About the Shelter
The vision for the Georgian Triangle Humane Society, and the organization’s Shelter building, started in 1999 and The Collingwood and District Humane Society was born. In later years, the Collingwood and District Humane Society was changed to Georgian Bay Animal Rescue, and then ultimately The Georgian Triangle Humane Society, which it remains today.
The original vision was to have a building where the organization could house, help and adopt cats and dogs to forever homes. So, while volunteers rescued, cared for and placed cats and dogs in adoptive homes, they also began the massive project to build a shelter.
The Town of Collingwood kindly donated the land where the shelter would stand. With some funds in place, the shovel was placed into the ground and the birth of the long awaited shelter began in January 2007.
After many months of construction, the shelter was deemed ready to have their first inhabitants move in. By no means was the shelter finished, but all except the dog area could be considered complete enough to move in.
On January 29, 2010 the first animals moved in – 60 cats relocated from a temporary shelter in Craigleith who were fortunate enough to be the inaugural residents.
The building fund committee continued to raise the necessary funds to complete the dog area, including outside dog runs and play area. Many generous people, businesses, foundations and companies helped to finance the construction of our building. The sponsors are now recognized inside with plaques located on the walls of the reception area, rooms and kennels. We also had many Bricks purchased and it continues to be an ongoing campaign and a significant fundraiser. We are so very grateful for the generous hearts of our donors.Even with all of the wonderful donations of money, In kind Gifts and time from volunteers, we could not afford to complete the shelter until Justin Cork came along. His generous bequest allowed us to realize our dream and vision of a completed shelter.
The Justin & Eileen Cork Animal Shelter
The Story Behind The Name
Justin was a resident in Craigleith after retiring from his draftsman career. Justin and his wife Eileen engaged in many activities in the area. His main connection, that would eventually lead him to us, was playing squash at the local squash club. When his wife Eileen passed away in 2009 Justin was lost without her. A GTHS volunteer, Jim, befriended Justin and asked if he could help out at the shelter.
Jim would clean the non-animal areas of the shelter every 2 weeks and he needed a hand. Justin jumped at the chance – “I love animals” he said. So the next week Justin came to help Jim. Justin vacuumed and washed the floor while Jim dusted and collected the garbage.
Justin became very comfortable working at the shelter and proved to be very reliable and conscientious. He transported animals in his own van to-and-from the vet, he picked up litter, he installed blinds, he created signs and more. He really became a valuable, hard working and dedicated volunteer. The shelter volunteer role gave Justin a purpose and he loved it.
When Justin passed away, he left his most precious possession to Jim – his cat Zorro. He also indicated the Georgian Triangle Humane Society as a beneficiary, and left his van, condo, condo contents and residual estate to our organization. This allowed us to complete the long awaited dream of finishing our shelter.
Justin left quite the legacy and to show our thanks, our shelter has been named in Justin and Eileen’s Honour. The Justin and Eileen Cork Animal Shelter.