The Two Solitudes of Collingwood

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Welders

This post, more than any other, is about living in Collingwood. It’s about the politics and the great divide that is only spoken of in hushed whispers or with eyes rolling toward the heavens.

When you Google the term “ Collingwood Shipyards”, chances are the first page will be filled with references to the waterside condominium project in downtown Collingwood. Scroll further down and you’ll come upon some references to the original shipbuilding history of Collingwood. Which one would you chose to click on?

Are you a “local” or a “newcomer” in the community? The line seems to be drawn on whether or not a street in town carries your family name or, if your family had members who worked at the Collingwood Shipyards. If not, some will think of you as a newcomer even if you were born and raised here in the last 30 years or so. This is important to understand.

For 103 years, the Shipyards operated at the end of Hurontario St. From 1882 to 1986, over 200 ships were built including passenger ships, freighters and warships including Corvettes built for the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. The sounds of the machine cogs, hot steel clanging and the hammering of rivets were ever present. Everyone knew the sound of the whistle that marked the end of the workday and the rhythm of daily life was intricately tied to it.

At points, over 1,000 people were employed at the Shipyards representing 20% of the population.

Almost every family in town had a father, brother, mother or sibling that worked there. They certainly had friends and neighbours who did. Others owned or operated businesses from furniture shops to downtown hotels and pubs that catered to the Shipyard workers. During the two World Wars when the men went off to fight great battles, their wives stepped in and became trained as welders and machinists. Over the life of the Shipyard, many lives were lost and many others were cut short through injuries obtained in the hard labour of shipbuilding.

The whole town shared a single common thread called, The Shipyards. There were shared values and shared experiences. Everyone knew everyone. They went to school together, played sports together, went to weddings and funerals together. They are still together as extended families, friends and business associates.

I remember the day the Shipyards closed in 1986. It was the very day we moved to the area. The last whistle blew and people were openly crying on the side of Huron Street as they said their last good-byes. Our initial thoughts were that it was a strange town indeed. Little did we understand what had happened that day.

Jobs that paid a living wage were lost. A depression was setting in. Fear took hold. The future was unknown.

mural

Fast forward to 2014. When you walked down the promenade beside the new condominiums at the end of Hurontario Street, what do you see? Ducks and swans, ships in the harbour and a beautiful waterfront vista. What do you hear? Water lapping the sides of the former launch basin.

If you were a local, you’d see and hear these too. But you’d also see a lot more in your mind’s eye of memories. Hence, the two solitudes.

It’s no secret that Collingwood has had its share of battles in the political arena. Cries of nepotism, cronyism and block voting among what many call the “old guard.” Decisions that leave “newcomers” scratching their heads. Decisions that leave locals staunchly supportive at all costs. Is it the single thread of oftentimes, linear thinking and long-standing friendships that guide “locals” or is it an attempt to hang on to what was?P1030358

I don’t have the answers but I do know that there are two solitudes. This will eventually come to a natural end as time and people pass. Already the number of “newcomers” exceeds the number of “locals.” While I hope that someday soon the great divide disappears, it also makes me a bit sad to think how hard the transition of the last 28 years has been for many. The locals who are part of the history of the town deserve respect and understanding of newcomers like me for the price of change. They also deserve for us to remember the roots of what made this town great.

I hope that the next time you think about the Collingwood Shipyards, you might think about the legacy of this iconic industry which still reverberates today.

Simcoe Pride Week – August 1 – 9, 2014

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pride

Did I miss something? The Town of Collingwood has noted Simcoe Pride week right on the Town website  yet, I don’t see our town holding a flag raising for PRIDE week. It seems the towns all around us are on board and even our County. Who decided we were not or, did I miss something?

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer July 18-24, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®.  Previous week(s) in brackets.

