COLLINGWOOD - STRONG & RESILIENT Working together as a community to get to the end of this pandemic.
Health Canada, the Ministry of Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and the Town of Collingwood are asking you to continue to stay at home and exercise physical distancing. Local cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and the virus continues to spread. Learn how to support our community at www.collingwood.ca/covid.
Stay home as much as possible
Limit the number of people you come in contact with and stay at home unless you have to go to work (talk to your employer about working at home if possible).
Individuals over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions are strongly urged to stay at home.
Avoid all non-essential trips into your community. If you leave your home, always keep a distance of at least 2 metres or 6 feet from others.
Avoid heading to your cottage or seasonal residence. These communities have more limited healthcare services than the city.
Practise physical distancing
Physical distancing means keeping 2 metres or 6 feet between you and another person, unless they are members of your household.
Do not gather in groups.
Limit contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health).
Everyone should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families.
Find new ways to connect with others and practice self-care during this time. Take care of yourself and each other.
Practise proper hygiene
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Go for a walk/exercise if you can
Only if you are not showing symptoms or have not been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days.
Do not congregate and always practise physical distancing by keeping at least two metres apart from others at all times.
COLLINGWOOD NEIGHBOURHOODS SHOWING THEIR SUPPORT & SPIRIT Please join the Town of Collingwood in thanking and celebrating the Front-Line Heroes in our community. Thank you hospital staff, first responders, caregivers, and all essential workers!
At 7:30 PM every night, neighbourhoods are banging pots and pans or playing musical instruments at the end of their driveways to show support for Front-Line Heroes.
Print and hang this Thank You Poster in your front window, or get creative and make your own thank you posters and signs!
Collingwood Fire Services has been showing their support by driving by the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital and Hospice at shift changes with sirens and lights flashing, with support of OPP, Paramedics, and surrounding Fire Departments. Collingwood Fire Services is also showing thanks with drive-throughs at grocery stores, residential neighbourhoods, senior-care facilities, and E-3 homes.
Window Art brings Collingwood Together At Home! Get those creative juices flowing and design some window art! This is a wonderful way to spread community support and cheer!
Collingwood General & Marine Hospital continues to respond to the critical demand of COVID-19 and is calling for donations of any unused, unopened, and unexpired PPE (masks, gloves, gowns, eye protection). See the details on what is needed and how to donate at cgmh.on.ca
THANK YOU COLLINGWOOD VOLUNTEERS The Town of Collingwood celebrated National Volunteer Week from April 19 to 25, 2020, and urged our fellow citizens and organizations to recognize the crucial role played by volunteers in our community.
Volunteers in Collingwood mentor our children, feed our hungry, comfort our lonely, beautify our green spaces, share their expertise with Committees & Boards, help our Library grow, and fundraise for our charitable organizations. The collective result of the work done by our Town’s volunteers is that Collingwood is a more desirable place to live.
Thank You Volunteers on our Committees & Boards The Town of Collingwood relies on numerous volunteers on our committees and boards, helping our Library, Museum, Trails, assisting at municipal events and participating in various programs and services that are fundamental to the health and prosperity of our municipality.
Thank You Library Volunteers
Did you know that any person over the age of 14 can volunteer at the Collingwood Library! The Library has 52 volunteers ranging from its Board of Directors, Friends of the Library, the SPICE (Seniors Partnering with Immigrants in Conversation Exchanges) program, Books on Wheels, General Library Administration and Cataloging, Chess Club, Homework Help, Genealogy Research, English Second Language classes, and study support to name a few! With 22 teens who sit on the teen advisory committee, the Library clocked 1,470 hours of volunteer time in 2019!
Thank You Museum Volunteers
The Museum relies on numerous volunteers for its day to day operations. Whether its coordinating the Museum's textile collection, lending a telescope and other materials for Museum programming, or lending a helping hand at the Museum's Shipyard Social Event, the Town and Museum are thankful to all who volunteer their time.
Thank You Trails Volunteers
The Collingwood Trails encompasses over 60 kilometers of recreational trails for cyclists, walkers, joggers, skiers, and snowshoers, as well as adults and kids commuting to work or school. THANK YOU to our Trail Captain Volunteers who monitor the trails on a regular basis assisting in ensuring high quality trails all season long!
Thank You Distinguished Volunteers
The Order of Collingwood and the Companion of the Order are awarded to members of the community who provide exemplary volunteerism, going above and beyond in their volunteer service to the community. These extraordinary volunteers are anonymously nominated by members of the community where they make a difference each day. Their continued efforts improve the overall character of Collingwood and we say THANK YOU to these distinguished volunteers!
COLLINGWOOD TOGETHER - RAISE YOUR HAND AS A VOLUNTEER Collingwood is a caring and connected community. We know there is strong interest amongst community members to help one another. Collingwood Together is a volunteer database that we can call upon as needs arise in the community.
We are actively working to help coordinate and work collaboratively to respond to needs as they develop and that are identified by Community Connection 211.
Help is just a phone call away. Please call 211 if you are in need of help. The 2-1-1 Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 150 languages.
Volunteers may provide help in different ways, such as picking up or delivering items for seniors or neighbours in self-isolation, sharing information, playing a virtual game, or helping collect needed resources.
Safety and public health are our first priority. The practice of physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, and staying home by avoiding all non-essential trips are extremely important in flattening the curve and keeping our community safe.
Mayor Brian Saunderson adds, “Collingwood is a strong, resilient and compassionate community. We have a rich history of working together and supporting each other in times of crisis. I know that in the face of this pandemic, our community will rise to the challenge, come together, and support each other with acts of generosity and kindness, big and small, to ensure that all our residents are safe. It is in our collective DNA and it is what defines us.”
We appreciate the support and care for our community. Please know that while you have agreed to volunteer there may not be an immediate need, but we appreciate having you as a potential resource.
COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS & RELIEF MEASURES The Town of Collingwood proactively implemented a number of temporary measures to help get ahead of COVID-19 in order to protect residents and staff. The Town is closely monitoring the situation and Town Staff and Council are working hard to safeguard the best interests of the community while continuing to successfully deliver Town Services.
The Town’s critical and essential services, including fire services, drinking water & wastewater treatment, enforcement of priority bylaws, and essential front counter customer services (online and over the phone) will continue. The Town has isolated critical Staff so to ensure the continuation of essential services.
The Town of Collingwood will continue to track financial costs and will look for additional ways to collaborate with the County, Municipal partners, and the local hospital.
Town Council is all business and doing everything in their power to combat this threat and navigate the community through these uncertain times. Council Members are available to the public via their contacts HERE
Mayor Saunderson, Fire Chief Parr, and OPP Inspector Shannon are providing weekly updates to local news media, which can be reviewed HERE.
Waiving municipal tax penalty and interest charges for March, April, and May on current year only.
All tax payers have the option to continue to pay if desired.
For pre-authorized payment plans, you have the option to opt out of your current plan by contacting email@example.com or 705-445-1030 (press 1 then 2 to reach the tax department).
For residents who have already submitted a post-dated cheque for the May 15, 2020 property tax installment and would like to make alternative arrangements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705-445-1030 (press 1 then 2 to reach the tax department).
If you decided to be removed from a pre-authorized plan, once ready, you can choose to be re-enrolled within 2020 and have the remaining amounts re-calculated into a monthly payment plan by contacting the Tax Department.
Waiving water and wastewater penalty and interest charges for 90 days. Charges will continue to be calculated each month and customers will still receive a bill, however there will be no penalty for non-payment for 90 days. Account holders will be able to make payment arrangements with EPCOR on an individual basis at 705-443-1800 or www.epcor.com
“The Taxpayers of Collingwood will not need to worry about penalties, fees, and interest charges in the months ahead,” says Mayor Brian Saunderson, “Council and Staff will continue to explore opportunities for further municipal relief and we are eager to hear the community’s ideas and feedback. Let’s continue to work together to overcome adversity and care for our neighbours and those at risk. Together, we can do this!”
