Renting of backyard swimming pools grabs the attention of Mississauga councillor, residents


Published September 7, 2023 at 12:47 pm

A backyard-swimming-pool-for-rent business that has taken hold in Mississauga and other GTA communities the past several years is again being looked at by City officials who may want to create some rules governing the enterprise. 

The renting out of private pools by homeowners seeking extra cash first caught the attention of City of Mississauga officials back in the early fall of 2021.

At the time, numerous complaints had been lodged by Toronto residents related to evening and late-night pool parties and the associated noise and parking issues, and Mississauga councillors wanted to get out in front of the matter before it became problematic in Canada’s seventh-largest city.

Citing public health and other concerns, some Mississauga officials indicated in October 2021 that they’d like to see the pool-for-rent enterprise either closely regulated or shut down for good.

Mississauga Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko brought the matter back to the table at Wednesday’s meeting of general committee.

He said the City needs to consider creating rules to govern the growing business, in which homeowners charge $30 to more than $100 per hour to lend out their backyard paradises via Los Angeles-based Swimply, an online marketplace/app for renting private swimming pools as a form of “staycation.” 

The business, launched about five years ago, received a huge boost during the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly made its way from the U.S., where it’s widely popular, into Canada. 

Dasko said he has no problem with people trying to make a few extra dollars, but added “…we’ve had a few issues come up recently with regards to an app called Swimply and…renting out of backyard swimming pools.”

Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Dasko speaks to his colleagues and City staff at Wednesday’s meeting of general committee about the renting out of backyard swimming pools in Mississauga.

The councillor, who asked that City staff study and report back on the matter, said the business seems to be here “at least for now” and that it presents “a bit of a grey area for people.”

Dasko said some of his residents are wondering how the renting out of backyard pools can be so easily permitted, “and we don’t really have any concrete bylaws on this.”

Currently, 187 backyard swimming pools in Mississauga and other GTA municipalities are listed for rent on Swimply through a search of Mississauga listings.

The Mississauga rentals range from $40 an hour for a “Mississauga backyard oasis” to $100 an hour for a “Sunny private resort-type pool” and $105 for a “Beautiful pool and deck and breathtaking lake” location.

Outside Mississauga, other listings include a mix of pools available in Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Toronto and other nearby municipalities — all rated between one and five stars. 

In October 2021, City staff told Mississauga councillors that they’d received only one complaint related to the use of private pools at that time, and it was about a backyard pool being used as a swim school. 

Bylaw enforcement staff said, also at the time, that private swimming pool rentals were an emerging issue and very difficult to enforce.

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