DescriptionNestled in the Northumberland Hills along the Ganaraska River, Port Hope began in 1792 with the arrival of two United Empire Loyalists. By 1860 the enlarged harbor and the two railroads servicing the town had made it important in the lumbering and agricultural products trade. Because few changes occurred over the next 100 years, much of the town's original architecture remains intact.
Several of the town's large historic houses are open for tours during the fall A.C.O. Historic House Tour; phone (905) 885-7929 for tickets and more information. Dorothy's House Museum, at 3632 CR 9, is an 1800s historic workingman's cottage furnished with period artifacts; phone (905) 885-2981 or (905) 797-2291.
Said to be Canada's only remaining operational “atmospheric theater,” The Cameco Capitol Arts Centre, at 20 Queen St., provides the illusion of being in a walled medieval courtyard. The theater is home to the Port Hope Festival Theatre, which presents professional theatrical productions in summer; phone (905) 885-1071, or (800) 434-5092 in Ontario for information. A variety of cultural events also are offered year-round.
Because fishing for rainbow trout on the Ganaraska River and for salmon on Lake Ontario is good, many fishing derbies are held throughout the year. Some 8,000 rainbow trout make their way upstream to spawn in the Ganaraska River each spring, attracting thousands of visitors; in September, the event is repeated by Lake Ontario salmon, with the same result. Additional recreational activities include bicycling, boating and hiking along the town’s portion of the Waterfront Trail and the Ganaraska Hiking Trail.
Other events of interest include Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny River Race, usually the first Saturday in April, commemorating the 1980 severe flood that swept the downtown area. Crazy crafts (rafts made out of anything imaginable), canoes and kayaks participate in this race. September's Port Hope Fall Fair has been held since 1831 and includes a midway; arts and crafts; and livestock, horse and car shows. A farmers market operates each Saturday, May through October, behind the Town Hall.
Visitor InfoPort Hope Tourism Information Centre 20 Queen St. PORT HOPE, ON L1A 2Y7. Phone:(905)885-2004 or (888)767-8467
Things to SeeCanadian Fire Fighters Museum