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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > May 2017 > The Crisis Next Door

The Crisis Next Door

Love it or hate it, one thing is clear: the rental business is booming. Here’s how to deal with your new neighbours

The air was filled with screams and profanity

There’s no bylaw that tells people to be nice to their neighbours

This is not a level playing field

All the noise, noise, noise!

We need to implement the right kind of controls

They’re out in motorboats from dawn ‘til dusk

It was a couple of summers ago when Bill Paterson finally decided he’d had enough. It was just after dark, and he and his wife had spent the evening out on their dock on Bay Lake, north of Gravenhurst, Ont., where they have lived full-time for the past 15 years. They were heading inside their cottage to settle in for the night when the neighbouring property, occupied by renters, started to whoop it up.

One of the renters, standing on the shore, started setting off fireworks. The rest were out on a boat to get a better vantage point on the pyrotechnics. “Fireworks aren’t permitted in our county,” Bill says. Making matters worse: the region hadn’t seen any rain in weeks, and local authorities had warned against fires of any kind. But the renters either didn’t notice the roadside warnings or didn’t care. The air was filled with laughter and screams and profanity, fizzles and crackles and big bangs.

Bill called out from the end of his dock, “Hey! No fireworks! There’s a fire ban on!” The renters initially laughed at him, but he wasn’t about to negotiate. “I said, ‘Fine, the next voice you’ll hear is a police constable!’ “ With that threat, the noise quickly died down. The last words Bill could make out were whispers saying, “I guess we better quit.”

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About Cottage Life

Time to fire up the grill! Cottage Life presents The Ultimate Cottage BBQ Guide, featuring answers to all your burning questions and recipes and pro tips from 7 of Canada’s top grill masters (including one burger that’s pure insanity). This issue is chock full of everything you need to get ready for the season: you’ll find a deep dive into the growth of vacation rentals—and how cottage country is responding; building and renovation secrets from one of cottage country’s most loved go-to guys; and 9 boating mistakes to stop making this summer (dead batteries and bad gas, we’re looking at you). PLUS, a propane tank storage project, tips and products for the workshop, and a peek into a 150-year-old barn that gets a new life as a bunkie.