Frequently Asked Questions
|Table of Contents
Magazine's Recommended Standard Questions
The following standard questions were extracted from page 71 of Cottage Life magazine, March 2005. These questions are recommended to be asked before renting any cottage, so as to avoid disappointment. BVP's answers to each of these questions is provided.
|What amenities are included (eg. bedding & towels, dishes and cutlery, toaster and barbeque, TV and board games)?||Standard beds (twin and double) with pillows on each bed. You are
expected to bring your own sleeping bag, or sheets and blankets, towels,
face cloths, and pillow case. BVP has some towels in the
cupboard in case of emergencies, and you'd be expected to launder and
replace them before you leave if emergency strikes.
The kitchen is fully equipped with a service for approx. 12, plus all pots, pans, bowels, etc. We don't have the fancy equipment (ie. no blender, soufle pan, etc.). There is a microwave, toaster, propane barbeque (outdoors).
There is no TV, but there is a AM/FM/shortwave radio, and a CD player boom box. There are numerous books, board games, Scrabble, cards, chess, etc.
|How many beds are available and what sizes are they?||There are 2 bedrooms, one with a double bed, the other with 2 twin beds. The living room couch pulls out into a double bed.|
|Does the rental include a boat or other water toys?||No. There are boat rentals available on the nearby inland lakes, and fishing charter boats at the Prov. Bay dock.|
|Is the water potable?||There is a dug cistern well in the basement,
super-chlorinated and tested each spring. We have installed a 25
micron, 5 micron filters, and a UV light sterilizer on the water supply
for added safety. Neither I nor
anyone I know of has ever become sick from drinking the water at BVP's
Based on the above, I believe it is potable water.
|Is there hydro and phone service?||There is hydro from Hydro 1, and phone service from Amtelecom (local phone company, separate but affiliated with Bell). You have free local calling, but have to pay for all long distance.|
|Are pets allowed?||We follow the policies recommended by the Humane Society.
Animals susceptible to fleas must be treated for fleas (ie. flea collar, spray, pill, etc.) at least 2 weeks before they arrive, and be flea-free on arrival. There is a significant flea population in all wooded areas from wild animals, so your flea treatment must continue during your rental period; especially if the animal goes into or woods, or walks along road or paths.
Those pets susceptible to rabies must be vaccinated at least 1 week before they arrive, and must have been vaccinated within 18 months before the end of your rental period. This ensures they have built-up antibodies from vaccination before they arrive & during their stay.
Dogs and cats are acceptable inside the cottage, provided they are house broken, do not damage the cottage or contents (ie. chewing, scratching, spraying, etc.), and you clean up after them (shedding, paw prints, etc.). If there is damage (eg. chew, flea infestation, odors, scratching at the door to get in or out, etc.), you will be paying to correct the situation.
Other pets will be considered (please contact me and discuss in advance).
Dogs that are on the wild side (ie. they chase squirrels, chipmunks, porcupine, skunks, or deer; won't come when called, bite, etc.) should not be allowed to run free. It is against the law to harass the wildlife, and the wild animals may bite back if cornered or sufficiently harassed. Owner or guardian is solely responsible for pet's actions.
Pet waste in & around the cottage, on the road or paths, etc. needs to be cleaned up. In the woods, it can stay where it falls, composting over time.
We are 50 ft. from nearest neighbour, and continuous barking travels a long way in the quiet woods. Consider thy neighbour.
|Is smoking permitted?||Inside the cottage is a no smoking area. The woods is a no smoking area (forest fire risk, against the law to smoke while walking in the woods). While on the property, butts must be placed in butt cans or your pockets, not dropped on the ground (especially not in the woods, on trails, on the road, etc.). Absolutely no smoking in bed whatsoever (extremely dangerous on mattress).|
|Is there a restriction on how many guests can be invited?||You may invite all those who are listed on your rental
application. You are not allowed any visitors or guests (neither
over night nor daytime) except those pre-approved on your rental
Rental rates are based on a family of up to five persons (children under 5 are free). Extra people are charged extra (above the minimum rental fee).
