Community Waterfront Heritage Centre (CWHC)

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

Outdoor Exhibits and Artifacts

Come visit the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre (CWHC) and checkout the amazing outdoor exhibits artifacts.

Learn more about the history of Marine, Rail and Industrial Heritage through the cherished and preserved outdoor artifacts.


Caboose #78581

The Caboose, on the tracks on the east side of the Station building, was built in 1910 in Chicago, as a boxcar for the Grand Trunk Western Railway.

In 1947, the boxcar was converted to a caboose at the Canadian National Railway’s Leaside Shops in Toronto, Ontario. It went into service on December 13, 1947. After retirement, the caboose sat unused on a siding for many years.

In the 1990s, the caboose’s home was the Owen Sound McDonald’s restaurant where it hosted birthday parties. During that time, it even had shag carpeting.

In 2002, the caboose was brought to the Marine & Rail Museum site where restoration work began. It’s exterior was restored to its bright orange colour and logos were added. The interior was returned to close to its original state.

Coach #4884

Coach #4884 was originally a 1953 Pullman-Standard 76 seat passenger coach built for the Grand Trunk Western Railway. It came to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre in 2015. To read more about the history of Coach #4884, check our page about the Coach.


Harry Warkentin designed the Ancaster and it was built by Russel Brothers Ltd., of Owen Sound, Ontario. The launch took place April 3, 1951. The Ancaster is hull #900 and is one of 330 produced. It is a “winching” tug or “alligator” that has a flat bottom with heavy skids and a front-mounted winch used to haul itself over land to the next lake.

The Ancaster worked on the Ottawa River as a logging tug for the E.B. Eddy Co., maker of wooden matches. In 1979, the Ancaster sank at the foot of the Chaudiere Falls, and was raised and restored in 1982 by Ontario Hydro to be part of the 150th Anniversary Rideau Canal Floating Parade.

Due largely to the efforts of volunteer Don Capel and the Owen Sound Historical Society that purchased the tug for $25, the Ancaster returned to Owen Sound on April 2, 1991. The Ancaster is most famous for being one of two tugs featured on the last Canadian one dollar bill. The other tug, the Missinaibi, is displayed at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec.

Chi-Cheemaun Lifeboat #2

The Owen Sound Transportation Company‘s Chi-Cheemaun ferry was built in 1974 and had two open lifeboats and a number of davit-deployed life raft capsules.

In 2013, the Chi-Cheeman’s new electronically controlled evacuation system was installed and the two open lifeboats (seating 53) were replaced with a Zodiac style shepherd vessel, which can hold 100 people.

Instead of lowering lifeboats from the ship into the water, passengers could exit down an inflated double-sided slide into the lifeboats.

The new evacuation system is capable of evacuating all passengers from either side of the ship, within 30 minutes, with far fewer crew. The marine evacuation system includes tow inflatable slides and two fast rescue crafts.

The 25-foot long, Chi-Cheemaun Lifeboat #2 was moved to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre museum site in June 2018.


These exhibits are along the outside east wall of the former CN station.

Propeller Casting Pattern

This large propeller pattern, used for sand casting at the Kennedy foundry of Owen Sound, in the mid-1900s, is made of laminated pine wood. A pattern is a replica of the object to be cast, used to prepare a cavity in moist sand into which molten material is poured during the casting process. Patterns are made to exact specifications, so that they will provide an accurate casting.

Baggage & Mail Cart

Pulled by hand, this cart has a metal frame and a wooden base that was at the height of the baggage car floor, making it easier for porters to move items on and off the train. The freight room has large wooden doors that the cart could be easily wheeled through.

S. S. Hibou Anchor & Chain

The S. S. Hibou ran passenger and freight service for the Dominion Transportation Company (Booth Fisheries) from Owen Sound to the communities of North Channel, Manitoulin Island, and beyond. On November 21, 1936, the Hibou sank a few kilometres north of Owen Sound, taking seven members of her crew with her. The loss stunned the community. This anchor and anchor chain were recovered when the vessel was raised and restored.

Contact Us

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

Call Us: 519-371-3333

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