Harrison Park Master Plan

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In 2002, the City conducted an overall review of Harrison Park’s planning and overall condition of the park’s infrastructure. The purpose of the study was to identify areas of the park that required immediate or long-term planning and provide a list of actions to address these areas.

The 2002 study was conducted through many conversations with groups and individuals. The plan looked at the park in 8 areas and actions were developed for each of these areas based on the issues that had been identified.

The study also provided global recommendations for Harrison Park which included conducting projects that would address some of the issues observed and improve the operation of the park including:

  • Youth activity area;

  • Children’s play area;

  • Hard surface plaza for events;

  • Portable stage for concerts/ events;

  • Traffic circulation; and,

  • Infrastructure (utilities, water, sewer, electrical)

A master plan is an invaluable tool to ensure the seamless continuity of service delivery to the community and guide decision-makers in ensuring Harrison Park continues to meet the needs of residents and visitors. A master plan guides decisions on the Operating and Capital budget and ensures that the Park continues to meet the expectations of residents and visitors to the community.

To ensure plans remain relevant, it is a best practice to refresh and renew plans a minimum of every 10 years. The timeline for review is sometimes extended based on the timing of the implementation of the previous plan.

The Harrison Park Master Plan is now 21 years old. Many of the recommendations have been implemented since it was adopted, and it is an appropriate time to undertake a process to deliver a new Harrison Park Master Plan.

The 2023 Harrison Park Master Plan process is being conducted in-house using existing staff resources. A consultant will be retained to assist with the detailed recommendations around the bird sanctuary and waterfowl area.

Harrison Park is located within the valley area of the City on the Sydenham River in the southeast end of Owen Sound. Harrison Park is the largest park in the City of Owen Sound and the only regional park consisting of over 61 hectares of land (151 acres). In 1912, the City acquired that Park from John Harrison for $5,000. The money paid by the City reflected half of the estimated value of the lands at that time. The transfer from the Harrison Family to the City followed one and a half years of negotiation and real estate process.

Harrison Park is the largest park in the City of Owen Sound consisting of 45 hectares of land equalling almost 2% of the City’s total land area. Harrison Park was designated as a Cultural Heritage Landscape in 2013.

The Park is unique and has a complex combination of active and passive recreation areas. The Park is divided into nine functional areas:

1. West Park Entry;

2. West Woodland and Escarpment Lands;

3. Island and Pleasure Grounds;

4. Inn, Good Cheer Rink and Bandshell area

5. Community Hall, Court, Upper Meadow and Pool Area;

6. Campground Area;

7. Bird area and Parks Operations Yard;

8. The Mile Drive; and,

9. Toboggan Hill, Commemorative Forest Grove, Fitness Trail and Northeast Woodland;

In 2002, the City conducted an overall review of Harrison Park’s planning and overall condition of the park’s infrastructure. The purpose of the study was to identify areas of the park that required immediate or long-term planning and provide a list of actions to address these areas.

The 2002 study was conducted through many conversations with groups and individuals. The plan looked at the park in 8 areas and actions were developed for each of these areas based on the issues that had been identified.

The study also provided global recommendations for Harrison Park which included conducting projects that would address some of the issues observed and improve the operation of the park including:

  • Youth activity area;

  • Children’s play area;

  • Hard surface plaza for events;

  • Portable stage for concerts/ events;

  • Traffic circulation; and,

  • Infrastructure (utilities, water, sewer, electrical)

A master plan is an invaluable tool to ensure the seamless continuity of service delivery to the community and guide decision-makers in ensuring Harrison Park continues to meet the needs of residents and visitors. A master plan guides decisions on the Operating and Capital budget and ensures that the Park continues to meet the expectations of residents and visitors to the community.

To ensure plans remain relevant, it is a best practice to refresh and renew plans a minimum of every 10 years. The timeline for review is sometimes extended based on the timing of the implementation of the previous plan.

The Harrison Park Master Plan is now 21 years old. Many of the recommendations have been implemented since it was adopted, and it is an appropriate time to undertake a process to deliver a new Harrison Park Master Plan.

The 2023 Harrison Park Master Plan process is being conducted in-house using existing staff resources. A consultant will be retained to assist with the detailed recommendations around the bird sanctuary and waterfowl area.

Harrison Park is located within the valley area of the City on the Sydenham River in the southeast end of Owen Sound. Harrison Park is the largest park in the City of Owen Sound and the only regional park consisting of over 61 hectares of land (151 acres). In 1912, the City acquired that Park from John Harrison for $5,000. The money paid by the City reflected half of the estimated value of the lands at that time. The transfer from the Harrison Family to the City followed one and a half years of negotiation and real estate process.

Harrison Park is the largest park in the City of Owen Sound consisting of 45 hectares of land equalling almost 2% of the City’s total land area. Harrison Park was designated as a Cultural Heritage Landscape in 2013.

The Park is unique and has a complex combination of active and passive recreation areas. The Park is divided into nine functional areas:

1. West Park Entry;

2. West Woodland and Escarpment Lands;

3. Island and Pleasure Grounds;

4. Inn, Good Cheer Rink and Bandshell area

5. Community Hall, Court, Upper Meadow and Pool Area;

6. Campground Area;

7. Bird area and Parks Operations Yard;

8. The Mile Drive; and,

9. Toboggan Hill, Commemorative Forest Grove, Fitness Trail and Northeast Woodland;

Stories about Harrison Park

When Harrison Park was purchased by the City over a century ago from the family of founder John Harrisonit was deemed one of the most beautiful parks in Ontario. Today, it remains one of the area's greatest attractions, retaining the natural beauty and rustic charm that have drawn generations of people to its gates. 

With such a rich history, we want to hear your stories and memories of Harrison Park and preserve them for posterity We are grateful and appreciate for each submission!  

Thank you for submitting a storyHarrison Park is a wonderful place, and your story adds to its rich history 

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    Harrison Park: a gem within the City

    by Attack2017, 9 months ago
    We moved to Owen Sound about 8 years ago. One of the things we loved most about the City was Harrison Park. Our daughter loves to play in the parks, use the trails to rollerblade and visit the Xmas lights. We even had our wedding photos there. Everything from the outdoor rink in the winter to the salmon running makes this place so special. This place will continue to create core memories for em and my family.
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    Where Memories Are Formed and Live On

    by chrismarkbye, 9 months ago

    I was born in 1971 and I grew up close to the Park. I always lived within a short bike ride of the Fitness Trail (and I remember when the fitness stations were new and peppered along the length of that trail). I consider myself extremely lucky to have been in this situation; because of it, the Park has had (and continues to have!) a profound influence on me. It holds so many core memories that it will always occupy a special place in my heart, even though I moved away from Owen Sound 30 years ago. On multiple days... Continue reading

Page last updated: 28 May 2024, 01:54 PM