Wasaga Beach gets tons of visitors. We get them all year, but the majority come, of course, in the summer. It is Ontario’s premier beach after all and that attracts all types of folks. Young and old, short and tall, new and experienced. We also have a lot of full time residents intermingling and around the town at the same time.
With such diversity, a lot of compromise has to be made since many folks are renting units near each other, going to the same businesses, and sharing the beach. Being in the accommodation business, we have to see to it that the group of 19 year olds aren’t upsetting the retiree guests beside them. Or the group at the fire pit is welcoming to others that also want to experience a campfire. Things like this.
In this article, I’ll talk about what us locals love and dislike about visitors coming to enjoy the town and beach. Knowing these things will help you be an awesome visitor to Wasaga Beach and welcomed pretty much anywhere!
1. Be Clean
This one is expansive! Said simply, every little shred of garbage, big or small, including cigarette butts, should be disposed of properly… always. Do this throughout the whole town, but especially at the beach. There have been weekends where people left garbage all over the beach – no class. It bothers the locals a lot. Again dispose of garbage properly. It’s easy because there are garbage bins all over for that very reason.
Being clean in Wasaga Beach means pet owners cleaning up after their dogs while walking them and while at their accommodations. Please don’t do it because someone is watching, do it because it’s the right thing to do.
And speaking of making #2 and not cleaning it up… don’t go to the bathroom in your beach tent on the beach. We know some people are doing this. That’s not awesome.
Be Clean Where You’re Staying
Following that, another awesome thing is being clean at your Wasaga Beach cottage rentals and accommodations. Property owners love, love, love it when you tidy up after yourself inside and outside. Us for example, we will talk amongst our staff about how cool and considerate a group was. We praise you behind your back!! That is often reflected in a positive follow-up message to you and a good review.
On the other side though, unfortunately, almost places will leave a bad review and charge for unreasonable cleaning. Tidy is awesome.
2. Noise Levels
Here is a common presumption we find in communal or shared settings: groups thinking that since no one has complained, their noise level is ok. Please don’t fall into this trap. The truth is, there are often several guests around you that are trying to be cool about it, but the noise is ruining their trip. The right way to be is to monitor your surroundings. Who is around you? Do you have to share an area with a group that may not vibe the same way you do? Will anyone hear you being loud that may not want to hear you? Act according to that and you will be an awesome visitor to Wasaga Beach.
Book Cottages and Rentals According to Rules You Will Follow
Keep an eye on the property’s rules. They are almost always posted on their site and listing. Since the majority of the guests at our properties are families and peace loving people, we have a rule that isn’t talked about enough that will help you be an awesome visitor – don’t bring speakers. They bother others. That’s real. It’s honestly better to keep it at home. Furthermore, If you have booked somewhere that has quiet time that starts at 11pm, then that’s what you have agreed to.
If you are a party loving group, there are a few rentals by the Main Beach that cater to that. All good. The only thing you have to worry about then is being loud past the town bylaw. This is generally 12 midnight in commercially zoned rentals. Check it out HERE, Section 4.6. of Wasaga Beach’s bylaw.
3. Rent Legally Licenced Wasaga Beach Cottages / Accommodations
The rule in Wasaga is that all rental accommodations need to have a licence. All of the licenced places will actually have a licence certificate that you can see. This licence is earned after a fee and an inspection by both bylaw for quality, and fire department for your safety. Only properties on commercially zoned land are allowed to rent, except for a few bed and breakfasts that have special permission. The bed and breakfast limitations, however, are 3 bedrooms maximum, no stove/oven, and the owner or agent shares the space.
Why Renting a Licenced Place is Awesome
The reason why rentals aren’t allowed just anywhere is because of noise in residential areas. Often it means too many cars also. Commercially zoned places are in neighbourhoods that are set up for extra cars, and the little extra noise. Commercially zoned places in Wasaga Beach pay higher purchase prices and higher taxes to be able to welcome you and your funky crew.
4. Follow Town Rules and Laws
This goes without saying for anywhere you are in the world, including your own community. Wasagans love it when visitors to the town use the sidewalks properly and when they drive the correct way on one-way streets. They like it when visitors park in appropriate places, and respect different signs around town. A personal favourite of ours is loud acceleration of cars and motorcycles past 1 am. This is not cool. Don’t.
Respect our town laws and rules to be awesome visitors. It’s what we will do for you while you are visiting, so show some courtesy in return and everyone will get along famously.
5. Show a Little Support to Restaurants and Local Businesses
Many of these guys are in business literally for you! They have budgeted, prepared, trained, remodelled and sacrificed all winter for people just like you. They have a little hope that you will buy something during your visit to Wasaga Beach. And hey, if you’d rather not buy anything, that is ok too. We will wholly admit, purchases at the beach can add up fast. There is some truth to the phrase, “beach prices.”
I can say we’ve tried almost every restaurant in Wasaga Beach since we’ve moved. We now have our favourites! To that point, we can recommend from experience for our guests. We also shop at a whole bunch of different local businesses as we try to spread the love around.
6. Be Nice to Local Flora and Fauna
Wasaga Beach has wildlife to watch out for on the beach and around town. We certainly have plenty of trees too. When coming to visit Wasaga, be mindful of ducks, geese, piping plovers (who are protected in Wasaga), fish, beavers, opossums, weasels, seagulls (kind of).
A way you can be awesome is to NOT feed them. It cause them to be dependant on humans and forget their natural instincts. They won’t go out and hunt anymore and the geese will stick around in the winter because they think food is being gifted every day. Further to that point, don’t try to hurt them or provoke them. I remember swans at another lake that would chase all jet skis because a few jet skiers and boaters would bother them so much.
If your desire is to have a campfire, that’s cool. Wasaga Beach is the place to do that! Make sure you buy wood rather than yank healthy branches off of healthy trees.
7. Be Thoughtful While Drinking
There’s a saying that goes, “man takes a drink. Then the drink takes a drink. Then the drink takes the man.”
About half of the awesome recommendations listed in this article can be achieved by self control. A lot of people lose control and do foolish things they wouldn’t normally do. Of course, the beach and vacation vibe is strongly connected to drinking and letting loose. If you are drinking as a visitor, it is awesome when you control yourself and your peeps.
Bonus Points – Smile, Be Friendly and Appreciative
This is your opportunity for bonus points, and I guarantee it will pay off in some form. Wasaga Beachers are small town folks more or less, so they appreciate smiling to one another, saying hi, and showing general courtesy. A good many of locals know each other and see each other around town often.
You may not always get a favourable response since a minority of locals are apprehensive of vacationers. Continue with putting out good vibes and it will make a difference to the right ones.
We’ve even had some guests bring us gifts. We don’t require it or expect it, so don’t worry. It was pretty special to be thought of so highly. Those guests turned into ones that we now keep in touch with and exchange Merry Christmas greetings and similar. That’s pretty awesome. In fact, without the good vibe people, we may not have continued in the rental business. The good vibe people are keeping us going!
As a visitor, if you are giving off friendly vibes around Wasaga Beach, you are going to get it back. Wasaga Beach has something like 4 (maybe more) different Facebook pages of locals who comment and share news to one another. When you, the visitor, are awesome here, it’s very likely that someone will post about you. You’ll get to be mini-famous in Wasaga Beach!