The Town of Collingwood will continue to explore additional relief options and will accelerate opportunities based on need. Future relief options could include property tax credits, business rebates, and further water and wastewater relief.
The Town Hall facility and in-person Customer Service Desks are closed until further notice.
Recreation Facilities are closed until further notice (Eddie Bush Memorial Arena, Central Park Arena, Collingwood Museum, Centennial Aquatic Centre, and the Simcoe Street Theatre).
Collingwood playgrounds, dog parks, skatepark, tennis courts, and fenced ball diamonds are temporarily closed until further notice.
The Collingwood Public Library is closed until further notice.
Town Staff from these locations will be deployed to assist with other Town Operations.
We are happy to assist you online and over the phone.
Collingwood Transit operations will continue for the week of May 4 to May 10. The Town will follow the direction of local health officials if the risk of riding public transit changes.
Collingwood Transit has moved to a modified schedule, with no fares, and back-door entry/exit only. The public is reminded to only use transit for essential travel.
Buses are being disinfected daily and drivers have disinfecting wipes to use during daily operation.
Updates about Town Services will be available on the Town Website, and the Town Twitter & Facebook channels, as well as local News channels. The Town will continue to provide timely updates to residents.
Preparing for Re-opening & Recovery
The Town of Collingwood will monitor and continue to follow the Province of Ontario's guidelines while collaborating with municipal partners and public health officials. The Province has identified a phased re-opening process with no set timetable as of yet. The Town’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force continues to deliberate and provide advice to Council on supports for the local economy and community. See the latest from the Province.
TOWN WORK CONTINUES Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Collingwood has worked hard to safeguard the best interests of the community while continuing to deliver critical and essential services, including fire services, drinking water and wastewater treatment, enforcement of priority by-laws, and essential front counter customer services (online and over the phone).
With the arrival of Spring in Collingwood, the Town’s work continues and residents will see Public Works and Parks, Recreation, and Culture staff carrying out a number of essential services that deliver on public safety, protect and preserve community assets, fulfill regulatory obligations, and lay the groundwork for phasing back in full services when the Province of Ontario lifts the emergency regulations and health guidelines.
Roads & Sidewalks
Street and sidewalk sweeping creates safe streets for bicycles and vehicles
Road patching improves safety by filling potholes, managing drainage, and repairing washouts and drop-offs.
Sign maintenance creates safe streets and maximizes infrastructure lifespans.
Boulevard repairs will remove sand and salt, repair surfaces, and protect town infrastructure.
Parks & Trails
Trails maintenance will ensure safety through resurfacing and washout repair.
Garbage removal from trails and downtown keeps our community clean and enhances public health.
Mutt Mitt containers will be maintained for public health. Please continue clean up after your dog.
Grass maintenance and sport field maintenance will protect the Town’s assets from weeds, pests, and costly deterioration.
Garden refurbishment will protect the assets and remove winter toxins. New planting will occur, if possible, when Provincial regulations are lifted.
Hazardous weeds will be removed or sprayed according to maintenance standards.
Tree hazards will be removed for safety and to protect assets. New planting will occur in the Fall, if Provincial regulations have been lifted by that time.
Water & Wastewater
Storm sewer protection manages environmental effects including air quality.
Hydrant flushing preserves infrastructure and safety systems.
Flushing sanitary systems protects public health and preserves Town infrastructure.
Town staff will continue to follow health guidelines and exercise physical distancing while carrying out these essential services in our community. Residents are asked to keep their distance and respect physical distancing to ensure safety and help limit the spread of COVID-19. Thank you residents for observing and respecting all signage, barricades, and closures related to essential services work and public safety measures.
The Town’s departments continue to deliver municipal services virtually and are just a phone call or email away. Visit www.collingwood.ca for all Town information and notices. Public engagement continues to be available to all residents, stakeholders, and businesses. The Town welcomes input, inquiries, and feedback and can always be reached for Customer Service at email@example.com, 705-445-1030 (8:30 AM to 4:30 PM), or www.collingwood.ca/contactus.
SUNSET POINT PARK CLOSED DUE TO HIGH WATER LEVELS The public is asked to exercise caution on all shorelines and waterfront trails.
On Friday, April 24, the Town of Collingwood has closed Sunset Point Park and the park’s trail system until further notice due to high water levels and storm debris. These conditions have left the shoreline prone to damage, slides, sinkholes, and flooding. Please stay clear!
Signage and barricades will be in place and new signs will be installed with additional information. The Parks, Recreation, and Culture Department, along with By-law Enforcement, will continue to monitor conditions at Sunset Point Park and other shoreline parks in Collingwood. Please continue to exercise caution on all shorelines and waterfront trails in the Town of Collingwood.
The Town of Collingwood is undertaking measures to rehabilitate Sunset Point Park and trails, however there are temporary project delays as the Town and Province respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collingwood playgrounds, dog parks, skatepark, tennis courts, and fenced ball diamonds continue to be temporarily closed until further notice. Trails out to Millennium Park are also closed. Parks and trails that remain open are for pass-through use only while physical distancing and are not available for congregation or gathering.
The public is thanked for their patience and understanding, and for continuing to stay home, self-isolate, and exercise physical distancing so to limit the spread of COVID-19.
COUNTY REMINDS RESIDENTS TO FOLLOW PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES As the number of COVID-related cases in our region increases, the County of Simcoe is reaching out to residents to reinforce the importance of following physical distancing measures and general public health guidelines.
Federal, provincial and local public health officials are all encouraging the public to stay home and limit non-essential travel, self-isolate where necessary, and follow health protocols such as coughing into your elbow and handwashing often to limit the spread of COVID-19. By taking simple steps including shopping once a week, avoiding social gatherings, working from home and staying in your primary residence, we will flatten the curve and speed up our recovery. As an additional precaution, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is advising that wearing a non-medical mask is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you.
The County continues to offer essential services and has a number of resources available to help residents and families at home. Tourism Simcoe County and the County’s Economic Development Office recently launched a new online directory to highlight local businesses in Simcoe County that are providing services and goods to residents while following provincial guidelines and physical distancing measures. Call-in, delivery, take-out and curbside pick-up are all options that limit contact between people but allow residents to continue to invest in our local economy and access essential goods and services.
Residents are asked to fully respect the bylaws passed by various municipalities to help keep our communities and residents safe. Our bylaw and law enforcement officials are doing all they can to help you, and we ask for your cooperation with them as they are enforcing restrictions and doing their job to help keep us safe and limit the stress of capacity challenges on our health care system. Our region is a destination for many cottagers and seasonal residents during normal times, and a reminder that the County joined many of our municipalities in requesting that all individuals stay in their primary residence during this difficult time.
Ontario is in a critical period where all citizens must heed public health warnings in order to reduce the impending impact on the healthcare system: the faster we can limit community transmission to a minimum, the faster we can flatten the curve, protect residents’ social and physical well-being, and start the process of recovery.
“These are uncertain times and we appreciate everything that our residents and businesses are doing to help our communities get through the pandemic together,” said Warden George Cornell. “While these health precautions are changing our day-to-day activities, it is essential that we continue to follow the guidelines set out by our health experts. We need to stay home, in our primary residence. We need to follow public health protocols. And we need to stand together. Our recovery depends on our collective efforts.”
Given the guidelines on practising physical distancing, the public are asked to respect public health guidelines with County staff who continue to provide essential services and programs, including our valued contractors, such as waste collectors and LINX transit operators. Our staff greatly appreciate the gestures of kindness and appreciation being demonstrated from a distance.
Community supports and donations 211 is a tremendous resource for information and services, including grocery delivery. 211 can be contacted at 211ontario.ca or by dialling 211.
A reminder that local Food Banks are in need of donations and are requesting increased support during the pandemic.
Municipal and health partners in Simcoe and Muskoka, including the County of Simcoe, the District of Muskoka, and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, are working together to launch a donation campaign for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and critical supplies that are essential for the provision of safe medical and community care to patients and residents in our region. Any businesses or community members looking to donate items can email EmergencyManagement@smdhu.org. Information about how and where to send donations is available at smdhu.org/donations.
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at www.simcoe.ca.
RELIEF MEASURES FOR WATER, WASTEWATER, & ELECTRICITY Water and Wastewater The Town of Collingwood, in partnership with EPCOR, will be waiving late fees for Water and Wastewater billing for 90 days - that means you won’t see any late fees on bills you receive in April, May and June. Charges will continue to be calculated each month and you will still receive a bill, however there will be no penalty for non-payment.
EPCOR: Help For Low Income Customers Lower-income customers may qualify for a reduction on their electricity bill. The Ontario Energy Board's Ontario Electricity Support Program can reduce the cost of your household electricity by applying a monthly credit directly to your bill. The credit amount will depend on how many people live in your home and your combined household income.
EPCOR: Emergency Time-Of-Use Prices In Effect EPCOR is committed to providing safe, reliable electricity to our customers. In response to COVID-19, the Government of Ontario is providing temporary emergency relief to support customers. As a result, effective March 24, 2020, residential and small business customers who pay time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates will now be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as the Emergency Order is in place. Customers do not need to take any action as the pricing applies automatically.
These are the prices that appear on the electricity line of your bill and are only for the electricity you use. They do not include other charges like delivery
WHEN YOU RE-OPEN - GET THAT WATER RUNNIN'! Since many facilities have shut their doors over the last few weeks and have been mostly vacant, we ask that you get your water running!
We’re encouraging residents and business owners to turn on a tap in their building if no one has been using the water for at least 3 to 4 days. What this does is flush your internal plumbing system, as the water has sat in your pipes for longer than normal. Similar to how the Water Department flushes hydrants to clean out our water mains, now is the time for you to flush your own system. Please run water for 5 minutes and from one tap, then run the taps you drink from until the water is cold.
WATER TREATMENT PLANT EXPANSION - PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRE The Public Information Centre (PIC) previously scheduled for March 24 2020, will now be held through digital engagement. The PIC presentation and engagement material can be accessed using the Engage Collingwood Platform at https://engage.collingwood.ca/ starting on April, 24, 2020. Through this platform, interested parties will be prompted to register using the survey tool. Once registered the PIC presentation can be viewed followed by a comment page. The digital PIC has been created to provide an opportunity for all interested parties to review the alternatives developed for the Water Treatment Plant expansion and discuss the project with the study team.
Following the completion of the Master Servicing Plan (MSP) for Water and Sanitary Servicing, the Town of Collingwood has continued with the Class Environmental Assessment planning process to identify and assess options to increase the Town’s water treatment capacity. The MSP document identifies the need to expand the existing Raymond A. Barker Water Treatment Plant (WTP) to accommodate future water demands for the Town of Collingwood and its contractual commitments to supply treated water to other municipalities. The Town has retained the services of Ainley Group (in partnership with AECOM) to complete an updated Class EA in accordance with the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) document (Oct. 2000, as amended 2007, 2011 & 2015). Based on the scope (increased water treatment capacity), this project constitutes a Schedule “C” project in accordance with the MCEA document.
The Raymond A. Barker WTP is located on Raglan Street as illustrated on the accompanying map. The service area being considered under the Class EA includes Town of Collingwood, and supply requests from the Town of the Blue Mountains, Town of New Tecumseth and Township of Clearview.
Intended Project Scope (Recommended Solution)
Based on an assessment of Options, the Recommended Solution is to repurpose the existing membrane building, construct a new membrane building, proceed with UV disinfection, chlorinate in new contact chambers and undertake associated upgrades to the other existing facilities in the plant. It is suggested that the expansion in the capacity of the plant be undertaken in two phases (Phase 1 and Ultimate) to meet the future anticipated water supply requirements. The opinion of capital cost of the Phase 1 expansion of the plant is $65 million (2020 dollars). A further expansion will be necessary to meet the Ultimate water supply requirements. Funding for the Phase 1 expansion will be provided through the Town’s Allocated Water Reserve Fund (funded through water rates), Development Charges, and the establishment of Water Agreements with other municipalities.
Public engagement and input is an integral part of the Class EA process. Comments on the information presented will be received until Monday, June 1st, 2020. To obtain additional information or to provide input, please contact either of the following members of the study team:
Ken Kaden, P. Eng.
Project Coordinator, Environmental Services
Town of Collingwood 43 Stewart Road
Collingwood, ON L9Y 4M7
Tel: (705) 445-1581 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Ainley, P. Eng., PMP
280 Pretty River Parkway Collingwood, ON L9Y 4J5
Tel. (705) 445-3451 email@example.com
Any input received during this process will be maintained on file for use during the project and may be included in project documentation. Information collected will be used in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.
SPRING HYDRANT FLUSHING HAS BEGUN The Town of Collingwood Water Department completes hydrant flushing as an important preventative maintenance activity. The process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and to deliver the highest quality of water to our customers.
The Town’s distribution network consists of watermain ranging in size from 100mm – 600mm diameter. Sediment and deposits naturally occur over time and if not removed can cause water quality deterioration, including discolouration, taste, and odour problems. We flush watermains annually, and all dead end hydrants as required to remove these deposits – ensuring high water quality and adequate disinfection residuals are maintained. Chlorine residuals and flowing pressure readings are taken at each hydrant while flushing is taking place.
Spring maintenance also includes checking and lubricating the hydrant ports, painting, removing hydrant markers, replacing or making repairs to hydrants, and any other work related to keeping the hydrants operational all year long.
If tap water is used during flushing, it could be discoloured or contain sediment. If you encounter discolored water, shut the water off and wait for approximately 1 hour. After waiting, check for clarity by running cold water for a few minutes allowing new water to work its way into your pipes. If not, wait a few more minutes and check again. We recommend using a tub or outside faucet to clear the line. In some cases, you may experience slight discoloration for a few hours. This discolouration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.
If you have any other concerns, call the Water Department at 705-445-1581 Ext. 3320
STREET SWEEPING Public Works begins our annual Spring Clean-up, including street sweeping in mid to late April. Street sweeping is completed in the Downtown core, residential streets, bridges, and specific boulevards, medians, and parking lots.
With a focus on customer service, the environment, and safe commuting networks, Spring Clean-up begins with bulk material collection on major bike lanes and primary roads and is followed by complete sweeping operations on all hard surfaced roads within the municipality.
Spring street sweeping improves water quality and the environment by removing pollutants, sands, and debris that have accumulated over the winter that can be transferred to downstream water bodies through urban runoff through the storm sewer system. The Street Sweeping Program also improves the cleanliness and aesthetics of our beautiful town streets and parking lots.
Spring Clean-up is estimated to take 6 weeks to complete within the Downtown core and primary road section of Collingwood. This is followed by an anticipated town-wide completion date of July. (subject to weather).
COMMUNITY FORUM ON ENGAGE COLLINGWOOD We're all in this together so let's work together!
Visit the Community Forum on Engage Collingwood to join the conversation. This is the place where the residents and businesses of Collingwood can connect with Council, Administration, and each other. We know this is a stressful and uncertain time for everyone, but we're all in this together!
Please send us your questions or suggestions and share your positive stories. Give a 'shout out' to someone who has helped you, or tell us something you are thankful for!
If you are a business, we want to know where support is most needed now, as well as ideas to help with economic recovery once we get through the COVID-19 crisis. Your questions and suggestions will inform the Economic Recovery and Support Plan. Of course we would also love to hear stories about innovative business solutions or shout outs to companies who have shown creativity in the face of adversity.
Please continue to Stay Home, Self-Isolate, and Exercise Physical Distancing!
