The day of a ship launch was always a festive time in Collingwood. People flocked to the waterfront from miles around to watch the newly built ship slide sideways into the water, sending a monster wave across the harbour.
Shipbuilding was Collingwood’s largest industry – and the area’s largest employer – in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But the business declined, and the shipyard closed in 1986.
Today, there are many reminders of Collingwood’s marine heritage. The area where the ships were once built is now a community known as the Shipyards, and every summer there’s a festival called Side Launch Days to commemorate the mighty ships that once slid sideways into Georgian Bay.