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Grey County

Grey County
County of Grey
Official seal of Grey County
Official logo of Grey County
Grey County is located in Grey County
Grey County
Grey County
Grey County is located in Southern Ontario
Grey County
Grey County
Coordinates: 44°20′N 80°40′W / 44.333°N 80.667°W / 44.333; -80.667
Country Canada
Province Ontario
County seatOwen Sound
 • TypeUpper Tier Municipal Government
 • Land4,513.50 km2 (1,742.67 sq mi)
 • Total93,830
 • Density20.8/km2 (54/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code519 / 226 / 548

Grey County is a county of the Canadian province of Ontario. The county seat is in Owen Sound. It is located in the subregion of Southern Ontario named Southwestern Ontario. Grey County is also a part of the Georgian Triangle. At the time of the Canada 2016 Census the population of the county was 93,830.[1]

Administrative divisions

Grey County consists of the following municipalities (in order of population):

Municipality 2016 Population[2] Population Centres[3]
City of Owen Sound 21,341 Owen Sound
Municipality of West Grey 12,518 Durham
Municipality of Meaford 10,991 Meaford
Township of Georgian Bluffs 10,479
Municipality of Grey Highlands 9,804 Markdale
Town of Hanover 7,688 Hanover
Township of Southgate 7,354 Dundalk
Town of The Blue Mountains 7,025 Thornbury
Township of Chatsworth 6,630 Chatsworth


Origin and evolution

The first European settlement was in the vicinity of Collingwood or Meaford. Exploring parties arrived from York in 1825 by travelling from Holland Landing and down the Holland River into Lake Simcoe and Shanty Bay. From there they travelled by land to the Nottawasaga River into Georgian Bay and along the thickly wooded shore.

In 1837 the village of Sydenham was surveyed by Charles Rankin. In 1856 it was incorporated as the Town of Owen Sound with an estimated population of 2,000.

In 1840, the area became part of the new District of Wellington, and its territory formed the County of Waterloo for electoral purposes.[4][5] In 1849, Wellington District was abolished, and Waterloo County remained for municipal and judicial purposes.[6] The territory of the Bruce Peninsula became part of Waterloo in 1849,[7] but was later withdrawn and transferred to Bruce County in 1851.[8]

In January 1852, Waterloo County became the United Counties of Wellington, Waterloo and Grey.[9] Grey County was named in honour of the British Colonial Secretary's father, Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830-1834.[10] Its territory was declared to consist of the following townships, together with part of the Indian Reserves on the Bruce Peninsula:[11]

  • Artemesia
  • Bentinck
  • Collingwood
  • Derby
  • Egremont
  • Euphrasia
  • Glenelg
  • Holland
  • Melancthon
  • Normanby
  • Osprey
  • Proton
  • Saint Vincent
  • Sullivan
  • Sydenham
Canada West in 1857. Grey County is marked in dark pink.

The Indian lands were later surveyed and became the townships of Keppel[12] and Sarawak.[13] A Provisional Municipal Council was organized for the County in April 1852, with the Town of Sydenham named as the county town.[14]

Waterloo was withdrawn from the United Counties in January 1853, and the remainder was renamed the United Counties of Wellington and Grey.[15] In January 1854, the United Counties was dissolved, and Wellington and Grey were separate counties for all purposes.[16]

In 1861-1862 the first gravel roads were constructed into Owen Sound at a cost of $300,000. The four colonization roads were:

Prior to the road building it often took two days to walk up to Owen Sound.[17]

In 1881, the township of Melancthon and the village of Shelburne were withdrawn from Grey and transferred to the new Dufferin County.[18][19]

On January 1, 2001, Grey County underwent a major restructuring, resulting in the reduction in number of the local municipalities:[20]

New Municipality Constituted from
City of Owen Sound
Town of Hanover
Town of The Blue Mountains Thornbury and Collingwood Township
Township of Chatsworth Chatsworth, Sullivan and Holland
Township of Georgian Bluffs Shallow Lake, Keppel, Derby and Sarawak
Municipality of Grey Highlands Flesherton, Markdale, Artemesia, Euphrasia and Osprey
Municipality of Meaford Meaford, St. Vincent and Sydenham
Township of Southgate Dundalk, Egremont and Proton
Municipality of West Grey Durham, Neustadt, Glenelg, Normanby and Bentinck