Real Estate Barometer Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Blue Mountains, Meaford, Clearview

Real Estate Barometer Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Blue Mountains, Meaford, Clearview

Single Family Residential
New Listings:  50 (38, 57, 56)
Average List Price: $515,750
Range of List Prices: $174,900 – $2,995,000
Number of Sales:   34 (25, 38, 35)
Range of Sale Prices:  $145,000 – $1,190,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  9 (19, 11,16)
Average List Price: $319,711
Range of List Prices: $119,000 – $759,900
Number of Sales:  10 (13, 10,12)
Range of Sale Prices:  $135,000 – $390,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  0
Number of Sales: 3
Range of Sale Prices: $30,000 – $385,000

Price Changes 47

Notables this Week
- 1 single family residence sold over it’s list price

How to avoid the tenant from hell

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Guest Post by Real Estate Lawyer, Author and Speaker, Mark Weisleder

Most residential tenants are long term tenants who pay their rent on time and properly look after a landlord’s property. The trick is to do the proper research in advance so that you do not end up with the tenant from hell. Here are some tips to follow:

1. When you advertise for tenants, whether on Kijiji, Viewit or gottarent.com, also state “we do background and credit checks.” You will receive a greater percentage of qualified tenants.

Mark picture2. Do a proper credit check using Equifax or TransUnion. The cost is approximately $20. Or join a group such as the Ontario Landlord Association where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and receive use of all of their supporting materials to assist you.

3. Call all references, especially prior landlords. Remember that the current landlord may be lying just to get rid of them. Start with the previous landlord.

4. Check social media. Google the tenant to make sure the information checks out with their rental application. In addition, if you are concerned about possible pets, check Facebook. If the tenant has a pet, there will likely be a picture of them with the pet on Facebook.

5. In a face to face interview, there are signs that may indicate that the tenant is not being truthful. This can include one or more of the following: incomplete answers, not looking at you when they speak, changing the subject, fidgeting, dropping names of important people, or volunteering to do odd jobs for you.

6. Ask open ended questions such as “Tell me about yourself or why are you leaving your current apartment?” You will be surprised how much you can learn about someone with such simple questions.

7. Interview the tenant where they currently live. You will see first-hand how they treat someone else’s property. It is also hard to hide the smell of a pet, if you are concerned about that.

8. Give the tenant a deal. It should not be about charging the highest rent possible. When tenants think they overpaid, they will almost immediately start looking for another place to live. Give tenants a break and they will be happier, and stay longer.

9. Give tenants incentives. Why not a $10 gift card if the rent is paid on time? Or a Christmas present, just to show that you appreciate your tenant. Treating a tenant with respect often results in the tenant not only paying the rent on time, but they will also take care of your property better.

10. Consider rent to own. In a rent to own, you give the tenant the option to buy your property at a set price two to three years from now. In this way, you can guarantee your profit if the tenant exercises the option and the tenant has extra motivation to look after the property even more carefully, since they may end up buying it later.

By doing the right research in advance and treating your tenants with respect, you can ensure that your real estate investment continues to increase in value.

Stunning Condo in Wyldewood

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I’ve just listed one of the most exquisite condos I’ve seen in Collingwood and am pretty excited to show it off to you.

This oh-so-chic condo has the largest plan in Wyldewood with 1456 square feet featuring 3 bedrooms (or two plus a den) including a second floor loft. It’s like having two master bedrooms since two of the bedrooms have ensuite baths making it ideal for guests. The great room has soaring, 18 foot high ceilings, off-white walls, dark floors, oodles of sunshine and light, a gas fireplace and a beautiful, upgraded kitchen.

Have a look at the video below to see just what I mean. The owners are very serious about getting this unit sold and have priced it exceptionally well and below comparable sales. If you are looking for good value, upscale surroundings and an ideal ski retreat, summer getaway or a new home, this is a must to see at $259,900.

 

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer July 11-17, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®. Previous week(s) in brackets.

Real Estate Barometer Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Blue Mountains, Meaford, Clearview

Real Estate Barometer Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Blue Mountains, Meaford, Clearview

Single Family Residential
New Listings:  38 (57, 56, 46)
Average List Price: $534,663
Range of List Prices: $199,900 – $1,995,000
Number of Sales:   25 (38, 35, 25)
Range of Sale Prices:  $143,000 – $1,837,500

Condominiums
New Listings:  19 (11,16, 10)
Average List Price: $304,216
Range of List Prices: $112,000 – $1,095,000
Number of Sales:  13 (10,12,10)
Range of Sale Prices:  $110,000 – $475,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  0
Number of Sales: 2
Range of Sale Prices: $70,000 -  $125,000

Price Changes 47

Notables this Week
- 3 single family residences sold over their list prices

Thornbury Jazz By The Bay 2014

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JAZZ BY THE BAY

jazz

Sunday July 6 until Sunday August 17, 2014 6-8 pm.
BAYVIEW PARK, 106 BAY STREET EAST, THORNBURY N0H 2P0

Rain location – Beaver Valley Community School, 189 Bruce St. S. Thornbury

Refreshments available. Bring your lawn chair and join the fun!