|Are the lake and shoreline suitable for swimming and/or fishing?||At Providence Bay's public beach (0.5 km down the main street), it is the world's largest sand beach on a freshwater island. It slopes out extremely slowly into the lake, and is therefore ideal for small children. Out deeper fishing is excellent for salmon, lake trout, walleye, and whitefish. Inland lakes and streams are fantastic fishing sites (over 110 lakes on Manitoulin, all within 1 hr. of the cottage).|
|Are there any safety issues for small children or elderly visitors?||The cottage is not child proofed. The surrounding forests mandate that children are constantly supervised, as unsupervised children could wander off into the woods and become disorientated. Around the cottage is good for seniors and children, but the grounds, trails, beach are uneven ground and difficult for elderly to navigate easily. There is no fenced yard (except for the garden, so caution of children wandering into the road must be considered.|
|Are there special instructions for operating the heat, water, etc.?||Heat is oil fired, forced air, on thermostat control from
the living room. There is an electric water heater. The water
system is automatic, just open the tap.
We are in the process of developing a comprehensive operating manual. The manual will be fully indexed by keywords so that it is very easy to find whatever you are looking for.
|Who should be contacted in the event of a plumbing malfunction or other emergency?||We will be available by phone, and usually in town, immediately available. Armed with the comprehensive operating manual, you are asked to be the first line of defense during your stay (self-reliant). If it is beyond the scope of the operating manual or your capabilities, you can get assistance of others (ie. plumber, electrician, etc.). The Owners (Glenn & Judy Black) is available by phone 24 hrs. per day (daytime work number, home number, and cell number); all of which are posted in the Operating Manual inside the cottage.|
|Directions to local stores and medical facilities?||There is a hardware, grocery store, gas station, restaurant, motel, snack bar, and library (with public Internet access) in the Town of Providence Bay (0.5 km. away). The hospital and doctor's office is in Mindemoya, 15 km. away. The Providence Bay Firehall is at the end of Firehall Rd., 1.5 km. away (volunteer fire department). Ambulances are dispatched from Mindemoya Hospital , 15 km. away. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has an office in Mindemoya (15 km. away) and Gore Bay (30 km. away). The nearest pharmacy is in Mindemoya (15 km. away).|
Is Bayview Pines "right" for me & my group?
||That depends on what you are looking for.
If you just look at the picture on the main page of our web site, and jump to the conclusion that BVP is what you've been looking for, you may be pleasantly surprised or bitterly disappointed. Please be sure to look at everything on the website. We have tried very hard to do "full disclosure" of who we are, & what we have to offer. You are responsible for reading & deciding.
People say, "A change is as good as a rest". In your normal life, you are probably plugged into society more than enough. BVP is about "unplugging"; getting away from all of this. BVP is about a different pace, & different priorities.
BVP is not the Holiday Inn, nor an all-inclusive vacation resort.
located at the edge of the Village of Providence Bay. We are for
Is it necessary to delve into your cottage manual in order to stay there?
Especially if the stay is short, this is not my idea of curling up with a good book.
|If we know when you are coming, we will have
all the systems turned on & going before you arrive. In this case
there is no need to read anything.
There is a 15 page short manual, one
page for each system (ie. water
supply, stove, fridge, hot water tank, cottage electrical
panels, well pump, etc.) just in case you need it. This should be
enough for most people, especially if everything is set up before you
|I hope there are few, if any, noisy power boats and ATVs around.||The traffic on the main street is minimal, and a speed limit of 50 km/hr|
|I enjoy walking and hiking in the woods. Are those wolves and bears (and humans with rifles) dangerous to the unarmed in the fall?||If you do not leave food out, there is only a
extremely small chance of seeing a bear. If you leave honey,
doughnuts, deep fat frying grease, bacon grease etc. out on a picnic table
for 2 to 3 days, you may get to see bears up close & personal.
Obviously, this would be un-wise, not recommended, & you could be charged
under the wildlife act by a Conservation Officer.
There are many nature trails to enjoy nearby, down Firehall Rd., etc.
weeks of the year, you can walk in the woods everywhere with relative
I would not suggest walking in the woods during deer hunting season for
rifles (3rd week in November). If you insist on walking in woods
during this week, I would strongly recommend a hunting orange vest and hat
for each person to virtually eliminate the added risk.