As a census division in the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Grey County had a population of 100,905 living in 42,309 of its 50,183 total private dwellings, a change of 7.5% from its 2016 population of 93,830. With a land area of 4,497.93 km2 (1,736.66 sq mi), it had a population density of 22.4/km2 (58.1/sq mi) in 2021.[21]

Canada census – Grey community profile
Population100,905 (+7.5% from 2016)93,830 (+1.4% from 2011)92,568 (+0.2% from 2006)
Land area4,497.93 km2 (1,736.66 sq mi)4,513.50 km2 (1,742.67 sq mi)4,513.21 km2 (1,742.56 sq mi)
Population density22.4/km2 (58/sq mi)20.8/km2 (54/sq mi)20.5/km2 (53/sq mi)
Median age49.6 (M: 48.0, F: 50.8)49.3 (M: 48.1, F: 50.4)
Private dwellings50,183 (total)  42,309 (occupied)47,560 (total)  46,481 (total) 
Median household income$78,000$62,935
References: 2021[22] 2016[23] 2011[24] earlier[25][26]

See also


  1. ^ a b Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Grey, County [Census division], Ontario and Northwest Territories [Territory]". web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Statistics Canada, Census Profile, 2016 Census: Ontario: Census subdivisions (municipalities)
  3. ^ Statistics Canada, Census Profile, 2016 Census: Ontario: Population centres
  4. ^ An Act erecting certain parts of the Counties of Halton and Simcoe into a new District, by the name of the District of Wellington, S.U.C. 1837 (1st Session), c. 116 , implemented by Proclamation of June 18, 1840
  5. ^ Armstrong, Frederick H. (1985). Handbook of Upper Canadian Chronology. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 195. ISBN 0-919670-92-X.
  6. ^ An Act for abolishing the Territorial Division of Upper-Canada into Districts, and for providing for temporary Unions of Counties for Judicial and other purposes, and for the future dissolutions of such Unions, as the increase of wealth and population may require, S.C. 12 Vic., c. 78, Sch. C
  7. ^ An Act to divide the District of Huron, in the Province of Canada, and for other purposes therein mentioned, S.Prov.C. 1849, c. 96
  8. ^ An Act to make certain alterations in the Territorial Divisions of Upper Canada, S.Prov.C. 1851, c. 5, Sch. A, par. 29
  9. ^ An Act to make certain alterations in the Territorial Divisions of Upper Canada, S.Prov.C. 1851, c. 5, Sch. A and B
  10. ^ Marsh, Edith L. (1931). A History of the County of Grey. Owen Sound: Fleming. p. 217.
  11. ^ S.Prov.C. 1851, c. 5, Sch. A, par. 28
  12. ^ Marsh, Edith Louise (1931). "XXII: The Township of Keppel, its villages and Griffiths Island". A History of the County of Grey. Owen Sound: Fleming.
  13. ^ Marsh, Edith Louise (1931). "XXIII: The Township of Sarawak and its villages". A History of the County of Grey. Owen Sound: Fleming.
  14. ^ "Proclamation". Canada Gazette (Extra): 2–3. 1 March 1852.
  15. ^ "Proclamation". Canada Gazette. 12 (3): 75. 22 January 1853.
  16. ^ "Proclamation". Canada Gazette. 13 (1): 2–3. 7 January 1854.
  17. ^ The Orangeville Banner, March 8, 1951.
  18. ^ An Act to separate the Town of Orangeville and certain Townships in the Counties of Wellington, Grey and Simcoe, from the said Counties, and to erect the same into the County of Dufferin, S.O. 1874 (2nd Sess.), c. 31
  19. ^ An Act to confirm certain preliminary proceedings, and make further provision for the formation of the County of Dufferin, S.O. 1880, c. 37
  20. ^ County of Grey - Municipal Amalgamations
  21. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada and census divisions". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  22. ^ "2021 Community Profiles". 2021 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 4, 2022. Retrieved 2023-10-19.
  23. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 12, 2021. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  24. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 21, 2019. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  25. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. August 20, 2019.
  26. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 18, 2021.
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Grey County
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