Collingwood, Ontario

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Town of Collingwood
Downtown Collingwood in late December 2008
Downtown Collingwood in late December 2008
Official logo of Collingwood
"C-wood", "The Wood"
Collingwood is located in Simcoe County
Collingwood is located in Southern Ontario
Coordinates: 44°30′N 80°13′W / 44.500°N 80.217°W / 44.500; -80.217Coordinates: 44°30′N 80°13′W / 44.500°N 80.217°W / 44.500; -80.217
Country Canada
Province Ontario
 • MayorYvonne Hamlin
 • MPsTerry Dowdall (C)
 • MPPsBrian Saunderson (PC)
 • Land33.51 km2 (12.94 sq mi)
 • Total24,811
 • Density748.3/km2 (1,938/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code705 & 249
Highways Highway 26
Former Highway 24

Collingwood is a town in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada. It is situated on Nottawasaga Bay at the southern point of Georgian Bay. Collingwood is well known as a tourist destination, for its skiing in the winter, and limestone caves along the Niagara Escarpment in the summer.


The land in the area was first inhabited by the Iroquoian-speaking Petun nation, which built a string of villages in the vicinity of the nearby Niagara Escarpment. They were driven from the region by the Iroquois in 1650 who withdrew from the region around 1700. European settlers and freed Black slaves arrived in the area in the 1840s, bringing with them their religion and culture.

Collingwood was incorporated as a town in 1858, nine years before Confederation, and was named after Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Lord Nelson's second in command at the Battle of Trafalgar, who assumed command of the British fleet after Nelson's death.

The area had several other names associated with it, including Hurontario (because it lies at the end of Hurontario Street, which runs from Lake Huron — of which Georgian Bay is a part — south to Lake Ontario), Nottawa, and Hens-and-Chickens Harbour, because of one large and four small islands in the bay.

In 1855, the Ontario, Simcoe & Huron (later called the Northern) Railway came into Collingwood, and the harbour became the shipment point for goods destined for the upper Great Lakes ports of Chicago and Port Arthur-Fort William (now Thunder Bay). Shipping produced a need for ship repairs, so it was not long before an organized shipbuilding business was created. On May 24, 1883, the Collingwood Shipyards, formally known as Collingwood Dry Dock Shipbuilding and Foundry Company Limited, opened with a special ceremony. On September 12, 1901, the Huronic, the first steel-hulled ship in Canada, was launched in Collingwood. The shipyards produced Lakers and during World War II contributed to the production of corvettes for the Royal Canadian Navy. Shipbuilding was one of the principal industries in the town, employing as much as 10% of the total labour force. However, overseas competition and overcapacity in shipbuilding in Canada led to the demise of shipbuilding in Collingwood in September 1986.

The creation of government incentive programs and a fully serviced industrial park made it possible for Collingwood to attract eleven new manufacturing firms to the town by 1971. Eight additional manufacturing companies had located in the town by 1983, making Collingwood the largest industrial employer in the region.


Aerial view of Collingwood from the southwest (2013)
View of Collingwood, Ontario from the top of Blue Mountain Resort

Today, Collingwood's industrial base, which includes Pilkington Glass of Canada, Goodall Rubber Company - Canada ULC, and VOAC Inc, and which are among the community's largest employers, has begun to erode.

Several industries in the area have closed, including Collingwood Ethanol L.P., Nacan Products (2004), Backyard Products (2004), Kaufman of Collingwood (2006), Goodyear Tires (2007), Alcoa Wheel products (2008) and the Blue Mountain Pottery (2004). Collingwood is also home to the distillery where Canadian Mist Whisky is produced.

In June 2007, Collingwood Ethanol (now Amaizeingly Green)[2] began production in the former Nacan facility. The company expected to produce 50 million litres of ethanol annually to satisfy regulatory requirements on ethanol content in gasoline mandated by the provincial and federal governments. Collingwood Ethanol[2] also produces byproducts of the ethanol manufacturing process, including an organic corn gluten fertilizer. Petitions have been submitted to the town by residents of a new housing development located across the road in an effort to force Collingwood Ethanol to reduce the amount of odour and noise that they are causing during the times when they are in full production. Before Collingwood Ethanol started production, however, Nacan (a starch plant that once occupied the now ethanol plant) also created a strong odour and noise. This made many locals wonder why a housing development would be built across the road from an industrial part of town. In December 2012, Amaizeingly Green filed for receivership of the plant. Due to the higher cost of corn, the plant has since been closed. Demolition of the plant started Dec 2018.

