3 Reasons to Start a Business in Collingwood, ON

Anyone who has been to or lives in Collingwood, ON knows that it is a beautiful place that is filled with opportunity. It is filled with amazing people, attractions, and events. However, it is also filled with great businesses. This is partially due to the fact that Collingwood, ON also offers great opportunities for businesses. Young business owners or entrepreneurs that are looking for a home for their business should look no further than Collingwood, ON.


Reason #1 – Proximity to Major Cities


Although Collingwood, ON may seem like a northern town; it is reasonably close to a number of major cities. To be precise, it is only about a 90-minute drive from Toronto, Ontario’s largest city. This means that business owners can easily travel to major cities for meetings and more.


Reason #2 – Growing Population


One thing that all businesses need is customers. If a business doesn’t have any customers, they won’t be able to generate profit and will eventually go out of business. However, businesses in Collingwood, ON should have no problem finding new faces in their stores. This is because Collingwood, ON is a relatively populated town. In fact, in 2017, Collingwood, ON was the 24th fastest growing town in Canada (outside of census metropolitan areas). The town is expected to have a population of approximately 30,000 by 2030. This means that businesses in Collingwood, ON should have a bright future ahead of them.


Reason #3 – Beautiful Location


When a town is dull and grey, it can be difficult for a business to look visually appealing to customers. Thankfully, Collingwood, ON is anything but dull. This beautiful town is full of amazing buildings that have years worth of history. Whether it is a retail storefront or an office building, business owners can be sure that they will find beautiful buildings in Collingwood, ON.


With a bit of research, it is easy to see why moving to Collingwood, ON is a great move for new businesses. The town offers a number of benefits, such as reasonable proximity to major cities, a growing population, and beautiful buildings. However, these benefits are merely the tip of the iceberg. All business owners should take a quick drive up to this beautiful town to see what it truly has in store (no pun intended).

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Another Successful Entrepreneur from Collingwood: Chickapea Pasta

Being the entrepreneurial town that Collingwood is, a number of amazing businesses and products come out of here. Last summer, we told you about the success of the creators of Georgian Bay Gin Smash. Well, now there is another very successful product line in town, and this one is definitely for Collingwood residents who like to eat healthy.

Chickapea Pasta was started by Collingwood’s Shelby Taylor, who made a successful transition from health food store owner to full-fledged owner of her product line. Feeling a need for more nutritious options for kids that were also quick and easy, a pregnant Taylor got to work on her product – a gluten-free pasta made from chickpeas and lentils.

As the winner of the exC!te Experience in Barrie, where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas, Taylor started off with a line of dried, organic baby food. From there, she got the attention of the Georgian Angel Network, where investors were keen to award her grant money to get her products out to the market. She received a reward of more than $30,000 from the Ontario Centre for Excellence Smart Start Seed Fund, which allowed her to get her product on the shelves.

The product is now sold in more than 500 Canadian stores and just recently launched in the U.S. market. Canadian Restaurant News named it as one of their products of the week and Taylor has been featured on many news shows in the country to promote her fantastic product.


Since becoming an entrepreneurial success in Collingwood, Taylor also likes giving back and recently donated more than 3,000 boxes of her Chickapea Pasta to The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto. She felt that everyone should be able to eat healthy foods, no matter their situation.

So what is Chickapea Pasta?

With three shapes of pasta available, Chickapea Pasta is made from organic chickpeas and red lentils – and that’s it. The ingredients are sourced locally in Ontario, although the manufacturing is done in the U.S., for the time being. The super nutritious pasta has 23 grams of protein, 11 grams of fibre and is high in iron and b vitamins. Taylor says that her pasta tastes even better than regular pasta, with a smooth texture and it may even be hard to overcook it, which is also unlike traditional pasta.

Check out the very healthy and delicious recipes on her site for ideas on how to cook Chickapea Pasta.

