- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

In December 1992, downtown Owen Sound had its own brand new newspaper, included in newspapers in town and across Grey and Bruce. Here is how it introduced itself:

“Welcome to the very first issue of the Owen Sound Downtowner.

The Downtowner is a newspaper about what's going on in downtown Owen Sound: new stores and businesses, special promotions and developments, trends and changes, a look back at the past and forward to the future.

But primarily it's a newspaper about people, both the people who come downtown to work and those who come for various other reasons - to shop, bank, eat, get a haircut, or perhaps just socialize on the corner while the light changes.

Everyone who comes downtown adds to the living entity that is downtown, and that's what we want to help preserve and nurture. A city's downtown is its soul, and that's what we want to write about. You can help us. Let us know about an individual, store or service who might be newsworthy.

Or tell us about your own experiences. The newspaper will have different forums for readers viewpoints, among them Letters to the Editor and consumer-on-the-street interviews. We'll also feature regular profiles and interviews, a calendar of upcoming events and other interesting tid-bits.

In this issue we look at the recent Festival of Northern Lights and Santa Claus parade, do profiles on award winning photographer Michael McLuhan, Downtown Improvement Area (DIA) chair Terry Teeple and new downtown business woman Diane Keeling. And we help the local Bank of Montréal celebrate its 175th anniversary.

The Downtowner is published every other month by the Saugeen Newspaper group on behalf of the DIA, and it will appear in newspapers throughout Grey and Bruce Counties. We hope you like us.”

We know it is not 1992 and technology has changed. One might argue that Facebook has taken the place of a newspaper like the Downtowner, with its circulation of 45,000 . By comparison, Owen Sound's DIA Facebook page has fewer than 2000 followers, and the Facebook algorithm, not the paperboy or girl, determines what those followers see.

With the 10th Street Bridge coming out in less than a month, we need to get really creative about how to keep locals and visitors informed about and engaged with our downtown.

Saturday, September 28 the City is celebrating the opening of Phase I of the Downtown River Precinct project with a Riverside Reunion – a free event from 4 until 1l in the Farmers' Market area with children's activities, live music, vendors and a licensed area.

While you're downtown for the freebies, show some love to the permanent downtowners who have already stayed strong through close to four years of construction.

And if you have any ideas for things we at the Owen Sound Hub can do to spread the good word about our downtown neigbours, just let us know!





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