Author Archives: Janet Iles

Quilting Bee at the Station

The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre (CWHC) welcomes visitors to BEE @ THE STATION!

The public is invited to gather at the historic CNR station Wednesday afternoons in January and February for a Quilting Bee –– everyone is welcome, no experience necessary, supplies provided. If you’ve always wanted to try quilting, this is your chance!

This program is FREE, donations always welcomed. Weather permitting.

For more information contact the museum at 519-371-3333 or

Wednesday January 10, 17, 24, 31, 2018
Wednesday February 7, 14, 21, 28, 2018

1 PM to PM

LOCATION: Community Waterfront Heritage Centre, Owen Sound, Ontario

1155 1st Ave West, Owen Sound, ON


It is Beginning to Look a lot like . . . “Christmas Train Sale”

It’s beginning to look a lot like ….

The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre is holding a fundraising sale of vintage, handmade and pre-loved Christmas decorations in the historic 1932 CNR station. All proceeds from the sale of the items will support CWHC and local heritage preservation.

CWHC has been accepting donations of Christmas décor from members of the public and local businesses.

The Christmas Train event is Saturday November 18, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Live music provided by Heather & Doug Brown, The 

Brown’s Musical Time Machine, of Meaford. 

Children’s activities (while supplies last).

Christmas Train Poster 2017 November 18 at CWHC Owen Sound


Library – Update

This summer the students have been taking an inventory of the reference library at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. The plan is to create a library catalogue that will be online. The collection will remain a reference library.

The collection can be used by visitors to the museum. The staff and volunteers use the library materials to answer questions and to prepare exhibits.


Cassie. a 2017 summer student in front of the reference library

Becky, a 2017 summer student, in front of the library.

Cassie and Becky pose for the camera in front of the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre reference library. Not shown is Neil who also worked on the inventory.


The Lighting of the SS Manitoba

The Marine Memorial of the Upper Lakes Committee lit up the SS Manitoba display at dusk on June 29, 2017, on the east harbour of Owen Sound. Over 3,000 lights now adorn the replica of the first steel hulled steam ship built on the Great Lakes. Everyone was thankful that the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful evening.

The Polson Shipyard built the Manitoba in Owen Sound. Because they did not have a shipyard big enough to build the 320 foot long and 38 feet wide ship, the Company had to build a new shipyard. The Town of Owen Sound provided a free building site, no taxes for 10 years and a dredged launch basin. Polson employed 300 men, many of whom were master shipbuilders from Scotland, to build the Manitoba. The ship was launched in 1889 but it was two years later when it went into service as there had been an economic downturn. The ship retired in 1949.

Prior to to the lighting, people gathered at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre on the west harbour. The Owen Sound City Band played prior to the short program held on the Station decking. Refreshments were enjoyed and people had a chance to visit the “Made in Owen Sound” exhibit and to visit with other attendees. 

City Councillor, Peter Lemon, was the Master of Ceremony, for the program. He shared some of the history of the SS Manitoba. CWHC curator, Wendy Tomlinson, also shared information and welcomed everyone. City Councillor and chair of the Canada 150 and Owen Sound 160 Committee, spoke to the attendees. Many special events are planned in the City between now and July 9th. There were also representatives from the City of Owen Sound and the Township of Georgian Bluffs in attendance.  

Before everyone went to the harbour walkway, the City Band played O Canada. The Trustees of the estate of Tom Williams, who was the impetus for getting the harbour cleaned up started and sustained on its east side, rang the bell located on the decking in front of the former CN Rail station. This signaled that the lights should be turned on.