Port Hope, Ontario

Port Hope, Ontario

Port Hope is a municipality in Ontario, Canada, about 109 km east of Toronto and about 159 km west of Kingston. It is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario (+43° 56' 54.96", -78° 17' 36.96"), at the west end of Northumberland County, and had a 2006 census population of 16,390. Port Hope's nearest urban neighbour (7 km to the east) is the Town of Cobourg, Ontario, whose 2006 census population was 18,210, while between them and surrounding Cobourg is the Township of Hamilton whose 2006 census population was 10,972. In 2001, the original Town amalgamated with Hope Township to form the Municipality of Port Hope; prior to that the Town's census population was listed as 11,718 while the Township's was 3,877.


"Ganaraska" was the name attributed to the area by the natives of the region and is the name of the river that flows through the town. The name originates from "Ganaraske", the name for the Cayuga village which was located at the current townsite. In 1793, United Empire Loyalists became the first permanent settlers of European heritage in Port Hope, which was then known as Smith's Creek after a former fur trader. After the War of 1812, British settlers were wanted, and a better name was required. After a brief fling with the name Toronto, it was renamed in 1817 as Port Hope, after the Township of Hope of which it was a part, which in turn had been named for Colonel Henry Hope, lieutenant governor of Quebec. In 1834 Port Hope was incorporated as a town.

Relatively slow growth from 1880 to 1960 resulted in much of its original architecture not being demolished in the name of progress. Port Hope's downtown is celebrated as having the best preserved 19th century streetscape in Ontario. The town's local chapter of the [http://acoporthope.ca. Architectural Conservancy of Ontario] and the Heritage Port Hope Advisory Committee are very active and advise on the restoration and preservation of architecturally or historically significant buildings. With over 270 heritage designated buildings throughout the municipality, Port Hope has a higher per capita rate of preservation than any other town or city in Canada. Downtown businesses are regulated by the municipality to maintain the town's unique character.

The Capitol Theatre is Canada's last functioning "atmospheric theatre". The theatre's main auditorium is styled after an outdoor medieval courtyard where rolling clouds are projected onto the ceiling. The town spent in excess of three million dollars renovating and upgrading the theatre in 2004/2005.


Port Hope is home to various industries. Downtown Port Hope is well-known as a shopping destination for antiques and other specialty items. Port Hope is served by a Via Rail station. It has a medical centre and a walk-in clinic, and is about to have a community health centre. It has its own daily newspaper, the "Port Hope Evening Guide", part of the Osprey Media chain. The town's role in elder care (in the form of adult-lifestyle-centred housing, retirement and nursing homes) may increase if it continues to grow as a retirement community, but Port Hope's Economic Development Strategic Plan aims to increase job growth at least as fast as population growth.

Port Hope currently contains some historic low-level radioactive wastes, mostly dating from the days of the Eldorado radium plant for glow-in-the-dark paint for World War II aircraft instrumentsFact|date=November 2007; Port Hope then boasted a welcome sign calling it "The Town That Radiates Friendliness." These historic wastes are scheduled to be moved to a permanent storage site over the next few yearsFact|date=November 2007.

Port Hope's Eldorado plant also produced some uranium used in the Manhattan Project which led to the creation of nuclear weapons, and some believe it produced the uranium used in the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan in World War II. It continues to produce uranium fuel for nuclear power plants, now under the ownership of Cameco.

Cameco and Zircatec are responsible for supplying nuclear plants with fuel that produce at least 50 percent of Ontario's electricityFact|date=November 2007.

The Ganaraska River (affectionately known as "The Ganny"), is well-known to area anglers for annual salmon and trout runs, and has been responsible for many historic floods, the most recent having been in 1980.

Port Hope Transit is the local bus service provider in the town.

