spacer spacer
OSAIC / About Owen Sound Area / Harbour   Member LogIn   
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
The Owen Sound Harbour
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
View Local Owen Sound Harbour Library
Local Owen Sound Harbour
spacer
Photos of Owen Sound's harbour. Photos of the old and newly renovated harbour and a variety of boats within it.
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer Back in the last century and the beginning of our present one, Owen Sound was regarded as one of thefinest harbours on the Great Lakes system. Referred to as the "Chicago of the North", the city provided an important meeting point of rail and boat, the two principal methods of transportation at the time.

Boat traffic was steady during the months that the Great Lakes were navigable. In 1911, for instance, approximately 643 vessels docked in the city's harbour. Many of these boats would have been carrying passengers because Owen Sound was the main transfer point for passengers travelling to and from the western provinces on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Access to railway lines and close proximity to American ports also made Owen Sound an important centre for the import of goods; so much so that, for many years, an American Consulate was located here. With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and improvements made to the province's road system, Owen Sound's importance as a working port began to dwindle. While the harbour does maintain some of its commercial uses - freighters still winter here and the grain elevators are still in use - it has, within recent years become the focus for a considerable amount of recreational activity.
spacer spacer

spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer

spacer Two rivers merging with a natural harbour makes Owen Sound an ideal fishing spot. Anglers and boaters come from all over North America to participate in a number of annual fishing derbies. These derbies include: the Georgian Triangle Spring Trout Derby held in April and May; the Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular held at the end of August and beginning of September; and the Owen Sound Rainbow Derby held in October.

Ice-fishing is another sport which has become popular, and in winter, when the ice is thick along the bay, you can spot the fishermen's colourful ice-huts, rising like stained glass sculptures on the ice.

But you don't have to be a fisherman to enjoy boating on the harbour and bay. From sailing to canoeing , windsurfing and kayaking, there are plenty of ways to enjoy these sparkling waters. The Owen Sound Marina, a fully equipped marina located on the west shore of the harbour entrance along with two public boat launches, one located on the west side of the harbour near Kelso Beach and the other located on the east side beside the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, provide easy access to the water for all boating enthusiasts. In fact, Owen Sound contains the most boat launches on the entire Great Lakes system.
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer For those who enjoy the water from a distance, a walk around the harbour provides much to see and think about. The harbourside walk begins at Kelso Beach, where a small, beautiful marsh reminds us of what the area must have looked like to the original settlers. Across from the marsh rise the city's grain elevators. These large, cylindrical forms provide a tangible link to the city's past as a port of import. Beyond, on the other side of the harbour can be seen two cement silos. Still in operation, these silos point to the harbour's continuing commercial use.

Travelling towards the city centre you will find the Marine-Rail Heritage Museum. Opened in 1985, the museum pays tribute to the city's marine heritage, and is located in the old CN rail station.

Just outside of the museum are a number of artifacts representing the city's marine heritage, including a propeller and a logging tug .

Continue along the path to the inner harbour. Here is the winter home of the Ontario Northlands' Chi-Cheemaun, which provides transport between Tobermory and Manitoulin Island in the summer. Each August Civic Holiday weekend the harbour is the site of Harbour Heatwave and the Across the Bay Swim.
spacer spacer

spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer

spacer Venturing along the newly completed walk along the east side of the harbour continues the journey. From this side, you can view from a distance the places you were just a moment before. Keep going, until you reach a model ship just before the cement silos. Created in 1991, and made from cement, the "ship" commemorates two of the city's most important industries at the turn of the century - ship-building and cement production. The three masts represent those of the S.S. Manitoba built in Owen Sound 1889 -- the first steel-hulled vessel built on the Canadian side of the lakes.

Whether as an outlet for commercial ventures or recreational activities, Owen Sound harbour is a source of great pride to the city's residents. Perhaps there is no greater expression of this pride than the well-established annual rite of welcoming the first ship to enter the harbour after winter. For the residents here, the arrival of the first ship is more than an event; it is a symbol of their community's vitality - of its continuing ability to survive, grow and prosper.
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions Disclaimer Subscribe To Page
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
 Accessiblity Options Site Map Font:   [S]   [M]   [L] Color:   [Normal]   [Plain]
spacer
spacer