About the Garden

Although this Park and Garden is only one of many parks maintained by the Town it holds a special place in the hearts of many Parry Sound citizens.  The garden is unique in Ontario.  It owes its existence and development in the years 1927 to 1934 at the base of a fire observation tower to will and whimsy.  The fire tower was part of a forest fire detection system required to protect the essential forest resource on which the economy of the area depended.  However Mr. Peter McEwen, the District Forester at the time realized that tourism was also a contributing factor to the well being of that economy so he convinced his superiors to have the observation tower built so that the public could access it.  He had the fire crews create ornamental gardens around its base.  By the time the Department of Lands and Forests knew it, they were custodians of Parry Sound’s major tourist attraction with about 4,000 visitors a year in the early 1930’s.

The Tower provides a stunning view of the Town of Parry Sound, the mouth of the Seguin River and the surrounding natural landscape that is representative of the Thirty Thousand Islands.  Although the gardens are no longer filled with the flowers of yesteryear, they provide a green and shady spot for a rest after climbing down from the tower or a stroll and picnic lunch after a visit to the Museum.  The bond between the people of Parry Sound and the waters of Georgian Bay can be demonstrated by the collection of weatherworn rocks assembled to create a raised garden bed circling the base of the Tower.

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