Business View Civil and Municipal | March 2021

185 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL MARCH 2021 COLL INGWOOD , ONTAR IO and working out of Collingwood.” The town makes that easy by being one of the only municipalities in the county and surrounding area north of the GTA with an exceptionally strong broadband internet network and very accessible connections. People who already had vacation homes in Collingwood have decided to stay and enrolled their children in the local system. And droves of others have purchased homes and driven up the housing market considerably. Saunderson believes, “It’s been a blessing and also has heightened some of our issues we identified in our planning process, in terms of attainable housing and affordability of our real estate market. It was already very active and has gone off the charts; homes are selling for considerably more than they were a year ago.” Although that drives property taxes for the town, which in turn helps give more amenities to residents, it also makes it difficult for year- of improvement: Making Collingwood a hub for sustainability and innovation, promoting Collingwood as a great place to live and work, and, thirdly, to ensure that Collingwood is investment ready. Saunderson admits, “Implementing the plan won’t be easy, moving forward we have a number of action items which have been really focused on or heightened by the fact of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of our local impacts.” That being said, Collingwood has experienced some positive outcomes, as well. The town was under “significant pressure” to grow before the pandemic, but as people who work in the corporate setting realize they are no longer shackled to Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area for work, they have started to focus on their quality of life. “We’re now seeing that people are making lifestyle a priority,” says Saunderson. “They’re understanding that offices aren’t necessarily the nerve center of the business world and we’ve seen people telecommuting Courtesy of Jody Wilson