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Collingwood Ontario:
Skiing and More!

Collingwood Ontario is one of the towns of the Georgian Triangle, along with Wasaga Beach, Thornbury, Meaford, and Creemore, that border the southern shore of Georgian Bay. Wasaga Beach, by the way, is the world’s longest freshwater beach.

Collingwood isn’t so much about beaches because being located along the world renowned

 Niagara Escarpment,

the Blue Mountains and surrounding areas have become a year round vacation destination.

It wasn't always so peaceful. Sadly the War of 1812 intruded on this area significantly and left a lasting impression. Today, only place names and relics remain of those dark days. 

Brief History of the Area

During the war of 1812, American warships sank a number of British ships in Georgian Bay, some of which have been recovered. A supply ship, the Nancy, was raised from the bottom of the lake and is on display on the island that formed around it in the Nottawasaga River mouth and which is now called Nancy Island.

Following the war of 1812, a British naval base was built in Penetanguishene, due to its prime location. The navy is gone but the British Naval legacy remains in the place names around the area. Collingwood, for example, was a famous Admiral in his own right before he lead the second line into battle at Trafalgar and took command when Nelson was mortally wounded, accepting the surrender of the French and Spanish fleets as Lord Nelson lay dying on the flagship, Victory. The nearby township of Saint Vincent is named for Admiral Jervis, whose victory off Cape St Vincent in 1797 earned him the title Earl St Vincent.

As relations with the Americans improved, the Navy left and, around 1834, Discovery Harbour became an army base. The naval tradition continued with a transition to shipbuilding and shipping. In the 1850's, Collingwood also became a rail terminus for exporting Ontario produce and products to the west and the world.

Now almost all that is gone too and tourism is the biggest business.

Collingwood Summer Activities

Collingwood Ontario, view from Bruce Trail

Some of the summer activities on offer in the region include hiking (this picture is the view over Collingwood Ontario from a hiking and biking trail), golfing, fishing, boating and apple picking in the warmer seasons. 

During the summer, special events to the region include the Festival for Canada, Georgian Bay Sailing Regatta and the Corvette Beach Cruise. 

Collingwood Ontario Winter Activities

Collingwood Ontario, ice fishing

In the winter, enjoy various activities like skiing, ice fishing (as in this photo), dog-sledding and snowshoeing.

The first Europeans arrived in this area during the 1600's, see our Sainte Marie among the Hurons page, but it wasn't until the 1700’s that French and British farmers began settling in Ontario in numbers, some around the Georgian Triangle where you'll still see a strong French language presence. In the 1780's, many Loyalists from the separating United States came to the area.

Collingwood Ontario, ski and bike lift

The skiing resort business began in the 1940's when a young Czech refugee, Jozo Weider, arrived in Collingwood Ontario. Starting with two sleds, drawn uphill by a cable, Weider’s first ski lift was the beginning of today's Blue Mountain resort.

Collingwood's shipyard closed permanently in 1986 and since that time the town has focused more on the service industries (photo shows the mountain bike lift up to the top of the ridge),though Pilkington Glass still has a significant factory on the outskirts.

When you're tired of golfing or skiing, there are a lot of scenic drives from Collingwood Ontario heading south into the Escarpment and the highlands around it.

A good town to stop at on those drives is Creemore for a tour of the Creemore Springs brewery. Another great spot is the Jolley Riding Toy Museum, which is a great place to spend a wet morning or afternoon. The riding toy museum encourages everyone, even adults, to try out the amazing bikes, trikes, scooters, wagons, pedal cars and other toys of yesteryear.

Collingwood Ontario, sunsets

Sunsets over Lake Huron have been famous for decades because, it's said, of the dust from the heavy industries in Detroit and Chicago to the west. I'm not sure that can be entirely true because those two cities have been de-industrializing pretty quickly these past years and the sunsets are still good. Whatever the reason, Collingwood gets its share of spectacular sunsets even though it's facing north rather than west.

Heading north round Georgian Bay from Collingwood takes you to the town and harbor of Parry Sound, gateway to the Thirty Thousand Islands and home of the 'Island Queen' cruise boat among many other attractions. Let WOW Parry Sound to tell you more.

If this area interests you, and I hope it will because it's a beautiful part of the world, you'll need a place to stay. Here's a beautiful B&B to be your base as you enjoy Georgian Bay: Wymbolwood 

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a bit larger and more luxurious than a B&B, timeshare resorts in Collingwood offer gorgeous, large suites with optimal views of the world famous Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay. The resorts feature plenty of fabulous amenities for your vacation as well, like pools, saunas, spas, and restaurants. Here’s a great resource for finding your own timeshare unit  in the alluring town of Collingwood: SellMyTimeshareNow.

And for a hotel in Ontario or anywhere else:

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Tours To Explore

Niagara Falls
Freedom Day Trip
from Toronto

Toronto Entertainment
District Tour

10-Day New England
and Canada Fall Foliage
Motor Coach Tour

Niagara Falls
Evening Lights
Day Trip from Toronto

Ultimate Toronto Tour

Eastern Canada Tour

Private Tour:
Toronto Helicopter Ride

Save on your hotel -

Dvd To Explore

Ontario Pictures