Back in early September I did a blog post titled: “Collingwood’s Waterfront – It’s Time To Act.” and for those that have not yet read it, the link will take you to that post.

The above mentioned post was not intended to be a criticism.  Rather, as the result of a recent walk I had made around the waterfront lands with my 5 year old granddaughter, it was a summary of observations I had made and was a means to express my disappointment and frustration.  The Collingwood Shipyards closed in 1986 and for the most part the waterfront has remained largely dormant for the past 36 years.  For the most part, the harbour lands was an eyesore and not something the town could be proud of.   In addition those lands offer in my opinion and others outstanding potential as a place for both residents and visitors alike to visit and enjoy.  Given the time it has taken to get to where we are today, I saw the lack of development on those lands as a lost economic driver and benefit to the town.

More important that just a place to build residential condos, Collingwood’s waterfront has the ability to create jobs and added attraction(s) to the community both of which would provide long term financial benefits to not just the municipality itself but to everyone involved and especially local businesses.  As stated in the above mentioned post:  “After 36 years with only minimal progress, Collingwood Council needs to take some initiatives in addressing what was outlined the town’s Waterfront Master Plan.

Currently there is the HarbourHouse condominium project underway at the corner of Highway 26 (Huron Street) and Heritage Drive.  This six storey building which offers underground parking is a mix of residential units with some ground floor commercial space.  A portion of land north of HarbourHouse which was formerly part of the Collingwood Shipyards is also slated for a similar development.

Vacant Former Collingwood Shipyard’s Properties

In addition to these two properties, one additional piece of former Shipyard’s land is now poised to become another multi-storey, mixed use building called “Collingwood Quay.”The developer behind Collindwood Quay is FRAM Slokker who as many will recall is the initial developer that started the first phase(s) of redeveloping the former Collingwood Shipyard’s lands.  As shown in the photo below, the property in question and circled in red is situated between the basin where ships were launched on the left and the former drydocks to the right.

Collingwood Quay Site

No details of the Collingwood Quay project have to be released but similar to HarbourHouse it will be a mixed use development of residential and commercial units.  Some of us from my office will be meeting with the developer shortly to learn more and I will provide more details at that time.  The limitations that Collingwood is facing with respect to its water treatment plant capacity will no doubt play a role as to when some of these projects proceed or are completed.

Proposed Collingwood Quay Project

Multi-storey buildings in a town like Collingwood may not be what everyone ultimately wants to see happen whether on the waterfront or elsewhere, keep in mind the above photo is only a rendering.  With Georgian Bay to the immediate north and unless Collingwood annexes land from neighbouring municipalities such as Clearview Township or Wasaga Beach, the town has a finite amount of land to expand hence the need top go up versus out.

In summary it’s nice to see some vision and proposals being done to turn what is currently vacant land growing weeds into a destination for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.  At the end of the day we may finally have a place where you can walk along the water, sit and enjoy a coffee or a meal overlooking the harbour.  It’s been a long time coming and it’s long overdue.

More information will be provided in future posts.