You Too Can Be on ‘Vacation House Rules’… If You Have Property in Ontario

Where does ‘Vacation House Rules’ film? Learn more about Scott McGillivray’s HGTV renovation show and its filming locations.


Jun. 4 2023, Updated 12:46 p.m. ET

If you’re a fan of home renovation shows, you’re no doubt interested in real estate expert Scott McGillivray’s latest show on HGTV,Vacation House Rules, which airs on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on the the cable channel.

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As Scott told HELLO! Canada in 2020, he started the show to help viewers do their own vacation home refurbs. “The short term vacation rental market right now is pretty lucrative,” he said. “So I thought, ‘Why don’t we get on top of this and show people how to do it properly?’ There’s a lot of people attempting to do it, but they’re not doing a fantastic job. … I wanted to say, ‘You know what, it’s not as hard as you think. You just have to follow a few simple steps.’”

Here’s more about the show…

What is ‘Vacation House Rules’?

Vacation House Rules — or Scott’s Vacation House Rules, as it’s called in Canada — is a home renovation show that follows Scott as he helps homeowners spruce up their vacation properties.

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“With years of smart real estate investing and renovation experience, Scott and his secret design weapon, Debra Salmoni, unlock the rental potential of even the most uninspired properties,” Scott’s website explains. “Finding and transforming tired, dated, and rundown spaces into unique and buzz-worthy Canadian cottage hotspots, the series proves that any dream property is always within reach if you follow Scott’s Vacation House Rules.”

Who is Scott McGillivray?

According to his HGTV bio, Scott has starred in over 300 episodes of HGTV shows since 2008, including his series Income Property, Moving the McGillivrays, Buyers Bootcamp, and now Vacation House Rules.

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Off-screen, Scott is the CEO of the McGillivray Group and McGillivray Entertainment, a co-founder of the real estate investing education company Keyspire, and a real estate investor with properties across North America. He also has his own podcast, titled The Real Estate Rebel.

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Where does ‘Vacation House Rules’ film?

Scott’s casting call for Vacation House Rules reveals the show’s filming location: Applicants must be located within a 2-3 hour drive of the Greater Toronto Area. (You also have to have a vacation-ready home like a farmhouse, boat house, cottage, cabin, or chalet, and you must be ready to give up $150,000 and four to five days of your time over the 8–10 week renovation.)

Specifically, the show’s Ontario filming locations included the county of Haliburton, the municipality of Muskoka, and the town of Wasaga Beach, according to episode descriptions on the HGTV Canada website.

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For previous seasons, homeowners were expected to contribute $75,000 to their own renovation project, but as the cost of labor and materials has gone up, so, too has the cost of participating on the show. Still, if you're going to be renovating a vacation property, an appearance on Vacation Hous Rules might be just the thing to get your location on the map!

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