Collingwood Arts Centre Feasibility

The Town of Collingwood engaged Nordicity and Giaimo Architects to undertake a Feasibility Study for an Arts and Culture Centre in Collingwood. A preliminary vision identified that the Centre will be a place that celebrates the local vibrant arts sector and showcases it for Collingwood’s residents, families, seasonal visitors, and tourists. Key programming features will include a theatre and performing arts stage of professional excellence, rehearsal space, gallery and exhibition space, education and collaboration spaces, and other amenities for the arts.


Collingwood, Canada

Start Date



Phase 1 and 2 Completed in 2023


Town of Collingwood


Nordicity & Giaimo


Feasibility Study

Arts & Culture

Final Report

View Online


A review of Collingwood’s various municipal strategies demonstrated the prominent role of arts and culture in the town, as well as a commitment to supporting the sector’s growth. From this prior rationale, Nordicity and Giaimo undertook the following steps: public consultations through a survey, arts and culture stakeholder consultations through interviews, a roundtable, site tours, and regular and ad-hoc updates with the Collingwood Arts, Culture and Entertainment (CACE) group. Based on this analysis and consultation, Giaimo then developed size and scale recommendations to meet programming needs identified as part of the desired features of the facility, as well as a location analysis and design guidelines.

Site Exploration

The location analysis recommended that the Downtown and Waterfront areas of Collingwood are most suitable for a new Arts and Culture Centre. In particular, a cluster of cultural amenities located within or near the Downtown Heritage Conservation District, as well as the projected growth and development outlined in the Collingwood Waterfront Master Plan, indicated an opportunity for an Arts District within the downtown waterfront area that could serve both local community needs and visitors. A number of sites were considered within this area and further assessed as part of the Study. While not all were deemed suitable for recommendation, there were a number of sites that met the needs of the Study on a high level and were thus recommended for further consideration.

The six short-listed sites from Phase 1 were assessed and studied by Giaimo in Phase 2 through a
site selection evaluation framework. Based on this, the short-list was narrowed to two
recommended potential sites that both meet the needs of the size, scope, and vision for a new arts
centre. These are:
• 48 Ste. Marie St – a new 45,000 sq.ft. arts centre constructed on 35,000 sq.ft of parking lot in Downtown Collingwood
• Collingwood Terminals Redevelopment – a new 45,000 sq.ft. arts centre integrated with the larger Grain Terminal Redevelopment project currently underway by Streetcar Developments Inc. and Dream Unlimited Inc.

At the Town Council’s April 17th meeting, Council decided in favour of focusing solely on the 48 Ste. Marie Street site moving forward.

Design Guidelines

The new Arts Centre will need to integrate into the existing character and support the cultural value of the Downtown, while also allowing for the development of a state-of-the-art performance facility. There is potential for various building types for the identified sites: adaptive re-use, renovation, new construction – each with various benefits depending on the final site selected. Given this, Giaimo developed Design Guidelines focused on a series of key priorities: Contemporary & Quality Design; Context and Character; Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability; and Landscape and Public Realm.

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