Your Top 3 Property Tax-Related Questions Answered

Property tax happens to be one of the most visible and painful taxes that homeowners have to pay in Canada. This amount is not skimmed off of their paychecks all at once, they usually have to pay a big installment either on a monthly basis or 4 to 6 times per year. Homeowners also see their mortgage payments increase, if their lender insists that they themselves make the tax payments.

In Canada, the tenants also have to pay a property tax at a much higher rate than homeowners in some municipalities do, but it is usually worked into their rent. There is really no way to avoid the tax, the least you can do is try and understand it so you are better prepared. Here are some of the things you need to know about property tax.

How is Property Tax Calculated?

It is the responsibility of your municipality to assess the value of your home and apply a tax rate on it. If your home costs $300,000 and the tax rate that you pay is 2%, then you pay 2% of $300,000, which is $6,000 a year.

How is My Tax Assessment Determined?

Municipality Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is a non-profit agency responsible for assessing your property and sending a notice of assessment to you. The assessment that they conduct is to reflect the price that your property would obtain if it is put up for sale. This agency also tracks the real estate sales in neighborhoods so it can put a particular value on a one-bedroom condo in the neighborhood you are in. The assessment of your property may also reduce if it is situated beside a busy corner or a gas station or boost its tax assessment if situated next to a street backing on a ravine. 

How is the Tax Rate Selected?

The tax rate of your property is chosen by your city or town council based on their annual budgeting process. If there is a Regional Council in your neighborhood, they can also set a tax rate.  Toronto, however, has no Regional government, but other municipalities such as Greater Toronto have both the local and the regional governments, which is something you should be mindful of. 

Finally, the provincial government is responsible for setting a tax rate when it comes to education. These three rates are then added together. Suppose that the local tax is 1%, the regional tax is 1%, and the education tax is 0.5%. This would translate into an overall tax rate that is 2.5%. However, the city or down collects attacks on behalf of all of these governments, so what you get is just one bill for all three taxes. 

If you have any questions regarding taxes, you can always reach out to one of our property experts at Collingwood Homes before you finalize the purchase of your next property. Give us a call now, and don’t hesitate to discuss further. 

Culturally Authentic Restaurants in Collingwood

With COVID-19 lockdowns extending to keep our community safe from infection, many restaurants have to remain closed for the foreseeable future. At the same time, families feel burnt out from the constant need to come up with new and exciting meal ideas for their families without the occasional break an outing to a restaurant can provide.

Fortunately, many restaurants can continue offering take-out and delivery services, including some culturally interesting options in Collingwood. So if you’re looking to try a meal from a different culture than your own, or just want a break from your own home-cooking, you’ve got some great options to chose from.

Baked and Pickled for Mexican, Breads, and Preserves

After multiple trips to Mexico, Baked and Pickled’s owner realized that the traditional flavours of Mexican food he had come to love were not available back at home in Collingwood. So, working with local growers, he sourced many of the spices and peppers—including Mexican Oregano, Poblano, and Guajillo and Arbol peppers—needed to recreate authentic Mexican dishes.

Choose from meat and vegetarian tacos, enchiladas, tortas, nachos, and more. Or, if you’re in the mood for freshly baked breads or home-preserved pickles and preserves, there’s something for everyone at this small-batch and friendly local establishment.

Fig & Feta Greek Eatery and Market

Growing up in the restaurant business with her parents in Collingwood, Fig & Feta’s owner has cooking and catering in her DNA. This Greek eatery and market currently offers pre-made Greek meals, house-made dips and sauces, specialty Greek products, and Beer and Greek Wine selection. The food here places a strong emphasis on authentic raw ingredients and unadulterated simple dishes simmered and seasoned with herbs and olive oil. Pick-up and delivery services are available.

Dags & Willow for Gourmet Cheeses and Catered Trays

Dags & Willow Fine Cheese and Gourmet Shop offers an extensive collection of artisan cheeses in the Collingwood area, as well as a wide selection of fresh and frozen prepared foods, breads and bagels, and many gourmet packaged goods for gifts or your own pantry.

