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City of Owen Sound and YMCA Announce a New 20-Year Operational Agreement

Today, Owen Sound Council unanimously approved a new 20-year operational agreement with the YMCA Owen Sound Grey Bruce, reaffirming the partnership that provides recreation services that positively affect Owen Sound citizens’ health and wellness. Together, we are transforming lives and building a strong community.

At the Julie McArthur Regional Recreation Centre, the YMCA provides health, fitness, and recreation services, including cardiac rehab, in partnership with Brightshores Health System. The YMCA operates for the good of people and the community rather than for profit and takes extra steps to provide financial assistance to make YMCA programs affordable for everyone, ensuring accessibility. In addition to recreation, the YMCA positively impacts the community by offering childcare, employment programs, and settlement and language services. 

The city could not manage and operate the YMCA facility at the same service level without a significant impact on the tax levy. The City’s general tax levy does not offset any of the YMCA's operational costs. 

Since the onset of the partnership between the City and the YMCA in 2009, which secured federal and provincial funding as well as spearheaded a community fundraising campaign to construct the regional multi-purpose recreation centre, the City and the YMCA have worked together in the spirit of mutual collaboration, respect and support in pursuit of the common goal for providing long-term access to quality recreation services in Owen Sound. This long-term partnership between the city and the YMCA continues to build a community where everyone can thrive.

For more information, please contact Tim Simmonds, City Manager, at 519-376-4440 ext. 1210 or email


“The YMCA is an important part of our community, and I am pleased to celebrate this long-term agreement. I want to thank the YMCA for its commitment to providing our community with accessible and inclusive recreation opportunities for another twenty years. By providing a space that helps people to grow strong, physically, mentally and socially – our city is strengthened.”
– Mayor Ian Boddy

“Today marks a significant milestone for our community as we proudly announce a 20-year agreement with our valued municipal partner. This long-term commitment between our YMCA and the City of Owen Sound not only ensures that our Health, Fitness, and Aquatics Centre will continue to shine as a beacon of wellness and spark a vibrant community spirit but also reflects the strength and trust in our enduring relationship with the city. Together, we are building a brighter, healthier future for generations to come.”
– Sarah Cowley, Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce  

Quick Facts:

  • The annual operating budget of the YMCA Owen Sound Grey Bruce is approximately $13.8 million. 
  • Serving our community since 1877, the YMCA Owen Sound Grey Bruce enriches the lives of people of all ages and is open to all members of our community.
  • The City of Owen Sound is the largest urban centre in Grey Bruce Counties, with a daytime population of more than 40,000 people. 


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