April Offers Plenty of Opportunities to Participate in Important Challenges Facing the Region.

Have Your Voice Heard!

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay > News/Newsletters > Newsletter > April Offers Plenty of Opportunities to Participate in Important Challenges Facing the Region. Have Your Voice Heard!

In This Newsletter:

  • 2024 Sustainability Summit: Exploring a Regional Green Economy
  • Town of the Blue Mountains Housing Needs Assessment
  • Trinity Talks- An Attainable Housing Conversation with Developer, Thomas Vincent
  • Upcoming “Creative Communities Culture Conference” in Midland
  • Town of Collingwood Seeking Input for its Strategic Plan and Downtown Visioning Master Plan

2024 Sustainability Summit: Exploring a Regional Green Economy


Please register here: https://www.exploreblue.ca/sustainability-summit 

The Blue Mountains invites everyone to the Sustainability Summit, on April 25, at the Blue Mountain Village Conference Centre. This is an important event for businesses, organizations, and municipal governments as they converge to explore green economy concepts, including the circular economy, which focuses on reducing and diverting waste and lays the foundation for a new regional Green Economy Hub following the Green Economy Canada model. 

The Blue Mountains Future Story, the Town’s community sustainability plan, guides us towards collaborative action in creating climate solutions, fostering sustainable neighbourhoods, and cultivating a culture of innovation and prosperity. This inaugural annual Sustainability Summit is one of the Town’s Bold Actions to help build partnerships, share best practices, and inspire regional action as we work together towards a sustainable future.

As part of the Summit, the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay, Town of The Blue Mountains, Grey County, RTO7, Town of Collingwood, Blue Mountain Resort, MacLean Engineering, Collingwood Climate Action Team, Wasaga Beach Climate Action Team, Climate Action Now Network, and Georgian Bay Forever are developing a session to explore the feasibility of a Green Economy Hub here, as we believe that sustainability is a winning strategy for business.

If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or work for a business wanting to learn more about how sustainability goes hand-in-hand with profitability, please attend this Summit. You will learn more about businesses operating in the green economy and how a Green Economy Hub proves the business-case for sustainability by demonstrating how reducing emissions, water, and waste can improve the bottom line, mitigate business risks, help develop a credible brand, and improve the ability to attract and retain consumers, shareholders, and top tier employees. 

Green Economy Hubs are an innovative, community-based model of engaging businesses in climate action. Hubs bring together, support, and celebrate businesses in setting and achieving sustainability targets – providing tools and resources, 1:1 guidance, credible standards, and a regional network of other businesses to learn from. 

Measure your impact, set a target and make a plan, take action and celebrate results!    Register Today!

Housing Needs Assessment for The Blue Mountains


By Janet Findlay, Blue Mountains Ratepayers’ Association and the Institute’s Social Finance & Affordable Housing Group




As part of its Official Plan Update, consulting firm Parcel presented a Housing Needs Assessment for The Blue Mountains (TBM) at a public workshop last November. This report and other background papers by lead consultants SGL Planning & Design Inc. are available on the Town’s website and are being used to identify housing gaps and inform changes to the Official Plan now being drafted.

The Housing Needs Assessment can be found here 

This study reviewed data with respect to demographics, tenure, housing type, and affordability. It identified existing and potential future housing gaps as well as policies which could improve housing outcomes for current and future residents.

Some key findings include:

    • 64% of people working in TBM do not live here, resulting in a particularly large employment gap in the accommodation and food services sector due to unaffordable housing costs
    • in 2021 there was an affordable housing gap of 215 units.  However, this figure was based on existing households in TBM who are in core housing need
    • this number does not account for people who would live here (because they work here) if appropriate housing was available
    • based on average prices and income deciles in the Town, rent is considered affordable at $1,160 per month or less.  There is no housing available in the Blue Mountains at these rents.
    • An affordable house price is $483,900 or less. 

As municipalities and businesses experience staff shortages, the competition for talent will grow, especially in our service sectors – hospitality, retail, and personal support care workers. The Blue Mountains Ratepayers’ Association hopes to work with the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay and other key organizations on a follow-up workshop to learn about the implications of the data in this report for our Town’s future.  Together we can develop some recommendations for municipal action for The Blue Mountains to consider that can align with progress being made on the housing crisis at the County level.


Public Meeting on April 9th: “Attainable housing in our community…and what it means for you”

By Elizabeth Theis, Trinity Talks

Trinity United Church invites you to a public meeting on Tuesday, April 9th at 7 pm: “Attainable housing in our community…and what it means for you”.

The evening’s program includes:

    • Presentation by local developer Thom Vincent (supported by Greenland Consulting Engineers and Popovich Associates)
    • Q&A session moderated by Ralph Sneyd
    • Informal discussion, displays, and light refreshments.

This is a resumption of our pre-COVID Trinity Talks series, featuring topics of interest and importance to our members and the broader community. In addition to members of The Institute for Southern Georgian Bay, we are inviting town councilors and staff, members of the Affordable Housing Task Force, local service clubs, and other local churches.


The Creative Communities Culture Conference is happening on April 19, 2024, in Midland

By Liz Cascagnette, Cultural Development Coordinator, Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay.


The Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay is excited to share information with about their exciting Creative Communities Culture Conference taking place on Friday, April 19, 2024, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Midland Cultural Centre, in the Town of Midland.  The theme for this bi-annual conference is “More Than Entertainment: The Value of Arts and Culture”. 

This is an opportunity for the arts and culture sector, individuals, and organizations, to enjoy a day of learning and networking while raising awareness of topics that impact all of us in our day-to-day business/work life.

This year’s conference will cover a variety of topics including:

    • Marketing – Demonstrating Your Value Proposition
    • Knowing Your Rights and Navigating Copyright
    • Getting the Most Out of Funding Opportunities
    • Care for Yourself: The Value of Arts Therapies

Tickets are $59 plus taxes and fees.  Visit the https://www.culturealliance.ca/conference website to find out more and get your tickets.


Collingwood Speaks: Your Voice, Our Future

Town of Collingwood logo

As Collingwood looks toward shaping its future, the Town is actively seeking input from its residents and stakeholders to drive the formulation of its new multi-year Strategic Plan and Downtown Visioning Master Plan. 

Residents are invited to participate in a survey aimed at gathering insights to guide the Town’s strategic direction. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and will be strictly confidential, anonymous, and voluntary. Utilizing diverse methodologies, the survey ensures the data collected is comprehensive, reliable, and reflective of community perspectives.  

“As a Collingwood resident (18 and older) you may be receiving a call sometime between March 18 and April 5 from a representative from Forum Research on the Town’s behalf. I encourage you to participate and have your voice heard!” Says Mayor Yvonne Hamlin.

If you do not receive a phone call from Forum Research, you are invited to participate in an online version of the survey at: https://survey.forumresearch.com/SE/1/COL1/  The deadline for the survey is April 5, 2024. Hard copies of the survey are also available at Town Hall, 97 Hurontario Street.