Catering trays of various appetizers, salads, mains, and wines are available for groups of two to four people, providing your family with a multiple-course meal for special occasions or a fun backyard gathering. Their retail store is currently open, and they also offer curbside pick-up.

Sushi Hon for Japanese

Sushi Hon offers a modern approach to the traditions of Japanese cuisine by bringing Aburi Oshi Sushi to Collingwood. This dish uses binchotan—Japanese bamboo charcoal—to flame-sear pressed sushi with our signature sauce. Aburi Oshi Sushi elevates the flavours and textures of traditional sushi. Sushi Hon also includes multiple meat and vegetarian sushi options to their extensive menu and is currently offering pick-up orders only.



Tagged : / / / / /

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).

Tagged : / / /

4 Must-Try Restaurants in Collingwood, ON

One of the best ways to deal with winter gloom is going out for a nice meal with friends or family members. A delicious meal is a perfect distraction from the bitter cold temperature outside. Although a home cooked meal is never a bad choice, there is something special about going out to a restaurant. Thankfully, Collingwood, ON has an abundance of wonderful restaurants with mouthwatering meals.


Brunello at 27 on Fourth


Whether it’s pasta, meatballs or pizza, Italian food is loved around the world. It can be difficult to find good Italian food in Canada, however, Brunello at 27 on Fourth makes it easy for Collingwood residents to enjoy their favorite cuisine. Brunello at 27 on Fourth offers a wide variety of Italian classics. The restaurant has an amazing atmosphere and equally fantastic service. Brunello at 27 on Fourth also offers a variety of vegetarian options, making it a great choice for those who don’t eat meat.


Fish and Sips


There are few food combinations that go together better than fish and chips. Collingwood residents who can’t resist the greasy goodness can stop in at Fish and Sips. This fish and chips restaurant offers customers large servings of flaky, delicious fish and crispy, warm fries. Along with the classics, Fish and Sips also offer a handful of gluten-free items on their menu.

Northwinds Brewhouse and Kitchen


Those that need a cold beer to go along with their dinner can stop by Northwinds Brewhouse and Kitchen. This is a traditional pub-style restaurant that serves a wide selection of quality food and drinks. Northwinds Brewhouse and Kitchen have become a favorite among the Collingwood locals. This is partially thanks to its variety of unique, in-house beers. The quality beer mixed with delicious food has made the Northwinds Brewhouse and Kitchen a must-go restaurant.


Bent Taco


From crunchy tacos to saucy quesadillas, Mexican cuisine has so much to offer, especially in the cold winter months. Those looking to add some spice to their life can give Bent Taco a try. This mouthwatering Mexican restaurant offers a large selection of traditional and innovative meals. The service at Bent Taco is casual, friendly and attentive. This, along with the delicious food, makes Bent Taco the destination for Mexican food in Collingwood.


With a little bit of research, anyone can find the perfect restaurant to eat out at in Collingwood, ON.


Tagged : / /

5 Must Try Coffee Shops and Cafes in Collingwood, ON


Although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Canadians love their coffee. We love it so much in fact, that in 2015, we ranked 1st out of 80 countries for the most litres of coffee drank per capita. That’s a lot of coffee.


With winter just around the corner, it never seem like a bad time for a warm cup of coffee. Thankfully, Collingwood, ON has a number of fantastic cafes and coffee shops to peruse. Whether you want to go with a traditionally Canadian double double or a shot of some powerful espresso, the wonderful coffee shops of Collingwood have you covered.


Ashanti Coffee


Ashanti Coffee is the perfect mix of a rustic and clean aesthetic. The shop has a delightful atmosphere and is in a lovely location. It is a great spot to grab lunch with a co-worker or friend on a chilly afternoon in Collingwood.


Journeys Blend Cafe

Those who are looking for a modern atmosphere may want to check out Journeys Blend Cafe. Journeys Blend Cafe is a non-profit restaurant that offers a variety of different coffees and other warm beverages. Nothing goes better with one of their coffees than a homemade muffin or cookie. They are also known for having a fantastic French onion soup.



Heavenly Sweets Cafe


Anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth should probably check out Heavenly Sweets Cafe. As you could probably guess by the name, Heavenly Sweets Cafe is known for is sugary pastries and baked goodies. However, don’t let the name fool you, Heavenly Sweets Cafe serves a mean cup of coffee. Stop by for a treat after a fun day playing in the snow.


Espresso Post


If your looking for that classic coffee shop vibe, look no further than Espresso Post. The Espresso Post offers customers a wide variety of delicious snacks and some hard to resist coffee. The decour is unique and they have a great patio (although you may want to wait until it gets warmer).


Creemore Coffee Studio


Anyone who enjoys a good read and a warm cup of coffee are in luck. The Creemore Coffee Studio is right across the street from the Collingwood library. This makes it easy to find a good book and read away the afternoon with some delicious coffee. Creemore Coffee Studio is known for its butter tarts, so it might not be a bad idea to try one if build up an appetite from reading.


Whether it is black, double double, decaffeinated or iced, we Canadians drink a lot of coffee. Maybe it’s because Canada is so cold, or maybe we just have so many great coffee shops and cafes around. Collingwood is no exception to this and is chock-full of great places to grab a warm cup of coffee in winter. Be sure to check out as many as you can, as they all offer their own unique products with their own flavours. Although, if you plan on sleeping, don’t try them all in one day.


Tagged : / / / / /

Collingwood is Your Backyard: News and Events

Sometimes when you live in a specific location and spend most of your time there and get used to the daily routine and nuances of the area, it can be easy to miss when there is news and exciting things happening. After all, many of us read the newspaper for surrounding areas or world news, more than we do for what is happening in our own backyard. Think of this post as your mini neighbourhood update and read up on some exciting things about Collingwood and surrounding areas that recently showed up in the news.

New Collingwood Caesar Bar

The first of its kind in Canada, Steve Walker is launching 1858 Caesar Bar in Collingwood, an ode to his hometown and his love of Caesars. Starting out simply as a drink-making hobby, Walker soon turned to making a Caesar shot, before honing his recipes and skills and developing 20 specialty Caesar recipes, which are available in hundreds of combinations to be sold at his bar.  Customers will be able to pick their rim flavour, and a selection of other add-ins, as well as enjoy their drink with some food. To date business has “been crazy,” and Walker says it’s because they are “providing an experience,” and in a town like Collingwood, everyone is happy to have new experiences.

Collingwood is an Ideal Spot for an Active Getaway

As a city, Collingwood prides itself on offering lots of opportunities for residents to be active, get outside and stay healthy, in a beautiful community, with beautiful scenery all around. And now, it seems people are taking notice. Collingwood has been recommended as an ideal stop on an Ontario road trip, mentioning its 72 kilometres of trail systems within the community and amongst several other municipalities, as well as the ability to take in the world’s largest fresh water beach.  Show up in winter and there are several ski slopes, all of which encourage lots of active outdoor hours, while Wasaga Beach, Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, and the annual Elvis festival are all rated as great things to plan to do.

Staying Classic

Collingwood is not always just up for the new and first, and sometimes instead likes to keep things classic. Take your kids to offer them the opportunity to enjoy one of the classic movies in a free outdoor film series held at the Collingwood Shipyards Amphitheatre.  Highlighting the importance of classic films in entertainment history, the showings will take place the first and third Sunday of August, beginning at dusk, and all showings are free.

There is lots happening in Collingwood for the rest of the summer, and much of it is exciting enough to make the news. Come on out and enjoy what Collingwood has to offer for the last few weekends of summer vacation and remind yourself how much you appreciate your own backyard.

Collingwood Small Business Growth and Support

With a close-knit community like Collingwood, supporting each other through business and local initiatives is an important part of the community mindset.  Whether it is to shop at a local store, attend fairs and pop up shops that support new and upcoming talent, or to take the initiative yourself to become an entrepreneur and a small business owner, all of these areas are easier to navigate when you have some added knowledge, expertise, and support behind you.  That’s what the Small Business Enterprise Centre strives to offer.

