A little piece of Brampton comes to our waterfront………

If you want to see a perfect example of the nepotism and ineptitude of this towns previous council, look no further than the picture below ladies and gentleman:


No that’s not downtown Brampton or Mississauga. That’s prime Collingwood waterfront real estate, my friends. A commodity that is getting rarer than rocking horse shit in this town. This is what happens when you have a developer who is pals with an incompetent Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Neither of whom have an ounce of vision, and cared more about fulfilling that same developer’s 10 year plan to have a national pharmacy chain and major financial institution as part of his stable of Collingwood commercial tenants. I have not met one person that is happy with the monstrosity of a square box building that now completely blocks the water front from our downtown. Or the Barrie-esque bank right next door to it. I bet the manager of this new bank has a better waterfront view than any other bank manager in Canada.
There was a vision in place though, it involved keeping the original Globe Hotel which was intact behind the facade of the Mountainview Hotel and doing an aesthetically pleasant visitor friendly development that involved a cafe and restaurant on the main floor and a museum upstairs, highlighting this towns ship building heritage. It would have actually enhanced downtown rather than the developer’s bank account. The following is a YouTube tour of the old Globe Hotel before the bulldozers came in:

As you can see it shows that this part of our towns heritage (It was build in the 1860’s) had some good bones to build from. It could have actually enhanced our waterfront and connected that waterfront to our downtown core. But the voting bloc on the previous council did not give that proposal, brought before it by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (Collingwood Branch), a second thought. The back room deals had already been signed sealed and delivered months prior, on the BBQ and dinner party circuit. By the people that really run this town.

The EB finally got around to complaining about this development here:


2 years late to the party I’m afraid. Too little too late and they are only editorializing on the ugly green signs that adorn the Rexall Pharmacy, not the fact that this and the development of a bank on prime waterfront land constitutes one of the worst urban development crimes in our towns history, since a bright spark thought it was a good idea to put a sewage treatment plant smack in the middle of another portion of our towns pristine waterfront and right in the middle of town.

The sad part of all this backroom dealing and shortsightedness, is this will not be fixed in either your kids or your grand-kids generations. The town is stuck with this urban blight long after the developer has spent his short term gains. The one thing he and the members of council that let this happen should remember though is they will own this embarrassment, long after they are dead and buried. Future generations will say “WTF were they thinking?” Probably quite similar to what we say now about the person or persons that placed that sewage treatment plant where it is today.


16 thoughts on “A little piece of Brampton comes to our waterfront………

  1. My answer to all of this is just to boycott the Rexall and boycott the Bank of Montreal. We have other pharmacies in town as well as other banks.

  2. How about the jobs these two places are going to create in a town where jobs are hard to come by? They will also bring money into the town. As a young person I don’t give 2 asses About a museum for old people to remember what the town used to look like. I also rememeber that shitty motel as a bar for drunks. At least now there are some more jobs available in a growing town.

    • Jenifer with all due respect you are talking nonsense. The bank will just transfer existing employees from its previous location. The pharmacy will probably drive one of the other pharmacies out of business because I would venture to guess the town is now overloaded with pharmacies.

      • To destroy a town’s history for the sake of a couple of jobs is completely ridiculous. The draw of tourists to this town is based on our history not on a pharmacy, and that draw brings in money as we are a tourist based community…it is best to understand economics and urban development before saying you don’t give a shit about our past and the good town’s people in it that brought us here today….smh

    • You may think that the town of CW is on the grow. You are probably right. The rich will move in with their 2 tier health care policies , retirement cash, pension funds and minimum wage jobs for locals. Taxes are too high and climbing every year. The museum is necessary for a town and you need to shake your head about your remark. One day you will understand the validity and value of this institution. So many kids who live in CW will never return here or stay here as there are no jobs which will afford them the income to buy homes which are now reaching outer Toronto prices and paying more or the same rates as Toronto for house taxes. All other expenses are the same across the province. Just look at the turnover and closures of stores on your main street. You need to get involved at the local level, attend council meetings and volunteer. Get involved in your community. Get answers. Do your homework. Talk to your local government and make a complaint, in writing, when you are not happy. Speak up. Be seen. Be There.

  3. I also recall there being design standards for buildings/signs in the Town. The A&P was required (asked?) to comply as were other businesses. All of that seems to have been forgotten – the Rexall/BMO building is hideous. It pays zero respect to the lot it sits on and is a stiff finger to the people that live in the community.

    What is the message? Change banks, cancel your pharmacy account and take your business elsewhere. The staff that work there will go work where the business goes and the corporate entitles that work there will suffer. Tell them why you are taking your business elsewhere…perhaps they will take the hint and make the signage more appropriate

    Rest assured that BMO/Rexall and the developer of that property care about money – they don’t care about the EB article and they don’t care about this blog. Affect their bottom line and maybe they will rethink their signs and make the building more appealing. But don’t bet on that either.

  4. I am extremely upset with Collingwood’s lack of initiative to invest in the rich history of the town as well as the younger generation. I grew up in this town, and these poor planning skills make me never want to return or raise a family here.

