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Collingwood named one of Canada’s top places to live

Sat Aug 31
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    Collingwood has been named as one of Canada’s best places to live.

    Maclean’s magazine ranked Collingwood 22nd on its annual list of the top 25 places to live in the country.

    Collingwood’s top three features, according to the article published earlier this month, were demographics, culture and community, and commute.

    “Like many of our top small towns, it offers a mix of strong local economic growth and access to outdoor recreation,” the report said. “The 2016 census pegged Collingwood as the 24th-fastest-growing community in Canada located outside a major metropolitan area.”

    Collingwood has also been recognized as a top place to retire and the No. 1 community to start a business.

    For Mayor Brian Saunderson, the recognition also comes with challenges.

    “That’s exciting to see, that kind of recognition for a community of our size,” he said. “It’s recognition that Collingwood is doing a lot of good things, but to manage our growth, and keep our small-community feel is a challenge.”

    Saunderson said the town is using the tools at its disposal to manage growth, including a review of the official plan, an economic development master plan and a revamp of the community-based strategic plan.

    With Collingwood’s population pegged at about 24,000, Saunderson said the small-town feel is important to many who are moving to the community.

    “People that I’m talking to from outside of Collingwood — what really resonates with them is the people here and the welcoming attitude, and it reminds them of small towns,” he said in an interview with Simcoe.com “Keeping that kind of connectedness, having a vibrant downtown core, having an infrastructure that can support that downtown core.”

    Saunderson said things such as recreation, walkability and economic opportunities are important and need to be protected.

    He added that the major reason for Collingwood’s success is the people.

    He said the town is seeing an influx of retirees who want to contribute, and of young entrepreneurs.

    “If you have good neighbours where you start, you’ll always have good neighbours, and I think it’s a reflection of our community,” he said.