Grand Bend is situated on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron and Ojibwe/Chippewa First Nations. It was ceded to the crown as part of a parcel called the Huron Tract, in Treaty 27, 1829. In the 1830s a group of English and Scottish settlers bought lots from the Canada Company, a land development firm. One of the original settlers, Benjamin Brewster gave his name to the village after he and his business partner David Smart secured rights to dam the Ausable River and started a sawmill in 1832. The villagers were mainly the families of the millhands and fisherman. Their homesteads were situated on the south side of the present village.
Grand Bend is home to a variety of stores and eateries. The main strip is the centre of activity in the town, with shopping during the day and night life venues during the evening drawing crowds. The atmosphere of Grand Bend has given the town a reputation of being Florida north. As well as Main Street, Grand Bend acts as a regional cultural centre, boasting art galleries in the town and the Huron Country Playhouse on the outskirts.
Today, Grand Bend's year-round population of 2,000 people swells to about 50,000 in the summer months on holiday weekends. The demographic population of Grand Bend is quite diverse. Families owning vacation homes in the adjacent communities of Oakwood Park, Southcott Pines and Beach O' Pines, are from Ontario, Michigan and as far as New York, Florida, Texas and the American west coast. Among these are the Romney family.
- North Lambton Secondary School
- Central Huron Secondary School
- St. Andre Bessette Catholic Secondary School
- Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School
- Virtual High School
- South Huron District High School
- North Middlesex District High School
- Mitchell District High School
The town as well serves as the backdrop of the docu-drama MTV Show Grand Benders, filmed from 2011 to the present and produced by MDF Productions.
The Pinery Provincial Park and the Lambton Heritage Museum are located seven kilometres south of Grand Bend. Also, in the vicinity one can explore a number of 'Gems of Nature' accessible by marked and maintained hiking trails.
Grand Bend Motorplex has a dragstrip that hosts an International Hot Rod Association race and the IHRA Canadian Nationals, Canada's longest running and largest drag race
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