    There have so many examples of when Collingwood has shown it’s weakness in town planning. The Rec Plex we were supposed to get long ago when we had the money (now they’re trying to patch it all up for it by putting domes over the pool and arena…), nothing done to help preserve/enhance the Terminal buildings, something Collingwood is well known/admired for, nothing done with the GIANT HOLE downtown. Even the main road leading into Collingwood, Hume Street, is worn down and covered in potholes, showing visitors how much we really care about this place we live in.

    But, of course, it seems all the municipality wants to do grab as much money that it possibly can from the older generations without even thinking about how it may impact the future.

    Collingwood is a beautiful town with so much potential. We need to invest in small businesses. We need to invest in buildings that will not only serve multiple people but also be an invest in beautifying the town as well as serving a more important purpose than just another pharmacy.

  5. Not sure if you remember but the shipyard boiler shop was also on this sight. It was a classic industrial heritage building, the sort that has been converted to public uses in many heritage conscious communities. In the original OPA 4 for the shipyard site redevelopment it was to be included as part of the redevelopment. For political purposes, in order to be able to say that “things are happening” the then council met with CSL and agreed to permit the building to be demolished. I have somewhere a front page from the EB with then Mayor Geddes in front of the building with a sledge hammer and smile under the heading “THEY’RE COMING DOWN” like that was something to be proud of. The destruction of our heritage for short sighted political gain has a long history in Collingwood.

    With respect to the awful sign, the justification for why it is so large is that this property is not in the heritage district. And the simple reason for that is that this property and the shipyard property were excluded from the heritage district so that council could allow the demolition of what were among the most significant heritage buildings in Town.

    • It was my understanding the Town had a “sign by-law” that covered the whole town (not just the Heritage District). Note the signs on the Admiral Building (LCBO etc.) to the west; much smaller both in size and font. These new Rexall and BMO signs are in one’s face to say the least. I wonder if this is a case of putting up whatever the businesses wanted and begging for forgiveness after the fact?

  6. I attended the Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee meeting on April 29 (http://www.collingwood.ca/node/12225). The consultant (MMM) for the Community Based Strategic Plan, did a workshop for all of council, so that they could better understand the process.

    Toward the latter stages of the meeting, MMM asked Councillors to give their thoughts on Collingwood, using a method called SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

    I happened to be sitting a few feet behind both Mayor Cooper and Deb Doherty, and I heard something that I think describes the rift in the vision of our waterfront that you’ve described in this blog

    When the consultant asked for examples of W (weaknesses) in our town, Deb Doherty raised her hand and said “access to our waterfront”. The consultant then added it to the list, at which point Mayor Cooper, looking a little unhappy about the comment, leaned over and said to Deb,

    “what do you mean by access to our waterfront?”

    Deb replied, “you can barely see the water from our downtown. It’s view is blocked, and most of the land is privately owned”

    I could see Sandra’s lip quiver, and her brow furrow, as she looked at Deb and firmly stated, “I DISAGREE!!!”

      • Both of these structures are very pedestrian, banal buildings to have been sited on such an important piece of property. During my time on the Waterfront Harbourlands Advisory Committee, (now disbanded in favour of the new governance scheme) the point was often raised that these properties should be reserved for something important to the Town, and that we needed to preserve some view of the harbour from First Street. The reply was always that these properties are privately owned, (then by Fram) and the Town has no money to acquire them. The inference was that it was hoped that the property owners would do something attractive.
        Clearly that didn’t happen. We got stuck with two unattractive buildings, then, to rub salt in the wound, Rexall erects a series of seriously butt ugly shiny aqua panels!
        Isn’t there anything that the Building or Planning departments, or the Property Standards department (yes, believe or or not, we have one) can do to require developers to do something better than this?
        Mark my words—we’re going to see more of the same when the rest of these properties are developed!

      • So sad to see the Mountainview/Globe ripped down and this ‘shitbox’ put up in it’s place 😦 It’s so hard to see the waterfront now 😦

      • Your esteemed council member, Deb Doherty missed her chance to put the Mayor to task by not asking ‘Why Not’?. All the members of this council from the top on down are apathetic in their responses and take no responsibility for the debacle of the waterfront planning. Yes, the market did a turn in 2008/09. However, how did so many subdivisions crop up and sell out at higher prices than what the waterfront homes sold for? They had a good plan and layout, that is why. Why is the water treatment plant still sitting where it is and millions paid to cover a pool to accommodate The Clippers swim team when there are ample pools in this town which would have done the job adequately? How is it that there are too few jobs for educated towns folk and most clubs, institutions and community based venues are run by volunteers? How can someone who is not an employee of the Town of Collingwood, be paid an exorbitant salary, and not be held accountable for grievous errors in planning and debt maintenance? How is it that buildings , paid for by tax payers, can be bought for high prices and then sold for a fraction of these costs? How is it that the Historical society can put the kibosh on a nearly sold out building and business opportunity right on the main street which would have brought people and a strong tax base into town? The whole thing stinks of self serving antics by all those involved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s