RALLYPOINT - A VIRTUAL PARKS, RECREATION, & CULTURE HUB RallyPoint is a one stop community hub linking you to online classes, workshops and virtual experiences related to physical activity, well-being, education, culture, music, dance, and much more.
Enjoy Virtual Yoga in a Chair
Join Jennifer Simmonds for Virtual Yoga in a Chair every Thursday morning from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM. This fun event is FREE, but Registration is required.
By clicking the link you will be taken to a registration page asking you to enter your first name, last name, email address and verification email address.
An email will be sent to all participants who have registered for the week's class on Thursday at 10:15 AM
When you click on the email link you will directly enter into the Zoom class.
A new weekly Chair Yoga hyperlink will be added to this page every Tuesday afternoon. Please note at this time you need to register every week for the class.
Learn more about Virtual Parks, Recreation, and Culture in Collingwood on RallyPoint
Live & Original Spotlight
Presented by 95.1 The Peak and the Town of Collingwood and livestreamed every Monday at 7:00 PM on Simcoe Street Theatre Facebook
*Be sure to Like & Follow for notifications on Live Performances
Hosted by John Eaton, this weekly Facebook Live show will spotlight the musings and music of our community. Featuring guest appearances from local artists, businesses, and organizations that continue to support our vibrant local music community through online initiatives and virtual events.
Stay tuned for this week’s special guests...
ECONOMIC SUPPORT & RECOVERY TASK FORCE On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Mayor Saunderson kicked off the Economic Support & Recovery Task Force. This group of private and public leaders have been assembled by Town of Collingwood Council and Staff to be the eyes and ears of key business challenges and urgent needs, be advocates and promoters of the resources the Town and its partners are providing, be ambassadors for the needs of the Town’s businesses with other levels of government, and be advisors on the architecture of Collingwood’s economic recovery plan once the COVID-19 crisis passes.
The Task Force is an ad hoc group with a responsibility to report back to the Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee of Council. The Task Force will have regular working meetings to help shape the content of these reports that then will be presented publically at standing committee meetings. With 4 members of Council, the CAO, and nine public voting members, the Task Force represents a strong cross-section of smaller and larger employers, both in the downtown and other employment areas.
Rick Lex - Property owner and developer in Downtown Collingwood
Kathie Ondercin - Owner of Play It Again Sports and the Uniform Factory
Brandon Houston - Digital Marketing Business Leader and The Foundry Co-working Space owner
One of the first things the Task Force is tackling focuses on quickly identifying key issues and setting clear short, medium, and long term measureable impacts the group’s efforts will focus on. To get this done within the week, the Task Force decided to appoint Foster Williams as vice chair. His extensive strategic consulting and business turnaround experience will be an asset in ensuring work happens between the meetings in order to ensure options are evaluated efficiently.
“I am excited about the diversity, experience, and energy of the members of the Task Force. We have some clear action items that the Task Force will be working on and hopes to report to the Strategic Initiatives Committee very soon. We got a great start and have lots to work on providing recommendations on ways to support our local economy and protect local jobs and businesses through this crisis.” commented Mayor Saunderson at the end of the kickoff meeting.
For more information on efforts to date that help Collingwood’s business community, the Town has set up a dedicated portal at www.collingwood.ca/recovery
COLLINGWOOD LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE MARKETPLACE TO HELP THE COMMUNITY SHOP LOCAL & BE #COLLINGWOODSTRONG Local businesses feed us, clothe us, entertain us, and care for us. In this time of uncertainty, it’s time for the community to show them how much we care. Help them stay open through these challenging times. Show them some love by shopping local, ordering takeout, and buying their virtual services.
To make this as easy as possible for shoppers and businesses, several tech experts, restaurants and media companies have been working with the Business Development Centre in downtown Collingwood to create a new, integrated online shopping marketplace.
Brandon Houston, who initially conceived of the idea and founder of The Foundry Co-Working Space in downtown Collingwood, had a very clear vision when he started working on www.CollingwoodCommons.com as his contribution to supporting local businesses. "The Collingwood Commons is a resource portal for the collective benefit of the community, based on the very definition of the commons…a place where cultural and natural resources are accessible to all members of a society, managed for individual and collective benefit."
Order Food - View menus from some of Collingwood’s best restaurants and order pick-up or delivery from a common marketplace where you can easily shop all the great establishments of Collingwood.
Shop Local - Shop online from a range of local Collingwood businesses or buy gift cards for friends and family for when shops re-open.
Experience Events Virtually - Find online events and virtual consultations offered by local businesses and organizations in South Georgian Bay.
The food and beverage ‘corner’ of the Commons already has more than 15 companies listed, with details on how and when to order, if they do takeout and/or delivery, and where they are located. Additional features include being able to search restaurants by meal type, browse the full list, or search for favourite spot. Menu visibility also makes it easy to choose items, plus ordering and payment can be done online or by phone for quick service. It also has an integrated feed from the new facebook group Collingwood Take-out & Delivery.
Sue Nicholson, Manager of the Collingwood Downtown BIA, observed, “We’ve taken the things that make Collingwood’s downtown farmers market such a success and put it online. It’s a place where Collingwood’s businesses are coming together to help the community and each other.”
“This is such a great example of the entrepreneurial #CollingwoodStrong spirit that the community has become famous for. We’re all in this together, so it has been inspiring to see how incredible collaboration has helped create this new marketplace,” commented Mayor Brian Saunderson.
At the Council Meeting on Monday, April 20, Mayor Brian Saunderson put forth the challenge to all Collingwood residents to join the national campaign to make Wednesdays #TakeoutDay by shopping at www.CollingwoodCommons.com, following the facebook group Collingwood Take-out & Delivery and giving our local restaurants a shoutout with #CollingwoodStrong.
BUSINESS - FREE 2-PART WEBINAR: MAKING YOUR ONLINE STORE A LOCAL SUCCESS STORY The BDC (Business Development Centre) is excited to announce the launch of a 2-part webinar series where local retailers and tech experts will have a roundtable discussion to inspire and educate you, a local retailer in South Georgian Bay, on how to make your online store a retail success story!
Part 1 - Retail Success Stories in South Georgian Bay Tuesday, May 5: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Local online retailers will share their marketing secrets in a webinar roundtable discussion. You will hear firsthand about their successes and the pitfalls as they took their brick and mortar business to a store online. Learn about the backend system they chose to use to support their business and why it works for them. Register Here.
Roundtable experts include:
Jeff Weersink - Minds Alive
Cheryl McMenemy - Collingwood Olive Oil
Katherine Maxwell - Blue Mountain Tea Company
This webinar will be moderated by the Manager of the Small Business Enterprise Centre in Collingwood, Tim Newton. Note: Access to the webinar will provided with your order confirmation, and again via email 48 hours before the event.
BUSINESS - MAPPING OUR ROAD TO RECOVERY You are invited to participate in this 4-part online discussion series.
The next 100 days will be focused on bringing people together for strategic conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and to generate ideas for how we can take a new approach for shaping our future. The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay and collaborative partners are launching a four-part online discussion series called Mapping Our Road to Recovery.
Part 1: Using Social Innovation to Inspire Regional Resilience Wednesday, May 6: 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM REGISTER HERE
Using Social Innovation to Inspire Regional Resilience features ideas in the recently released Social Innovation Report, aimed at accelerating our recovery, setting a 21st century resilient and sustainable course, and embracing new economies towards 2030.
Speakers representing business, not-for-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors will talk about the state of these sectors in our region pre-crisis, the challenges being faced now, and what we need to be thinking about for our future. This crisis has underscored the reality that our major sectors are interconnected and our economy and well-being depend on all the sectors working together. An integrated approach to recovery will provide the most sustainable results.
