What is the Short-term Rental By-law?

The Township of Georgian Bay is committed to ensuring the safety, tranquility, and integrity of our community. Our Short-term Rental By-law is designed to regulate short-term rental properties and create a harmonious living environment for both residents and visitors.

On December 11th, 2023, Council passed By-law 2023-116 to register, regulate and govern Short-Term Rentals in the Township of Georgian Bay.

Key Highlights

  • Safety First: The by-law includes safety standards to protect all occupants.
  • Noise Control: Measures to prevent disruptions to the neighbourhood.
  • Property Maintenance: Guidelines for property upkeep.
  • Registration: Short-term rental operators must register their properties.

Why Does This Matter?

The Short-term Rental By-law matters because it:

  • Ensures the safety of all occupants.
  • Preserves the character of our community.
  • Balances the interests of residents and visitors.

Compliance Made Easy

We understand that navigating regulations can be challenging. Our team is here to assist you in understanding and complying with the by-law. We offer:

  • Information: Detailed guides and resources.
  • Support: Assistance in the registration process.
  • Updates: Stay informed about any changes.

Registration Process

Step 1 - Preparing for Your Application

Download Short Term Rental Application Checklist to prep all the required documentation you will require before beginning your application. Please also check the supporting documents below for helpful examples of some of the requirements for a complete application.


Required Documents for the application:
Step 2 - Completing the Application

The Township of Georgian Bay is accepting applications through our fillable form. Prior to beginning application, ensure you read through our Short-Term Rental Application Guide.

Once you have prepped all documentation stated in Step 1, and read over the application guide, please click the link below to fill out your application.

Please note, the application is a fillable/downloadable file. If you do not have the proper application to fill the document, the Township will accept copies that are completed by hand.


Short Term Rental Application

Step 3 - Application Review
Once your application has been submitted, the By-law department staff will be reviewing the information submitted to confirm that all information is correct and in compliance. Should the application be missing information or not conforming to the by-law, the applicant will be advised of the required amendments or additions. Applicants will be given the opportunity to update the application or provide any missing documentation.
Step 4 - Payment

Once the By-law department has reviewed all parts of the application, and confirms that all parts are in compliance, information will be sent to make payment. The fees for the short-term rental registration are:

  • Light rental host (21 days or less) - $250
    • 10% discount applicable with approved sustainability plan
  • Regular rental host (22 days or more) - $1000
    • 10% discount applicable with approved sustainability plan
Step 5 - Approval
Once the application has been reviewed in full and the appropriate fee has been paid, the Register Issuer will issue the approved registration for the short-term rental. The registration is valid for one year from the date of issuance, and will need to be renewed prior to the registration becoming expired. This must be displayed in the short-term rental and will also outline the max occupancy of the specific short-term rental.


Council Reports, Presentations & Background Information

Sustainability Department Report 2022-11 (December 12th, 2022)

Administration Department Report 2023-014 (February 13th, 2023)

Fire and Emergency Services Department Report 2023-063 (May 8th, 2023)

Short-Term Rental Host Presentation (September 9th, 2023)

Fire and Emergency Services Department Report 2023-201 (November 13th, 2023)

Fire and Emergency Services Department Report 2023-116 (December 11th, 2023)

By-Laws Pertaining to Short Term Rentals


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is involved with registering a short-term rental?

The owner and or responsible person must, complete a STR application and provide all the required documentation on the website. Once all documentation is reviewed and approved by staff, the by-law department will issue a registration for the STR.  

2. What is the difference between light and regular rental host?
Light Rental Host means the STR is rented for 21 days or less within a calendar year, a regular host is 22 days or more in a calendar year.
3. What is a "responsible person"?
This can be the owner or an agent assigned by the owner of the STR to ensure the STR is operating in accordance with the by-law. The responsible person must be available to attend to the property within 60 minutes upon request in case of an emergency or by-law issue.
4. What is the maximum number of people allowed to stay at a STR?

The maximum number of people at a STR at any one time shall be restricted to two people per guest room. 

5. Is a water access only property allowed to be registered as an STR?
Yes, seasonally maintained roads, private road, water access only properties are allowed to operate as an STR but must post an emergency services statement within the dwelling. 
6. Am I able to rent out my family members cottage with their permission?
Yes, the applicant can complete the application form on behalf of the property owner with their permission. 
7. How can I make my rental property more sustainable and where can I get all the information to do so?
Please visit the Sustainable Tourism webpage on our Township website for more information: https://www.gbtownship.ca/en/business-and-development/sustainable-tourism.aspx
8. I rent my cottage out monthly to the same renter does the STR By-law apply to me during this consecutive rental period?
No, if you rent for 30 or more consecutive days to the same renter, the STR by-law does not apply you during this time. 
9. Can I register as a light rental host and midway through the year switch to a regular rental host if I receive more bookings and just pay the difference at that time?
No, you must choose which rental use category at the beginning of the year when you register. If you choose the light rental host then you must stay within those 21 days of rental for the calendar year. 
10. Can a renter's violation of a by-law or the renters code of conduct be held agains the owner of the property?
If a renter violates any Township by-law, enforcement will fall on the renter and not the host. If it can be proven that actions by the renters were out of negligence by the host, that host may have fines imposed against them.

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