Thursday 31 July 2008


The joys of renting a cottage for a week, without the significant outlays of buying and maintaining a property (as well as property taxes) can be nullified by citiot renters around you. Beware of these city-folk, puerile and disrespectful of other cottagers and renters.

In our case, renters arrived next door on a Sunday, and they were fairly quiet. By Monday, a fairly hot day, they had the tunes cranked up, blasting down towards the shore. It was far louder than necessary, and really disturbed the peace. The noise by-laws apply all the time, but I didn't interfere, as it was 3:00 in the afternoon, and thought they were simply vegging by the lake. It was a mistake.

If you give someone an inch, they take a mile. Ooops, rewrite: cm and km! By Monday night they were down by the lake, singing old camp fire songs badly. Thank goodness they didn't have a fire, as the smoke in the evening lays on the land. With open windows on a hot summer night, it is hard to breath. At that time there were 3 vehicles in the driveway.

That night they quit early, but I should have phoned the police at that time! They were loud, singing and it was the first sign. The night after was quiet. I was lulled into a false sense of security.

Wednesday night it all began again around 10:00 p.m.: floodlights lighting up the entire area, loud raucous laughter, and three cars parked when only two couples were supposed to be renting the property. I e-mailed the owners of the rental property and explained what had gone on. I explained that I would be calling the police after 11:00.

At 11:15, after several sets of fireworks had gone off on municipal property, at the top of our common lane, they were down by the lake, again, where noise carries so easily. I felt that since they disrespected neighbours so much, what were they doing to the cottage itself?
I chose to phone the OPP: 1-888-310-1122. They were very positive and promised to look into it. At 11:50 more fireworks were set off, and then they began blasting rap music out on the lake, more singing, too.

The police arrived at 12:15 and spoke to them, giving them a warning. The music dulled, and then returned as they found their voices, deliberately ignoring police advice to cease and desist. Out on a boat in the lake, they were singing lustily out in the bay. By the time (12:45), I should have phoned our trusty officers. Drunk, in the lake at this hour would not bode well. We do not need to waste EMS crews on needless field trips and drownings. The costs to society, the grief for families, is pointles. That said, I closed the windows, and hoped things would calm down. Dumb move.

I walked up the driveway and found the remnants of the fireworks that had been boldly planted at the end of another property. I called the OPP back to ask if they had visited the property last night. They had, they said, and gave a warning. I should have asked that they get back to me after the first call. I would have known that the police had visited once and that we should keep on this.

The next morning I phoned our neighbours, the property owners who were in the city, and let them know what was going on.

In hindsight, I should have kept on it. Our pets were upset with the noise, other neighbour's pets were upset and barking at the fireworks. It really is unfair and intrusive when our by-laws are clear about respecting the quality and tranquility of life in cottage country. I felt powerless, when, in fact, our OPP were most responsive and have promised to be vigilant with this property, award a fine if it continues, and check on the marine end of things should they continue their ignorant behaviour.


Anonymous said...

I share your frustration Jennifer. Good screening of rental guests by responsible owners should go a long way to prevent this situation occurring, but that isn't totally foolproof. There seems to be a new breed of cottage user -either owners or renters - call them citiots or whatever. What they lack is any form of respect for the beautiful environment we all love. There's a long thread on the Cottage Life forum on the issue and it is all about owners boorish behaviour, not renters. Makes an interesting read.

Jenn Jilks said...

I have come to the conclusion, too, that the adult children of some owners are to blame. People in their 20s or 30s trying to pretend they are still teens, and they have the money to rent PWC, and put on a fireworks show every night!