The Rondeau Cottage Community:

Myths vs. Facts

Correcting Misinformation About Ontario's Original Cottage Community

Myth: Cottagers don't spend their money locally.

Fact: Beyond the thousands of dollars Rondeau's cottage owners pay to the province every year, we each inject thousands more into the Chatham-Kent economy. We buy everything you buy -- food, drinks, appliances, barbeques, 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 money into the South Kent economy reliably year-after-year.

Myth: The province doesn't recognize the cottage economy.

Fact: As far as we know this has never been officially studied in Rondeau, but on the Ontario Parks website for Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Provincial Park near Peterborough they note: "Cottaging is a significant economic driver of the local economies in the area.” It would seem reasonable that such positive economic impact is not limited to that one park only.

Myth: Cottage Associations oppose park stewardship.

Fact: From a University of Waterloo research paper on the economic impact of cottages in Kawartha Highlands: "Cottage associations are in place on most of the developed lakes and these Associations will continue to play a significant role in future stewardship of the entire area." The Rondeau Cottagers Association was founded in 1928 and is among the oldest organized groups based in Chatham-Kent. The RCA has always advocated for environmental stewardship while seeking a sustainable balance with outdoor activites. We have long list of successful initiatives and partnerships that benefit all park users. We believe that parks are for people too, and our cottage community continually proves that families belong in parks.

Myth: Cottagers don't employ local tradespeople.

Fact: Despite our 65+ year uncertainty of tenure, Rondeau's cottagers have always contracted locals to help maintain their properties. Every day tradespeople come through the park gates to work on our cottages and earn money to support their families in Morpeth, Ridgetown, Blenheim, Erieau, or Chatham. For many cottage owners, Rondeau time is precious; they don't wish to spend their weekend mowing lawns and making minor repairs. Many local tradespeople have made a very good living working on Rondeau's cottages over the years.

Myth: Cottagers rent their places as AirB&B's.

Fact: The park superintendent has stated that the terms of our lease prohibit renting cottages. While this may be open to legal interpretation, the RCA has always advised our members against entering into any formal rental agreement. The RCA is not aware of any occasions where any Rondeau cottage has been used as an AirB&B (or similar short-term rental).

Myth: Our Lease + Service Fees stay in Rondeau and aren't used to benefit the wider Ontario Parks system.

Fact: False. A previous park superintendent has stated that the Lease + Service Fees collected from Rondeau's cottages more than cover the costs of having us here. In fact they totally cover the annual budget of at least seven smaller provincial parks.

The Facts About Our Impact on the Local Economy...