In the spotlight now for their recent event Summer Company Business Showcase, held on July 4th, the Enterprise Centre worked with eight young entrepreneurs to help them network with the public and showcase their company. The centre works to give entrepreneurs the assistance they need to grow their business and to help them develop business skills that will launch them into success for years to come.  The staff at the centre act as the guiding hand behind the ideas and desires of the young owners to help them reach all their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Upcoming Events

For those who missed participating in or viewing the July 4th event however, you can still be a part and get involved in the small business side of Collingwood, on July 18th. Join fellow community members and Explore Entrepreneurship’s founder, Sandra Kahale for a networking event designed to bring together business owners at every stage of their learning, growth and development.  With growth as the theme for the evening, the event will offer part education, part networking and interacting, and part mentoring, with a chance for experienced business owners to share tips and techniques while new owners ask questions and get help.  Held from 5:30-8:30pm, at Gibson & Co., Midsummer Business Boost is sure to give you a fresh perspective, new inspiration and a great new group of like-minded business owners you can start to call your friends. Tickets are $25 and you should plan to reserve your spot ahead of time.

Other Programs and Resources

The Business Enterprise Centre does not stop at just events though. It also seeks to help those starting out in business by offering a selection of resources such as a starting checklist, business plan layouts, and important information on licensing and registration.  There is information available on what to expect in terms of costs and financing, as well as business insurance and marketing your business.  Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of the opportunity for a free consultation with one of their knowledgeable staff members in asking your initial business questions, and finding out where to begin on your entrepreneurial journey.  While you are at it, be sure to ask them if Starter Company Plus, a business development program, may be the right fit for you.

Whether you are supporting the community or starting your own business, the Business Enterprise Centre has something for you if you are looking to develop your role as an entrepreneur or small business owner. Book in for July 18th and then make use of their additional resources to get you started on your path to success.

Business in Collingwood

With a small town feel and a community that regularly comes together in support of one another, there is much to be celebrated when it comes to looking at the businesses that form the financial and economic framework of the city.  On the heels of the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce Business awards, it’s time for us to take a few minutes to highlight the amazing accomplishments and mentality of the business people of Collingwood.

Celebrating Business Success

On Thursday, May 31st, the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce handed out the business excellence awards. Handing out 10 awards, the ceremony and the awards it offered were a way to honour the hard work of small business owners in the community as well as to bring together members of Collingwood, welcoming everyone to a sold-out event at Bear Estates.   Ranging from Small Business Owner of the Year to innovation, to awards in several industries, such as service, accommodation and restaurant, the event acted not only as a way to honour owners, but also as a way to increase business exposure and show what they can offer to the greater Collingwood community.

Highlighting Locals

While the awards seek to bring attention to exemplary businesses and people in the community, the goodness of our city means this is happening all over the place, without any awards necessary. Take for example, Simcoe Street Books, a boutique book store, owned by local residents that is seeking to bring Collingwood together and support the community. Making use of the vintage theatre to hold special events, the store also offers a publishing service, where they seek to “give a voice to people locally who may not have a chance otherwise.” Events typically focus on highlighting local talent, and on June 10th, Sarah Selecky and Genevieve Scott, two Canadian authors, will be speaking in the space.

Praising Forward Thinking

There’s more than just books at the heart of innovative, progressive development in Collingwood businesses. Collingwood resident, Christina Strong, is not just trying to boost local business, but to make local businesses accessible.  In a wheelchair, Strong works as a public awareness co-ordinator to Independent Living Services in Simcoe County and Area to encourage employers to train staff to be sensitive to those with physical or mental obstacles and to offer assistance. She advocates for improved signage, improved physical access, and simply asking to be heard and not ignored. She promotes these messages through her workshop “My Business Welcomes Everyone,” which was recently held during National Accessibility Awareness Week.