Social Innovation Report Writer: Marilyn Struthers, long-time resident of Grey & Bruce who works with emerging practices in the social sector
Business Sector: Martin Rydlo, Director, Marketing and Business Development, Collingwood
Nonprofit/Charitable Sector: Dale Biddell, CEO, United Way Simcoe Muskoka
Government Sector: TBC
Philanthropic Sector: Barbara Little, Chair, Meaford Hospital Foundation
All attendees will discuss report themes and speaker highlights which resonate most, why the ideas are important, and what actions are recommended.
JOIN COLLINGWOOD'S TRAILS & ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE We are recruiting seven members for this committee that fosters ongoing stewardship of Collingwood’s multi-use pathways, trails, on-road bicycle lanes/routes/connections in cooperation with the Engineering Services and Parks, Recreation and Culture (PRC) staff.
Applications are now open. Submission deadline is May 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM.
RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP Dogs and cats are not permitted to be at large – meaning they are not permitted to be straying or roaming off the owner’s property.
Dogs must be on a leash at all times, including in Collingwood parks and trails, unless on the owner’s property or at a designated leash-free dog park. Dog parks are closed until further notice due to COVID-19.
You must pick up and dispose of any excrement left by your pet on any property, including your own. Stoop and scoop!
Fines in place for dogs at large and leaving excrement. Exercise physical distancing while walking your dog. Thank you for being a courteous citizen!
EXERCISE PHYSICAL DISTANCING ON COLLINGWOOD TRAILS While the Town continues to stress the importance of staying home and self-isolating, some residents do need to travel on the Collingwood Trail System to get from point A to point B. Getting out for fresh air is necessary every so often as well.
Please exercise physical distancing and good etiquette on the Collingwood Trail System.
New signs have been installed on the Trails with a key COVID-19 safety warning:
Please keep physical distancing.
Physical distancing means keeping at least 2 metres apart from ALL others.
You can still wave, make eye contact, and say hello as you walk by.
FISHING IN COLLINGWOOD Fishing regulations fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. The Ministry of Natural Resources has not made any decisions to restrict, delay, or cancel provincial fishing and hunting seasons or restrict access to Crown land.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry can be reached at 1-800-667-1940
Please exercise caution on all shorelines and waterfront trails in the Town of Collingwood. Recent high water levels and storm debris have created conditions that leave the shoreline prone to damage, slides, sinkholes, and flooding. Please stay clear and please observe and respect any signage, barricades, or park and municipal land closures that are in place.
Sunset Point Park and the park's trails are closed until further notice. Trails out to Millennium Park are also closed. Parks and trails that remain open in Collingwood are for pass-through use only while physical distancing and are not available for congregation or gathering.
Municipal By-law Enforcement Officers and the OPP patrol the community to ensure that Provincial emergency restrictions are followed. The Town of Collingwood By-law Enforcement Division expects all residents to follow the health and physical distancing guidelines laid out by the Province and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to ensure the safety of everyone. This includes staying 2 metres from other people, not gathering in groups to fish, and not entering into closed municipal parks.
The public is thanked for their patience and understanding, and for continuing to stay home, self-isolate, and exercise physical distancing so to limit the spread of COVID-19.
PLANNING SERVICES CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Planning Division offices are not physically open, but the Town continues to provide remote services subject to delays, suspensions, or disruption to service associated with the current COVID-19 crisis (navigate to the bottom of this article for Emergency Orders of the Province of Ontario impacting the processing of appeals and Planning Act applications).
The Town of Collingwood Planning Services division is here to help support the community through the current crisis, to plan for and advance recovery of important community functions, and work toward stabilizing services as the crisis lifts. The intent of the measures set out below is to ensure that the work of the Town continues and residents, stakeholders, and the development industry continue to be well-served under these unique circumstances. Staff will keep the lines of communication open and work with you to advance matters as best as possible.
Staff are working remotely and will be available via:
e-mail (preferred method) or phone message directly with your assigned Planning Division contact
by way of the Planning division’s central contact phone number 705-445-1290 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org our Administrative staff member, Belinda Boucher
Meetings involving more than two (2) parties:
Meetings involving more than two parties to discuss planning-related matters including scheduling pre-consultation or preliminary inquiry meetings can be arranged by Microsoft Teams teleconference or telephone conference calls. (Please advise if you are able to use Microsoft Teams for this purpose).
Receiving and Processing Documentation
During the closure of our offices, resubmissions for current applications and submissions of new Planning Act applications will continue to be accepted digitally via your electronic link or our electronic share file link and by hard copy. We require both formats – electronic and digital.
Please courier paper documents related to a planning submission as follows:
1 set of unbound paper documents for Planning, and
1 set of paper documents for Engineering, to:
The Town of Collingwood Public Works, 545 Tenth Line, Collingwood, ON L9Y 0W1
Resubmissions and new applications will be evaluated and circulated as appropriate.
In an effort to ensure proper receipt of these submissions it would be helpful if the associated staff Planner managing the file, the Director of Planning (email@example.com), and the Planning Admin staff member are notified in advance of any electronic submission (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Council and Committees:
Any matters requiring a decision of Council or Committee are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please call for more information as required.
If you have any questions about specific applications or our process during this period, please continue to reach out directly to the Planner assigned to manage your file or the Director of Planning. Staff from other Town departments can also be reached via the preferred method of e-mail or phone if you have any technical questions. If no Planner has been assigned or for general inquiries please contact the Planning Admin Assistant (contact phone number 705-445-1290 or email to email@example.com)
Provincial Government Legislative changes:
Please be advised of the following Provincial Government Legislative changes related to the Covid 19 crisis that impact process of the appeals and Planning Act Applications
BUILDING SERVICES DISRUPTIONS DUE TO COVID-19 Further to the service disruptions announced on March 17, 2020, the Province of Ontario has ordered the closure of non-essential construction businesses at 11:59 PM April 4, 2020. Please click here for the updated list.
The directive from the Province of Ontario will impact Building Inspection service levels in the Town of Collingwood. Until further notice, Building Inspections will now only be conducted for residential construction projects satisfying the following criteria:
A Building Permit was issued prior to April 5, 2020 for single family, semi-detached and townhomes (row houses).
A Building Permit was issued prior to April 5, 2020 for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
Residential renovations and construction work that was started before April 4, 2020.
We want to ensure that your project is construction ready so you can start as soon as possible when the Order is lifted:
We continue to accept building permit applications through our e-Permit online service and we will continue to process and issue building permits for all building types.
Please note: notwithstanding a permit may be issued during this time, physical construction for these projects is not authorized unless they are deemed to be essential by the Emergency Order referred to above, or the Emergency Order expires or has been lifted.
We continue to monitor this situation on a daily/weekly basis and notification will be provided on any change to the above temporary service levels. Please ensure Physical Distancing and safety measures outlined in our Safe Work Practice is maintained at all time for our Building Inspectors.
REPORT-A-COYOTE Collingwood is surrounded by beautiful coastline, forests, escarpment, and farmland. Wildlife, including coyotes, live in the region.
Coyotes have been spotted in several areas throughout Collingwood.
While the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is responsible for the management of wildlife including coyotes, Town staff have been in discussion with the Ministry and they are aware of coyote sightings in Collingwood. The following information regarding how to prevent encounters with coyotes and how to react if you do find yourself in proximity to the animal has been shared by the MNR. Homeowners can take preventative steps to ensure coyotes aren’t attracted to their property and to keep their pets safe.
Coyotes are usually wary of humans and other animals.
Never feed coyotes! Do not leave any type of food outdoors for any animal, including pets. Bird feeders attract birds, squirrels and rodents, which may in turn attract coyotes.
Garbage should be stored in sealed containers and placed at the curb on the day of pick up.
Avoid composting meat products.
Keep pets indoors. Never let pets roam at large, and always walk your dog on a leash.
Knowing this information and being aware that coyotes are a normal part of the ecosystem, it is also important to keep in mind safety tips if you encounter a coyote.
