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OSAIC / About Owen Sound Area / Spirit   Member LogIn   
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The Spirit of Owen Sound
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spacer There is very little doubt that in terms of location and number of natural attractions, Owen Sound is one of the most beautiful small cities in Ontario. It is also a city whose spirit matches its looks, as many of its residents will confirm.

With a population of just under 22,000, Owen Sound bustles with the energy of a city twice its size. No matter which aspect of the city you choose to examine - its economy, society, politics or culture - the key to this vitality seems to be a well-diversified identity that provides stimulation and sustains growth.

Owen Sound's economy, for instance, is largely based on its role as a regional centre for Grey and Bruce Counties and on the presence of a number of self-sustaining industrial and commercial enterprises. Many of the businesses located here offer supplies and services to the surrounding communities businesses such as car dealerships, hardware and equipment outlets, feed mills, office suppliers and retail outlets such as clothing stores, grocery stores, furniture stores, music, book and art stores and department stores. The city is also a financial centre for the area and plays host to a whole range of financial services such as banking, investment counselling, brokerage firms and real estate.
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spacer At the same time, large businesses such as Monroe's Auto Equipment, RBW Graphics, Goodyear Canada, and Pittsburgh Plate and Glass Canada help to make the city's economy independent from the surrounding area. The recent growth of small business and consulting firms which supply products and services to larger centres such as Toronto and London as well as the surrounding area also diversify the economy by bringing in revenue and providing local employment.

Many of the small businesses are second careers for the people who own and operate them. A large number of these people have opted out of the pressures of big city living and have chosen to settle in the Owen Sound area because of the quality of life the city and region offer. They have found that, by choosing Owen Sound, they have access to urban facilities and services, while at the same time, they receive all of the benefits a smaller community has to offer.

And there are many benefits to be found in this community.
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spacer As a centre for the region, Owen Sound contains a number of social and health services. The Grey Bruce Regional Health Centre, a hospital which offers a full range of services, is located here, as is the headquarters for the Bruce Grey Owen Sound Health Unit. These health services are enhanced by the presence of a number of extended care facilities and retirement homes such as Lee Manor, Hannah Walker Place, Summit Place and Bayview Manor. Community organizations provide a whole range of social and health related services. These organizations include the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the Alzheimer Society of Grey Bruce. Facilities such as the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library, The Family Y, The Georgian Club, Bayshore Racquet Club and the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre provide recreational outlets for the community, as do the city's parks.

In addition, the city is a centre for education in the area. There are many public schools in Owen Sound and the immediate vicinity, as well as high schools, Roman Catholic Separate Schools, and private academies. The western campus of Georgian College is also located here.

In terms of community life, Owen Sound offers a rich selection of sports activities and outlets. From lawn bowling and tennis to hockey, ringette, fishing and cycling, there are clubs and facilities available for people of all ages. Hockey in particular is an area favourite, and the Bayshore is home to the Owen Sound Attack, a Major Junior A hockey club and the Owen Sound Greys, a Junior B team.
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spacer There are a considerable number of cultural outlets as well, including historic museums, the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, the Roxy Playhouse, movie theatres and even a drive-in theatre - one of the last ones in the province! Plenty of community events such as dances, concerts and dinners are always going on, no matter what the time of year.

Service groups are the backbone of any community and are well represented in Owen Sound. Efforts on the part of these groups have contributed greatly to the city's quality of life. Each year, they raise money for a wide variety of charitable causes and events.

It is impossible to describe in a few short words all that the 'Scenic City' has to offer. But finding out for yourself is as simple as taking a walk through the centre of town. Watch the people strolling or fishing along the harbour. See the busker playing his guitar or the group of children chattering excitedly as they set off for an afternoon at Harrison Park. Say hello to the couple walking towards you. Chances are, they will respond with a smile and a few friendly words. And in their greeting lies the secret of Owen Sound: it may look like a city and have the facilities of a city, but solid country values warm its heart.
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