The Rondeau Cottage Community:

Myths vs. Facts

Correcting Misinformation About Ontario's Original Cottage Community

Myth: We're all wealthy.

Fact: We wish! Like in any normal community, Rondeau's cottagers have a wide variety of occupations and income levels. The vast majority of our members go to work at regular jobs every day or are retirees. For many years the cheapest buy-in in Southern Ontario was here in Rondeau; in the 2000's it was common to find cottages for sale for less than $50,000. While asking prices have fluctuated along with the real estate market, Rondeau's cottage selling prices are still relatively low and affordable to many average working families.

Myth: Nearly half the cottages are owned by Americans.

Fact: Rondeau has always been an "international attraction" due to its close proximity to Michigan. Twenty years ago 40% of leaseholders had a USA mailing address. However the two-year pandemic border closure resulted in many Americans selling to Canadians. Currently 28% of cottages are owned by Americans, however most of them have roots in Southern Ontario and often use their cottage as a family gathering spot. It's not uncommon to find fourth-, fifth-, or even sixth-generation families who have been visiting Rondeau for a century.

Myth: American cottage owners are somehow "bad" for Ontario. They should be forced to sell to Canadians.

Fact: Those who speak negatively about Rondeau often cast American cottage owners in an especially bad light... as if there's something sinister about a US resident having a cottage here in Canada. This is as offensive as it is ridiculous. Lots of Canadian "snowbirds" own homes, trailers, or condos in Florida or Arizona and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. We go south, they come north. Plus, our governments spend millions of dollars every year to attract US tourists. Our American neighbours are regular, reliable, repeat tourists, often our best friends and -- occasionally -- become our spouses.

Myth: Cottagers don't spend money locally.

Fact: Beyond the many thousands of dollars Rondeau's cottage owners pay to the province every year, we inject thousands more into the local economy. We buy everything you buy -- food, drinks, appliances, barbecues, furniture, light bulbs, phones, entertainment, internet & satellite services, boats, bait, gasoline... not to mention hiring local trades for maintenance, construction, septic work, and lawn-cutting. It's a safe bet that every Rondeau cottager spends $25,000 in the community every year on cottage-related expenses. That's $7M/year in total. And with respect to our American and GTA members -- they bring this "new money" into the South Kent economy year-after-year.

Myth: Cottage owners don't invest in maintenance.

Fact: Our lots are tiny and surrounded on all sides by public parkland. Usually if a cottage lot looks unkempt it's because there's a section of naturalized parkland between you at the road and the edge of the cottage lot. There are a few cottage properties in the park that have become wildly overgrown -- or cottages long unpainted -- due to their owner's reluctance to invest in maintenance with our perpetually-expiring leases. Of course these owners want to catch-up on long-deferred work when we achieve permanent tenure.

Myth: Buyers are "flipping" cottages for a quick profit.

Fact: Unfounded. While not every cottage owner is a member of the RCA, we are not aware of any member ever having done this. Cottages in Rondeau are purchased in good faith as family vacation retreats. The onerous terms associated with our Crown leases -- requiring official approval for every sale, and the risk of mandatory demolition at the time of sale -- makes the concept of "flipping" in Rondeau very unattractive.

Myth: New families are purchasing from old families at a rapid pace, and this is somehow a bad thing.

Fact: For many years our perpetually-expiring leases, uncertain future, and even an outright prohibition on cottage sales killed Rondeau's real estate market. You literally couldn't give a cottage away. However there's now a renwed spirit of optimism; it's great to see new families bringing life to old cottages again. Anyone who spins this happy story in a negative way seriously needs to refocus.

The Facts About Our Member Families...