Do not turn your back on or run from a coyote. Back away calmly
Stand tall, wave your hands and make lots of noise
If a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 911.
If you would like to report a coyote sighting, please feel free to contact:
Town of Collingwood Coyote Hotline at 705-445-1030 Ext. 3257
FIRE PERMITS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL OUTDOOR FIRES IN COLLINGWOOD As we head into the Spring and Summer season, the desire to enjoy a campfire or burn yard waste is becoming increasingly popular. Please take notice of the Town of Collingwood’s fire safety rules and regulations, and the message from Health Officials about this crucial time of limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Open Air Burning Permits ARE REQUIRED for ALL outdoor fires within the Town of Collingwood.
Do not burn your yard waste.
You must exercise physical distancing and avoid gathering in groups.
Please make safe and healthy decisions when deciding to have a campfire.
Stay tuned for regional fire ban updates from the Province. Collingwood does not currently have a fire ban in place.
Fire Services is extending existing 2019 fire permits until regular services resume and then you can come in to get your 2020 permits. New permits will require screening. For 2020 screening, call the Fire Department at 705-445-3920 Ext. 7503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Fire Pit” means a pit not more than 1 meter (3 feet) in diameter, requiring not less than 7.5 meters (25 feet) of clearance between the fire and any building, structure, property line, tree, hedge, fence, roadway, overhead wires or any other combustible article;
The fire pit must be enclosed on all sides and constructed of masonry, concrete, stone, heavy gauge metal or other non-combustible materials. The flames from the fire are no higher than 0.5 meters (1.6 feet) above ground level.
Fire Pit (maximum 3 feet in diameter, 25 feet clearance)
“Outdoor Fireplace” means a manufactured non-combustible enclosed container such as fire bowls with spark arrestors on the top or chimineas. This type of permit requires not less than 4.5 meters (15 feet) of clearance between the fireplace and any building or structure, property line, tree, hedge, fence, roadway, overhead wires, or other combustible article.
Fire bowl (15 feet clearance)
Chiminea (15 feet clearance)
Burn cautious. Burn Safe!
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEEK: MAY 3 TO MAY 9 Emergency Preparedness Week is an opportunity to encourage Canadians to take concrete actions to be better prepared to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. This year marks the 25th annual Emergency Preparedness Week.
This year, the COVID-19 global pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on Canadians. While governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canada safe; now, more than ever, we understand that we all have a role to play in emergency preparedness. You can help to protect yourself, and others, against COVID-19 by staying informed. We encourage all Canadians visit www.Canada.ca/coronavirus for the latest information on the response to COVID-19 and more tips on how to continue to help prevent the spread.
As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we know that we remain at risk of other disasters and natural hazards, including flooding, storms and wildfires. Here you will find links and resources to help you and your family better prepare for possible disasters.
CHECK SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS With families spending more time at home together, it's a good reminder to check your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms at home. Make sure they operate properly.
Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy!
COLLINGWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY ONLINE While our doors are closed and we miss you so much…it doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on our programming! We’ve moved online folks, with regular program offerings plus new perks! Here’s a weekly look:
Tuesdaygroup pole walking is suspended but you can still get outside and enjoy our beautiful trails
And, online, all the time during shut down you can build your family tree with FREE access to www.ancestry.ca by logging in with your library card and pin number at https://www.collingwoodpubliclibrary.ca*remember your pin is the last four digits of your library card
For the kids in your life, Ashley is still posting story time plus funs crafts to our Facebook page.
Collingwood Public Library has a HUGE collection of online offerings including digital magazines via Flipster, ebooks and audiobooks with Pulse and so much more! See it all HERE.
MUSEUM LAUNCHES COLLECTING INITIATIVE TO DOCUMENT LIFE DURING COVID-19 In 100 years, what do you want the residents of Collingwood to know about the challenges we are facing today and how we are overcoming them?
To ensure these experiences are preserved for the future, the Collingwood Museum has launched a real-time collecting initiative entitled Collecting for Collingwood: COVID-19 for which staff are seeking submissions.
Collingwood residents have a long and impressive history of actively collecting and telling the stories of our community. In good times and bad, residents have documented local and global events that have changed the way we live, work, and play.
There are three simple ways to contribute to this initiative:
Keep a physical or digital journal documenting your daily/weekly/monthly experiences for submission after the outbreak.
Consider which physical objects best represent COVID-19 in Collingwood and whether you have anything to donate to the Collingwood Museum after the pandemic. Please note that this collecting effort does not intend to take away resources from our community and front-line workers.
All content submitted to this collection may be used by the Collingwood Museum for research and reference, education, exhibitions, programs, marketing, reproductions and promotional purposes. Each submission must be accompanied by an informed consent release form.
We understand that your stories may be difficult to tell due to the traumatic reality of the virus. Museum staff thanks all contributors for helping to document this historic moment for future generations.
HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS & THE ARTS COMMUNITY The Town of Collingwood has compiled a list of helpful resources and links for the Arts and Culture community in Collingwood during the COVID-19 emergency response period. Over the past few weeks, performing arts productions and exhibitions have been cancelled, art shows have been put on hold, and gigs and concerts have been postponed.
This time may present extraordinary challenges for artists and arts organizations in Collingwood, who are dealing with loss of work as well as loss of creative momentum and a connection to their community. Hopefully this resource information will be of assistance to Collingwood’s artists and the arts community at large. New information will be updated as it becomes available.
Photo: Theatre Collingwood scheduled a June show called A Night in Vegas starring Broadway, Stratford, and TV actor, Thom Allison.
TOWN BEGINS UPLIFTING MURAL PROJECT ALONG HURON STREET Photo by Dave West Photography. Pictured is Blaze Wiradharma.
The Town of Collingwood’s Parks, Recreation, & Culture Department is embarking upon a project to establish a temporary mural alongside Huron Street, near the corner of Heritage Drive. The goal of the artwork is to uplift the community and help inspire happiness and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scale and timing of the project is ambitious, with the goal of utilizing approximately 100 feet of the hoarding along Huron Street. A call to artists was issued looking for applications and ideas from artists with experience in using spray paint as a medium. As a result, four local artists were selected to participate, each with experience in creating large scale works using spray techniques or airbrush. The artists are Lily Findlay, Ruth Hurdle, Sam Nellicks, and Blaze Wiradharma. In order to work safely under the current restrictions and need to physically distance, each artist will work consecutively to complete their artwork over the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.
“We are really grateful to Streetcar Developments who own the property that the hoarding sits on. They responded very quickly and positively to this request and have helped enable the project by moving signage and making repairs. We’re also grateful for Council’s support of this effort to make a small but significant impact on both the local arts community, and the larger community as a whole,” says Dean Collver, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture.
FEATURED ARTISTS Professional artist and instructor Sue A. Miller is taking time in her art studio these days to create “warm-up” paintings using acrylic ink on yupo paper. Typically an oil painter, this experimentation allows Sue to focus and simplify her process.
Jason Alexander is keeping his store stocked with art materials for your projects at home whether creating for fun or practicing professionally.
Matthew and Richard Notarfonzo are a father and son jazz duo who are looking forward to getting their music back on the streets of Collingwood. In the meantime they are creating themed music videos at home as a way of continuing to share their music to the community. View their tenor sax and jazz guitar musings @mrjazzduo.
TOWN CELEBRATED NATIONAL POETRY MONTH IN APRIL Collingwood’s Poet Laureate, Day Merrill, provided some poetic nourishment for the community with a project called 30 Loaves - Bread for the Journey. In recognition of National Poetry Month in April, Day posted a poem a day throughout the month on CollingWord.ca, a section of the Town’s website dedicated to poetry and spoken word. The project titled 30 Loaves - Bread for the Journey started off with a poem by Day and continued daily with other poems by Canadian poets.