Instructions for bear proofing yourselves are in the full manual.
Traveling to & From Manitoulin
How far is it to get to Bayview Pines ?
||There is an
Ontario Road Map in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf) that shows the area
around Manitoulin Island. Approximate driving distances are shown in the
|How do I get to Manitoulin from Toronto, length of drive, etc?||Map for driving from Toronto to Tobermory,
then ferry to Manitoulin:
It's a 3.5 hr drive from Toronto. For the scenic route, take Hwy 401, 410, 10, 24, 89,
and finally Hwy. 6. As you have breakfast, lunch, or supper on the
ferry, you continue to travel to your destination. After the 1.75 hr
crossing, it's 30 a minute drive through Manitoulin countryside to reach
Bayview Pines in Providence Bay.
How do I get to Bayview Pines from Michigan,
||You have two options. You can go North in
Michigan using I-75 till you get to Sault St. Marie, then cross into
Canada. Turning East, you follow the Trans-Canada Highway back to
Espanola, then go South to Manitoulin Island and the town of Little
Current. Once you have crossed the swing bridge to Little Current, you go
West to West Bay (M'Cheeg), and then South to Mindemoya, then South-west
to Providence Bay. See maps for details.
The second option is to go to Port Huron at the South end of Lake Huron, crossing over to Canada into Sarnia. You can then drive North along Hwy. 21 (along the eastern shore of Lake Huron) until just after South Hampton, then go North on Hwy. 6, up the Bruce Peninsula to Wiarton, & finally Tobermory . You can then go across on the Chi-Cheemaun ferry (runs from approx. May 17 to Oct. 17). The ferry costs about $45 for a car & driver, about $65 for a carload under the family rate. Trailers and excess height vehicles are extra. See ferry website for details Manitoulin ferry information Reservations are recommended. You must arrive 1 hour before sail or your reservations are canceled. Car and driver is about $38 CAD one way, adult passengers are $12 one way.
How do I get to Bayview Pines from Toronto?
What are the sleeping accommodations at BVP?
There are 2 bedrooms, and pull out couch in living room, for a total of 6
Could small tents be set up around the house for
kids? How many?
||Yes. There are large flat areas in the
backyard that could hold an entire scout jamboree.
What do we do for drinking water?
||The water system currently at BVP is a dug
well in the basement with filtered and UV light sterilized system on all
What are the toilet
facilities at BVP?
||There is an indoor flush toilet (septic tank) in the main floor bathroom
(4 pc bath), and one on the 2nd floor (2 pc. bath), beside the two
What is available for baths and showers?
||There is an indoor full size tub, and shower
in the main bathroom.
Is there an electric coffee pot?
||Yes. There are basket filter papers &
it uses regular ground coffee. I like it just as well as the fancy
machine we have in our regular home.
There is a microwave oven, toaster oven, full set of pots, pans, cooking, & eating dishes,
glasses, utensils, etc.
|Is it ok to jerry-rig curtains of some kind (or do you already do this)? I actually prefer to do my sleeping in the dark, and the darker, the better (city boy).||Manitoulin, and especially this area of
Manitoulin around Providence Bay, is "dark Sky" region. After the sun goes
down, it's pitch black unless there is a full moon.
The cottage is nestled in a bank of trees, so even this is dark during a full moon; similar to having a nightlight on in your bedroom.
Mornings get bright when the sun comes up around 7:30 AM in late October. If you want blackout curtains, feel free to bring your own.
There will be three small children who are under 4. Are there any dangers
that we would have to consider for them?
||Yes. I don't want to scare you, but I also
don't want to make light of the risks.
The risks can be managed. Just like in the city, you will have to watch small children like a hawk. This is what we did with our own children when they were little.
The cottage has not been "child-proofed". There are no child gates on the various stairs. There are no child locks on the cupboards, etc.
Our Operating Manual covers the major risks and our suggestions to
avoid or protect. Once your application has been approved, I will send
you a copy of the Operating Manual to review with everyone. Kids have a
fantastic time with the freedom, the outdoors, and all the neat things to
do. However, the cottage has all the risks that a city home has, plus the
risks of rural living, plus the risks associated with a forest in Northern
The cottage is on the main
road, so small kids should play in the backyard.
