VRS087 – CEO and Founder of Canada Stays Mark Bordo

Some years ago when Cottage Blogger was in its infancy, and the cottage rental market here in Ontario was meeting some challenges of change, I came across a new listing site.

Cottage Country.com was a start-up and at first glance seemed like every other listing site that was sprouting up at that time. They were taking on new cottage owners and offering free advertising, promising the earth and showing little substance or strategy.

Or so it seemed.

There was a difference though. Cottage Country grew up in a Rogers incubator program (Rogers is a major Canadian telecommunications company) and you don’t get in there without a lot of drive and ambition, and that is what founder, Mark Bordo has in buckets.

Fast forward six years and Cottage Country has come of age, flown the Rogers nest, rebranded as Canada Stays and is rapidly building a stronghold in the competitive Canadian rental market. Now backed by vacation rental goliath ‘HomeAway' in a round of funding completed this February, Canada Stays is set to make some waves in this still-emerging market.

tweetTweet: Amazing Podcast! @CanadaStays CEO Mark Bordo joins #vacationrental expert @Cottageguru http://ctt.ec/B351g+ pic.twitter.com/WO7PfIUhcf

In this episode, I catch up with Mark and we discuss the evolution of his idea that was generated after an unsatisfactory rental to a Toronto-based company with a workforce of over 40 people.

Mark shares

  • his early experiences of finding a suitable cottage for his family
  • how the support from Rogers got the company off to a good start
  • the early struggles to build a portfolio of properties
  • why owner education is a primary goal
  • his motivation to create an exceptional experience for travelers
  • his Ontario roots that make his best cottage memory a winter one!

And lots more…


Skift and those pesky vacation rental owners
Tnooz – HomeAway invests in Canada Stays

Where you can find Canada Stays:











Darik Eaton

Heather, We are in a similar situation as you, in that we live/work in an area where only 30% of homes have air conditioning, and even less of condos and apartments in the city. We handle that (as well as urban street noise disclaimers) with a mentioning in each and every one of our advertisements on each and every platform about these issues as a way to manage guest expectations.

This has helped us in two fold, one morale with our staff knowing that guests had to have looked over that description on our website, homeaway, vrbo, or wherever they booked from. That way when a guest calls, it helps with that conversation. The secondly guests reviews, even when we hit record heat, seemed to be much more mild overall as they feel like they have to mention “The property said it didn’t have central air, It was really hot, but we just went out and enjoyed the city rather than staying in the property during the day.” vs more negative reviews we have received in the past.

So with that, I was skeptical at first, but it has really helped our business being as full disclosure as possible on our listings, even when the listing sites don’t give us the space the topic deserves to cover it.

Darik Eaton
Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals


Friendly advise – DO NOT rent from Canada Stays. They do not
check their landlords (criminal record, background check etc), they don’t help
you with questions or concerns about the property, Canada Stays take your money
and tell you “Deal with landlord – its not our problem???”.

Day before my arrival Jackson Accommodation cancelled my reservation due to flooding (so he says…). I found out that he actually rented the apartment for those days – probably for more money and probably for cash. I had really hard time finding alternative accommodation. Even if there was a flooding – Do You want to rent flooded and mouldy apartment??? It looks that lots of people will regret dealing with James Jackson.

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