Whether you are looking to learn more about Collingwood business, to celebrate the achievements of current business owners, or to join in on advocating for better access to businesses, there is much to applaud when it comes to successful business in our city. Do your part and support small businesses in the area, and don’t be afraid to talk to your local business owner.  They are after all, a Collingwood resident as well!

The Moonlight Market

With all of the hype over the solar eclipse this week, many in Collingwood may have forgotten about an important event – the Moonlight Market. This once-a-year event happens in downtown Collingwood and is just as magical as the solar eclipse. This year Moonlight Market will celebrate its fifth year.

Our very successful Saturday morning farmer’s market holds a special event every September called Moonlight Market. In addition to the morning market from 8:30am until 1pm, the vendors will be open and ready for business on Saturday, September 2nd from 6pm to 10pm in their usual location, which is located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Second and Pine Streets.

Have dinner at one of Collingwood’s great restaurants or buy dinner at the market, then shop the other vendors for all the best in produce, meat, baked goods, artisanal foods, crafts and artwork. The market employs the 100-mile market mantra and all of the produce is grown within 100 miles of Collingwood.

The market isn’t just about shopping either! There will be a number of entertainers for adults and kids. Jimmy and the Extractions, a local Collingwood band favourite will be there to play rock, alternative, and folk music. The Stilt Guys (who you may have seen at the Collingwood Elvis Festival) will be there as well, in glow-in-the-dark attire, to keep both adults and kids entertained.  

U-Pick Parties will have some balloon twisting and face painting for the kids (and the adults if you dare). There will be free (healthy!) treats from The Healthy Kids Community Challenge, an initiative that helps kids move, drink water and up their fruit and veggie intake with a number of great activities. If that isn’t enough, kids can play at the Imagination Playground, a block-based creative play system that kids love. The Mobile Active Play Trailer will also be there, offering free recreational activities for kids of all ages.

The regular market closes down after Thanksgiving weekend, so there isn’t much more time to enjoy this seasonal delight. Get out next weekend and check out the Moonlight Market, and revel in this time of harvest before the snow puts a damper on it!


Tagged : / / /

Get Set for Golf in Collingwood

You may have already noticed a familiar happening here in Collingwood. Out for your morning stroll or on your drive to walk, you see them: golfers. Collingwood may be well-known for their skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports, but once that snow melts, the links are where it’s at. We’ve got a number of amazing courses, which is why we are rated one of Ontario’s best golf destinations. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the many choices and levels of golf we have to offer. Here are just a few examples.

Blue Mountain Golf & Country Club

One of the top mentions has to go to this fantastic course, with its natural beauty on the Niagara Escarpment. This 18-hole facility is semi-private, which means there is an application process to become a member, along with initiation fees, but you may also play as a member of the public. Green fees for the public go as low as $45 on Thrifty Thursdays, but are $80 regularly, unless you are a guest of a member. There are also season pass and junior options available. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can join now and get your 2017 membership dues free!

collingwood golf
golf / golfer

Monterra Golf

A favourite of visitors to the area because of its close proximity to the Village at Blue, this easygoing course features rolling bent grass fairways through ravines and creeks, 86 bunkers and some kick-butt elevated tee shots. The setting is of course top-notch and all carts feature GPS tracking. The spring seasons started last week and goes until the snow starts falling. Memberships let you play every day except Saturday all season long, but for 2017, they are already sold out for the season. That tells you how popular this course truly is. You may have to “settle” for a round at $69 with your cart included, or a sunset round for only $39!

Osler Brook Golf and Country Club

Another beautiful course taking advantage of what our area has to offer in terms of scenic views, rolling greens and natural water features, this championship course is the spot to play this season. With views of Georgian Bay, Osler Brook is known as an environmentally responsible course and they actually increased wetland acreage on the property during construction. It was designed by Graham Cooke, a world-renowned golf course architect and this site was chosen for its drama, with high ridges and deep forests on the property. Prior to your tee off, take advantage of unlimited driving range use. Non-member play is restricted to Monday to Thursday and memberships are available to adults, juniors and intermediates.

Are you going to be heading out onto the links in Collingwood this year?

Tagged : /