Capital Gains Tax Changes Threaten Middle Class Families In Ontario’s Rural Communities: FOCA Says



The Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) opposes the changes to capital gains tax that were approved by vote in the House of Commons on June 12, 2024. These tax changes will negatively impact 150,000 seasonal property owners in Ontario alone and could devastate generational cottage ownership for middle class families.


Despite the government’s assertion that the tax is targeted at wealthy investors, the hardest hit will, in fact, be families with one remaining parent who wants to pass the cottage, camp, or other secondary residence to the kids, through gifting or inheritance.

Waterfront property owners matter to rural Ontario, from Kenora to Kingston to Lake Erie to north of Temagami. Ontario cottagers are waterfront residents who are voters, environmental stewards of thousands of kilometres of shorelines, and economic contributors to rural communities where they have deep ties. FOCA’s 2022 Economic Impact Study confirmed that an estimated $11.44 billion is spent each year by a quarter of a million waterfront property households across Ontario. For every 100 waterfront properties located in a community, 63 jobs are created in Ontario, with 54 of those jobs in the community itself.

FOCA is concerned that the fabric of Ontario cottage country – such a vital part of our Canadian culture – will be torn apart by the capital gains tax change. Over the past weeks FOCA has been copied on hundreds of letters from middle-class families to their MPs, each outlining how they are personally affected, and how this tax change may force the sale of the cottage out of the family. In many cases, these are homes have been passed through generations over multiple decades.

“Cottages are not investment properties for middle-class Ontario families, they are woven into the fabric of family and community history. This unfair taxation puts that heritage at risk,” stated Lesley Lavender, CEO of FOCA.

With the start date for this new tax rate set for June 25, 2024, seasonal property owners are being forced into an impossible position, having to choose between family legacy and financial security. This hasty implementation could lead to a surge in abrupt property listings, destabilizing Ontario’s waterfront communities.

On the matter of capital gains tax changes approved on June 12, 2024:

·    FOCA urgently calls on the government to postpone the June 25, 2024 implementation date to give families time to make informed financial decisions.

·    FOCA advocates for tax exemptions tailored to the unique circumstances of seasonal cottagers, such as a once-per-lifetime tax exemption for these kinds of inter-generational family transfers.

By making these necessary adjustments, we can protect the cultural heritage that defines us as Canadians, while fostering the growth of our rural communities and the stewardship of our natural landscapes.

FOCA urges all Ontarians to read our position on the topic of capital gains on our webpage:

Seasonal property owners are encouraged to learn more about the important process of cottage succession planning on FOCA’s webpage:

Waterfront property owners – whether you are a permanent resident or cottage owner, should visit our website for resources and information on a variety of cottage-country topics:


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