photo of John's dog
Sarah's headshot


May 15, 2023

3 mins read

Kawartha Lakes, ON

John’s Cottage Opening Tips

Our Customer Care Manager shares how he gets his cottage ready for the season

It’s the great escape. Cottage life submerges you into nature and the fresh air does the soul good. In Ontario, we’re lucky to have such a beautiful province to enjoy and explore.

Our Customer Care Manager, John, has had his cottage for decades and understands the importance of thorough property maintenance. So we asked John: What helpful tips can you share with our customers as they prepare to open their own cottages?

photo of a sunset view from a deck overlooking a lake in cottage country

“The happiest memories I have at the cottage are those with my family. What’s most important to me is that the property is regularly maintained and safe for us to enjoy.
To get to the rest and relaxation, you have to do the work first.”

John, Hydro One Customer Care Manager


icon of a checklist

Here are John’s top tips to kick-start a safe and successful cottage season:

  1. When you first arrive: You’ll want to do a circle check and inspect the power line feeding your cottage. Take note if there are any tree branches that have grown too close to the power line — they could cause a power outage. Hire a qualified contractor to prune trees near your power line. Always remember, if a wire is down on the ground, stay at least 10 metres away and call Hydro One's power emergency line immediately at 1-800-434-1235.

  2. Before you enter your cottage: Make sure you check your electricity meter for damage. If there is damage, report it to us.

  3. Before turning on power to your cottage: Ensure that there is no water damage to electrical equipment. Through the winter season, your cottage may have been in an area that experienced flooding. If damage occurred, hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to conduct an evaluation and make any necessary repairs before turning on power at your premise.
    Ensure all branch circuits are in the off position. Open the main switch and then energize individual circuits one at a time. Fill your water tank before switching on the power, to avoid damage to your water heater element.

  4. Inside your cottage: Look at your interior wiring, electrical cords and plugs for damage. Arrange for repairs or replacement, if necessary.
    The start of the cottage season is also a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and to ensure your fire extinguishers are charged.
    And lastly, change your digital thermostat batteries at the start of the season. Should your battery die or there is an outage while you’re away, your thermostat may automatically reset to a default temperature. This scenario might use an excess of electricity when you’re not there to control it.

  5. Outside your cottage: For no charge, Hydro One will temporarily disconnect your property’s power supply once a year so you can perform basic maintenance activities around your cottage. That way any maintenance along or near your power line can be performed safely.

  6. Be prepared: Always ensure you’re storm ready with a stocked Emergency Preparedness Kit and sign up for Hydro One's outage alerts so you can stay updated. Once you register, you will receive a text or email when the power is out near your property and updates on estimated times of restoration.

  7. Start planning: Are you thinking of a new dock, building a new deck, or doing some landscaping this summer season? For jobs big and small, always submit an underground cable locate request ahead of time to ensure your work does not come in contact with dangerous underground cables. Even under water, submarine cables can be located in both rivers and lakes.

The views are beautiful, but the experience is everything. Take a look at John’s personal photos of his favourite things about cottage life.

Click a thumbnail image below to enlarge and view in slideshow mode.