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THE HARRISON PARK INN
137 2nd Ave East
Owen Sound
Ontario
N4K 2E5

Tel: (519) 376-5151
OPEN 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
7 days a week!

Harrison Park

Harrison Park History

Harrison's Pleasure Grounds

We are very fortunate to be at the very center of activity in Harrison Park. As a full season park, it offers opportunities to relax in a park setting, hike along the trails, visit the bird sanctuary, and more!

With Biking, Walking, Paddling, Mini Golf, a large playground, experiential music makers, and a large trail system at your fingertips, there is so very much to do here at Harrison Park. And that is just the summer! In the winter, there is snowshoeing, cross county skiing, and of course crisp winter air morning walks in the sun kissed brilliant white snow.

After all of that excitement, or before heading out, you should consider visiting us for some of our great food and great service.

But how did it all come to be? What is this about the city receiving the park as a gift? What is the history of Harrison Park?

Harrison Park was created when a successful Owen Sound businessman bought 150 acres of land for $3,100.00 dollars. Included in this purchase price was the eighty acres that is now Harrison Park.

John Harrison had a love affair with this quiet beautiful piece of parkland that lay in the valley. The sturdy Sydenham River meandered through the wooded paradise and the surrounding hills provided a perfect setting for such a jewel. When John’s sawmill was seasonally slack he would send his men to improve the land. They built roads, bridges, buildings, benches, outhouses and walking paths for the enjoyment of the community. Harrison Park Nighttime After John’s death in 1902, the family began considering making the park a memorial for their father and a benefit to the town he loved and helped to build. So the family offered the land, then called Harrison’s Pleasure Grounds to the town at the exceedingly low price of $10,000.00 dollars, half of which the Harrison family would pay. This gift sale was offered only to the town and was not for sale to anyone else for any other purpose than a park for all to enjoy.

The council and community embraced the offer as the sum paid would not come close to the amount that John Harrison and his family had spent to improve the park over the 36 years they had nurtured it.

It should also be noted that the Harrison family was instrumental in creating a park commission so that the park could be maintained and developed properly along with the city’s five existing parks.

The park was turned over to the town officially on July 7, 1912. Because of the dream of John Harrison and the generosity of his family, the park has been enjoyed by this community and its visitors ever since!