|Town of Collingwood|
Downtown Collingwood in late December 2008
"C-wood", "The Wood"
|o Mayor||Brian Saunderson|
|o MPs||Terry Dowdall (C)|
|o MPPs||Jim Wilson (PC)|
|o Land||33.78 km2 (13.04 sq mi)|
|o Density||645.1/km2 (1,671/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Forward sortation area|
|Area code(s)||705 & 249|
|Highways|| Highway 26|
Former Highway 24
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.
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 internationally famous 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) 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 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 the popular Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, an attractive destination that received the title of Biosphere Reserve in 2004.
Local media include the Collingwood Today News 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. Collingwood is also known for its annual week-end Elvis Presley festival, which attracts Elvis impersonators from the world over in late July of each year.
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 40 °C.
Fall is a pleasant time of year with some of the warmest temperatures in Canada. The season will usually start off warm and pleasant with a few scattered showers. The first frosts will generally hold off until the later half of October which gives the trees plenty of time to turn beautiful shades of yellow and red. Temperatures will range from 20 °C to -3 °C. Later in the season there can sometimes be a severe fall storm called the witch of November. These storms can deepen in pressures over the lakes and cause severe winds, rain, and snow. Lake effect snow starts off in November bringing poor visibility and storm winds from the northwest.
Winter is a popular and beautiful time of year with the ski hills in The Blue Mountains to the southwest being a very popular destination. Lake effect snow is very common and sometimes paralyzing to the town. Winter is a very cloudy and cool wet time of year with frequent wind and frosts. Sometimes winter thaws will occur and the city 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.
The current mayor is Brian Saunderson. The federal Member of Parliament is Conservative Terry Dowdall, and the Member of Provincial Parliament is Progressive Conservative Jim Wilson. Collingwood is within the Simcoe--Grey riding for both federal and provincial elections.
The Collingwood Heritage Conservation District was formally recognized in the Canadian Register of Historic Places on 2002-12-02. Collingwood was the first municipality in Canada to have a Heritage Conservation District added to the register.,
The area, which surrounds the town's downtown core contains several landmarks, including the Shipyards redevelopment on former site of Collingwood Shipbuilding, Collingwood Terminals grain elevator, and the town hall.
The portion of Simcoe Street that lies within the Collingwood Heritage Conservation District 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 as well as the Simcoe Street Theatre, which is managed by the Town of Collingwood Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture.
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.
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 intercommunity 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.
At the 2011 census, Collingwood was the fastest growing census agglomeration in Canada east of Manitoba.
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.
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.
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.
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Media related to Collingwood, Ontario at Wikimedia Commons