Short-term accommodations

Short-term accommodation (STA) refers to renting out private property — from a single room to an entire house — for fewer than 30 days at a time. In Collingwood, outside hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations (B&Bs), this is illegal. But a search on sites like Airbnb shows there are hundreds of places doing […]

Downtown pedestrian mall

I have long believed the town should close part of the main street (Hurontario St.) for a few months in the summer to test whether a pedestrian mall would be popular among visitors, businesses, and residents. Main street retail stores could be given space for tents or booths; restaurants could extend their patios; there could […]

Are tiny houses the solution?

For lower-tier, and small, municipalities like Collingwood, housing is a challenge, more today with high-interest rates and housing prices. Affordable housing is under the jurisdiction of the upper tier (in our case, Simcoe County). The province provides few if any tools or powers by which the municipality can encourage or force developers to build anything […]

Our disappearing urban forest

On August 8, Collingwood council will “consider” a proposal to spend “up to $100,000 to retain a consultant to inform the next council on how Collingwood can better protect [our] tree canopy,” according to a story in CollingwoodToday. The article says, “With Collingwood’s population rapidly increasing, the town is behind when it comes to its […]

What’s affordable?

Ontario’s 2020 Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) defines affordable housing according to whether it’s ownership or rental, but the percantages of income are the same for both. For ownership (p.39 in the PPS), it’s defined as the “least expensive” of (emphasis added): housing for which the purchase price results in annual accommodation costs which do not […]

A ward system for Collingwood

Readers of my blog may recall that I have written about the need for electoral reform in Collingwood, particularly transitioning to a ward system from our current at-large system. Councils have the authority to establish wards under Section 222(1) of Ontario’s Municipal Act. I last wrote about this in 2018. In 2009, a Collingwood staff […]