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Sunday, December 4, 2022
Letter: Limiting short-term rentals could hurt Shaw Festival

Dear editor:

I would like you to know the thoughts of one longtime visitor to the Shaw Festival regarding the proposal to limit short-term rentals in Niagara-on-the-Lake town to only owner-occupied ones.

This is the note I sent to the town:

I am a faithful Shaw viewer (for 20 years) who brings a group of three couples to Casablanca Cottage onVictoria Street every year. 

We like to cook and have the informal atmosphere of the cottage to renew friendships and enjoy the lovely atmosphere of NOTL.   

I strenuously disagree with the plan to make all rental properties primary residences – we would not come to the festival if our options were a hotel or a home where the owner was present while we were there. 

We spend about $2,000 on tickets, and $2,500 on housing, meals and shopping in NOTL annually and have had excellent service from Mr. George.

He responds quickly to any problem, has been very responsive to communications and has the NOTL rules for behaviour posted in the cottage. 

I also think the long list of fees and regulations would create obstacles for conscientious owners and do little to inhibit those who would break them. 

The signage requirements would only pollute the yards and homes in town. Phone numbers posted inside residences would seem to accomplish the same thing.

Perhaps a separate phone number for the police department for noise issues would help residents get relief from unruly neighbours.

I believe this plan would have a significantly detrimental impact on the Shaw Festival.

Kenneth Fonville
Charleston, S.C.