One Day In Owen Sound

explore street the art in downtown core of Owen Sound

Owen Sound is not a typical road trip destination in the Province of Ontario, however, this little known city tucked along the shores of Georgian Bay is the perfect non-touristy destination to spend one day exploring.

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Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love a spontaneous road trip. Offering beautiful scenery of Georgian Bay, as well as numerous hiking trails and waterfalls, I opted for a quick one day road trip to Owen Sound.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what Owen Sound has to offer, let’s dive into a little bit of history.

History of Owen Sound, Ontario

Named after the founder of Canada, Sir Richard Owen, Owen Sound has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. Originally a fur trading post, the city quickly grew into a bustling hub for shipbuilding and transportation, serving as a key port during the 19th century.

How to Get to Owen Sound

Owen Sound is located approximately two hours north of Toronto. When spending only one day in Owen Sound, driving is the way to go. However, for longer stays, there are alternatives, such as travelling by bus. Car rentals are available upon arrival. Exploring Owen Sound by foot is not an easy task, or even an option, a car is required. If you are visiting Owen Sound for more than one day and opt to take the bus to the city, car rentals are available upon arrival.

Directions on how to get to Owen Sound from Toronto and surrounding area

Spending One Day in Owen Sound

Owen Sound may be a small Canadian city, but it’s packed with things to do and see. If you only have one day to explore, here’s how you can make the most of it.

Begin the day by packing up your road trip essentials and grab a Timmie’s (a road trip essential), before hitting the road.

Street Art Walk

Upon arriving in Owen Sound, begin by exploring the downtown core in order to get a feel for the city. There are many murals created by local artists scattered throughout the downtown area for visitors to enjoy.

Explore the Georgian Bay Shoreline

Owen Sound is located along the shores of Georgian Bay within walking distance from the downtown core. The shoreline offers an abundance of scenic vistas and crystal clear waters. Take a stroll along the boardwalk or rent a kayak to explore the bay up close.

Owen Sound located at the mouth of Georgian Bay is a vibrant manufacturing city

For a truly relaxing morning, the shoreline also offers many places for relaxation and fishing. Either pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while watching the boats come and go, or grab a bite from one of the food trucks that are scattered along the boardwalk.

Just One Tip: If visiting Owen Sound during the “off-season”, make sure to snap a few photos of the iconic Chi-Cheemaun ferry, which docks in Owen Sound during the colder months.

When visiting Owen Sound, grab your lunch from one of the food tructs that are scattered along the shoreline

Walter’s Falls

Walter’s Falls is located approximately 29 kilometers east of Owen Sound, reachable by Grey County Road 19 and 29.

Historically, Walter’s Falls was the site of an old saw mill and woolen mill which has since burnt down. Today the Falls sit directly behind the Walter’s Falls Inn & Spa, and the woolen mill still exists to this day.

The woolen mill is still standing at Walter's Falls and it's worth a short visit when visiting the Owen Sound area.

Forming a portion of the Bruce Trail, Walter’s Falls offers a tranquil escape from the city, as well as the Walter’s Falls Loop Trail, which will provide access to the base of the waterfalls.

Walter's Falls is a small town located just outside of Chatsworth.  You can find the Falls directly behind the Walters Falls Inn & Spa

Inglis Falls

In the alternative to visiting Walter’s Falls, it is highly recommended that visitors to Owen Sound visit Inglis Falls.

Inglis Falls is one of the most popular attractions in Owen Sound. Inglis Falls is a stunning waterfall nestled in a park setting. The waterfall is located in the heart of the city, making it a convenient stop for a quick photo opportunity.

I will admit that on this particular road trip, I didn’t go to Inglis Falls, as I was seeking a quieter venue, and with only one day to explore Owen Sound, there wasn’t enough time. Next time I’m in Owen Sound I’ll for sure visit this popular tourist attraction.

My favourite place to relax and have lunch when I'm spending the day in Owen Sound is under this huge weeping willow tree

More Owen Sound Tourist Attractions

My recommended itinerary will keep you busy for the entire day when visiting Owen Sound, however, if you have more than one day, you might want to explore the following attractions:

1. Visit the Tom Thomson Art Gallery – Located in downtown Owen Sound, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery showcases the work of regional and national artists, including the famous Canadian painter Tom Thomson.

2. Tour the Owen Sound Marine and Rail Museum – As a historical port, Owen Sound has a rich tradition of shipbuilding and transportation. The Owen Sound Marine and Rail Museum chronicles the city’s maritime history, with exhibits and artifacts showcasing the importance of the port and its contributions to the Canadian economy.

3. Hike more of the Bruce Trail – The Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, passes through Owen Sound. Hiking portions of the trail offers scenic vistas of Georgian Bay and the surrounding area.

More street art scattered throughout the downtown core of Owen Sound

4. Cheer on the Owen Sound Attack – During hockey season, hockey fans will want to take in a hockey game with the Owen Sound Attack. The Owen Sound Attack are one of 20 teams in the Ontario Hockey League

5. Attend the Roxy Theatre – This historic theater hosts live performances and movie screenings throughout the year, with a focus on Canadian and independent productions. Check the schedule to see what’s playing during your visit.

If you only have one day in Owen Sound, a stroll along the waterfront is an absolute must do

In Conclusion …

In conclusion, while Owen Sound may not be the most widely known destination in Ontario, it is definitely worth a visit. With good food, beautiful scenery, and plenty of cultural offerings, one day in Owen Sound is enough to make you fall in love with this charming city.


Kelly xo

Kelly is a writer and solo traveller who shares her adventures with the world. She is a mom, grandma, and lover of all things wine. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently.


Kelly is a writer and solo traveller who shares her adventures with the world. She is a mom, grandma, and lover of all things wine. Kelly’s passion lies in exploring Canada and other parts of the world and sharing her experiences with others.

As a senior traveller, Kelly aims to inspire others to live their best life and not be afraid to venture out into the world on their own. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently.

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14 thoughts on “One Day In Owen Sound

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  5. Jan Banerjee

    Owen Sound looks like the perfect place to visit for a weekend break from Toronto. I love those waterfalls and shoreline. The art gallery, rail and marine museum and the trail add to the things to do. That image of the food-truck meal looks totally yummy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda (LD Holland)

    We love to head out in Ontario and explore all the smaller towns. We have been to Owen Sound a few times. You found some great street art we missed. And we still have not made it to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. Lots of reason to go back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      My favourite part is hanging out by the river. There’s a great food truck in the summer. Next time you go, check out they alleys for the street art. Next time I go I’ll be chasing some waterfalls


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