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Port Hope is a municipality in Southern Ontario, Canada, about 109 kilometres (68 mi) east of Toronto and about 159 kilometres (99 mi) west of Kingston. It is located at the mouth of the Ganaraska River on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the west end of Northumberland County. Port Hope's nearest urban neighbour (25 km to the west) is the City of Oshawa. Since 1868, the town has been home to Trinity College School (previously located in Weston, Ontario).

Port Hope
Municipality of Port Hope
Town hall
Town hall
Port Hope is located in Southern Ontario
Port Hope
Port Hope
Coordinates: 43°57′N 78°18′W / 43.950°N 78.300°W / 43.950; -78.300Coordinates: 43°57′N 78°18′W / 43.950°N 78.300°W / 43.950; -78.300
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Named forHenry Hope
 • TypeTownship
 • MayorBob Sanderson
 • Federal ridingNorthumberland—Peterborough South
 • Prov. ridingNorthumberland—Peterborough South
 • Land279.03 km2 (107.73 sq mi)
 • Urban
12.97 km2 (5.01 sq mi)
 • Municipality (lower-tier)16,214
 • Density58.1/km2 (150/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density942.9/km2 (2,442/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Forward Sortation Area
Area codes905, 289 and 365



Besides the town proper of Port Hope, the municipality of Port Hope comprises a number of villages and hamlets, including the following communities such as Campbellcroft, Canton, Dale, Davidson's Corners (partially), Decker Hollow (ghost town), Elizabethville, Garden Hill, Knoxville, Morrish, Osaca, Perrytown, Port Britain, Quay's Crossing, Rossmount (partially), Thomstown, Welcome, Wesleyville , Zion.


Ganaraska was attributed to the area by the First Nations natives of the region and is what they called the river that flows through the town. The name originates from Ganaraske, the Cayuga village first located at the current townsite. The Cayuga, part of the Iroquois Confederacy, had migrated there from New York in 1779, after suffering extensive damage as British allies at their homeland in New York state during the American Revolution.

In 1793, United Empire Loyalists became the first permanent settlers of European heritage in Port Hope, which they called Smith's Creek after a former fur trader. Mills and a town plot were developing by the turn of the century. After the War of 1812, more British settlers were wanted, and a better name was required. After a brief fling with the name Toronto, the village 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 the Province of Quebec.[3] In 1834 Port Hope was incorporated as a town.

Relatively slow growth from 1881 to 1951 resulted in much of the town's original architecture not being demolished in the name of progress. Port Hope's downtown is celebrated now as the best-preserved 19th-century streetscape in Ontario. The town's local chapter of the 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.

On January 1, 2001, the original town amalgamated with Hope Township to form the Municipality of Port Hope and Hope, which was renamed to its current name in November of that same year. Prior to amalgamation, the town's census population was listed as 11,718 while the township's was 3,877.


Top ten Port Hope industries by employment (2015)[4]
Company Employees
CPK Interior Products 403
Cameco Corporation 390
ESCO 157
Cameco Fuel Services 140
Akzo Nobel 78
Standard Auto Wreckers 60
Disk Tooling 40
Curtis Chicks 32
Unitrak 21
Port Hope Patterns 12

Downtown Port Hope is well known as a shopping destination for antiques and other specialty items and is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved main streets in Ontario. Port Hope is served by a Via Rail station. It has a medical centre, a walk-in clinic, and a community health centre. It has had its own daily newspaper since 1878, the Port Hope Evening Guide, which was, until 2007, a part of the Osprey Media chain and subsequently a part of the Sun Media organization; in 2009 the newspaper was amalgamated with the Cobourg Daily Star and renamed Northumberland In November 2017 this newspaper was included in the large scale closing of many local community newspapers throughout the province of Ontario.[5] Port Hope's Economic Development Strategic Plan aims to increase job growth at least as fast as population growth. The town has a variety of industries.

Radiation and cleanupEdit

Port Hope is known for having the largest volume of historic low-level radioactive wastes in Canada. These wastes were created by Eldorado Mining and Refining Limited and its private sector predecessors, as a result of the refining process used to extract radium from uranium ore. Radium was used in "glow-in-the-dark" paint (such as aircraft dial paint during the Second World War), and in the early treatment of cancer.[6] The Eldorado plant also produced uranium, which may have been used in the Manhattan Project that created the first nuclear weapon. It continues to produce uranium fuel for nuclear power plants, now under the ownership of Cameco.

In 2002, a large amount of contaminated soil was removed from beachfront areas.[7] More recently, a testing program has begun of over 5,000 properties, with a plan to remove and store contaminated soil used as landfill. Well over a billion dollars is expected to be spent on the soil remediation project, the largest such cleanup in Canadian history. The effort is projected to be complete in 2022.[8]

Ganaraska RiverEdit

Ganaraska River at Port Hope

The Ganaraska River (affectionately known as "The Ganny"), is well known to area anglers for annual salmon and trout runs. It has caused many historic floods, the most recent having been in April, 1980. Every April since, Port Hope has commemorated the flood with "Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny" ten kilometer river race.[9][10][11] "Participants range from serious paddlers navigating the cold, fast moving water in kayaks and canoes, to the very entertaining 'crazy craft' paddlers, floating any combination of materials down the river in an attempt to reach the finish line."[12]


Highway 401 runs through the north end of Port Hope.

