You are here

Land and Property Information

The Commercial Needs Study

In 2002, the City of Owen Sound commissioned a comprehensive Commercial Needs Study of its retail needs.

Highlights of the Study:

  • Significantly, Owen Sound stores are currently experiencing high levels of capture from the primary trade area.
  • There is a total of 2.6 million square feet of occupied and vacant commercial space in Owen Sound.
  • Vacant space totalled 155,400 square feet throughout the City.
  • 45.7 per cent of commercial space in Owen Sound is located in the downtown core. The study also concludes that, at present, there is an appropriate balance of supply with demand.
  • In addition to delineating the primary and secondary trade areas, the study presents three population growth scenarios. Each scenario includes increased demand for retail and commercial services.

Commercial Needs Study (PDF)

The current rental housing market in the City of Owen Sound shows a healthy number of apartments available for rent.

While vacancy rates were extremely low in the mid-1980s, rates have risen through the 1990s. Units in small buildings (such as conversions) and bachelors have the highest vacancy rates currently.

Affordable homeownership has created an oversupply of apartments of all sizes and pushed rents down slightly.

The current rental housing market in the City of Owen Sound shows a healthy number of apartments available for rent.

While vacancy rates were extremely low in the mid-1980s, rates have risen through the 1990s. Units in small buildings (such as conversions) and bachelors have the highest vacancy rates currently.

Affordable homeownership has created an oversupply of apartments of all sizes and pushed rents down slightly.

The Owen Sound Industrial Park is approximately 600 acres of prime industrial land, half of which is ready and waiting for development, already zoned and already fully serviced.

To review available properties and learn more see the complete Industrial Park Map (PDF).


Prices vary significantly, depending on the location and services available. Leases for quality industrial space can range from as low as $3.00 per square foot triple net to $5.00, although leases have been negotiated for less.

City Property Available for Development

City owned industrial lands sell for $30,000 per acre, fully serviced. Purchases of 10 acres or more can be subject to negotiation contingent on the number of jobs created, size of structure and the construction schedule.

The City has lots available right now, zoned for manufacturing and varying in size from 1 to 70 acres.

Private Property Available for Development

Before making an offer on privately owned land, confirm the status of existing services, any outstanding development fees and the current zoning of the property.


The serviced parts of the industrial park include:

  • water
  • sewer
  • waste disposal
  • three phase electrical services
  • 6-inch natural gas line
  • easy access to major highways

Owen Sound and area has a broad range of affordable and available housing. Real estate prices in the city tend to be much less than in urban areas to the south of the city.

Average Owen Sound Real Estate Prices:

Home prices in the Grey/Bruce area continue to increase with the average around $200,000. New housing developments along the City's waterfront are expected to create new condos..
For the most current real estate prices and activity, please visit:

Waterfront Developments Concepts for Interested Investors
 Waterfront Developments Concepts Design Charrette (PDF)

New Condo/Retirement Developments

a. New Condo Development in Downtown Owen Sound

b. New Condo Development in Downtown Owen Sound

c. Corbet Place for Seniors 55+

  • Located at 1050 1st Ave West located downtown near the harbour. Packages available at 519-374-1242.

d. Pottawatomi Gardens

  • New 12 unit 2 acre site at the edge of the Pottawatomi river valley.
  • Fully accessible adult lifestyle residence for 55 and over, with significant green space, covered parking.
  • Contact Sound Lifestyles at 519-378-7978.

e. For other residential development in Owen Sound, contact a local real estate firm.

The City of Owen Sound is equipped with the services required to meet industrial, commercial and residential needs.

Water Service

  • Water Service & Sewage Treatment and distribution services are provided by the City of Owen Sound.
  • Water service is available in most areas of the industrial park. The extension of service is required in some locations.
  • Georgian Bay is the city's one water source. Water is run through its state-of-the-art water purification plant.
  • The plant has a capacity of 60,480 cubic metres per day. The present average daily consumption level is 11,900 cubic metres.
  • Water hardness is 90-110 mg per litre.
  • Water is chlorinated and fluoridated.
  • Water mains range from 200mm to 300mm in the industrial park.

Sewage Treatment

  • The City provides primary treatment of sewage.
  • The existing plant has 25-30% hydraulic reserve capacity to accommodate new growth and development.
  • The City of Owen Sound collects a sewer use surcharge, which is included in the monthly water bill.

Electrical Service

  • Hydro One provides electrical services.
  • The transmission voltage is 13,800 volts in the industrial park and southeast portion of the city.
  • The transmission voltage is 4,160 volts everywhere else in Owen Sound.
  • Three phase secondary voltages of 600 Y/347 volts and 208 Y/120 volts are offered throughout most areas of the city.
  • Single phase 120/240 is also available throughout the city.

Landfill Site

  • The city does not provide waste collection for commercial and industrial tenants.
  • Private waste haulage firms operate in the city to support local business.

Natural Gas

  • Natural gas prices are the same in Owen Sound as across Ontario.
  • Within the industrial park a 6-inch gas line follows the main roads, dropping to a 4-inch pipe to feed the larger plants directly. A 2-inch pipe feeds the smaller buildings.

The City of Owen Sound is committed through its strategic plan to reducing industrial taxes. Small industrial tax rates have dropped by 30% over the last three years.

The taxation levels include municipal, county and education taxes.

For current tax information, please contact:

Owen Sound Financial Services Department
Ph: 519-376-4440 ext 1239

Please Note

The information found on this page is meant to be used as a guide only. Please note that all information contained on this webpage is subject to change.Please contact the Planning Division for specific information.

What is a Zoning By-law?

A comprehensive zoning by-law is a municipality’s method of legally managing the development of the land within the City planning area by stating: 1) how land can be used, and 2) the required standards.  These standards include lot size and dimensions, setbacks from property lines, building location, building type and parking requirements.

The ‘Citizen’s Guide to Land-use Planning’ is a Provincial government publication and provides a comprehensive and clear summary of the key aspects of land-use planning. Section 3 of the Guide deals specifically with zoning by-laws. Explore the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing (MMAH) website for lots of information on planning, local governments, and housing.

Citizen’s Guide to Land-use Planning

Understanding Hazard Zone Mapping

Both the PPS and City’s Official Plan direct development away from hazardous areas.  Zoning By-law 2010-078, as amended, includes an updated single Hazard Zone (with no additional 12m setback) which addresses slopes, floodplains, waterbodies, etc.

The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority has worked hard to provide detailed mapping of the Hazard Zone areas based on specific criteria relating to watercourses, steep slopes, and the Lake Huron shoreline as directed by the PPS.  These criteria are based on provincial policy, including the PPS and Technical Guidelines created by the Ministry of Natural Resources in support of the PPS.

The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority has provided a summary description of how the hazard zone boundaries have been mapped for different landforms in the City.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) also has a publication to assist in explaining the Natural Hazards Policies of the PPS.  This publication is entitled “Understanding Natural Hazards” and is available in two parts on the MNR website.

Applications and Documents

PLEASE NOTE the materials and information provided on this webpage are to assist in sharing information with the community and gathering input. The development of the City's new comprehensive Zoning By-law is an on-going process; therefore, the contents of the webpage are subject to change through regular updates. While all attempts are made to ensure the posted information is current, accurate and complete; for legal purposes please refer to original documents available through the City Clerk and formal notices provided under the Planning Act.

Website by the City of Owen Sound | Website Policy