When are the black flies & mosquitoes at their worst?
||April is black fly season. May through to
first frost is mosquito season. Town isn't bad, but they are
certainly in the woods. If you walk into the woods, they will soon find
Mosquitoes are ever present at dusk and 2 hrs. after the sun goes down. Netting (mosquito suit) or repellent is mandatory at those times, and all other times it is highly recommended.
How far to the waters edge? Last year (at another cottage we rented), we
had to walk down three roads and over a bridge, but the website had said
200 meters to the water. We found out too late that it was 200 meters "as
the crow flies".
It's 0.5 km straight down the street, a 10 minute walk to the public sand
beach. At the beach, it's over 1 km long, all in fine clean sand.
We have been to a beach near Providence Bay and it was always cold there
with the wind coming off the water, has it been like this in the last few
||Water in N. Canada tends to be colder.
However, the bay at Black's Bay is very shallow, so in the summer it
tends to heat up after a few good days of sunshine. The further out you
go, the deeper it gets and the colder. However, I swim in it all the time
during the summer.
The Mindemoya River that empties into Providence Bay (at the sand beach in town) tends to be much warmer & most small kids play in the water at the mouth of the river (where it meets Providence Bay) for hours on end & find it nice.
When the wind is out of the South to South-West, it blows in over Lake Huron. This tends to take about 5° off the temperature from other wind directions. I find this very cooling during a hot summer.
If you want to bake your body, go inland about 200 yards, surrounded by trees in a clearing, and spread out your beach blanket in the sun. The reduced wind will heat you very quickly in the summer sun. There is a nice clearing right beside the orchard (about 300 yards from the cottage) for doing this.
Is there any horseback riding in the area?
||There are horses & mules (small, medium, &
large) on the Government Rd (just 5 km. from Black's Bay at Kicking Mule
Ranch. They have programs for kids, trail rides, approx. 200 acres
to ride on, & country music jamboree hoe-downs on Friday or Saturday
nights each week.
Where can we buy groceries?
||There is a small convenience store at the
Huron Sands Motel, just down the street.
In Mindemoya (15 km. away), there is a full grocery store. This is a store for a local chain of stores. Its buying power means the prices here are about 10¢ to 50¢ cheaper than in Providence Bay.
Should we bring our food with us, or buy it locally once we arrive?
||All grocery prices in the North will be
higher than the South (lower volume & more transportation costs).
Therefore, it is recommended you bring as much with you as you can
reasonably manage, then buy replacement (ie. milk, bread, eggs, etc.) as
you consume what you brought.
Lettuce, eggs, etc. tend not to travel as well as a jar of peanut butter. You may choose to buy these more fragile items locally as you need them.
I would also like some information about getting a proper fishing license for American's visiting into Canada, also with their own boats, if at all possible.
|Non-Ontario residents (including Americans)
are able to purchase a non-resident fishing license. These give you the
same rights to fish as an Ontario resident, but are more expensive to
purchase. Also, each year there is one weekend designated as Family
Fishing Weekend when everybody can fish without a license. The licenses
can be purchased just about everywhere (ie. hardware stores, fishing &
sporting goods shops, Ministry of Natural Resources government offices,
etc.). See the Ministry of Natural Resources website
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/index.html for the
latest on prices and fishing regulations, open seasons, etc.
Can American's visiting into Canada bring and use their own fishing boat ?
||As with anything, you will have to declare
the boat at the US border before you enter Canada (so the US Customs have
a record that it was originally in the USA). It has to be properly
registered in the USA, and it has to be clean on the hull, inside the
boat, wet well etc. (to prevent the spreading of zebra mussels, foreign
plants, & micro-organisms from foreign lakes & rivers. There are new
regulations in Canada requiring captains of vessels to be certified
operators and that each boat must have a minimum set of safety gear. This
includes Jet skis and other personal water craft. See Canadian Coast
Guard website for details http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/main_e.htm
Boating regulations, drinking while boating, safe operation of water
craft are also enforced by the Ontario Provincial Police
Is there a boat at BVP, or are there boats available for rent nearby? I
want to be able to take my kids fishing.
