Kelso Beach Master Plan


Completed in April 2010, the Kelso Beach Park Master Plan describes the state of the 9.12 hectare urban waterfront park. The Plan was commissioned for guidance on future development that recognizes the many of uses, respects the natural beach environment, and plans for future use.

What the study found

The study makes 7 general recommendations, and includes an overall plan for the site.

Key recommendations are the development of a splash pad at the south end of Kelso Beach Park (completed in 2012), a program to control Common Reed Grass (Phragmites australis) along the shoreline, electrical system upgrades to host more regional scale events, and the development of several features that pay homage to the history of First Nations and marine shipping in the City of Owen Sound.

Schematic park design

A design for future development at Kelso Beach Park included in the study shows the potential:



Main Entry (19th Ave. Intersection)

Realign and widen

Prominent signage

Additional formal entrances at the north and south of the park


Relocate to former rail lands and increase by 135 spaces

Lighting for parking areas recommended

The centre core

Realign and formalize central walkway to direct visual focus to the beach

Clean out basin to eradicate Phragmites and repair fountain

Pedestrian walkway system

Create a 3 level hierarchy of barrier free walkways ranging from 3m wide to 1.2 m wide

Improve walkway lighting

Integrate with centre core walkway

The Amphitheatre (and Musical Arts Pavilion)

Repair retaining walls and tiered seating

Repair existing stage and shelter roof

Change use from formal picnics to unstructured use and music centred activities like coffee house jams

The beach

Beach restoration and increase beach slope below and above water line

Move walkway towards beach and away from musical arts pavilion

Renovate washroom

Family fun area

Concentrate family oriented activities near the existing playground

Develop reclaimed former parking lot around existing gazebo as natural playground for families and child focused group activities

South washroom

New barrier-free washroom facility near splashpad

The Pottawatomi Healing Trail

Extend north riverbank to direct outflow farther into the bay

Restore shoreline to natural shore wetland

'Piyak Ooithi' or ' 'One Heart' memorial garden

Realign path and create a sacred fire and ceremony site for aboriginal peoples

The river Warf

Recreate historic Warf at the mouth of the Pottawatomi to create a fishing platform and paddle craft landing and tie off

The Grove

Remove damaged stage platform

Leave two columns with existing plaques and place octagonal flagstone pavers as markers for removed columns

Plant shade trees to create a grove

The playing fields

Refurbish soccer field

Replace ball diamond backstops, bleachers and players benches

Create berms around playing field to create definition from the rest of the park

The boathouse concession

Construct an architectural feature that could house a concession and paddle craft rental facility.

Big picnic grounds

Water oriented open space


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