About Harrison Park
At Harrison Park Inn Restaurant in Owen Sound, ON, we feel fortunate to be located amidst a beehive of activity. People from all over Ontario and nearby areas visit the park to hike along the trails, check out the bird sanctuary, or simply sit back and relax.
There’s always something to do at Harrison Park. You can bike, walk, paddle, or even play a round of mini golf. During winter, you can take part in fun activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and outdoor skating. Then, after all the excitement, you can head over to our restaurant, which serves as the heart of the park all year round.
Harrison Park was created when a successful businessman bought 150 acres of land for $3,100.00. Included in this purchase price was the 80-acre area that is now Harrison Park.
Where It All Began
John Harrison had a love affair with this quiet, beautiful piece of parkland that lay in the valley. The sturdy Sydenham River meandered through the wooded paradise, and the surrounding hills provided a perfect setting for such a jewel. When John’s sawmill was seasonally slack, he would send his men to improve the land. They built roads, bridges, buildings, benches, outhouses, and walking paths for the enjoyment of the community.
After John’s death in 1902, the family began to consider making the park a memorial for their father and a benefit to the town he loved and helped build. So, the family offered the land, then called Harrison’s Pleasure Grounds, to the town at the exceedingly low price of $10,000.00 dollars, half of which the Harrison family would pay. This gift sale was offered only to the town and was not for sale to anyone else for any other purpose than a park for all to enjoy.
The council and community embraced the offer as the sum paid would not come close to the amount that John Harrison and his family had spent to improve the park over the 36 years they had nurtured it.
It should also be noted that the Harrison family was instrumental in creating a park commission so that the park could be maintained and developed properly along with the city’s 5 existing parks.
The park was turned over to the town officially on July 7, 1912. Because of the dream of John Harrison and the generosity of his family, the park has been enjoyed by this community and its visitors ever since.