Rideau Hotel switches to short-term rentals

Rideau Hotel
Photo credit: Brian Turner
Posted on: May 4, 2021

The only long-term tenant in the newly restored Rideau Hotel in Smiths Falls recently learned that 22 of the 25 apartments in the building were being leased to Simply Comfort Suites, a company specializing in short-term vacation and business travel rentals. The young family of three recently moved from Ottawa to reap the rewards of small-town living.

The tenant says the estate agent involved in his lease never mentioned the possibility of the building being used as a short-term rental facility, and he would have never signed a one-year lease for himself, his wife, and young child if this information was disclosed. They only recently learned of the change from construction workers on site and had it confirmed by the building’s property management company.

When asked, Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow stated that, as the building was originally a hotel, this change wasn’t a concern from his perspective and that it filled a need in the community. He added that the loss of the 22 units from the long-term rental market would be more than made up for with current traditional residential development now underway.

When asked about the negative view that some municipalities and their permanent residents have of short-term rentals, he commented that the ones already operating in town hadn’t caused any problems to date he was aware of, and that if negative issues did arise, council could deal with those through bylaw legislation if appropriate. A growing number of Ontario towns and cities have passed restrictive bylaws to regulate short-term rentals and to protect their neighbours from problems stemming from rowdy behaviour, loud parties and property damage.

Parkview Homes currently has two applications under council’s consideration for municipal community improvement grants. One is for funds to offset the installation of railings on the roof and the other is for a property tax reduction for the next ten years. Simply Comfort Suites confirmed that suites would be available at the hotel starting June 1.

Article by Brian Turner

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News

2 thoughts on “Rideau Hotel switches to short-term rentals

  1. Rita

    Wow… that really sucks. I will have to move in the future and was impressed with the high end finish of the condo’s here. I was seriously looking to move there, but not any more. The town should not have allowed this flip from the original plan they approved. The fact that it was once a hotel has nothing to do with it

  2. Susan

    I live in a hundred year old house in Smiths Falls and I wish there was somewhere I could go to get money to fix it up or lowered taxes for 10 years. Our tax money just goes to help new businesses come to town, make some money and then often leave again without repaying public loans. I plan to stay here and I care about our town. Not sure that the decisions being made around this hotel/residence are the best for out town.

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