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Collingwood Ranked #1 Entrepreneurial Community in Canada

Last year, Collingwood ranked 3rd in the ranking of entrepreneurial communities in Canada and this year it has raised the bar and come in first! Now Canada’s most entrepreneurial community, this means that Collingwood is the best spot in the country to start a new business.

Rated by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, their 2016 survey found Collingwood in the top spot because they are inviting to new business creation, growth and its prosperity. Organizations in the community that support new business include the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce, Georgian College and other small organizations.

Why is Collingwood so great?

Some in the city say the reason they were ranked highest was because of the entrepreneurial spirit in the community and the prime location for working. With the water and the mountains and the abundance of nature, people are better able to work and think clearly.

With competing communities all over Canada, Collingwood was up against some great contenders. The top ten spots went to:

2) Riviere-du-Loup, QC

3) Kelowna, BC

4) Penticton, BC

5) Toronto periphery, ON (905)

6) Barrie, ON

7) Kentville, NS

8) Saint-Georges, QC

9) Chilliwack, BC

10) Cobourg, ON

Interestingly enough, several British Columbia cities were chosen, which could be for the same speculated reasons – the surrounding environment makes it such a great place to work and start a business.

Barrie was chosen as the number six spot on the list, and with its close proximity to Collingwood, that gives Collingwood residents two cities in reach to start a business and thrive.


The best place in the country to live and work

With the amazing growth we’ve had in Collingwood, both in business and residential, there aren’t any doubts that Collingwood is one of the best spots in the country to live.

If you are interested in starting a business in Collingwood, visit the Business Development Centre. This is a collaborative project between the Town of Collingwood, the Downtown Collingwood Business Improvement Area, the Small Business Enterprise Centre and the Centre for Business and Economic Development to encourage business growth and job creation. There are a number of business events to attend, including networking, job fairs and mentorship series.

Residents who need a spot to work, network and collaborate should look no further than The Creative Space, which will open in November. This co-working space has been in the works for two years and is going to be a game-changer in terms of business in the community, with space to work, meet and learn.

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Success for Area Entrepreneurs with Gin Smash

There have been many successful ventures that have come out of our area. Collingwood was voted one of the top places to start and grow a small business in a ranking of Canada’s top entrepreneurial cities. One recent extremely successful business that was created in the area is Georgian Bay Spirits. While they’ve been around for a while with products like Georgian Bay Vodka and Georgian Bay Gin, it wasn’t until their release of Georgian Bay Gin Smash did their business explode.

Made from local ingredients, Gin Smash has flown off the shelves at the LCBO and is the “hit of summer”. Created by founders Tim Keenleyside and Denzil Wadds, part-time residents in the south Georgian Bay region, the pair were shocked to find out that their new product was sold out all over Ontario.

A gin cooler, made with juniper berries harvested in Muskoka and water from the Elmvale aquifer, the cooler has been immensely popular, which caused production issues for the duo. They sold through their forecasted sales for the summer in the first month, which meant many were disappointed to find the shelves at the LCBO were empty of the product.

The Toronto Star has voted this “The best pre-mixed cocktail to have ever hit the LCBO” and many consumers agree, considering the inability to keep it stocked.


The Georgian Bay Spirit Co. was established in 2013, creating products that evoked the purity, balance and relaxation of beautiful Georgian Bay. Their first choice was the Elmvale water aquifer, as it has been touted as having the purest water on earth. They believe they’ve captured “the spirit of the bay in every bottle”.

Not only is their Gin Smash doing well in Ontario, their vodka has received awards in the World Spirits Competition including Best Vodka. Their next project is going to be creating a vodka cooler with their award-winning vodka and they hope for similar success from this cooler as they’ve had from Gin Smash.

The pair hope the production issues will be resolved soon and that they’ll be able to keep up with the demand. In the meantime, if you can’t find Gin Smash on the shelves at the LCBO, you could try one of their delicious recipes for things like Gin and Tonic, French 75, Salty Dawg and Southside.



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