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Collingwood & Stayner, desirable destinations all year long

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Collingwood & Stayner, desirable destinations all year long

A winter wonderland in downtown Collingwood. Photography By Dave West

There aren’t many locations that can boast exceptional activities during every season of the year. The south Georgian Bay area includes Collingwood, Stayner and Wasaga Beach. Less than two hours from Toronto, you can swim, boat and fish in the summer, go hiking and biking in the fall, and experience some of Ontario’s finest skiing and winter-inspired sports. Come spring, you’ll be enchanted as the area blossoms into a magical backdrop for enjoying all that nature has to offer.

Photography (left to right) Irene Pradyszczuk; Doug Burlock; Dave West

The town of Stayner

Established in 1994, Clearview Township was the result of the amalgamation of the Town of Stayner, the Village of Creemore and the townships of Nottawasaga and Sunnidale.

Early settlement on the site of Stayner coincided with the construction of a railway line from Toronto to Collingwood between 1851 and 1855. The community of Stayner, which was originally called Nottawasaga Station, developed into a significant agricultural and lumbering centre. Stayner was incorporated as a village in 1872, and as a town in 1888.

Today, this town is developing into a community of its own identity. While easily accessible to larger centres, Stayner maintains its smalltown feel. Close by are two arenas, three baseball parks, two golf courses, as well as Devil’s Glen Provincial Park and Carruthers Memorial Conservation Area.

Stayner’s ‘Music Market & Park It’ features classic trucks and cars on display, and is a weekly celebration of food, art, live music, local and local vendors, held each year in June.

Start a new routine

The Blue Mountains, known as such, because of the ever-present eucalyptus trees whose leaves expel a fine mist of natural oils that oft-times appear as a blue mist on the horizon, are a favourite for downhill skiers. More than 40 trails are available over 364 skiable acres. Blue Mountain Village (Ontario’s largest mountain village resort) is known for its eclectic shopping and dining options.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, try hiking, biking or cross-country skiing the 35-kilometre Georgian Trail, which offers magnificent views of Georgian Bay and Blue Mountain as it winds its way through Collingwood, and the neighbouring towns of Thornbury and Meaford.

The semi-private, Cranberry Golf Resort (now known as Living Stone Golf Resort), is the first golf course appointed to the Audubon Society certified course list. It also won the Environmental Stewardship Award. The resort includes an outdoor swimming pool, a hotel, condominium suites, restaurants and shopping.

Nature’s bounty

Inspired by South Georgian Bay’s apple-growing history, the The Apple Pie Trail brings together culinary, shopping, adventure, farms and local experiences.

Downtown Collingwood’s Farmers’ Market and Thonbury’s market both open in May. The Lowell’s and Meaford markets open in June. Get your fill of fresh vegetables, homemade crafts, freshly popped kettle corn, handcrafted signs, unique jewelry and sumptuous baked goods. Rejuvenate your weary bones at the Scandinave Spa at Blue. Soak in the relaxing baths, while taking in the panoramic views of the escarpment – the perfect prescription for spiritual and physical wellness.

Ontario’s four-season playground

Celebratory events

Christmas starts in Collingwood with the Santa Claus parade on November 16th at 5 p.m.

Come February, Collingwood Whiskylicious is extremely popular. Yearly events also include Canada Day, Peak to Shore Music Festival, Keys to Collingwood Street Piano Festival, Black Harvest Festival, Sidelaunch Days, Movies by the Bay and the Art Crawl. And, don’t forget the annual Elvis Festival.

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