Owen grew up in Bowmanville, Ontario, where he experienced every facet of the operation of his father’s large scale nursery business. He attended the Ontario Agricultural College, graduating in 1965 with a B.S.A. degree in Landscape Horticulture, and the University of Michigan in 1967 with an M.L.A. degree.
His professional career commenced with his employment as a landscape architect with Project Planning Associates Ltd. where he participated in master plans for Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, the Canadian National Exhibition, the University of Guelph, a national parkway for the Kingdom of Kuwait, Expo ‘67 in Montreal, and many other projects. In 1969 he was appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph where he taught for thirteen years, being promoted to Associate Professor.
President of The Landplan Collaborative Ltd. from 1977 to 2015, he prepared the Downtown Guelph Improvement Manual, authored the Grand River Corridor Conservation Plan, developed the Wanuskewin Heritage Park Master Plan near Saskatoon, designed the Sussex Drive portion of Ottawa’s Confederation Boulevard, designed landscapes for Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Woodside National Historic Site in Kitchener, Guelph’s River Run Centre & John Galt Park, and completed numerous award winning master plans for botanical gardens, heritage sites, parks, streetscapes and parkways. His expertise in built heritage resources includes more than one hundred Cultural Heritage Impact Assessments, Evaluations, and Conservation Plans for historic bridges, golf courses, parks, cemeteries, hospitals, homes, railway stations, commercial properties, university buildings, heritage districts and cultural landscapes in Ontario and Saskatchewan.
He is a founding Member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and its second President, was President of the CSLA, and Secretary of the College of Fellows, as well as a member of numerous OALA and CSLA committees and task forces.