Retirement Real Estate in Ontario: Collingwood & Barrie

Retirement Real Estate in Ontario: Collingwood & Barrie

The southern shores of Georgian Bay currently hold some very interesting investment opportunities. A geographically striking region rich with outdoor recreation possibilities, proximity to sizable infrastructure and shipping routes make this area quite appealing to both individual and corporate investors. By examining this region’s local economic history, we’ll be able to hone in on the properties best suited for a retirement lifestyle.


Half-a-decade into the new millennium, the city of Collingwood entered a period of economic descent. A turbulent industrial sector resulted in significant downsizing throughout the area, creating a lull in employment levels which subsequently affected real estate values.

Happily, recent years have brought a period of modest growth throughout this region. Already a transportation hub, Collingwood hosts its own lake port and mid-sized airport – important access points for international operations seeking a cost-effective method to do business with nearby commercial hubs in Toronto, Windsor, and even Detroit.

Boasting a recent budget surplus of over two million dollars, Collingwood has currently earmarked 35 million dollars for the redevelopment of the town’s Centre Park – as well as an additional 5 million dollars for the construction of a brand new firehall. Local confidence has cued interest from the federal government and the private sector, resulting in a 4 million dollar grant to AGNORA, an architectural glass specialist – allowing the region to become increasingly competitive in this industry's multi-billion dollar international marketplace. Additional economic activity includes the development and construction of Balmoral Village, a 300 unit retirement home – as well as a recent multi-million dollar acquisition of Collus, one of the region’s most substantial energy providers.


Aesthetically situated on Kempenfelt Bay, residents are attracted to Barrie’s combination of big city industry and semi-rural surroundings. Bisected by Highway 400, the city lies nearly 90km north of Toronto. The prosperity of Canada’s thriving banking sector has proven extremely beneficial to this community of nearly 190,000. Home to regional headquarters and datacenters for BMO, TD Bank, and Scotiabank, Barrie’s economy is doubly reinforced by a busy tourism trade – driven primarily by the city’s historic waterfront and downtown. High-tech, communications, and manufacturing facilities are here too – with Albarrie Canada, CanPlas Industries, Barrie Metals, Glueckler Metal Inc, Bell Canada, Telus Mobility, and Transcomm Marketing providing significant employment to the region.

Barrie’s policy of expansion extends both its municipal infrastructure and city limits. In 2009, the city redefined its boundaries to include nearly 2300 additional hectares. Over a quarter of a billion dollars has been committed to a new surface water treatment plant, an expanded water pollution control plant, a biosolids storage facility, and a low lift pumping station. Investments at this scale are a very positive indicator for Barrie’s real estate market – making 2013 a smart time to consider acquiring such well-positioned retirement property.

Join us tomorrow, when we continue our spotlight on Southern Ontario. Our next article will feature the cities of Kitchener and Hamilton.

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Written by Josh Byer
Image by DewLittle of stock.xchng

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