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Celebrating the Animal  Human Bond

Beautiful Joe Heritage Society


Expand Tourism

  • Home of Beautiful Joe and Canine Capital of Canada
  • Further develop the Beautiful Joe Play
  • Foot Bridge /Accessibility
  • Museum Acquisition

Some of the projects my friends at the Society have been developing are:

  1. Continuing improvements to the main Park through a much needed Footbridge Project. Although a long-term project, this is a necessity that will improve accessibility for all.
  2. Continued expansion of Paradise Island, a serene place in the Park, where your animal companion can be remembered with a memorial plaque.
  3. The presentation of our professional stage production Beautiful Joe - The Play, where children and adults of all ages, will be able to see me, their beloved hero come to life. This will also allow visitors from all over to attend a potential yearly art/drama/song festival, in collaboration with other festivals across Canada, and beyond.
  4. Further and ongoing improvements to Beautiful Joe Leash Free Park which allow dogs like me the freedom to roam and play with others in the spirit of the book.
  5. Eventually, establishing a Beautiful Joe Museum, to celebrate the life of Margaret Marshall Saunders in the place that brought her such joy and success.


Beautiful Joe Park Enhancement

  • Maintenance of monuments and pavilion
  • Tree and shrub purchase incentive for Beautiful Joe Park – details forthcoming
  • Regular gardening requirements (planting, weeding and watering) – the Society needs Volunteers for this
  • Garbage pickup and general care-taking and reporting of concerns to Society

Social Media Enhancement & Educational Opportunities – by finding a Volunteer that can keep us up to date with current social media capability, the Society will be able to reach further to educate and inform on the topics below:

  • Humane treatment of animals.
  • Proper care (general treatment, obedience, nutrition, grooming, medication, abuse, disease control, rabies clinics, animal control, breeding, research and new techniques etc.).
  • The multitude of breeds (genetics, breeding, rearing, kennels, registration etc.).
  • The recognition of present and past uses (dog guides, search and rescue, enforcement, protection, dog sleds, hunting, racing, herding, companionship for the elderly etc.).
  • Animals that have attained celebrity status and/or qualify as outstanding interactions with humans, suitable for the Canine Hall of Fame (television, movies, cartoons, comic strips, heroic efforts etc.).


Beautiful Joe Park Enhancement

  • Creation of further Paradise Islands to house future memorial plaques that honour our beloved companions
  • Renovations to existing structures such as the Park Pavilion and the Memorial Plaque Paradise Islands i.e. painting and repairs as necessary and installation of underground water and hydro lines
  • Enhanced directional signage to all Parks throughout the Municipality of Meaford
  • Streetscapes (lighting and pathways), furnishings (new benches) and general landscaping
  • A Family Park component across river from Beautiful Joe Park
  • Development and construction of a footbridge across the Bighead River to incorporate a larger parking area that will adjoin to Beautiful Joe Park; vastly improving its accessibility and supporting future bus tours
  • Hiring of an architectural/engineering design firm to make plans for the footbridge
  • Acquisition of a Beautiful Joe Museum - we hope to acquire the original home of Beautiful Joe, which is situated next to the Park in Meaford

Heritage Preservation

  • Creation of new educational materials for the public, schools and animal welfare in general
  • Acquisition of and eventual display of materials about Margaret Marshall Saunders and Beautiful Joe himself for our local Museum and future Beautiful Joe Museum


  • Continued search for sponsors, and further development of our valued existing partners 

Park Events

  • Family fun days
  • Readings in the Park
  • Blessing of the animals services
  • Public ceremonies (weddings etc.)
  • Dog shows
  • K-9 demonstrations
  • Animal care clinics
  • General fundraising events
  • Bus tours
  • School trips

This is a non-commercial project intended to promote and increase the awareness of various aspects of our Canadian heritage and culture for the benefit of all Canadians and people from around the world. Programs such as the Beautiful Joe Museum, Gift Shop, and Outstanding Animal Recognition will be self-sustaining once in place. Fundraising will be ongoing to assist with project expenditures such as continued research, improved displays and information gathering, and sharing and distribution to name a few.

Beautiful Joe Play

In May 2014 the Grey-Bruce Arts Collective, in association with the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society, presented the play "Beautiful Joe" adapted from Margaret Marshall Saunders novel of the same name by acclaimed playwright Michael O'Brien. The play was first performed in Stratford, Ontario and quickly became one of the favourites of the Stratford season. With a passionate and vitally important message to share, Beautiful Joe’s story came to life in a moving, funny and heart-warming way. This Canadian play appeals to the whole family.



Enjoy reading and participating in my website and if you would like to tell us your animal companion story or volunteer for our Society we’d love to hear from you (you should see my tail wagging just thinking about it), please send us an email or friend us on Facebook,
or if you’re old fashioned like Margaret Marshall Saunders, you can write to us at:
Beautiful Joe Heritage Society
PO Box 3304, Meaford, Ontario, Canada N4L 1A5
Tel: (519) 538-5895 Email:

Beautiful Joe Heritage Society preserves and promotes the historical legacies of both 'Beautiful Joe' and
Margaret Marshall Saunders and celebrates the natural bond between animals and humans.