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.