There are 10 ft. aluminum boats with or without an 10 hp outboard motor
for family fishing fun, available on Lake Mindemoya, as well as Lake
Kagawon; starting around $25.00 for 4 hrs to rent.
want to bring my own boat. Is there a dock at BVP so I can keep it right
at the cottage?
||On Lake Huron, there are no docks unless you
have a million dollar breakwater. Anything else is readily removed by the
first storm. Therefore, we have no dock. There is a government wharf in
town (Providence Bay), just 5 km. away from BVP (10 minutes by car, door
to door). Be sure to look how a 40 ft. section of this reinforced concrete
wharf was wiped out by a Lake Huron storm, in spite of a million dollar
The Providence Bay dock has many finger docks you can rent for the duration of your vacation. There is also a boat launch ramp, parking, fish cleaning station, ice, freezers to store fish, etc. There is a Dockmaster during the day & video surveillance at night for security.
|What is there to do in town, and on Manitoulin? Are we stranded in the woods, miles from nowhere?||
In town, there is fishing in the river, swings etc. at the beach for kids,
swimming & water sports at the beach, Interpretative Centre for nature
displays, crafts, etc., nature trails, wildlife observing in the woods,
There is lots to do on Manitoulin. Horseback riding, museums, waterfalls, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing are just a few. See BVP's more detailed list of Manitoulin tourism activities.
What is there to do if we have bad weather?
||I like to think it never rains during
the daytime on Manitoulin Island. However, there are some days with
low flying clouds or very high humidity.
In the cottage, there are a
number of board games for the kids, playing cards, kids activity books,
and a reasonable library. After the rain is over, get on your boots and
go see the stream on the East part of the bay. The water flows through
the woods can be very interesting.
Are pets allowed?
Are there any special rules
|We have dogs ourselves, and therefore permit
dogs & cats to come. Other pets, in reason, are welcome. Of course, if
they aren't house-broken, they should be kept outside or controlled so
they don't damage or make a mess. Even when cleaned up immediately, urine
will stain, & smells on wood floors forever. In all cases, you are
responsible for all damages caused by your pets.
If your pets have a habit of wandering or chasing wild animals, you may want to keep them caged or chained, especially if you intend to leave them out at night unsupervised. City pets have poor defenses as compared to wild animals. For example, dogs could chase a porcupine that wanders by at night. Not knowing any better can cause a painful lesson if Fido tries to get too close.
When you leave camp & don't want to take your dogs with you, there are two hitching points & chains to tie up Fido at the trees just South of the cottage, next to the big waterfront deck.
would like some information mailed out to myself about renting the
||All we have in the way of brochures is a one
page flyer we post here & there for advertising. It contains 3 pictures
taken from the website, and some brief text taken from the website.
Everything else is on the website http://www.bayviewpines.blacksbay.com
If you are unable to access this or print it out for some reason, give me
a call at Phone leaving your information where I can get in
touch with you by phone. We will make other arrangements.
Can anyone rent the cottage ?
||All responsible adults are welcome.
Our insurance policy does not cover any damages done by people who rent
the cottage. Therefore we have established a policy of only renting to
"responsible" adults (ie. people who meet our risk management
requirements). Families or mature adults are readily welcome.
Is there a caretaker, or somebody going to be there to show us around or
help us if we need it?
||We have tried to keep it simple and easy to
If we know exactly when you will be arriving, BVP's staff will have
the place ready for you. The unit will have been checked & confirmed
clean by the previous renters, or they will make it right. The water
tank in the attic will be filled & chlorinated, ready to go. The
fridge will be on and cold when you
arrive, and the hot water heater will be on & full of hot water ready for
your first shower.
How do we pay for the rental?
||We confirm registrations once we receive your
deposit. We cannot "hold" it until we receive your deposit and
We accept US or CDN funds via cheque, money order, credit card payment
on the Internet through PayPal (a subsidiary of E-Bay), or direct deposit
to our bank account. For cheques, you must allow 2 weeks to clear for a
CDN cheque, 3 wks. for a US cheque, and 6 weeks for an International cheque.
