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A weekend getaway guide to Collingwood

Posted by Mara Sofferin / June 15, 2012

collingwood ontarioWhen Torontonians think of Collingwood - the hilly part of Georgian Bay that is home to Blue Mountain - they tend to think of snowboarding, not wake-boarding. Yet, this quaint area, widely loved for its alpine appeal, is just as good in its green guise. An all-seasons playground, Collingwood packs a big punch in the summer months, and at a mere two hours from Toronto, it's definitely a destination to add to your weekend to-do list.

Weenie Roast 2.0
Cooking hot dogs on the campfire is a cottage country classic, but for carnivores who want to stray from convention there's Blue Ridge Meats, the all natural butcher that brings quality back to the backyard barbecue. With a selection that includes all-local beef, lamb, duck and pheasant, Chris Rich's Blue Ridge brings Collingwood cottagers first class fresh meat.

A Greener Shade of Blue
Tighten your harnesses and pick your wedgies - it's time to conquer Blue Mountain's canopies and caverns. In the very same place you shredded pow (read: manmade snow) mere months ago, you can zip-line through treetops and trek through grottos.

Drink Responsibly
Collingwood's can't-miss caffeine comes from the Espresso Post, a historical building turned coffee bar. Employing top notch baristas, the Post roasts and blends its beans in one of North America's most ecologically-advanced facilities, making for clean flavors (and a clean conscience). And, while I'm usually a purist when it comes to percolated potations, I must say the 'Luna' (espresso served over vanilla ice cream) is an easy exception to the rule.

Get Baked
Ever wondered what would happen if a former Fairmont executive chef set up shop in cottage country? Me neither, but Patrick Bourachot's Café Chartreuse brings this hypothesis to life and, well, breakfast in Collingwood has never been the same. Hint: get the pancakes.

The Big Cheese
A gourmet grocer whose flagship product is fine cheese...need I say more? Dags and Willow is the brainchild of Toronto-expats Kelly Siskind and Steven Epstein, an enterprising duo whose cheese emporium adheres to a liberal try-before-you-buy policy (amen). With over 150 kinds of cheese at any given time, the selection at Dags and Willow is a dream come true.

Live La Vita Local
The 9th season is underway for the famous Collingwood Farmers' Market, and it's bigger and better than ever. The market, which sells produce that is grown within 100-miles of its Pine Street post, runs every Saturday (rain or shine) and is one of the area's key social and economic hubs.

Ted's Range Road Diner
Located in the middle of nowhere, Ted's is a Quonset hut with a menu full of misfitting fare. The spread, which ranges from rack of lamb and rösti to scallops and schnitzel, is nonsensical in every respect. Also amid the miscellany: ostrich burgers and an alligator-caribou surf n' turf. 40 min from Collingwood.

Osprey Bluffs Honey House
Latter-day media is full of references to 'locavores', but when it comes to eating local, it's your friendly neighborhood honey bees that should be making headlines. The diet of these little guys consists of pollen, nectar and water within 3 kilometres of Osprey's apiaries - a feeding frenzy you can follow @ospreybeekeeper. From the Blue Mountains to your mug, Osprey Bluffs' hand-harvested honey is as local as it gets and can be purchased directly from the family farmstead in the Feversham. 40 min from Collingwood.

Beer Run
Brewer: Creemore Springs
Brew: Premium Lager
Style: Lager

Need a soundtrack for the ride up? Check out mine at the bottom of this post.

Mara Sofferin spends her days helping people find cottages. Canada Day is coming right up...want to rent a cottage in Collingwood? You can do it at



A weekend getaway guide to the Kawarthas
A weekend getaway guide to Muskoka

Photo of Blue Mountain trails by RoughSuga in the blogTO Flickr pool.



Emily / June 15, 2012 at 02:10 pm
Collingwood is great! Close to the beach and not far from Barrie. Something for every one!
downtown to snob / June 15, 2012 at 03:05 pm
Omgwtf is this now? Only losers dont live in the dt core!
alan / June 15, 2012 at 03:17 pm
is this the place north of eglinton?
Laura / June 15, 2012 at 03:38 pm
Great post! I used to go to Collingwood during the summer all the time with my family as a kid. The private beach for people staying in the Collingwood resort is pretty great - really clean, not too cold, not too rocky.
Heather / June 15, 2012 at 04:20 pm
Great playlist!!!
Karen / June 15, 2012 at 04:20 pm
Heading up there next weekend! Can't wait to try these places out!
sally / June 15, 2012 at 04:26 pm
I've never even considered Collingwood as an option until now!
Georgia Sweetnothins / June 15, 2012 at 04:30 pm
Collingwood is just 5 minutes from Eglinton.
You'll find it no problem.
Brent / June 15, 2012 at 04:30 pm
Love it up there!! Tonnes of great golf and SO close to Toronto.
Klaus / June 15, 2012 at 04:33 pm
As Germany is the best place to get a car, a beer, prescription drugs, military technology, chocolate, sauerkraut, investment advice, or polka music, is the best place to find a cottage rental!
Kyle / June 15, 2012 at 04:38 pm
Such a great destination for the whole family!
Ryan / June 15, 2012 at 05:12 pm
I think it's a huge omission to not include Tesoro in this post. It's probably one of the best Italian meals I've had in Ontario. Easily rivals Terroni or Pizzeria Libretto and the atmosphere is intimate and at the same time exciting (mainly because of the open kitchen).
Ryan replying to a comment from Karen / June 15, 2012 at 05:13 pm
Definitely check out Tesoro. It's the best restaurant in Collingwood. Not to knock Ted's. Both are great.
Scott / June 15, 2012 at 06:05 pm
Great place to getaway north of the city. Nothing like enjoying a nice creemore on the patio at Rusty's!
Rick replying to a comment from alan / June 15, 2012 at 08:13 pm
bahahaha. You sir, made my day.
J Franz / July 10, 2012 at 01:41 pm
Seems few on this post have a family. Collingwood is an excellent spot to get out of the city and has really spruced up its image from only a decade ago - you actually want to go there instead of just cruising through to Blue Mountain! Unfortunately as a result accommodations are a little pricey - we instead stayed more moderately at Carriage Hills Resort which we got for a week long deal through Suitelife Vacations and used this as our based to explore Collingwood and the the beaches. There's no better area in Ontario that's so close to TO and has so much to do for the kids!
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P. Lane / June 9, 2015 at 07:09 am
Is CAFE CHARTREUSE still there? Thought someone else had taken over and renamed it?
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