A popular destination for tourists throughout the year, Collingwood is a charming bedroom community on the shores of Georgian Bay and located near both mountains and the famous Wasaga Beach. Located less than two hours from Toronto and a short drive from Barrie, Ontario, both tourists and residents love the community’s rescreation, culture, and slower pace of life.
Located near the Niagara Escarpment, Georgian Bay, and Wasaga Beach, it’s no surprise that the town of Collingwood attracts both tourists and permanent residents.
During the winter, Collingwood is the gateway to Blue Mountain, a popular nearby ski hill and chalet. During the summer you’ll see the streets of Collingwood packed with tourists coming to visit the town’s main street, or passing through on their way to Wasaga beach, an extremely popular nearby summer destination for the longest freshwater beach in the world.
With a reputation for being a tourist town, Collingwood’s has been a convenient place for travelers to stop for over 100 years. Until about 100 years ago The Great Lakes were the primary way to go west across water, and Collingwood provided that access for countless travelers, from fur trappers to Hudson Bay shipping crews.
European settlers arrive in the early 1800’s, and by mid century the shores of Georgian Bay featured a sawmill and flourmill, attracting even more growth. Before this critical infrastructure arrived, settlers would have to take their goods and raw products to Barrie to sell or refine.
Most people don’t know that Collingwood had several names before the one we know today. These included Hurontario Mills and Hens and Chickens Harbour. It wasn’t called Collingwood until 1854, when it was renamed in honour of Admiral Lord Cuthbert Collingwood, one of the heroes of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Shortly later the Ontario, Simcoe, & Huron Railway came to Collingwood. The town’s harbour became an even more important shipping point for goods going both ways. Since shipping required infrastructure for ships, Collingwood developed a shipbuilding industry.
Later Development in Collingwood
Shipbuilding would dominate much of Collingwood’s early history. It came to an abrupt end in 1986 when increased competition led to the end of the industry in Collingwood.
During the later decades of the 20th century other manufacturing industries made Collingwood one of the area’s largest employers. Today, the town’s focus has shifted to tourism and recreation as the manufacturing landscape has changed.
The economy in Collingwood is driven by tourism and recreation. The town is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts with its proximity to the Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment. Collingwood is also home to the world’s longest freshwater beach, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park.
While the town is a popular retirement destination, it is also home to a number of manufacturing companies. As a result, Collingwood has a diverse economy and a stable job market.
The cost of living in Collingwood is relatively high since its a resort town, but costs are still lower than in nearby cities such as Toronto.
Collingwood is a culturally diverse community with a strong arts and music scene. The town is home to the Collingwood Summer Music Festival, which features a variety of musical performances from classical to rock.
The town also has a number of art galleries and museums, as well as the historic Meaford Hall Arts & Cultural Centre, which hosts a variety of events throughout the year.
Collingwood is also home to a number of festivals and events including the Collingwood Elvis Festival, the Winter Carnival, and the Collingwood Craft Beer & Cider Festival.
If you’re looking for a charming bedroom community with easy access to both urban and rural areas, Collingwood is the perfect place for you. With a strong focus on tourism and recreation, Collingwood is a great place to live if you enjoy the outdoors.
Thanks to its rich history of growth and need to sustain an expanding population, Collingwood has a variety of historic and modern properties to choose from.
The north end of town is more historic and is home to the Downtown core. Further south are more modern subdivisions with contemporary homes, which are popular for retirees and professionals who commute to Barrie for work.
Interested in buying real estate in Collingwood, Ontario? Now that you’ve learned a bit about what life is like in this charming Ontario town, let us know if you have any questions about real estate in the area.
Like many Ontario towns which aren’t close to the Greater Toronto Area, Collingwood is mostly accessible by car. The town also has a local bus network which services the community’s transportation needs.
Getting to and from Collingwood can be accomplished one of two ways. Drivers can head south down Hurontario St. to make it all the way down to Mississauga. Alternatively, Highway 26 stretches east and west, connecting Collingwood to Barrie, and the rest of the GTA from there.
Come for the peace and quiet, the nature, or the local attractions which bring thousands of tourists each year, but regardless why you’re choosing to call home make sure you have received the best possible advice before you buy real estate in Collingwood.
Frank Leo & Associates have over 30 years of experience helping clients buy and sell real estate in Collingwood and all over the GTA. Get in touch with one of our agents by calling (416) 917-5466 or let us know if you have any questions about real estate in the area.