While at home, the project invited people to open up to a world of poetry and take a look into the hearts and minds of some great Canadian poets. “I’m a big believer in the power of poetry, so I’m delighted to provide poetic “daily bread” for our community during these challenging times. Anyone who has a favourite or original poem they would like to share, can send it to me at email@example.com”
Collingwood Public Library Staff also read poetry on videos posted to the Library's social media channels throughout the month of April.
The "30 Loaves - Bread for the Journey" online poetry project wrapped with our second annual Pints & Poems event on Thursday, April 30. Participants read some original poetry, shared a favourite published poem, or just sat back, listened, and enjoyed.
In addition to Day’s monthly blog called Symbol & Drum, CollingWord also provides links to other people reciting poetry that you can listen to or view. www.CollingWord.ca
TOWN FACILITATES COMMUNITY RESPONSE ROUNDTABLE Social Support groups collaborate to identify and respond to local needs and challenges
Town of Collingwood staff and over 35 organizations from across Collingwood and the region participated in a virtual roundtable discussion to build a coordinated response to community needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizations represented agencies from across sectors, including health, youth, seniors, disability services, food security, housing, employment, faith-based, mental health, and well-being, all delivering critical supports to our community.
The virtual roundtable discussion provided an opportunity for organizations to provide one another support, identify local needs or challenges, share best practices, and strengthen communication.
While community agencies have had to change the way they deliver programs as a result of COVID-19, services continue to be delivered through telephone, virtual options, and practicing physical distancing.
Community Connection 211 was strongly emphasized as an important resource for connecting people to services available in the community.
“You call 911 for emergency help and 211 when you need essential services. The 211 helpline is there for you, its confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Pam Hillier, Executive Director, Community Connection/211 Central East Ontario.
Like most other public services, 211 is experiencing a high number of calls and callers are asked to be patient.
Organizations at the roundtable committed to ensuring the 211 database had the most up-to-date information on the services being delivered by their respective agencies.
Social service providers are critical in ensuring the needs of our community are met. The Community Response table will continue to meet virtually for the foreseeable future to support collaboration, information sharing, and build a coordinated response to emerging needs.
$2500 RAISED FOR MY FRIEND'S HOUSE FROM COLLINGWOOD'S INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY EVENT The Town of Collingwood is pleased to donate $2500 in proceeds from the March 8th International Women’s Day Panel Discussion & Networking Social to My Friend's House, Collingwood’s local safe haven for abused women and their children.
The Collingwood International Women’s Day (IWD) planning committee, made up of staff from multiple Town departments and members of Council, wishes to thank all those who contributed to the event including the guest speakers, the attendees, and the generous sponsors, without whom the event and its proceeds would not have been possible.
Special thanks to sponsors Collingwood Foundry, 97.7 Max FM, Royal Canadian Legion Branch #63, Royal Bank of Canada, and the Kinette Club of Collingwood.
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. Learn more about International Women's Day at www.collingwood.ca/IWD
My Friend's House is a non-profit agency offering support for abused women and children living in the Georgian Triangle of Ontario. Since opening in 1991, My Friend's House has helped thousands of women get the safety and support they need to rebuild their lives. More than 600 women and their children are served each year through the Shelter Program, Counselling, Transition Housing, Legal Advocacy and Children's Programs. My Friend’s House services are free, confidential and available to all women and their children across the Georgian Triangle.
TOWN ANNOUNCES SONYA SKINNER AS NEW ACTING CAO The Town of Collingwood is pleased to announce the appointment of Sonya Skinner as the Acting CAO, effective April 27, 2020.
Acting CAO Skinner joined the Town of Collingwood in August of 2019 as the Executive Director of Customer and Corporate Service. In this portfolio she worked with the community including through input on the future of the Collingwood grain terminals and a refresh of the Town’s strategic plan. She also led customer service, environmental and climate change liaisons, intergovernmental relationships, information technology, communications, human resources, and facilities.
Sonya Skinner is an experienced leader and was the Chief Administrative Officer at Grey Sauble Conservation Authority for nearly four years prior to joining the Town. She has brought valuable skills and experience to Collingwood, including past leadership of
Service delivery transformations across over 20 business lines as the Director of Compliance Modernization for the Ministry of the Environment and for about $300M annually of provincial highways contracting,
Operational delivery as the head of Maintenance Contracts for all of Ontario highways, and
Better decision-making across five ministries including the Ministry of Education by integrating and developing insights from large amounts of government data.
Sonya is a Professional Engineer with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, and moved to the Collingwood area nine years ago, attracted by its beauty and lifestyle.
Mayor Brian Saunderson says, “Council and I look forward to working with Acting CAO Sonya Skinner to continue building and strengthening our foundation of accountable local government, fiscal responsibility, and modernizing our service delivery. With Sonya’s experience and guidance, we will continue to focus on environmental stewardship and customer service excellence."
CAO Sonya Skinner adds, “Thank you for this opportunity to serve the Town of Collingwood. With the Town’s talented team, we will implement Council’s decisions in ways that build our community’s transparency, accountability, sustainability, and inclusiveness.”
COUNCIL BUSINESS RESUMING TO REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEETINGS VIRTUALLY Please take notice that Council Business will resume to regularly scheduled meetings virtually until the pandemic has concluded. Other committees and advisory boards’ meetings will be considered.
The public can continue to participate in Council, Standing Committee, Advisory Committees, and Boards through our virtual meeting forum. Deputation requests for Council need to be submitted a week prior to the meeting through the Deputation Request Form. Unregistered participants for all other meetings including Standing Committees can join through the links added to the top of each agenda. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Council and Standing Committee meetings will begin at 1:30 PM during the declared state of emergency and will resume to our regular 5:00 PM schedule after the emergency has been lifted.
The Rogers TV broadcast of this meeting will be available online at rogerstv.com.
Call of Council To Order
Mayor Saunderson provided an update to COVID-19, assuring residents of Collingwood their health and safety are primary focus. Mayor Saunderson reviewed measures put in place by the Town; and confirmed essential services will continue to be provided.
Clerk Almas provided a review of the proposed provisions for electronic participation through an amendment to the procedural by-law, as a result of the recent legislative changes authorized by the Province during emergency events.
Council approved By-law 2020-020, being a by-law to amend Procedural By-law 2019-075 to include provisions for electronic participation for Council and Standing Committee during a state of emergency.
Council provided their ongoing support for the community, and essential workers; and shared incentives taken to acknowledge the workers.
Standing Committee Reports
Council approved that the FCM 2020 Sustainable Communities Award Application (Smart Stormwater Partnership) be submitted by Greenland Engineering and a letter of endorsement be provided by the Town in support of the application.
CAO Amin provided an in-depth overview of recommendations of staff to assist residents and the business community by providing the opportunity for relief in payments related to property taxes, and utilities administered by the Town. CAO Amin reviewed the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; response from Governments; Collingwood's actions to date regarding: business continuity, accelerated emergency funding, collaboration and communication with governments, staff protocols, public communications, transit, by-law and parking enforcement, services provided by parks, recreation and culture, support for the vulnerable, library services, and the Town’s procurement protocols. CAO Amin detailed the potential financial relief measures; revised Emergency Management Plan and pros and cons of declaring a state of emergency (with assistance of Chief Parr); delegation of authority to CAO; establishment of an Economic Support and Recovery Task Force; and a $2.5 million Emergency Contingency Fund from proceeds of asset sales to implement recommendations within the report.
Council approved that the COVID-19 Economic and Other Relief Measures be received.
Council approved that the penalty and interest charges be waived for property taxes for the months of March, April, and May 2020.
Council approved that Council provide residents the option to request a deferral for property tax preauthorized payment plan for the months of April, May and June 2020, for those property taxpayers that provide pre-authorized payments directly to the Town; and that property taxpayers that provide tax payments through a third party shall contact their respective institution to determine relief options that they have available.
Council authorized staff to implement the recommended relief for water and wastewater users.