PRE-ORDER A PICNIC SUPPER CREATED BY
SUSTENANCE CATERING
705-888-6710    sustenancecatering

NOTE NEW START TIME THIS YEAR – SUNDAYS AT  6:00 PM

JULY 6 – WAYNE BUTTERY AND THE GROOVE PROJECT
JULY 13 – VIRGIL SCOTT BAND
JULY 20 – QUISHA WINT
JULY 27 – SHAWN MEI BAND
AUGUST 3 – JW JONES
AUGUST 10 – JOHNNY MAX 
AUGUST 17 – LANCE ANDERSON

Wyldewood in Collingwood

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Wyldewood sign

Not to be confused with the new Wyldewood Cove project now under development, Wydlewood was the first local project for developer, Brandy Lane Homes. It opened in the summer of 2010 to spectacular success and was one of the fastest selling projects ever in the region and, it was completed in 2012.

bldg ext

Wyldewood is set on 10 acres in the west end of Collingwood off Hwy 26 adjacent to Cranberry Village and almost opposite Rupert’s Landing and abutting a protected forest as well as Collingwood’s trail network. There are a total of seven, 3 ½ storey buildings with 24 units in each. In addition to being trailside, the development features a year-round heated pool that can be enjoyed in ANY season.  Here are some folks enjoying a winter swim.

Pool in winter0

The design is unique to the area as the units are accessed from open door corridors. There are elevators for convenient access to each level. All units have adjacent and quite large storage lockers located next to their entry door.

There are 8 different floorplans ranging in size from 1045 to 1456 square feet. Some of the top level homes feature second floor lofts with 18’ high ceilings on their main floors. Each unit has a private terrace or balcony with a BBQ gas line.  Resale values generally range from about $220,000 to $270,000.

Collingwood and Area Real Estate Barometer July 4-10, 2014

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This market summary includes data for Collingwood, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Grey Highlands and Meaford. The information was obtained from the MLS® statistics provided by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®. Previous week(s) in brackets.

barometer

Single Family Residential
New Listings:  57 (56, 46, 58 )
Average List Price: $482,273
Range of List Prices: $110,000 – $2,395,000
Number of Sales:   38 (35, 25, 35)
Range of Sale Prices:  $113,000 – $805,000

Condominiums
New Listings:  11 (16, 10, 13)
Average List Price: $299,336
Range of List Prices: $139,000 – $699,900
Number of Sales:  10 (12,10, 5)
Range of Sale Prices:  $100,000 – $395,000

Vacant Land
New Listings:  9
Number of Sales: 5
Range of Sale Prices: $9,000 – $695,000

Price Changes 55

Notables this Week:

1 single family residence sold at it`s list price
3 single family residences sold over their list prices
1 condo sold at it`s list price

Live Waterside in Downtown Collingwood

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There is something very appealing about walking out your door and being a 5 minute walk to the grocer, the LCBO, the bank and shops. There is something even more appealing about sitting on your patio or looking out your windows and watching a sunrise over the water or watching visiting yachts moor by your door.

Proximity
I’ve just listed the very lovely, ground floor condo where you can enjoy this rare lifestyle combination of living dockside on the water yet be conveniently right downtown in Collingwood. Simply step out your door and onto the promenade trail from this east facing unit that overlooks the water from this iconic site that recalls the history of Collingwood’s shipyard era.

LR2Patio to water

This beautiful, 1 bedroom + den unit has been reconfigured as two bedrooms and features many well-appointed finishes such as hardwood floors through-out, smooth ceilings, California shutters, granite countertops, gas heat, central air conditioning, gas fireplace with built-in cabinetry.

Learn more by clicking here.

RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, brokerage  ♦  67 First Street Collingwood, ON L9Y 1A2  ♦  705-445-8500