Wasaga Beach is a city in Ontario, Canada that sits along the longest freshwater beach in the world. It is popular with summer tourists and is located at the southern end of Georgian Bay, about 150 kilometers north of Toronto and about 40 kilometers northwest of Barry.
To the west are Collingwood and the Blue Mountains, which also attract visitors for much of the year. The city is located along a long sandy beach in Nottawasaga Bay, which enters Georgian Bay and flows along the meandering Nottawasaga River. These beaches are part of the Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, which covers an area of 168 hectares.
As of 2021, Wasaga Beach has a permanent population of 24,862, but the population increases significantly during the summer months due to the arrival of many seasonal residents.
The city’s economy has been in trouble for several years, especially after a major fire in late 2007 that destroyed many stores. The city is heavily dependent on tourism revenue, especially during those periods when the shopping season lasts only three to four months a year.
In March 2017, the city adopted the Master Plan for downtown development, which is a 20-year strategy to substantially redevelop the tourist area and develop the business district. The main goal is to improve the tourism infrastructure, diversify the economy and change the perception of the city as a purely resort destination.