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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

Billy Bishop Home - 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.

This is the boyhood home of First World War flying ace William Avery Bishop and 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
Ontario 150

Centennial Tower

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
446 9th Avenue East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-1440
Year built: 1969
Architect: A.M. Mackay, Civil Engineer
Building type: Attraction, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Conceived as a Centennial project to celebrate 100 years of Canadian Confederation, the tower and surrounding park opened in 1969 through a joint effort of two Owen Sound high schools. The 10-metre (33-foot) tower atop the Niagara Escarpment sits on the foundations of an 1887 lime kiln and offers stunning views of the city and Owen Sound Bay.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Self-guided tours available

Central Westside United Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
310 10th Street West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-8319
Year built: 1910
Style: Edwardian
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Built in 1910 as Westside Methodist Church, this building remains much the same as it did then. Constructed of local materials with Renaissance proportions in the Akron style. A veranda was added to the northeast entrance and a wheelchair ramp at the west entrance. The pipe organ also dates from 1910.

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

Community Waterfront Heritage Centre and Visitors 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. Learn more about Owen Sound’s port history and stroll along the nearby waterfront trail.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Washrooms
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Georgian College, Centre for Marine Training and Research

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1450 8th Street East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-0840, ext. 2020
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Described as an IMAX theatre on steroids, the Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre at the Owen Sound campus of Georgian College features the most advanced marine training simulators in the country. Semi-guided tours include the Class A Simulator, which displays 360-degree images of nearly any port in the world!

Partial wheelchair access

Great Lakes Métis Council

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
380 9th Street East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-370-0435
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Great Lakes Métis Council is a local chartered community council representing the Métis citizens to assist in community development and empowerment. Oversees services to the Métis community including: educational services, economic development, genealogy and the Urban Multi-Purpose Aboriginal Youth Centre. Programs offered include: Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Program, Employment and Training and MNO Infinity Property Services.

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: 519-376-1440
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 business people. It is 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

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
Meet at the 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: Commercial, 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-high (12-foot-) 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 then 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.

Parking
Washrooms
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

Owen Sound Masonic Lodge

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1040 2nd Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Year built: c. 1920s
Style: Vernacular
Building type: Place of worship
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In 1980, the St. George’s Lodge and North Star Lodge (formed in 1857 and 1874 respectively) moved to this location, a former Latter Day Saints place of worship. Along with the furniture, much of the original woodwork was taken apart, carried across town and reassembled inside.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Full wheelchair access

Professional Centre

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
945 3rd Avenue East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-7552
Building type: Commercial, Private residence
Saturday only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This building was originally constructed to house Richardson, Bond & Wright Co. Limited printing – which operated at this location until the early 1970s when they relocated. The building has since been converted to offices and condos known as the Professional Centre and Centre Suites. Come and enjoy the views of downtown and harbour from the private rooftop terrace.

Parking
Partial wheelchair access
Kid-friendly
Guided tours available

Roselawn Bowling Club

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1555 5th Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Year built: 1948
Style: Vernacular
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m.

Lawn bowling has been a popular summer sport in Owen Sound for more than 100 years. The club, originally called Owen Sound North (Brooke) Lawnbowling Club, purchased this property for $200 in 1948. After a fire in the 1990s destroyed the St. George’s Lawnbowling Club facility, Roselawn welcomed its members. Visit and take the opportunity to try lawn bowling.

Parking
Full wheelchair access
Guided tours available
Self-guided tours available

St. George's Anglican Church

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
1049 4th Avenue East
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-376-3287
Year built: 1881
Architect: Marshall B. Aylesworth
Style: Gothic revival
Building type: Place of worship, Historic landmark
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 1 to 4 p.m.; organ recital by Music Director Richard Smith from 2 to 4 p.m.

St. George’s was fashioned after the renowned St. Mary’s of Bristol, England. Unlike the towers of typical English great churches, St. George’s tower is located on the side elevation, where the nave and transept walls meet, and serves as the main entrance. Otherwise, the church is laid out in the typical cruciform style of the early Victorian Gothic revival period.

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, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, houses a nationally significant collection of the works of Tom Thomson (1877-1917). A new exhibit, Betwixt & Between: An Untold Tom Thomson Story, is a multi-faceted, fully immersive, interactive exhibition designed to tie the story of Thomson with the often-overlooked history of the First Nations peoples of the Bruce Peninsula.

Self-guided tours available

Tone Studio

CONTACT INFO ARCHITECTURE DATES/HOURS OPEN
900 1st Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario
Telephone: 519-935-2610
Year built: 1871
Building type: Commercial
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Built of native stone in 1871 as a Congregational church, the property was sold in 1882 to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union for use as a meeting hall. The building became a Lutheran church in 1943, and the Christian Science Society bought it in 1963. It was sold to private interests in 2006 and is today a thriving yoga studio.