Westport, Ontario

Westport, Ontario

Westport is a village in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It lies at the west end of Upper Rideau Lake, at the head of the navigable Rideau Canal system, between Kingston and Ottawa.

The village of Westport was incorporated as an independent municipality in 1904. Surrounded by the Township of Rideau Lakes, within Leeds and Grenville County, Westport is one of Ontario's smallest municipalities. A quiet little village with a population of about 700 (2001), it is a popular destination for tourists, due to the number of interesting shops in the town.

A public wharf on a man-made island has dock space for up to 30 vessels. The harbour also has a picnic area, barbecues, and sewage pumpout facilities.

Fishing in the area is particularly good because of the fish-rearing ponds set up by the Government of Ontario in 1957. Yellow perch, smallmouth bass, pickerel, and Northern pike populate the waters.

Foley Mountain Conservation Area, the highest conservation area in the Rideau Valley, is a picturesque park overlooking Westport. It features a variety of wildlife in 308 hectares (2.4 km²) of woods and fields. The area also has a sandy beach with changing facilities. The 300 km Rideau Trail, linking Kingston and Ottawa, passes through the conservation area.

Events in Westport include:

* the Annual [http://www.artatwork.ca/westport_studiotours/dandelions/index.htm Dandelions Studio Tour] , held on the long weekend in May
* the Annual [http://www.westportrideaulakes.on.ca/special-attractions.cfm Westport Antique Show and Sale] , held on the first weekend in June
* the Annual Westport Music Festival in the middle of August
* the Annual [http://www.rideauvalleyartfestival.com Rideau Valley Art Festival] , held at the end of August
*the very popular [http://www.artatwork.ca/westport_studiotours/fall-colours/index.htm Fall Colours Studio Tour] , held annually on Thanksgiving weekend in October.
* the Santa Claus Parade, held at the end of November

It is also the home of the provincially renowned, travelling rock and roll band [http://www.bullmoose.ca Bullmoose] .


The first settlers to the Westport area arrived in the period between 1810 and 1820. The land on which Westport now sits was originally granted by the Crown to a Mr. Hunter, but he never settled in the area and was eventually purchased by Reuben Sherwood in 1817. Some of this land was later purchased by the Stoddard and Manhard families. The small community was known as Head of the Lake. In 1828, Stoddard built a saw mill and in 1829 the Manhards built a saw mill and grist mill. It became known at that time as Manhard's Mills. It was two local merchants, Aaron Chambers and Lewis Cameron, who in 1841, named the village Westport, the name reflecting its location at the west end of Upper Rideau Lake. The village of Westport was incorporated in 1904.

Westport remained a thriving commercial centre through the 19th century and into the 20th century. The building of the Rideau Canal allowed goods to be shipped north to Ottawa and south to Kingston. In 1882, an entrepreneur named R.G. Harvey proposed an ambitious project to build a railway from Brockville to Sault Ste. Marie. The project ran out of money after the section from Brockville to Westport had been completed in 1888. The Brockville-Westport line moved goods, mail and people to and from the St. Lawrence River and Westport. Many cheese factories were located between Brockville and Westport. The train was therefore known as the "cheese run." The rail line also brought tourists north to Westport starting a tradition of Westport as a tourist destination. The last train travelled the B&W line in 1952.


Westport was served by an Ontario Provincial Police station and also has its own volunteer fire department. [http://www.review-mirror.com The Review Mirror] , the community newspaper, is published on Thursdays. With a subscription base of only 700, it is one of Ontario's smallest weeklies. The Village of Westport also boasts a number of unique shops, pubs and eateries. These include [http://www.villagegreenwestport.com The Village Green] , The Pine Cone and [http://www.funandfunky.ca The Sandman] , [http://www.batemanhouse.com/ Bateman House Furniture] , [http://www.lyonsgoodfellowfurniture.com Lyons Goodfellow Furniture] , [http://www.coveinn.com The Cove Country Inn] , [http://www.tangledgardencafe.com The Tangled Garden Cafe] , Steve's Rideau Restaurant, an LCBO outlet, an Esso gas station, The Lower Mountain Mercantile, Cedar Bridge Ice Cream and Candy, Tim-Br Mart (lumber), Noco Convenience Store, an IDA pharmacy with a gift shop and Sears outlet, [http://www.churchstreetbakery.com Church Street Bakery] and Westport Bakery. A complete business index for the area can be found [http://www.review-mirror.com/business/index.html here] .

Recent events

Recently, residents of Westport have been growing more disgruntled about the alleged poaching of fish resources at Westport Harbour. This anger has led to incidents of verbal and physical assault and intimidation of anglers visiting Westport. Toronto Sun report "A fine Kettle of fish" [http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Warmington_Joe/2007/10/02/4542910-sun.php] ]


External links

* [http://www.village.westport.on.ca/ The Corporation of the Village of Westport]
* [http://www.explorewestport.com/ Westport Village]
* [http://www.westportrideaulakes.on.ca/ Westport & Rideau Lakes Chamber Of Commerce]
* [http://www.rideauvalley.on.ca/careas/foley/index.html Foley Mountain Conservation Area]
* [http://www.coveinn.com/ Cove Inn Resort]
* [http://www.churchstreetbakery.com/ Church Street Bakery]
* [http://www.urla.ca/ Upper Rideau Lake Association]
* [http://www.rideauresorts.com/ Upper Rideau Resorts]
* [http://www.rideaulakesgolf.ca/ Rideau Lakes Golf and Country Club]
* [http://www.review-mirror.com/ Westport Review-Mirror]

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