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June 03, 2017 - June 04, 2017

From gardens to gables, museums to mansions, Doors Open Owen Sound gives you a wide-ranging look into our heritage.

In 2017, we feature a variety of sites that celebrate 160 years of Owen Sound and 150 years of Canada.

Owen Sound was originally known as Sydenham when it was first surveyed in 1840. European settlers began arriving the next year. Prior to that time, the area had been inhabited by the Ojibway First Nations. The community gained its current name in 1851, was incorporated as a town in 1857 and as a city in 1920. In 2017, Owen Sound marks 160 years since incorporation with Celebration 2017.

For much of its history, Owen Sound was a major port, known as the Chicago of the North. Its location on Georgian Bay gave it access to the upper Great Lakes, and major rail lines moved cargo south from there. The Gateway to the West, Owen Sound saw thousands of settlers move through on their way to the prairies. At one time, industries lined both sides of the bay.

Today, most of the old port-based industries are gone. But new industries have sprung up on the outskirts of the city. Provincial and federal services, regional shopping and entertainment districts all provide services to the population of Grey and Bruce counties. Tourism also plays a big part in our economy.

For Visitor Information, visit our website, like us on Facebook or call toll-free 1-800-675-5555.

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, we still have some open spaces – no heritage knowledge required … just enthusiasm.

What better way to learn more about these historical places than to spend a few hours volunteering at a site?

For more information, contact us at 519-376-4440, ext. 1256, or by email sollerton@owensound.ca.

Partial wheelchair access
National Historic Site (Canada)
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Bishop House Museum, Archives and National Historic Site

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
948 3rd Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-371-0031
Year built: 1884
Style: Queen Anne
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark, Museum
Saturday: Noon to 4 p.m.; Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m.

The boyhood home of First World War flying ace William Avery Bishop, is a well-preserved example of the Queen Anne revival style. The house features an eclectic mix of architectural elements, including asymmetrical proportions and decorative millwork. Dedicated as a museum in 1987, it was named a National Historic Site in 2002.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Trails

Community Waterfront Heritage Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1155 1st Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-371-3333
Year built: 1931
Building type: Historic landmark, Museum, Transportation
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In 1931, the Canadian National Railway built this station, which had a separate waiting room for women and children, to replace the original Grand Trunk station. Passenger service ended in 1970. Today, the station is a landmark and tourism hub, housing the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. Stroll down the nearby waterfront trail and learn more about Owen Sound’s port history.

Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Greenwood Cemetery and Mausoleum

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
190 1st Street Southwest
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-3203
Year built: 1927 (mausoleum)
Landscape type: Landscape
Style: Art deco
Building type: Cemetery
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; guided tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day

Greenwood Cemetery, bordered by stately maples and cedar hedges, is the final resting place of ship captains, politicians and prominent businessmen, and the only cemetery in Canada in which three Victoria Cross recipients are buried (including Billy Bishop). The Indiana-limestone-clad mausoleum, built in 1927, features marble interiors and impressive stained-glass windows. A walking tour brochure is available.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Self-guided tours available
Trails

Harrison Park Trail System

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Harrison Park Picnic Shelter, 75 2nd Avenue East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-1440
Landscape type: Natural heritage
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This elaborate system of trails, located within the largest park in Owen Sound, includes the Fitness Trail (1.2 kilometres/0.7 miles), Mile Drive (0.8 kilometres/0.5 miles), Freedom Trail (600 metres/0.4 miles), Weaver’s Creek Trail/Boardwalk (150 metres/0.1 miles) and a number of small secondary trails. Some of the trails are fully accessible.

Parking
Self-guided tours available

Highland Manor Inn Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
867 4th Avenue A West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-372-2699
Year built: c. 1875
Style: Victorian
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: Noon to 4 p.m.; Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m.

This impressive 697-square-metre (7,500-square-foot) manor – a fine example of high Victorian architecture – features a library, music room, cage elevator, Roman arches, 3.66-metre (12-foot) high plaster ceilings, stained-glass windows and a grand staircase. From 1919 to 1940, the house served as a maternity hospital.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available
Trails

Inglis Falls Conservation Area

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
237785 Inglis Falls Road
Georgian Bluffs, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-3076, ext. 224
Year built: 1862 (gristmill)
Landscape type: Conservation area
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; guided tours of the water filtration plant Sunday only

The Sydenham River cascades 18 metres (59 feet) over the Niagara Escarpment. See the remains of a water flume and grinding stones, once part of a grist, saw and woollen mill complex. Tour the filtration plant (Sunday only), built in 1910, where water was filtered and gravity-fed to local residents.

Parking
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Morland Place

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
102645 Grey Road 18
Georgian Bluffs, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-4617
Year built: 1920
Landscape type: Garden
Style: Georgian
Building type: Private residence
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Built by the McCallum family in 1920, Morland Place was originally a small, country cottage-style home. The expansion at the rear was modelled on the 1870s regency Georgian villa style. The gardens, which contain concrete statues and benches, are in the European architectural style. Parts of the house can be viewed from the front hall.

Partial wheelchair access
Washrooms
Self-guided tours available

Tom Thomson Art Gallery

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
840 1st Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-1932
Year built: Established in 1967; current building, 1988
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m.

This gallery houses a nationally significant collection of Tom Thomson's works and artifacts. Thomson (who grew up near Owen Sound) and the Group of Seven had a distinctive approach to portraying landscapes in the early 20th century. Starting May 30, a new exhibit, The Homefront, is inspired by the stories of women left behind when men went off to war.