By: Patricia Ann Talley, MBA and Editor.
“What happened to Collingwood, Ontario?” That was the response from many Canadian residents in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo when we posted an article about sister cities that did not include the town. Zihuatanejo Builds Friendships and International Peace with its Sister Cities in the USA and Mexico.
Although there has not been much activity or interchange over the past few years, we’re happy to report that Collingwood is still a sister city to Zihuatanejo and communications have recently been restored. “We send warm greetings to the community of Zihuatanejo,” says Ms. Pamela Mc Dermid of the Collingwood/Zihuatanejo Sister City Committee.
Where is Collingwood, Ontario, Canada?
While we have many Canadian tourists and part-time residents in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, many Zihuatanejo residents don’t know much about our Canadian neighbor.
Canada is the world’s second largest country by area. It has ten provinces (like states): Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. It also has three territories: Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
The province of Ontario, Canada, is located in the Great Lakes area and borders the states of Michigan and Wisconsin in the United States.
The Town of Collingwood, Ontario, is located approximately two hours northwest of Toronto. The town is located along the shoreline of Georgian Bay and is in close proximity to the Niagara Escarpment, thus ideally situated between the winter resort areas to the west and the world’s longest freshwater beach to the east.
Collingwood’s historic Downtown Heritage Conservation District has an exciting array of boutique shops, services, and restaurants. The Collingwood Regional Airport is located just eight kilometers from Collingwood’s downtown core.
The People and Industry
Collingwood’s population has grown almost 20 percent over the past decade to about 19,000 people. It is the largest municipality in the area and functions as a major commercial center for the area, servicing an overall trade area of approximately 75,000 people. (Source: Statistics Canadian website, “NHS Focus on Geography Series – Collingwood“).
The town has substantial health, manufacturing, financial, and knowledge-based industries. Over the past thirty years, Collingwood has built up a reputation of being a great home base for tourists due to its close proximity to both ski areas and beaches. Today, the Collingwood area is a major tourist destination for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Past Interchange Programs with Zihuatanejo– Books That Talk!
Back in 2011, the Collingwood/Zihuatanejo Sister City Committee, with great support from Collingwood businesses, organized a project to give nearly five hundred new books with CDs to some Zihuatanejo schools and to the library in Barra de Potosi to help the children learn English.
The book project was organized by many local community members. Saunders Smart Apple Media provided the children’s books. Community residents volunteered to record them so that the children would have the advantage of listening to native English speakers as they were reading the books, facilitating their learning. Drew Wright, a Collingwood musician best known for being a Canadian Idol finalist, supervised the recording sessions for the project. Thanks to the generosity of West Jet Airlines and the efforts of some travellers from Thunder Bay, the books and CDs were packed in luggage and delivered to the children of Zihuatanejo. What a wonderful humanitarian project! Thank you!
Our Future Relationship
Many new flights are coming in from Canada this year, so we expect more activities and interchange programs for the communities of Zihuatanejo and Collingwood. See: Come on Down! New International Airline Flights to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo for 2014.
Special Thanks: “Gracias” to Ms. Pamela Mc Dermid of the Collingwood/Zihuatanejo Sister City Committee; Ms. Tanya Mazza, Coordinator of Arts and Culture for the Town of Collingwood; and Ms. Deana Black for their contributions to this article.
For more information about Ixtapa Zihuatanejo and surrounding areas, see: