Approximately 6,000 readers participated in Cottage Life’s Great Canadian Cottage Survey, with 39% of cottagers stating they are hesitant to have neighbours from the U.S. access their cottages in Canada during the pandemic
Editor of Cottage Life magazine, Michelle Kelly, available for interviews on cottage-related issues facing Canadians this summer
(Toronto, ON – May 17, 2021) – As the countdown to the May 2-4 long weekend begins, Canada’s leading lifestyle and outdoors brand, Cottage Life, released their findings on a number of trends affecting cottage country in 2021 via its Great Canadian Cottage Survey. Approximately 6,000 cottagers participated in Cottage Life’s most comprehensive survey where they gave their thoughts and opinions on a variety of hot topics, including the rise of the cottage real estate market, the impacts of COVID-related restrictions on travel, and concerns surrounding the climate crisis.
“This last year has been one of tumult for all Canadians, and that includes cottagers, who have been impacted by a number of things. The soaring cottage real estate market has meant an influx of new cottagers in Ontario, and an uptick in cottage rentals. In addition, the pandemic has forced restrictions on cottagers’ ability to visit their properties in some areas. Cottage Life’s Great Canadian Cottage Survey gives us insight into those trends and tells us how cottagers really feel,” says Michelle Kelly, Editor, Cottage Life magazine.
The cottage real estate and rental market has skyrocketed over the last 13 months with city-goers opting to holiday closer to home over travelling by plane. However, the survey found that cottagers are concerned about the impact rentals will have on lakefront communities, with 44% of readers demanding stricter regulations on short-term rentals this summer. Attitudes towards longer-term rentals (2 weeks+) softened slightly as opposed to short-term (<2 weeks).
As Canada remains in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus continues to play a vital role in how cottagers plan their summer getaway. The survey found that 57% of readers agree overall with their local government’s restrictions for cottage owners throughout the pandemic, with 39% strongly believing that cottage owners in the U.S. should not be able to access their Canadian properties this summer. The findings for this survey are timely as Washington DC recently requested loosening COVID-19 restrictions that have halted non-essential travel across the United States-Canada border. U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Charles Schumer, urged Canadian and American governments to declare that any vaccinated individual with property in their neighbouring country should be allowed to cross the border.
The poll also found the climate crisis to be another top issue amongst cottagers, with 74% citing the health of their lake as their greatest environmental concern and 82% demanding that there should be stricter by-laws to protect water quality, not just on their lakes, but in other areas of the province. In total, an astounding 77% of respondents want to see increased action from the government to protect sensitive ecological areas alongside 85% wanting increased protection for the wildlife in cottage country.
As wakeboats see a dramatic rise in popularity among consumers, the survey showed that cottagers are concerned about these boats’ impact on their lakes and shoreline health. A 58% majority of readers polled said wakeboats disrupted their overall cottage experience, while only 13% believe they bring something positive to their time at the lake. A total of 24% believe wakeboats should be banned, while an overwhelming 75% believe wakeboats should be regulated in some way, whether it be limited hours of usage or certain distance restrictions from the shoreline.
Cottage Life magazine’s Great Canadian Cottage Survey was completed in April 2021. Michelle Kelly, Editor, Cottage Life magazine, is available for focused insights on the survey results. Michelle holds a wealth of knowledge on cottage-related issues facing Canadians today as we head into cottage season.