It was suggested that the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force be comprised of the following Council representation: Mayor Saunderson, Chair of Development and Operations Standing Committee Councillor Doherty, FCM representative Councillor Jeffrey, and BIA representative Deputy Mayor Hull.
Council authorized the establishment of the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force.
Council authorized the establishment of a Collingwood Emergency Contingency Fund of $2,500,000 from the asset sale proceeds. These funds would be accessed only for the support of the community through the pandemic and, once the provincial state of emergency has ended, any remaining funds be returned to the Sale Proceeds Fund, as amended. The amendment requests staff review the 2020 Budget for projects that may not occur in 2020 or where other efficiencies or cost savings may be identified, that could be reallocated to the Emergency Contingency Fund for COVID-19 to offset the funds needed from the sale of asset proceeds.
Council approved amendments to the Emergency Management Program and Emergency Response Plan By-law.
Council delegated additional authority to the CAO during the COVID-19 pandemic for matters deemed necessary and minor in nature.
Council approved to petition the Federal and Provincial Government and applicable advocacy organizations to continue to work with municipal governments, local businesses and the community to implement changes as quickly and prudently as possible with respect to financial relief and programs to benefit Ontarians and in particular small businesses and our tourism industry.
Deputy Mayor Hull advised the County of Simcoe has declared state of emergency and has implemented a number of best practices and precautionary measures while continuing to provide essential services. Deputy Mayor Hull also provided condolences to the family of John O'Donnell, Deputy Mayor of the Township of Ramara and member of County Council.
Councillor Comi inquired about funds for the purchase of more personal protective equipment for the Hospital.
Councillor Jeffery inquired about support opportunities, transit shutdowns, and non-digital communications, and expressed concern about a large urban population migrating into small urban catchment areas and putting pressure on the Town’s resources.
Council approved the petition of the upper levels of government to restrict mobility from large to small urban centres that place a strain on various resources available in smaller communities.
COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS - APRIL 8, 2020 The Rogers TV broadcast of this meeting will be available online at rogerstv.com.
Council provided recognition to the Collingwood Public Library for programming offered during COVID-19; thanked Public Works, and front-line workers for their continued service; reported on community events; and advised of the Collingwood Together volunteer database.
Mayor Saunderson reiterated the provincial health orders to stay home, and practice social distancing, noting the first death reported in Collingwood due to COVID-19; thanked residents for the community outreach, and advised of the need at the Hospital and Senior Citizen homes; provided recognition to local businesses who have retooled to fill needs during the pandemic; and advised of a resident's passing.
Mayor Saunderson advised two submissions were submitted in writing regarding Staff Report CAO2020-03 after the agenda was published. Mayor Saunderson summarized the comments received as were circulated to all Council. Comments provided include:
Mr. John Megarry, Collingwood resident, expressed concerns with the 6 month, no interest loan program the Town is recommending to Council for local businesses.
Mr. Paul Izdebski, Beer Bus owner, informed Council of the financial and economic impact the pandemic has had on small businesses and expressed support for the proposed Town loan program.
COVID-19 Municipal Response Update
CAO Amin CAO Fareed Amin provided an update to measures taken with respect to COVID-19; reviewed Collingwood's actions to date; ongoing support to local businesses; emergency preparedness measures; reviewed the proposed terms of reference for the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force; further relief measures for councils consideration; and reviewed the top questions and concerns being expressed by the public to staff and council.
Council received the Staff Report on Economic and Other Relief Measures: Economic Support and Recovery Task Force
Council approved the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force Terms of Reference.
Council referred the recommended Economic and other Relief Measures back to Staff and the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force for further review and investigation.
Notice of Motion
Councillor Hamlin acknowledged the tributes to front-line workers already occurring in our community and proposed that Council endorse the May 24 National Tribute to front-line workers.
Deputy Mayor Hull advised four landfill sites have re-opened in Simcoe County; no changes have been made to Route 4 bus schedule between Collingwood and Wasaga; and essential services continue to be provided. County Council will be meeting Tuesday, April 14 via Zoom video conferencing.
Director Slama and John Velick, Manager Engineering Services, provided an update on Hurontario Street Sidewalk and Tree replacement project.
CAO Amin provided an update on funds allocated to the Out of the Cold program, capital projects, and expenditures budgeted for 2020.
Director Farr provided an update on update on collaboration with the OPP and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit on encouraging social distancing and enforcing emergency orders.
Councillors requested consideration for Hurontario Street closures to assist with business queuing, the provision of public internet, and the schedule for putting the 2020 Budget online
Council approved $500 be provided out to each publicly funded high school from the contingency fund for their COVID-19 related needs for their food programs.
COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS - APRIL 20, 2020 The Rogers TV broadcast of this meeting will be available online at rogerstv.com.
Council expressed their condolences to families and residents affected by the recent incident in Nova Scotia, thanked and recognized all volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week, provided best wishes to former Councillor Dale West for a speedy recovery and reported on various community announcements and events.
Town of the Blue Mountains Councillor Andrea Matrosovs and June Porter sought a 2021 commitment from Collingwood regarding Recruitment and Retention of Family Physicians.
Corporate and Community Services Standing Committee
Council approved the minutes of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Collingwood Downtown BIA Board of Management minutes, Museum Advisory Committee, and Trails Advisory Committee.
Council approved Establishing a Trails & Active Transportation Advisory Committee, the Community Safety & Well-being Plan - Joint Initiative, Public Art Mural Commission - 28 Huron Street, Collingwood Charters Docking Lease Renewal, and ICIP Funding - Fisher Field Grant Application
Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee
Council approved the report on Council Remuneration and the Integrity Commissioners Annual Report
Council received the report on Municipal Modernization Projects and referred it back to staff for the review based on the COVD-19 budget analysis.
Council approved the 2020 Fees & Services Charges
Council proclaimed April 19 to 25 to National Volunteer Week
Council approved that the 2019 Council Expenses be disclosed in an itemized manner and posted on the Town website, in addition to the statutory expense reporting requirements.
Council approved funding up to $100,000 from the COVID-19 Contingency Fund to support the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital (CGMH) in preparations for an off-site location to be activated if a surge of inpatient volumes outstrips the expanded internal capacity at CGMH during this current pandemic and for future disaster preparedness use on a cost sharing basis.
Council approved the petition of the upper levels of government to expedite emergency funding programs for small businesses and self-employed individuals that currently do not qualify for the CEBA funding program.
Council authorized the execution of the letter of agreement for the use of the Dedicated Gas Tax Funds for the Public Transportation
Notice of Motion
Councillor Comi proposed that regular meetings of Council and Standing Committees be changed to a daytime hour of 1:30 PM for the duration of the Declaration of Emergency declared by the Province or as otherwise recommended by the CAO.
Councillor Hamlin proposed that Council authorize the 2020 budget review to be expanded to include that any cost savings of efficiencies identified not be limited to just offsetting the funds being used from the asset sale proceeds, but also to offset other losses across the Corporation that were unexpected as a result of the COVID-19 crisis to ensure a balanced budget.
Director Collver provided an update on initiatives staff has undertaken to address social services in the community through facilitating a Community Response Virtual Roundtable, and developing the Collingwood Together volunteer platform; advised Council to direct residents to 211 regarding immediate needs; and welcomed Council to participate in Roundtable discussions in a passive role.
Council approved that all drawdowns from the emergency contingency fund be approved by Council before they are made, except that the CAO be provided delegated authority to access the funds for items of a minor nature which must be reported to Council prior to committing the funds.
Treasurer Leonard provided a financial update of the Town; advised of provincial, and county payment deferrals; predicted largest revenue loss due to the pandemic; noted the weekly burn rate; and advised a more accurate financial update of the impact of COVID-19 will be available when comparative figures are available at the end of May.
Council discussed: a) Appointment of committee members (Accessibility, Heritage, Museum), and b) Review of CAO position, and c) ratification of support services.