owen sound ontario


Owen Sound, ON

Lat: 44° 35.026    Long: 80° 56.512

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: City
  • Monitors VHF: 68
  • Charts: CHS 2201 2282 2283
  • Customs: (888) CANPASS (266-7277)
  • Coast Guard
  • Transient Docking
  • Anchorage
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Potable Water
  • Pump Out
  • Washrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Repair Services
  • Provisions
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Banks/ATM
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shopping
  • Internet
  • Amenities
  Important Numbers

Area Code519
Police(519) 376-1234
Hospital(519) 376-2121
Pharmacy(519) 371-1324


Port Distance (nm) Port Distance (nm)
Rogers City, MI 179 NW Killarney, ON 93 N
Tobermory, ON 76 N Bustard Islands, ON 83 N
Collingwood, ON 48 SE Parry Sound, ON 55 NE


Owen Sound Ontario lies at the head of a bay at the southeast end of Georgian Bay. Prior to European settlement, the area was home to several native peoples, eventually coming under the sway of the Iroquois. By 1700, the Iroquois had been driven out by the Ojibwe from much further north. The first Europeans in the region were likely Samuel de Champlain, the great French explorer, followed by other explorers and fur traders. In 1815, William Owen and Lt. Henry Bayfield surveyed the area and named the bay "Owen Sound", after Owen's brother, a Royal Navy Admiral. By the late 1830's, a settlement was laid out and the village of Sydenham began to grow. It was a port town from the outset. By the 1850's, the community was thriving and it was incorporated under the new name "Owen Sound". Railroads arrived and Owen Sound prospered as a very busy Great Lakes port. The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway brought an end to that chapter and the city has successfully shifted its focus to tourism.


The approaches to Owen Sound Ontario are clear and straight-forward. On the east side of the entrance to the sound is a Fl Green buoy - "T7", just off Vail Point. Leave this well off your port and come straight down the sound. Near the head of the sound, is a Fl GREEN light - "T9", off Squaw Point. The water shoals here so keep to the centre of the sound.

Most sailors choose to stay at the marina on the west side of the the outer harbour. There is a Fl RED light - "T12" in the centre of the outer harbour. The entrance to the marina will be on your starboard bow. The marina entrance is marked with a Fl RED light. The yacht club is immediately north of the marina. However, it is not set up to handle transients.


Georgian Shores Marina   (519) 371-3999   VHF 68
Georgian Shores Marina has 450 slips with 3-4 dozen available for transients. There is a fuel dock (dieseal and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There is water, power, cable TV and wireless internet available at the slips. This is a full-service marina with a licensed mechanic onsite. They are able to carry out engine, mechanical and electrical repairs and maintenance as well as hull and fibreglass repairs. There are washrooms, showers and laundry facilities. Other amenities include a well-stocked chandlery and a ship's store.

Georgian Yacht Club      
GYC is located immediately north of Georgian Shores Marina. As noted above, the club does not have docking facilities for transient sailors. They do have a fuel dock (gasoline) and a pumpout station, washrooms and showers.

Owen Sound Harbour   (519) 376-40841   
If you choose, you can leave the outer harbour, enter the river via the well-marked channel and follow it to the inner harbour. On the west side, you will find the harbour wall where you can tie up, usually without a fee. There are no services available.

Owen Sound (the bay) is deep water and you can anchor on the west side.


Georgian Shores Marina is a full-service marina (see above).

There is a large METRO supermarket that can meet all of your provisioning requirements.

All major banks are represented in Owen Sound. CIBC is the closest and has counter and ATM service.


Owen Sound Hospital (519) 376-2121 is a full-service hospital located about 3 mi/5 km east of the harbour.

Rexall Pharma Plus (519) 371-1324 is located in the downtown, just south of the inner harbour.


For some dining out options in Owen Sound Ontario, there is Shorty's Classic Grill, a popular bar/grill with a solid menu and a wide selection of beers. Norma Jean's is another popular restaurant. Both are located downtown. Another downtown favourite is Rocky Racoon Cafe.


Owen Sound Ontario is home to WWI flying ace and Victoria Cross winner Billy Bishop, the leading Allied air ace with 72 air victories. Billy Bishop Museum is located in his childhood home and displays artifacts from both WWi and WWII. Owen Sound Marine and Railroad Museum showcases Owen Sound's role in the development of Ontario and as an important transportation hub. The Roxy Theatre is home to Owen Sound's community performing arts group. Each summer, there are live theatre performances.

Harrison Park is an outstanding urban park located a short distance up the Sydenham River. Kelso Beach is located on the west side of the outer harbour, immediately southeast of the marina. It is a terrific beach with lots of extra things for kids to do.

The Emancipation Festival takes place at the beginning of August. Owen Sound was a northern terminus of the Underground Railway and many fleeing slaves who arrived here remained and settled. This festival is the longest, continuously running Emancipation festival in North America, celebrated without a break since 1862! Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival takes place in mid-August. There is also this Owen Sound Ontario site that will give you many ideas on getting the most of your visit.

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