Butchers, Bakers and
Building the Lakers

Voices of Collingwood

Celebrating 150 years of Collingwood's History,1858 - 2008

Butchers, Bakers and Building the LakersThe Story of Collingwood in the Voices of its People

The history of a place resides with its people. Heritage—both family and community—is a treasure beyond price. We seek out our roots to find a sense of belonging and discover that we, too, occupy a place in history.

In the stories and images found in the pages of Butchers, Bakers & Building the Lakers: Voices of Collingwood, readers can savour the richness of heritage preserved in the stories of 50, 100 and 150 years ago: stories passed on through generations of Collingwood’s people.

The building boom in Collingwood has reached huge proportions in recent years and a quick tour around town is all one needs to confirm the statistics. Where cornfields and grassland once stretched against the skyline, mushrooming developments can be seen pushing into the horizon in all directions.

As rural Ontario moves toward a changing landscape, heritage preservation becomes an urgent concern. But heritage goes beyond bricks and mortar. A local author has tapped this town’s richest resource to safeguard hidden treasures: the stories of its people.

In Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers: Voices of Collingwood, scheduled for release in Collingwood this fall, author Christine Cowley distills the stories of generations of Collingwood residents and combines it with historical research for a richly presented oral/pictorial history spanning more than 150 years—just in time to mark the town’s sesquicentennial anniversary.

Page 3, Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers"In every community there are gatekeepers to family and community history. The details they preserve in memory are what define a town like Collingwood. This book records recollections from about 70 of those individuals, and though there are many more stories left to tell, this is a good start.

"And the photographs are just incredible! I went into basements, attics and garages to help people sift through family snapshots, slides and memorabilia. They were so generous in what they were willing to share, and I was delighted I could include so much of it in the book."

With nearly 500 images, mostly from private collections, Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers: Voices of Collingwood provides more than just fascinating stories: maps, memorabilia and hundreds of unpublished photographs fill over 350 pages. A thorough index, endnotes and bibliography make it an ideal research tool for genealogists and local history buffs.

Get a sneak peek at Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers: Voices of Collingwood.

Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers backHardcover casebound with full-colour dust jacket
 Index, bibliography and endnotes
488 images colour/b & w, 368 pages , 9 x 12
ISBN 978-09784932-0-2 - Pub date: September 2008

Click here for a peek at the Cover and Pages 2-3.
These are PDF files.

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Here's what readers are saying about Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers: Voices of Collingwood:

"I’m reading someone else’s words but they are my memories."

Charlie Garrad, Toronto

"Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers should be required reading in all Collingwood schools. . . .You brought our town’s history alive and made it fun!"

George Czerny

"Every town and city has a history reflected in the bricks and buildings. Your book shows that the people are the mortar that holds the spirit of the town together... it will have a place of honour at my house, on the coffee table."

Dave Saunders

Butchers, Bakers and Building the Lakers page 2"We just finished 'the birthday party' for Bill. He is absolutely thrilled with your book!!!! He wants 3 more to give to his children... He has spent the last hour going through the book and knows at least 40-50 people who have written in the book or have been mentioned. He loved this gift and is taking it with him to Toronto today.

I myself spent a couple of hours reading your book last night & I can't tell you how much I am enjoying your writing style and all the precious work you have compiled giving this community and the families such a great gift that generations to come will treasure. The beautiful pictures, maps & bits of Collingwood trivia & life are so well laid out as they wend through the chapters bringing us to the present day which I think is an important piece as this history is in the making today. . . This book will touch the lives of many, many people. Thank you for all of this!!

. . . Just wanted to let you know––we got the 3 books you sent! Thank you so much for the great wrapping, protective packaging and for putting the names on the front. You thought of everything!

Michele Collins, Huntsville

"When you really look back, Collingwood was the gateway to the west. There was no railway through northern Ontario. You had to come to Collingwood to take a boat to the head of the lakes."

Ronald Brock

“There’s been five generations of our family in Collingwood—I’m the fifth. My great great grandfather came up from Bradford in 1862 … And we had that business on the main street until 1986.”

Jim Trott

I remember as a little child asking my dad, “How did we choose Collingwood?” “Oh,” he used to say, “I always heard about Collingwood.”

Audrey (Sandell) Westlake

So find a cozy corner, pull up a comfortable chair and get ready to share the heritage of the Town of Collingwood’s first 150 years.

Butchers, Bakers & Building the Lakers: Voices of Collingwood was published as a Limited Edition in September 2008. It is now out of print. To purchase a copy while supplies last, contact us at info@lifegemsbio.com or by phone at 705-444-0104.

We ship worldwide!

Price, including shipping*:
  • Within Ontario $120.00
  • Within the rest of Canada $128.00
  • Ship to US $136.00
  • Ship Internationally $154.00
  • In person (local pick-up): $100.00*

  • * Plus GST where applicable.