyone has treated our place with great respect, and there has been no monies forfeited by any renters to pay for damages.

After your rental period, the place will be inspected.  If there is no damage, you will be refunded your damage deposit promptly thereafter.

Is there a caretaker, or somebody going to be there to show us around or help us if we need it?
We have tried to keep it simple and easy to settle in.

If we know exactly when you will be arriving, BBay's staff will have the place ready for you.  The unit will have been checked & confirmed clean by the previous renters, or they will make it right.  The water tank in the attic will be filled & chlorinated, ready to go.  The stove pilot lights will be lit, the fridge will be on and cold when you arrive, and the hot water heater will be on & full of hot water ready for your first shower.

Beyond that, you are expected to be self-reliant.  To help you in this, there is a hard copy of the manual in a 3-ring binder inside the cottage, awaiting your arrival. The Table of Contents for the Operating Manual is available on the BBay Website.  There is also a short 15 page version that is adequate for most people.

While you are at BBay during your rental period, I will be available by phone ( 24 hrs. a day) for any emergencies you may have.

There is a "handyman" in town (15 km from BBay) who is somewhat familiar with BBay's facilities.  You can contact him and arrange for any additional assistance you think you may require (at your own cost).

Before you arrive, we will sent you an electronic version of the BBay Operating Manual.  It is very comprehensive (with over 50 colour photos showing what is being described in the text) so that most capable people can flourish on their own.  There is a Table of Contents and a detailed index in the back so you can quickly look up any question or problem and find what page in the manual it is discussed.

How do we pay for the rental?
We confirm registrations once we receive your deposit.  We cannot "hold" it until we receive your deposit and application.

We accept US or CDN funds via cheque, money order, credit card payment on the Internet through PayPal (a subsidiary of E-Bay), or direct deposit to our bank account.  For cheques, you must allow 2 weeks to clear for a CDN cheque, 3 wks. for a US cheque, and 1 month for an International cheque.

If payment must be made faster, we can provide banking information so that you can direct deposit or wire the funds to our bank account.

How do we get the keys for the cottage?
Once your rental application has been accepted, and just before you leave for your rental period, we will send you the information on obtaining the keys
We are considering your cottage for 3 families all together. Is there any extra charges for this?
Our posted rental fees are on a per person basis, with a minimum charge per week.  Children under 5 years of age are free.

If you want to add on grandchildren, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins twice removed, in-laws, and out-laws; we don't have a problem with this.  If you have more than 5 people over the age of 5 years in your group, or you want to bring the in-law, etc. it will be more than the minimum charge.  See BBay's rates for the current rates.

The reason for charging on a per person basis is that we want to be fairly compensated for our risk, the wear and tear on the facilities, and the value you receive. All of these are proportional to the number of people attending with you.

However, if you are a teenager who wants to have your entire high school over for a party (a few hundred of your closest friends), you need not make an application.

For the risk side, we will ask at least one adult at each of the households attending to sign a waiver & indemnification agreement.
I am a "starving artist," so I'm not in the executive price bracket. I do have to consider there are some humbler alternatives I know of  that are $250 - $300 in the fall Off-season rates are $12.14 per person per night (based on occupancy of 5 adults). No 14 ft. x 12 ft. motel room can compete with this price, nor the full house size that you get (1,800 sq. ft.).

Pricing is set up to cover the cost of our time to do applications, cleanup & security check after the guests leave, property taxes, wear & tear, insurance for renters, capital cost & depreciation to build the place, residual risk, and fair market value.

I agree there are sites much cheaper, but they are not waterfront property, and/or have neighbours (often rowdy ones) less than 10 ft. away from you.

At BBay, the nearest neighbour is 0.5 km away, and are not often there, so it's really 2 km. from the nearest neighbours in town. We therefore feel our off-season rates are more than reasonable.

We would be disappointed to lose you over a few dollars difference. We believe the feeling of peace and rested tranquility you will feel after your stay is priceless.

The pricing is set so that 3.5 days of daily rental is the same as 1 week of rental. If you are planning on more than 3 days, it's cheaper by the week. The choice is yours.

What would the rates be if I decided to rent the cottage for a week in July or August.  There would likely be 3 families (2 adults, 2 children) (2 adults) (2 adults, 2 children) all families are related sisters?
July and August are Prime Time, and are charged at the Prime Time rate.

There are 10 people in your group.  Assuming all the children are 5 yrs. of age or older (children under 5 are free), then you will be paying for 10 persons.  If all the children were under 5, you'd only be paying for 6 adults.
 

Follow the link for how rental rates are calculated

Calculate how our rates compare to a motel room with 2 double beds.  Instead of a 12' x 14' room, you get an entire house for less money.  You have 113 acres of forested privacy instead of a 4' x 8' balcony or patio.

Any charges for fuels, or anything, for that matter, in addition to the basic rent? With the 2006 rental rates, the cost of fuels is now included in the basic rental rates.
Are we responsible for cleaning the cottage upon vacancy?  I don't mean a cursory cleaning but a thorough proper cleaning?  The idea of cleaning on my vacation is not so appealing!! (Neither is occupying space that has not been properly cleaned by the last occupants.) 
We have BBay staff check the cottage in-between renters, and confirm it is ready.  If not, they will do what is necessary before the next family arrives. We do not have a cleaning staff to clean up after you.  My mother taught me to clean up after myself & leave everything the same or better condition than what we received it in.

However, this is a cottage, not a surgical operating room. If you leave the cottage in a condition that is disappointing to the next family (or to us), this is a problem. If, out of fear, you spend all week worrying about cleaning standards, and how the cottage will be received by the next family, this is also a problem. We need balance & reasonableness.

The cleaning & closing jobs expected from you include:

  • Cleaning up any extra-ordinary messes, or "family projects"
  • Putting everything back in its standard storage location
  • Doing all the dishes, drying, & putting them back in the cupboards
  • Wiping out the kitchen sinks, sink strainers, and the dish pans
  • Wiping down all the kitchen counters, appliances, dining room table, and top surface of the wood stove
  • Straightening up the coffee table and the books in the living room
  • Emptying out the fridge, defrosting it, and wiping out the inside
  • Sweeping or vacuuming the floors (whichever you prefer, not necessary to do both)
  • Collecting the garbage & recyclables & putting them out at the road (beside the gas barbeque)
  • Ensure the fuel (propane & gasoline) and electrical system are safe before you leave.
  • Cleaning the bathroom sink, tub, shower, and toilet
  • Locking up the cottage, all out buildings, and the chains at the security gate

BBay Staff will also do some minor duties to ensure everything is in good condition for the next family (ie. remove the garbage and Blue Box contents, wash the windows once per month, clean the oven, rotate the central toilet composting drum, etc.).  If there is anything missing, damaged, or excessive cleaning required to get ready for the next renters, BBay Staff will document it, try to remedy the situation, and report back to us on the situation.  We will then discuss the situation with you, and determine the most appropriate adjustment to the damage deposit under the circumstances.

If you wish to pay an extra $100, I will arrange for a housekeeper to come prepared after you leave to do all the cleaning for you during the 3 hr. window between renters (11:00 AM till 2:00 PM).

While there are many interpretations of what "suitably clean" means, I think the Golden Rule goes a long way.  Hopefully the "cleaning perfectionist" rents prior to the rustic "good enough" cleaner comes to rent; not visa versa.

My wife, in spite of years of my smiling & shaking of my head in disbelief, will always clean the house in preparation for the arrival of our cleaning lady.  She also washes the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.  Why?   I'll never understand, excepts she doesn't feel right doing otherwise.

Why do you have an Application Form and a Waiver for people renting?  At other places I've rented, I paid them cash and they handed me a key, no paperwork required. Traditionally, people rent their cottages to friends & family, and friends of friends.   While some friends & family rent from us, we have taken the approach of also renting to complete strangers via the internet.  The application form is our only hope in assessing our risk  We are trying to be careful with something that is very precious to us.  We will only rent to people whom we are convinced are responsible adults.  

As for the Waiver, there are two risks we are trying to protect against.

  • A renter does something to themselves (e.g.. swan dives into 2 ft. deep water & becomes paraplegic), but wants to blame everybody else, especially us, for their problem, & sues everybody in sight.  As an example, there was a recent case where a homeowner was sued, losing his house & everything they owned (in spite of their house insurance) when a neighbour climbed up onto the roof of their garage to jump into their pool (breaking his neck in the process).  The owners & everybody else present (including the victim's wife) repeatedly told him not to do it & come down via the ladder he had taken out of their garage without permission.  In our case, we face losing our cottage, our life savings, our home, our car, etc. (with or without insurance) because of what somebody else does to themselves.

  • A renter destroys our cottage (e.g.. smoking in bed, burns down cottage & starts forest fire).  We lose what has taken 25 years of hard work & financial sacrifice to build.  Who was responsible and did the right thing when they explained the risk of fire & prohibiting smoking in the cottage, especially smoking in bed?  Who was irresponsible & should be held accountable?  

Either way, we lose big time.

Whether or not you sign a waiver, the risks exist.  We have tried to be honest, upfront, and depend on informed consent.  What have the other people who rent their cottage done?  With others, each side assumes (or hides) the fact that they believe the other party will be fully responsible if something happens.  If something happens, these conflicting assumptions then take many lawyers & millions of dollars in fees to settle.  Everybody loses except the lawyers.  Our way, we minimize losses, and cut out the lawyers from being the only winners.

If someone borrows a neighbours lawnmower, but hits a rock while cutting their lawn and breaks the mower, should the neighbour receive their lawnmower back in a broken condition?  Is it right to expect the person who borrowed the mower to repair or replace the mower so it is as good as before it was borrowed?

The waiver tries to explain the risks so you can make a responsible decision.  We have tried to do what is right and reasonable, but you have to take BBay as it is.  This is reality.  Our web site is designed with  the goal of full disclosure in mind, so you have no surprises.  We expect a person to be careful & responsible for themselves.  If this is too great a burden, then they should find something else more to their liking.  If what we have to offer seems too risky to you, or you're not prepared to be responsible for yourself & your actions, we'll understand your decision to go elsewhere.  After all, our policy is to only rent to responsible adults.

In our opinion, you carry unknown risks and unknown expectations with other places who don't disclose all.  Also, most of those people who rent their cottage are in the neighborhood & can watch over their place, or have a decade of experience renting to the same friends & family.  We are located 6 hrs. travel from our place, and only in our 2nd year of renting.  We can't watch over each day of the rental.  We have to carefully screen who rents, then trust.

Original Date: Oct. 26, 2002