The Town of Parry Sound (named by “Captain Henry Bayfield” after Sir William Edward Parry, the Arctic Explorer), located at the mouth of the Seguin River on Georgian Bay, was well-known long before the first people of European origin arrived. For generations, aboriginals utilized the location as a trading and meeting area.  Later, a trading fort occupied a site close to where the Stockey Centre is now located.  Trappers needing access into the fur rich interior of the area traversed the rivers of east shore of Georgian Bay, including the Seguin, Moon, Shawanaga and the French.
 
The vast stands of white pine which covered the area lured the first permanent settlers into the area in the 1860s.  It was free land grants to settlers that brought a wave of immigration from other parts of the young country and from Europe to the area.  Life was miserable to many of these pioneers who carved their homesteads out of the vast wilderness, and many abandoned those original farms and headed to the prairies, after finding the thin, stony soil too acidic to effectively grow crops.
 
Today, the town bears little resemblance to the original settlement William Beatty established 140 years ago.  The largest town in the region, Parry Sound has a population of about 6,500 people and serves an area of about 20,000 permanent residents.  In the summer month, it is estimated the region's population balloons to around 75,000 people.
 
The tourism sector remains vital to the town and area's economic well-being.  Moves to diversify the economy have proven to be successful with the establishment of several small manufacturing factories which have seen steady growth.  As well, the new West Parry Sound Health Centre and expansion to the town retail sector has created a labour shortage for people in the service industries and health care professionals.
 
Recently, we have seen a marked increase in the amount of retirees moving into the area.  As the first wave of baby-boomer’s enter into their retirement years, there is little doubt that the area's population will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
 
Hugging the shores of Georgian Bay, the Town of Parry Sound is the world renowned jewel of the 30,000 Islands of Georgian  Bay.    Located approximately 2 hours north of Toronto, and forty-five minutes away by air,  Parry Sound is the commercial hub servicing a year-round population of 18,000 and a seasonal population of 60,000 plus.
 
Parry Sound is rich in arts, culture and heritage.  The Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts and Bobby Orr Hall of Fame is home to the international chamber summer music festival, the Festival of the Sound.   The Hall of Fame pays tribute to our home-town hockey hero, Bobby Orr.
 
If you are looking for an outstanding vacation destination or a really great place to live, you will find it all in Parry Sound!


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