The Town of Parry Sound has a population of about 6,400 people and serves an area of about 20,000 permanent residents.
Parry Sound, located within the UNESCO Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, where the mouth of the Seguin River floods into Eastern Georgian Bay, was not always just a charming coastal town at the centre of the 30, 000 islands. For many years even before European colonization, Parry Sound was significant for the local people living in and around the area. For generations, First Nations people occupied the land and used the town centre as a trading and meeting location. They would spend the summers hunting and foraging on the extensive rivers and outer islands and would return inland to survive the cold winter.
Eventually, a trading fort was established close to where the Charles W. Stockey Centre is currently situated. Trappers, needing access to the fur-rich interior of the region, traversed the rivers along the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, including the Seguin, Moon, Shawanaga and the French.
In the 1860s, the first permanent European settlers were attracted to the area because of the vast stands of white pine trees covering the region, and the free land grants that incentivized the move. However, life was tough for these early pioneers who carved their homesteads out of the far-reaching wilderness. Several families headed to Western Canada after finding our thin, stony soils too acidic to grow crops.
Today, the town bears little resemblance to the original settlement William Beatty established 140 years ago. The lumber mills are long gone, and many of the rail beds that traversed the region have been repurposed into walking trails.
As the largest town in the region, Parry Sound has a population of about 6,400 people and serves an area of about 20,000 permanent residents. However, in the summer months, it is estimated the region’s population balloons to around 75,000 people. As a result, the tourism sector has been and will continue to be essential for the town and area’s economic well-being.
Recent moves to diversify the economy have proven to be successful with the establishment and steady growth of several small manufacturing factories. As well, the West Parry Sound Health Centre and the expansion of the town’s retail sector has led to a labour shortage for workers in the healthcare and service industries.
What’s more, in recent years, we have seen a marked increase in the number of retirees moving into the area.
As the first wave of baby boomers enter their retirement years and as the number of job opportunities increases, there is little doubt that the area’s population will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
Lakes in the Area
|Size||13.4 sq km|
|Near North District School Board (NNDSB)||
Parry Sound Public School
Parry Sound High School
|Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB)||
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School
St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School
|French||École élémentaire publique de la région de Parry Sound|
Must Visit Attraction
The Festival of the Sound is proud to celebrate its 40th season with a programme filled with world-class musicians, both old favourites and emerging young artists. Three weeks of chamber and classical music is supplemented with two very special weekends: an exciting night of tango with sounds of Buenos Aires anchors the Folk Weekend while the Jazz Weekend features a riveting celebration of the life of Joni Mitchell, as well as the perennial highlight the Toronto All-Star Big Band. The Festival includes 5 musical cruises and over 60 other events. Only in Parry Sound!