Located on the southern shores of Georgian Bay and close to Blue Mountain, a promontory of the Niagara Escarpment, the town is a major recreation area for the southern part of the province. Blue Mountain itself is noted for skiing, and also for its Scenic Caves. The town is also a short distance from Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, a destination that received the title of Biosphere Reserve in 2004.

Local media include the News site and Collingwood-Wasaga Connection community newspapers, and radio station CKCB-FM. The Barrie-based regional television station CKVR-TV maintains a bureau in Collingwood, and the Owen Sound-based Bayshore Broadcasting radio group also has an office in Collingwood. The Collingwood annual week-end Elvis Presley festival attracted Elvis impersonators from the world over for 25 years but as of 2020 municipal support has been discontinued.[3]


The climate of Collingwood is humid continental. The town is located in the snow belt region and receives modest amounts of both snow and rain through the year.

In the spring months there is a gradual warming due to the proximity of Georgian Bay. Frequent shower pass over the region this time of year and later on in the season can turn into severe storms. Temperatures this time of year range from −5 °C to 22 °C.

In the summer months, there are warm to hot humid conditions with frequent lake breezes to cool things off. Thunderstorms are regular occurrences in the summer and can sometimes be severe enough to cause tornadoes. Temperatures this time of year can range from 11 °C to 26 °C. The humidity will often make it feel much hotter than the actual temperature and can even make it feel like the mid 40s °C.

Fall generally arrives later here than the rest of Canada due to the warm waters of Georgian Bay. Strong storms called November witches can bring multiples days of strong winds with rain and snow. Lake effect snow also starts this time of year. Temperatures typically range from -10 to +20.

Winter is a very cloudy and cool wet time of year with frequent wind and frosts. Sometimes winter thaws will occur and the town may go multiple days above the freezing mark melting much of the snow. This will usually happen when a strong storm is approaching from the west. Lake effect snow lasts for most of the winter and causes huge amounts of snow to fall in this region. Temperature this time of year typical range from -20 to +5.[4]


The mayor is Yvonne Hamlin, who was elected in October 2022.[5]

Collingwood is within the Simcoe—Grey riding for both federal and provincial elections. The federal Member of Parliament is Conservative Terry Dowdall,[6] and the Member of Provincial Parliament is Jim Wilson who sits as an independent.[7]


Collingwood Heritage Conservation District[edit]

Collingwood Town Hall

The Collingwood Heritage Conservation District was formally recognized in the Canadian Register of Historic Places on 2002-12-02.[8] Collingwood was the first municipality in Canada to have a Heritage Conservation District added to the register.[9][10]

The area, which surrounds the town's downtown core[11] contains 260 properties[12] and several landmarks, including the Shipyards redevelopment on former site of Collingwood Shipbuilding, Collingwood Terminals grain elevator,[13][14] and the town hall.[15]

Creative Simcoe Street[edit]

The portion of Simcoe Street that lies within the Collingwood Heritage Conservation District[16] is informally known as Creative Simcoe Street. The neighbourhood is home to several artist's studios, art galleries and restaurants. It also includes the Collingwood Museum and Collingwood Public Library,[17] the historic Tremont House building, as well as the Simcoe Street Theatre, which is managed by the Town of Collingwood Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture.[18]

The two-block stretch of Simcoe Street intersects the main street, Hurontario Street, to the West, connecting the neighbourhood to the Collingwood downtown. It ends at St. Paul Street to the East, at the Eastern border of the Heritage Conservation District.[11]

The Creative Simcoe Street name is used by local media,[19] businesses[20] and tourism groups[21] however, the neighbourhood is not formally recognized by the Town.[22]


Collingwood is served by Highway 26, which runs along the shore of Nottawasaga Bay, and county road 124 (which was part of Highway 24 before the provincial government downgraded that portion of the highway in 1998). The town is also served by a rail trail along the former Barrie Collingwood Railway section of what had been the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Union Railway, connecting Collingwood to the towns of Owen Sound and Barrie, with a spur heading north through the town's central business district, to the large grain elevators at the downtown wharf, where trains would load and unload onto ships.

Colltrans is the Town of Collingwood's local public transit system. Simcoe County LINX, the region's inter-community transit service, serves stops at downtown Collingwood, the Collingwood Hospital, and Collingwood Collegiate Institute, connecting the town to cities like Barrie, where it is possible to connect to inter-regional services such as GO Transit and Ontario Northland.

In addition to Collingwood's position as a lake port, it is also served by Collingwood Airport (CNY3), a medium-sized airport about 4 miles (7.4 km) south of the town.

