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Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals (STRs) in the City of Owen Sound require a licence to operate effective March 1, 2024. 
STRs are defined as all or part of a legally established dwelling that operates or offers a place of temporary residence, lodging or occupancy by way of a rental agreement or similar commercial transaction for a period of twenty-eight (28) consecutive nights or less and, for greater clarity, includes bed & breakfasts.

  1. Short-term rentals must be licensed in the City of Owen Sound as of March 1, 2024 under the City's Short-Term Rental Licensing By-law.

  2. When booking a short-term rental in Owen Sound, check to make sure that the city-issued licence number is included in the listing or advertisement.  Do not rent short-term rentals that do not display this licence number.

  3. Short-term rentals can only be located on the property of the operator's principal residence - this is the property where the operator lives and the address they use for bills, identification, taxes and insurance.

  4. A short-term rental may operate for a maximum of 180 days per year.

  5. Operators must keep a log with information on each rental they host.

  6. Operators must provide each group of visitors with a visitor's guide and a visitor's code of conduct.

  7. Each short-term rental must have a site plan, fire-safety plan and parking management plan.

  8. Visitors are expected to be good neighbours and respect rules around noise, parking, garbage and recycling.

  9. You can contact By-law Enforcement at or 519-376-1440 if you notice that a short-term rental is operating without a licence, not used as a principal residence, making a nuisance or for other non-emergencies.

  10. Call 9-1-1 only for emergencies, such as reporting a fire, reporting a crime or for emergency medical assistance.

A number of staff reports about STRs have been presented to Committee or Council including:

  • On May 11, 2023, staff presented Report CR-23-045 to the Corporate Services Committee respecting STRs. 
  • On July 13, 2023, staff presented Report CR-23-065 to the Corporate Services Committee respecting feedback and next steps. 
  • On September 24, 2023, staff presented Report CR-23-070 to the Corporate Services Committee respecting the draft by-law and short form wording. 
  • On November 20, 2023, staff presented Report CR-23-097 to City Council respecting the rental cap and principal residence requirements.
  • On February 12, 2023, staff presented Report CR-24-012 to City Council respecting updates to insurance and electrical safety requirements.

Please direct any questions to:

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