Skip to content

Take my home, please

Nancy Frechette’s family of four is poised to more than double during the Canada Winter Games.Strangers will rent two bedrooms in her…

Nancy Frechette’s family of four is poised to more than double during the Canada Winter Games.

Strangers will rent two bedrooms in her five-bedroom Copper Ridge home through the NorthStay program.

The guests will stay in her two boys’ rooms, and they will bunk together in the guest room.

Plus her family will convert the living room into a “camping style” bedroom if needed.

With each bedroom housing two guests, the family of four is bracing for four to six extra people.

“It’ll be a tight fit,” she said with a laugh.

“We’ll have to work out a schedule for the showers.”

In the six months since the NorthStay program was launched, it has received more than 400 applications from would-be hosts and 250 from people looking for a place to stay.

Although co-ordinators stopped accepting applications last Friday, they are still taking names on a waiting list just in case, said Games general manger Chris Morrissey.

“We just don’t want to get peoples’ expectations up, so we put a hold on taking any more applications,” he said Thursday.

Although Frechette will stay in her house and stay in town to volunteer during the Games, many Yukoners will give up their pads and stay with friends or head out for a midwinter vacation.

Of the 415 Yukoners who have applied to open their homes through the program, 282 will leave their homes and 133 will billet guests.

Up for grabs are 52 one-bedrooms, 117 two-bedrooms, 114 three-bedrooms, 78 four-bedrooms, 20 five-bedrooms and four six-bedroom homes or apartments.

Canada Select set suggested prices based on the number of rooms in the home or apartment— one bedroom will rent for $1,100 per week, two to three bedrooms for up to $1,600, four bedrooms for $2,000 and five to six for $2,500.

Just 12 hosts have applied to rent their rooms free of charge through the complementary billet program.

“For most people this is a business transaction — we are simply the dating service,” said Morrissey.

So far there have been 103 matches.

The suggested price for renting rooms to billets through the program is $50 per room per night. If there’s a second person in the room, they’ll pay an extra $15.

So, Frechette is poised to make $65 per night off each room.

And if all three are full for a full week, that’s $1,365.

Over two weeks, the income doubles to $2,730.

Although Frechette hopes to make money off the venture, she says that’s not the most important part.

“The main focus is just for fun, it’s the same thing as volunteering, you’re getting into it,” she said.

“We’re volunteering anyway so we thought, ‘Why not?’ It’s going to be great, it’s going to be fun, let’s participate.”

Frechette has already been paired up with two couples for one of the two weeks, one from New Brunswick and the other from Quebec.

Both have kids competing in the Games.

Although NorthStay co-ordinators currently have 150 more hosts than they need, those numbers could change as the Games get closer.

The office is receiving a steady stream of around three guest applications each day, said Morrissey.

Some provinces and territories will not officially choose their Canada Games teams until January.

So Morrissey expects to see more travellers looking for places to rest their heads in the new year.

NorthStay is similar to programs used at past Canada Games.

At the 2003 Games, held in New Brunswick, only 24 guests used the program.

But the Whitehorse Games are shaping up to be more like Newfoundland in 1999, where the Games received more than 400 applications from would-be hosts.