Courtesy visitgrey.ca Image by: Courtesy visitgrey.ca
We fell in love with this small scenic city, population 22,000, located in north-eastern Grey County on the shores of Georgian Bay, just below the Bruce Peninsula. The charm of the city is accented with its breathtaking setting as it is nestled in a valley that cuts through the Niagara Escarpment with the Sydenham river running through the city to the beautiful Harrison Park.
Owen Sound is a great place to raise a family or to retire. There are a plethora of activities for children to be involved in from sports (baseball, soccer, hockey, jack-rabbit skiing, figure skating, swimming, lacrosse, ringette, gymnastics, dance) to children's choir, children's theatre groups, music lessons, art lessons, opportunities at the library, the rec centre and the art gallery.
A small city with great options for everyone
The city is home to a very active Roxy Little theatre that continues to put on award-winning plays and musicals each year. Every summer for the last thirty years, Kelso Beach has been the picturesque setting for the Summerfolk music festival. Owen Sound is also home to the Georgian Bay Symphony. You can learn all about Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, and other local and Canadian artists with a visit to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. They also host arts and crafts shows to highlight local talent and offer classes if art is your bailiwick.
Visit the library next door and be sure to watch for the shows that they offer, including tips from the area spinners and quilters and find out how to get involved in learning to spin, knit or quilt. For the sports enthusiasts, take in an OHL game with the Owen Sound Attack team at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Centre or watch the Owen Sound Northstars Lacrosse team at their finest. After a hockey game, don't forget to walk along the river to enjoy the Festival of Northern Lights, during the holiday season.
Plenty to enjoy outdoors
If you are an outdoors person, this is the area for you. You can hike around the various falls that located in and near the city: Inglis Falls, Jones Falls, and Indian Falls. Other falls in Grey County include Walter's Falls, Eugenia, Falls, McGowan Falls and Weavers Creek Falls -- all within a short drive of the scenic city. Or you can just hike between Inglis Falls and the beautiful Harrison Park that is located in the heart of the city. In the wintertime, trade your hikers for cross-country skis and stop for hot chocolate at the beautiful Harrison Park Inn after your ski adventure. Don't forget to stop at the Mill Dam where you can watch the fish jump during spawning season!
Lots of local talent
After exploring there is nothing better than walking along the main street to take in many of the shops such as the Artists' Co-op that boasts the talents of our local artisans, then wander over to the library to stock up on next week's reading. Take your book to one of the local coffee houses, perhaps Riverside Cafe or The Frog Pond and start your reading while sipping a tasty beverage. Or better yet, treat yourself to Eggplant and Feta Quinoa Pie or Spinach and Herb Frittata at the Marketside Cafe while you chat with the owners and local patrons.
At the end of the day, travel a few minutes east of Owen Sound and enjoy a glass of wine at the stunning Coffin Ridge winery.
Almost thirty years later, we are still here and after raising our son, we are retired. And yes, we are still enjoying the treasures we have found while living in Owen Sound.
Sounds ideal and picturesque, doesn't it? Think your community can top the variety of options available in Owen Sound, Ont.? Nominate your community and tell us all about it for your chance to be featured on our site.