Skip to main content Skip to footer

Council Approves Final Draft of Harrison Park Master Plan

Signage at Harrison ParkAt its meeting on May 27, Owen City Council approved the final draft of the Harrison Park Master Plan.  

The final Master Plan was developed using public feedback together with parks best management practices, alignment with capital and operating budgets, the cultural heritage assets, and expert advice respecting the waterfowl and avian area.  The Harrison Park Master Plan is 10-year plan that will guide the development, renewal and operational management of the Park’s vast natural resources, recreational amenities, buildings and structures, and other infrastructure.  

The City’s new Master Plan vision is as follows: 

“Inspired by a rich cultural heritage and diverse natural environment, we envision a vibrant space that fosters community connections and environmental stewardship and celebrates and maintains the rich cultural and natural history. Committed to sustainable practices, we strive to cultivate a place of beauty, learning, community, and recreation for all, ensuring a legacy of inspiration, memories, and wonder for generations to come.” 

One of the major themes that emerged from community engagement was that the park is great the way it is. As a result, the Master Plan actions prioritize revitalizing existing features and amenities, as opposed to creating new assets. 

Throughout the public survey, there was strong support for repopulating the bird and waterfowl area.  After considering the advice of a Population Management Biologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada and consultation with Committee, the plan features an updated recommendation to: 

  • Retain an appropriate number of swans based on the habitat area and work to upgrade the housing.  
  • Naturalize the remaining area and introduce native plants that will attract pollinators and native birds.  
  • Monitor health of swans. 
  • Forgo repopulation of any captive birds.  
  • Work to naturalize the area with native plants and species.   

This approach will significantly reduce the likelihood of a future outbreak of Avian Influenza that would require a depopulation.  These actions keep the birds and waterfowl safe and allow residents and visitors to interact with nature.   

City Staff will continue to work to ensure that Harrison Park remains a special place for everyone in the community. View the latest Staff Report, Summary of Amended Recommendations, and Final Draft Plan. 

For more information, please contact Pam Coulter, Director of Community Services, at 519-376-4440 ext. 1252 or email

Quick Facts: 

  • The Harrison Park Master Plan was last completed in 2002. 
  • In 2023, the City invited citizens and visitors to complete a survey about the Master Plan using the online engagement platform “OurCity” and hosted in-person feedback sessions at Harrison Park. Nearly 1,000 people responded to the online survey, the highest level of engagement and feedback to date. 
  • In 1912, the City acquired that Park from the Harrison family for $5,000. Harrison Park is the largest park in the City of Owen Sound, consisting of 45 hectares of land, equaling almost 2 per cent of the City’s total land area.  
  • Harrison Park was designated as a Cultural Heritage Landscape in 2013. 
  • As a year-round destination, Harrison Park is one of Owen Sound’s most popular attractions, averaging more than 156,000 vehicle and 225,000 pedestrian visits each year. 



Contact Us

808 2nd Avenue East,
Owen Sound, ON
N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-1440
Email us

Sign up for City news to your inbox!

Stay up to date on the city's activities, events, programs and operations by subscribing to our news posts.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.