Major employers

* Cameco Corporation, which recently (2006) bought out another local industry Zircatec Precision Industries Inc.
* Collins & Aikman
* ESCO Limited
* Viceroy Homes Ltd.
* Chemcraft International Inc.
* Curtis Chicks
* St Elizabeth Health Care
* Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
* Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
* Northumberland Package Handling
* Sterling Truss Company
* Quantrill Chevrolet Cadillac
* Bromely Fabricators
* Gorsline, F. Manufacturing Co. Ltd./Unitrak
* Wakely Cartage Ltd.
* B&H Tedford Machining


Port Hope hosts many attractions and events throughout the year, including:

* Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny (a "race" commemorating the flood of 1980)
* [http://www.grca.on.ca/ganfor.htm Ganaraska Forest Centre]
* [http://www.ganaraska-hiking-trail.ca/ Ganaraska Trail]
* [http://phpl.ca/ Port Hope Public Library]
* [http://www.firemuseumcanada.com/ Canadian Firefighters Museum]
* [http://porthopeyachtclub.com/ Port Hope Yacht Club]
* [http://www.vintagefilmfestival.ca/index.htm Vintage Film Festival]
* [http://www.capitoltheatre.com/Port_Hope_Festival_Theatre_-111221.html Port Hope Festival Theatre]
* [http://www.porthopefair.com/ Port Hope & District Agricultural Fall Fair]
* [http://www.allcanadianjazz.ca/ The All Canadian Jazz Festival]
* Port Hope Olde Tyme Christmas (includes Festival of Trees, Candlelight Walk and Carol Singing, Candlelight Christmas in Memorial Park and the Santa Claus Parade)
* The Port Hope Drive-In (Built in 1952, it is among the oldest Canadian drive-ins still in business)
* Various artisan, house and garden tours
* Piers Kreps


* St. Mary's Elementary School, Catholic JK-3 (scheduled to close in 2009)
* St. Anthony's Elementary School, Catholic 4-8 (to add grades JK-3 in 2009)
* Beatrice Strong Public School, Public JK-6
* Central Public School, Public JK-6 (proposed to be closed September 2009)
* Howard Jordan Public School, Public JK-6 (proposed addition to be open September 2009)
* George Hamilton Public School, Public JK-6
* North Hope Central School, Public JK-6
* Dr M. S. Hawkins Senior Public School, Public Gr 7-8 (same building as Port Hope High School)
* Port Hope High School, Public Gr 9-12
* Port Hope High School Student to Work Transition Program (SWOT Campus), Public Grade 9-12
* Trinity College School, Private Gr 5-12

Notable residents

* Wing Commander "Dal" Russel DSO DFC and bar (1918-2007)- born in Port Hope.
* Located in Bewdley at the corner of Rice Lake Dr. and Cty. Rd. 9, is the monument that was erected in 1919 to commemorate Joseph M. Scriven, writer of the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Also, a memorial stone inscribed with the words of the hymn is located in Port Hope Memorial Park. He wrote the poem in 1857 in Port Hope (where he was a tutor) after losing his second fiancée to disease. Scriven's actual burial plot is located southeast of Bailieboro, Ontario.
* Writer Wade Rowland
* Writer Farley Mowat
* Writer Claire Mowat
* Children's author Richard Scrimger
* Children's author Ted Staunton
* Baseball pitcher Paul Quantrill
* Pro baseball player Jason Green
* Entertainer William Leonard Hunt, known by his stage name "The Great Farini"
* Artist David Blackwood
* NHLers Jimmy Roberts, Paul Terbenche, Dennis O'Brien and Shane O'Brien
* Beatrice Strong, the first woman to chair a school board in Ontario.
* Poet Mary Josephine Trotter Benson


*cite news | url=http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2008.03-environment-radiation-pollution/ | date=March 2008 | title=Nuclear Reaction | publisher=The Walrus

External links

* [http://www.porthope.ca/ Municipality of Port Hope Official Website]
* [http://www.porthopechamber.com Port Hope Chamber of Commerce]

Low Level Radioactive Waste Management Office, Port Hope Area Initiative http://www.llrwmo.org/en/porthope/porthope.html

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