You will not be able to obtain access to the cottage before the cheque
How do we get the keys for the cottage?
||Once your rental application has been
accepted, and just before you leave for your rental period, we will send
you the information on obtaining the keys
We are considering your cottage for 3 families
all together. Is there any extra charges for this?
||Our posted rental fees are on a per person
basis, with a minimum charge per week. Children under 5 years of age are
If you want to add on grandchildren, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins twice removed, in-laws, and out-laws; we don't have a problem with this. If you have more than 5 people over the age of 5 years in your group, or you want to bring the in-law, etc. it will be more than the minimum charge. See BVP's rates for the current rates.
The reason for charging on a per person basis is that we want to be fairly compensated for our risk, the wear and tear on the facilities, and the value you receive. All of these are proportional to the number of people attending with you.
However, if you are a teenager who wants to have your entire high school over for a party (a few hundred of your closest friends), you need not make an application.
For the risk side, we will ask at least one adult at each of the households attending to sign a waiver & indemnification agreement.
|I am a "starving artist," so I'm not in the executive price bracket. I do have to consider there are some humbler alternatives I know of that are $250 - $300 in the fall||Off-season rates are $21.43 per person per
night (based on occupancy of 5 adults). No 14 ft. x 12 ft. motel room can
compete with this price, nor the full house size that you get (1,200 sq.
Pricing is set up to cover the cost of our time to do applications,
cleanup & security check after the guests leave, property taxes, wear &
tear, insurance for renters, capital cost & depreciation to build the
place, residual risk, and fair market value.
We would be disappointed to lose you over a few dollars difference. We
believe the feeling of peace and rested tranquility you will feel after
your stay is priceless.
What would the rates be if I
decided to rent the cottage for a week in July or August. There
would likely be 3 families (2 adults, 2 children) (2 adults) (2 adults, 2
children) all families are related sisters?
||July and August are Prime Time, and are
charged at the Prime Time rate.
There are 10 people in your group. Assuming all the children are 5 yrs. of age or older (children under 5 are free), then you will be paying for 10 persons. If all the children were under 5, you'd only be paying for 6 adults.
Follow the link for how rental rates are calculated
Calculate how our rates compare to a motel room with 2 double beds. Instead of a 12' x 14' room, you get an entire house for less money.
|Any charges for fuels, or anything, for that matter, in addition to the basic rent?||No, it's all inclusive|
responsible for cleaning the cottage upon vacancy?
I don't mean a cursory cleaning but a thorough proper cleaning?
The idea of cleaning on my vacation is not so appealing!! (Neither
is occupying space that has not been properly cleaned by the last
||We have BVP staff check the cottage
in-between renters, and confirm it is ready. If not, they will do
what is necessary before the next family arrives. We do not have a
cleaning staff to clean up after you. My mother taught me to clean up
after myself & leave everything the same or better condition than what we
received it in.
However, this is a cottage, not a surgical operating room. If you leave the cottage in a condition that is disappointing to the next family (or to us), this is a problem. If, out of fear, you spend all week worrying about cleaning standards, and how the cottage will be received by the next family, this is also a problem. We need balance & reasonableness.
The cleaning & closing jobs expected from you include:
BVP Staff will also do some minor duties to ensure everything is in
good condition for the next family (ie. remove the garbage and Blue Box
contents, wash the windows once per month, clean the oven, etc.). If there is anything missing,
damaged, or excessive cleaning required to get ready for the next renters,
BVP Staff will document it, try to remedy the situation, and report back
to us on the situation. We will then discuss the situation with you, and
determine the most appropriate adjustment to the damage deposit under the
|Why do you have an Application Form and a Waiver for people renting? At other places I've rented, I paid them cash and they handed me a key, no paperwork required.||Traditionally, people rent their cottages to
friends & family, and friends of friends. While some friends &
family rent from us, we have taken the approach of also renting to
complete strangers via the internet. The application form is our only
hope in assessing our risk We are trying to be careful with something
that is very precious to us. We will only rent to people whom we are
convinced are responsible adults.
As for the Waiver, there are two risks we are trying to protect against.
Either way, we lose big time.
|Original Date: June 27, 2007|