Virtual Spring Lecture Series - Owen Sound: Entering the 20th Century through WWI

You can now watch this lecture on YouTube!

Join Richard Thomas from the safety and comfort of your own home for this free online talk streaming live on Tuesday, April 5 at 1 p.m. 

This is the first of two talks highlighting Owen Sound in the early decades of the 20th century. Framed by Georgian Bay and the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, Owen Sound has a significant history as one of the busiest ports in Canada. The community experienced many changes leading up to, and during, the Great War. This talk is complemented by Owen Sound: Becoming a City, 1920, through the Great Depression taking place online Tuesday, April 19 at 1 p.m.

Richard Thomas is a broadcast journalist who has lived in Owen Sound since 1986. His first book, Gas Head Willy, was published in 1996 and shortlisted by the Crime Writers of Canada as one of the best first novels of the year. Since then, Thomas has written more than a dozen fiction and non-fiction books about Owen Sound and area. He has been recognized by the City of Owen Sound, the Grey County Historical Society and the Ontario Historical Society for his heritage work. Thomas is a long-time member of the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library Board, and sits on Owen Sound City Council, presently in his second term.

This presentation is part of our Virtual Spring Lecture Series taking place online in April. Livestreams will be available at with no pre-registration required for the first three talks of the series:

Tuesday April, 5 at 1 p.m. Owen Sound: Entering the 20th Century though WWI with Richard Thomas
*Wednesday, April 13 at 1 p.m. Breaking the Silence - Canada's British Home Children with Lori Oschefski (Please note, this talk is scheduled for Wednesday rather than Tuesday.) 
Tuesday, April 19 at 1 p.m. Owen Sound: Becoming a City, 1920, through the Great Depression with Richard Thomas

If you wish to ask questions during the Q&A, they can be submitted in the comments for the video on Grey Roots YouTube (please note, you have to be logged into a YouTube account to do so), over email to or via Messenger on Grey Roots Facebook. The talk will also be available on YouTube following the livestream.

The final talk of the series, Tuesday, April 26 at 1 p.m. Walt Disney’s Ontario Connections with Peter Whitehead is a live only event taking place on Zoom.

The 2022 Virtual Spring Lecture Series is a free event, but if these talks are something you enjoy, please consider becoming a Grey Roots member. Your interest and support is sincerely appreciated.

Pictured: 1964.070.004 Charles Thompson's refreshment tent Harrison Park, 1914

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