Community Waterfront Heritage Centre (CWHC)

Celebrating the Marine, Rail and Industrial Heritage of Owen Sound, Ontario

Community Waterfront Heritage Centre Hours

Friday-Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm,

Sunday-Thursday: By appointment

Notices and Announcements:

10 Years of Waterfront Heritage

This year marks our tenth year open as the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre! Keep a close eye out for news of new events and programs as we celebrate a decade of preserving and presenting Owen Sound’s marine, rail, and industrial heritage.


The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre is implementing a $5 admission charge to visit the museum for visitors age 12+. Youth age 11 and younger, OPEN Card holders, and VIP members will continue to have entry at no cost.

Last Updated on February 10th , 2024

Community Waterfront Heritage Centre
1155 1st Ave W,Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8

Call Us: 519-371-3333

CWHC is a registered charity:
# 839177177 RR0001

CWHC is a member of the Ontario Museum Association and the Ontario Historical Society.

A postcard showing the King's Royal Hotel

Call for Exhibit Sponsors

The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre is looking for exhibit sponsors for our upcoming exhibit on the King’s Royal Hotel and Balmy Beach!

The King’s Royal Hotel was a fascinating moment in local history, where local business men came together to make what they hoped would be one of the biggest tourist resorts in the region. Despite beautiful facilities, widespread marketing, and an abundance of activities, the hotel began falling apart almost as soon as it opened. So, what exactly happened? We’re working with Richard Thomas to tell you the story of this hotel, from how it came to be to the legacy it left after it was gone.

Your support will aid in the completion of research and writing, printing of exhibit materials, proper care of the artifacts used in the exhibit, and more.

We are looking for sponsors at three different tiers. Each tier will see your name/logo included in our list of supporters on our website, newsletter, and exhibit signage. However, some tiers come with extra benefits.

Bronze: $100
Includes a 1-year individual or family VIP membership

Silver: $250
Businesses will receive an invitation for your employees to come to the exhibit launch
Includes an Artifact Adoption as part of the adopt an artifact program

Gold: $500
You will be featured as a main supporter of the exhibit. Promotional materials (e.g. posters, press releases, etc.) will include your name/logo
Your support will be mentioned at the AGM and any events related to the exhibit

Collecting Stories, Connecting Minds

We recently started a new project, titled “Collecting Stories, Connecting Minds.” We are seeking to collect oral histories from long-time residents of Owen Sound and the surrounding areas.

We are hoping to record people’s stories and memories related to Owen Sound’s marine, rail and industrial history. Many elements of Owen Sound’s history central to creating the city you see today are no longer here. Passenger ships no longer load up in the harbour, the train tracks were lifted over twenty years ago, and most of the old factory buildings are now gone. We hope that by giving people the chance to share their stories, they can help people connect to local history in a way that is more personal than static photos and text.

This project was made possible by a grant from Community Foundation Grey Bruce.

You can learn more about the project, including how to participate, here.

About CWHC

Learn all about the Community Waterfront Hertitage Centre

The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre celebrates  and  preserves Owen Sound’s heritage on the waterfront. It focuses on the marine, rail and industrial history of the City and surrounding communities.

Our Vision

The CWHC enlivens community connections and experiences through sharing collective stories.

Our Mission

The CWHC honours the legacy of “The Waterfront” community hub by sharing stories, presenting fun and educational experiences and offering unique opportunities to explore the curiosity of area residents and connect the imagination of visitors to our collective history

Our History

The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre is located in the historic CN Rail Station, on Owen Sound’s harbourfront. The Marine Rail Heritage Centre was first established in 1978 by a volunteer group of history enthusiasts who wanted to preserve and expand upon Owen Sound’s history as a thriving port. It preserves the area’s marine, rail and industrial history. It opened to the public in 1985. 

On June 28, 2014, the Centre officially opened under new management. We hope you will visit us regularly, whether in person or virtually.

Housed in a former Canadian National Railway Station, the museum features artifacts, scale models, archival photos and interactive stations. It also showcases exquisite ship models made by skilled artisans, along with CNR and CPR memorabilia. Each season, it hosts temporary special exhibits. The former CN station is now listed on the city’s Heritage Register.

The building also houses the offices of the Owen Sound Tourism Department, making information about the city available to residents and visitors.

Ask to see the working model railroad, or if you’re there at 12 or 5 p.m. enjoy the sound of the historic Kennedy Foundry Whistle.

CWHC is committed to having an open and transparent Board of Directors.

Chair: Jan Chamberlain
Vice Chair: Stephen Crane
Secretary: Diane Austin
Treasurer: Janet Iles

Board Members:
Syd Austin                  

Chris McCurley

Zach Mclean
Curator & Manager

Waterfront Heritage

A series of Newsletters published by the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre (CWHC

Contact Us

Comunity Waterfront Heritage Centre (CWHC)
1155 1st Ave W,Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8

Call Us: 519-371-3333

Send Us a Message

1 + 2 =