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While there used to be some commercial activity (variety store, hairdressing salon, and other numerous small businesses), the community now consists of almost purely residential and government-use property.
The governmental services in the area mainly cover children's issues and mental health issues. Townsend was planned to have a population of more than 100,000 people by the year 2000. However, workers moving into the area that became employed at the newly constructed Stelco, Texaco, and Ontario Hydro plants to the south mainly elected to locate to more established communities with commercial centres like Jarvis and Simcoe.
Townsend is the hometown of 2013 Memorial Cup Champion Jim Midgley
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