downtown tour map

This structure was built for William Legate in 1906, with shops below and apartments above. Legate established the Owen Sound Furniture House in 1914. 

The original Town Hall was built here in 1868 and it included an eight-sided wooden cupola with a dummy clock face which read 9:03 -- correct twice a day! This 'clock' was replaced in 1920 with a square tower and four-sided clock and chimes to commemorate the City's incorporation. Gutted by fire in 1961, the present City Hall was built in 1965. The space around City Hall is known as Hero's Square, featuring plaques honouring other prominent citizens, including the story of  John 'Daddy' Hall, veteran of the War of 1812, escaped slave and town crier.

Three years after his arrival in 1854, J.P. Coulson opened Coulson's British Hotel, the village's first major hotel. It had 80 rooms, stables, dining rooms, a bar, and a women's parlour. It became the hub of his expanding empire, which included stage coach lines, mail and freight services.

Originally the home of Parker's Drugstore, part of Upper Canada's (Ontario) first drugstore chain (Rexall), this building later became Owen Sound's first telegraph and telephone exchange, which was later taken over by Bell. The words "Parker's" and "Toiletries" are still visible above the entrance doorway.

Edgar Allan Fulford was born in Sydenham Township. He opened his first hardware store across from City Hall, and moved to this location in 1941. Original floors and fixtures help maintain this store's old-fashioned atmosphere. 

Built in 1912 as The Grand Opera House, it was purchased in the 1920s by John Griffin and renamed "Griffin's Theatre". With further renovations in 1948, it became an Odeon Theatre. The Owen Sound Little Theatre, formed in 1961, bought the building in 1986 and renovated it for their use. 

Built in 1912 as The Grand Opera House, it was purchased in the 1920s by John Griffin and renamed "Griffin's Theatre". With further renovations in 1948, it became an Odeon Theatre. The Owen Sound Little Theatre, formed in 1961, bought the building in 1986 and renovated it for their use. 

Built in the Beaux-Arts style as a Post Office in 1910, the building was sold in 1958 and now contains commercial uses and apartments. The main floor is constructed of rock-faced limestone, the second of ashlar (smooth faced stone), and the third is lit by alternating pediment and curved-roof dormers.

Built circa 1910, this building was first occupied by Laing & Gilchrist, druggists, with Imperial Optical and several doctors as tenants by mid-century.

Known as "Damnation Corners," four hotels once stood here, one on each corner. A block west, you will find "Salvation Corners", where four churches still stand.

Typical of late 19th century commercial buildings, this structure is a mix of late Victorian revival styles. This building is now home of the Owen Sound Artists' Co-op, a gallery showcasing local artists.

Irish-born John Sloan constructed this building around 1867, as a melodeon factory and sales outlet. He lived upstairs with his family until his death in about 1892. 

Built in 1887 as a hotel with 44 rooms, three parlours, a bar, dining room and commercial sample rooms, from 1904 to 1937 it was operated by daughters of Mrs. R.J. Doyle - a founder of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and did not serve alcohol.  The exterior of the building was restored in the 1980s.

Built around 1880, this three-storey, six-sided building was originally named the "Superior Block."  It was later named the "Griffith Block" for John Charles Griffith, who came to Owen Sound in 1875 and established a tannery and a harness shop.

These heritage buildings are typical of 19th century small town Ontario main streets.  992 2nd Ave East, built circa 1868, has a strong association with the tradition of independent druggists. Arthur Woods Manley, a chemist, opened his business here in 1885. In the 1940s it was Cecil McLeod Drugs.

Built in 1905, this three-storey Beaux-Arts building originally housed Ryan Bros., a dry goods store. That same year the four McKay brothers arrived in Owen Sound and set up shop across the street.  Due to stiff competition, the Ryan's sold out to the McKay brothers in 1924 for $60,000. McKay Bros. operated until 1989. Today, you can still see the faint 'Ryan Bros' and more obvious 'McKay's Dry Goods' painted on the south side of the building.

Once home to Douglas & Taylor Jewellers, the ground level storefront of this Victorian era building was remodelled in the 1920s. 

Irish immigrant Frederick Nicholas D'Orr LePan (see East Side Tour #15) purchased a lot on the northwest corner of 9th Street and 2nd Avenue East in 1848 for $150. He built a two-storey structure and opened a general store, which also sold wine and liquor. The store moved to this location in 1905 and was demolished in 2006. The new building here sports a replica boomtown front much like the one on the original LePan store.

Built in 1911 for Kilbourne Real Estate, this was soon the home of the Owen Sound Garage owned by H.H. Bowman (see Mill Dam Tour, #8), dealer in Ford and Oakland automobiles. Automotive-related services continued to be offered from this site into the late 1970s. It is being redeveloped in 2013 as The Sydenham, a condominium residence.

This structure was built from limestone cut on site in 1865 for a Congregational Church, which had many members who were escaped slaves.  In 1882 it was purchased as a meeting hall for the WCTU, which got its start in Owen Sound. A Lutheran Church in 1943, then a Christian Science Society in 1963, it passed into private hands in 2006.

A Mechanics' Institute lending library had existed since 1855, but free public library service was not available until the present building was opened in 1914 with an Andrew Carnegie grant. The addition dates from 1972. The original building was restored in 2003.

This site originally housed Heap's Furniture Factory, a board & batten building on a stone foundation, then a fanning mill factory. In 1900, after the factory burned down, local contractor J.C. Kennedy built this terrace on the original foundation.

The Market Building was constructed in 1868 as a private waterworks and taken over by the town in 1890. It is believed that some of the earliest church services for Blacks, namely "Little Zion Church" were held at this location. The building became a farmers' market in 1935. The surrounding site has been in continual use as a market for over 160 years, open year-round every Saturday morning.