Notable people[edit]







Historical populations

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Collingwood had a population of 24,811 living in 11,174 of its 13,216 total private dwellings, a change of 13.8% from its 2016 population of 21,793. With a land area of 33.15 km2 (12.80 sq mi), it had a population density of 748.4/km2 (1,938.5/sq mi) in 2021.[25]

Canada census – Collingwood, Ontario community profile
Population24,811 (+13.8% from 2016)21,973 (+13.3% from 2011)19,241 (+11.3% from 2006)
Land area33.15 km2 (12.80 sq mi)33.78 km2 (13.04 sq mi)33.46 km2 (12.92 sq mi)
Population density748.3/km2 (1,938/sq mi)645.1/km2 (1,671/sq mi)575.1/km2 (1,490/sq mi)
Median age50.8 (M: 48, F: 53.6)49.2 (M: 46.6, F: 51.3)
Total private dwellings11,17511,61710,695
Median household income$64,369
Notes: Includes corrections and updates.
References: 2021[26] 2016[27] 2011[23] earlier[28][29]


Skiers at a lodge in Collingwood, 1959

Collingwood is a destination for winter and summer recreational activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and downhill skiing. Both private and public organizations are available to the public. There is a network of trails that allow this, including the Georgian Trail which connects to the Bruce Trail.[30]

The first hockey rink in Collingwood was located on the west side of Pine Street in 1883, with public skates every Tuesday night. Interest in hockey peaked in the 1890s with the first recognized hockey game played in 1894 against a team from Barrie. Collingwood joined Barrie and Bradford in a Simcoe County league in 1894 and was granted a team in the newly formed Ontario Hockey Association in 1895.[31]

The Park Street Arena, now known as the Collingwood Curling Club, was built in 1909. The arena now known as Eddie Bush Memorial was built in 1948. Collingwood has hosted training sessions with Team Canada, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.[31]

Sister cities[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2021 Census: Collingwood". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Collingwood Ethanol". Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "After 25 years, the curtain closes on the Collingwood Elvis Festival". CTV News. March 2, 2020. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  4. ^ National Climatic Data Center; National Centers for Environmental Information (2020). Billion-dollar weather and climate disasters. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.25921/stkw-7w73. OCLC 818880200. 2018230011.
  5. ^ "Municipal Election". Town of Collingwood. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  6. ^ "Constituencies - Members of Parliament - House of Commons". Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "Legislative Assembly of Ontario". Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "Collingwood Heritage Conservation District". Historic Places Program Branch, Parks Canada. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Heritage Collingwood | Town of Collingwood". Town of Collingwood. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  10. ^ "Heritage Collingwood | exploring our past". Town of Collingwood Heritage Committee. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Town of Collingwood Heritage Boundary" (PDF). Town of Collingwood. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "The Ontario Heritage Trust". Ontario Heritage Trust. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  13. ^ Edwards, John (June 26, 2018). "Costs to repair Collingwood's iconic grain terminals could top $10 million". Metroland Media Group Ltd. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "Collingwood Grain Elevator – Harbour". Town of Collingwood Heritage Committee. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  15. ^ "97 Hurontario Street". Town of Collingwood Heritage Committee. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "Simcoe Street". Town of Collingwood Heritage Committee. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  17. ^ "Creative Simcoe Street". Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Malloy, John (February 26, 2018). "Collingwood Taking on Management of Simcoe Street Theatre". Georgian Bay News. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  19. ^ Engel, Erika (April 11, 2018). "Finding a perfect fit in the shelves of a bookstore". Village Media Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  20. ^ trinity (November 15, 2018). "Christmas & Holiday Events in the Collingwood, Blue Mountains Area". Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  21. ^ "Creative Simcoe Street". south georgian bay tourism. Georgian Triangle Tourist Association.
  22. ^ Engel, Erika (June 5, 2019). "Unofficial arts hub wants to be official Creative District". Village Media Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  24. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Collingwood". Statistics Canada. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  25. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Ontario". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  26. ^ "2021 Community Profiles". 2021 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 4, 2022. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  27. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 12, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  28. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 20, 2019.
  29. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 18, 2021.
  30. ^ Town of Collingwood. "Collingwood Trails Network".
  31. ^ a b Edwards, John (December 6, 2017). "Historical society looks at Collingwood's storied hockey history". Collingwood Connection. Metroland Media Group. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  32. ^ "About Sister Cities". Town of Collingwood, Ontario. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Collingwood, Ontario at Wikimedia Commons