Owen Sound has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was first inhabited by Indigenous peoples, including the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee, who used the region for fishing, hunting, and trading.
In the late 17th century, French fur traders arrived in the area, followed by British settlers in the 19th century. In 1841, a small community called Sydenham was established at the mouth of the Sydenham River, which flows into Georgian Bay. This community was later renamed Owen Sound in honor of Admiral Sir Edward William Campbell Rich Owen, who was the commander of the Royal Navy in North America at the time.
Owen Sound grew rapidly during the mid-19th century, thanks in large part to the lumber industry. The city became an important shipping port for lumber, grain, and other goods, with boats transporting these products from Owen Sound to larger markets throughout the Great Lakes region.
In the early 20th century, Owen Sound continued to thrive as a hub of industry and commerce. The city's manufacturing sector grew, and several important institutions were established, including the Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute and the Grey Bruce Regional Health Centre.
Today, Owen Sound is a thriving community that celebrates its rich history and culture. The city is home to several museums, including the Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, which showcase the area's maritime and artistic heritage. The city also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival and the Festival of Northern Lights, which attract visitors from across the region.