OWEN SOUND, just under 200km northwest of Toronto and 130km north of Goderich, occupies the ravine around the mouth of the Sydenham River, at the foot of the Bruce Peninsula. In its heyday, Owen Sound was a rough and violent port packed with brothels and bars, prompting the Americans to establish a consulate whose main function was to bail out drunk and disorderly sailors. For the majority it was an unpleasant place to live, and the violence spawned an especially active branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Organization, whose success was such that an alcohol ban was imposed in 1906 and only lifted in 1972. The town was in decline long before the return of the bars, its port facilities undercut by the railways from the 1920s, but it’s managed to reinvent itself and is now an amiable sort of place well worth at least a pit stop, though navigation can be confusing: avenues run north–south and streets east–west, while the river, which bisects the town centre, separates avenues and streets East from those marked West.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
20 seriously weird places around the world

20 seriously weird places around the world

The world is a weird (and wonderful) place. And from a rose-coloured lake to a Japanese island ruled by cats, we've got twenty pictures to prove it. 1. Spotted…

26 Jul 2017 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right