About the Garden & Gardeners
A public display garden unique to Northern Ontario, Tower Hill Heritage Garden is nestled amongst the trees atop the hill overlooking Parry Sound on Georgian Bay. Constructed by the Ontario Forestry Branch in the late 1920’s, the municipally owned garden features a network of original flagstone paths connecting rock gardens, goldfish pond and raised pedestal sundial, all enhanced by flowering shrubs and perennials.
There is something to see at the Garden no matter when you visit. Daffodils announce the arrival of spring, followed by the heady fragrance of lilacs. Summer brings an abundance of flowering shrubs and perennials, warm evenings and amazing sunsets. Warm days and cool evenings of autumn extend the season of colour in the Garden. The expansive view over the Town and out to the Big Sound from the top of the Tower is worth the climb, no matter what the season.
Learn about gardening with native plants to attract birds and butterflies with a visit to the newly installed Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden. Stroll along the Lilac Walk to find a Lilac cultivar for your home garden. Or like many generations of Parry Sound residents and visitors before you, find a shady spot to sit and read a book or a sunny spot to spread out your picnic blanket.
The Tower Hill Gardeners are volunteers who started gardening at Tower Hill in July 2012. Town of Parry Sound Parks & Recreation Staff cut the grass and clean out the pond and the Gardeners do the rest: planting, weeding & raking, pruning & deadheading and raising money to enhance the garden experience.
The Fire Tower
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.