Port Hope Transit provides local bus service, and VIA Rail provides passenger service from the Port Hope railway station along the Toronto-Montreal corridor. The station was built in 1856 for the Grand Trunk Railway and later CN Rail. It was restored in 1985.[citation needed]

Pleasure boats dock at the foot of John Street at Hayward Street and share the facilities with Cameco, which has berths for freighters servicing their manufacturing facilities at the mouth of the Ganaraska River.


Census Population
1841 1,200
1851 2,476
1871 5,114
1881 5,581
1891 5,042
1901 4,188
1911 5,092
1921 4,456
1931 4,723
1941 5,006
1951 6,548
1961 8,091
1971 8,872
1981 9,992
1991 11,505
2001 15,605
2006 16,390
2011 16,214
Canada census – Port Hope, Ontario community profile
2011 2006
Population: 16,214 (-1.1% from 2006) 16,390 (5.0% from 2001)
Land area: 279.03 km2 (107.73 sq mi) 278.97 km2 (107.71 sq mi)
Population density: 58.1/km2 (150/sq mi) 58.8/km2 (152/sq mi)
Median age: 43.6 (M: 42.4, F: 44.6)
Total private dwellings: 6870 6560
Median household income: $60,382
References: 2011[13] 2006[14] earlier[15]

Mother tongue spoken:[14]

  • English as first language: 94.7%
  • French as first language: 1.0%
  • English and French as first language: 0%
  • Other as first language: 4.3%


The Capitol Theatre is Canada's last functioning atmospheric theatre.[16] 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.

The Municipality of Port Hope is home to many heritage and cultural attractions, and events, including:

  • Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny—a water race commemorating the flood of the Ganaraska River in 1980[17]
  • Ganaraska Forest Centre
  • Canadian Firefighters Museum[18]
  • Port Hope Yacht Club
  • Port Hope Festival Theatre at the Capitol Theatre
  • Port Hope and District Agricultural Fall Fair
  • The All Canadian Jazz Festival
  • Port Hope Farmers' Market (May to October)[19]
  • Port Hope Christmas and Santa Claus Parade (includes Festival of Trees, Candlelight Walk to Memorial Park, and Carol Singing)
  • Port Hope Drive-In (Built in 1952, it is among the oldest Canadian drive-ins still operating)
  • Architectural Conservancy of Ontario Annual House Tour, Garden Tour, and Antiques and Artifacts Auction
  • Port Hope and District Historical Society Dorothy's House Museum
  • Port Hope Archives[20]
  • Friends of Wesleyville Village
  • Beaches:
    West Beach (Parking at the end of Marsh Street)
    East Beach (Parking at the bottom of King Street at Madison Street)
  • Port Hope Waterfront Trail[21]
  • Port Hope Golf and Country Club[22]


  • St. Anthony's Elementary School, Catholic JK–8
  • Ganaraska Trail Public School, Public JK–6
  • North Hope Central School, Public JK–6
  • Beatrice Strong Public 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 c. 1871, Public Gr 9-12 - opened in 1853 as Port Hope Grammar School[23]
  • Port Hope High School Student to Work Transition Program (SWOT Campus), Public Grade 9–12
  • Trinity College School, Private Gr 5–12
  • Discovery Academy, International campus (not active)

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Port Hope census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  2. ^ a b "Port Hope (Population Centre) census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  3. ^ "Ontario Heritage Trust - Bringing our story to life".
  4. ^ "Port Hope Community Profile". Municipality of Port Hope. 2015.
  5. ^ <>
  6. ^ "Port Hope Area Initiative". Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "Ontario town seeks federal inquiry into radiation pollution" Archived 2017-01-12 at the Wayback Machine, The Voice, Volume 15, Issue 43, November 16, 2007. Mandy Gardner
  8. ^ Carola Vyhnak (November 9, 2010). "Port Hope properties tested for radiation". Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "Visit Port Hope: Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny". Municipality of Port Hope. 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Fisher, Pete (April 8, 2017). "Paddlers get creative for Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny in Port Hope, Ont". Toronto Sun/Northumberland Today. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny". Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny. 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny - Crazy Crafts". Passport2017. 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  13. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  14. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  15. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  16. ^ "History of the Capitol Theatre". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  17. ^ "About". Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  18. ^ "Canadian Fire Fighters Museum". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Port Hope Farmers' Market". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Port Hope Archives". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Waterfront Trail". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Port Hope Golf & Country Club". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Wikipedians do it for love. Really. Globe and Mail. July 26, 2010
  25. ^ "Ex NHLer to be honored in Port Hope". July 22, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  26. ^ "The Hamlet of Kendal, Ontario". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Former Pro Hockey Player Dies". January 11, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2013.

External linksEdit