This is a photo of the grain elevators in the Collingwood Harbour. It is hard to imagine that not very long ago this was a bustling port and ship building centre for the Great Lakes. I remember my godmother travelling up to see the last ship built being launched in 1986. I was a self-absorbed 20 year old and didn't understand why anyone would care about something like that. Since the yards closed the town has allowed developers to take over the waterfront and although there are some lovely paths and boardwalks along the water most of the land is private and the view is cut off by houses. The elevators themselves are slowly disintegrating, at one time there was talk about renovations with a restaurant and shops but it seems that idea stalled. The crazy thing is that there is no where to eat on the water from Wasaga Beach at the southern end of Georgian Bay to Tobermory at the tip of the peninsula which separates the Bay from Lake Huron despite the fact that that is the number one thing tourists (and locals) want to do when they visit the area. We have seven restaurants in our tiny town of 1400 souls, four of which have recently undergone renovations and reopened but so far it doesn't look like any of them are going to be the kind of place to take the kids to and not one is on the water.
If I had the money I would open a family-friendly restaurant like Flatbreads in Portland, Maine. One where you could arrive at by boat or wander down in the evening to sit at one of the picnic tables in your bath suit and flip flops with a cold beer. The kids would be kept happy watching the pizza cooking in the giant, wood fired oven and the food, of course, would be fresh, local and organic. Wishful thinking on my part but it just seems that in an area that is known more and more for great restaurants, local wine and artisans we deserve a fun spot to take the kids or meet friends for a dinner that won't break the bank. So if anyone has any connections with the Flatbreads guys (I couldn't find a contact on their website for the head office) please send it my way.