Our Canada: Port Colborne, Ont.

Our Canada: Port Colborne, Ont.

Karen Blaha/Flickr Image by: Karen Blaha/Flickr Author: Canadian Living


Our Canada: Port Colborne, Ont.

I’ve lived in Port Colborne, Ont., for 14 years and I am proudest of three main things: the city’s historic West Street borders the Welland Canal and is lined with pretty shops and restaurants; we are the first free-trade coffee city in Canada; and we host Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival, which has the largest outdoor fireworks display in Ontario.

Those are just a few highlights, but there are many more surprising things to do during a visit to the area.

1. Learn about the history of the Welland Canal and our community at the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, which hosts marine displays, historical demonstrations and an annual arts & crafts show.

2. Stroll through the gardens and fountains of Lock 8 Gateway Park.

3. Take a scenic drive along Sugarloaf Street and Lakeshore Road. Turn around at Cement Road, retrace your route and observe the Incredible Shrinking Mill, which seems to get smaller as you drive toward it.

4. On Friday mornings, sample the best Niagara has to offer at the Port Colborne Farmers' Market or the Maker's Market.

5. Visit the new Vale Health & Wellness Centre, which features two ice rinks, a jogging track, six bocce courts, two pools, a gymnasium and a fitness centre.

6. Take out your clubs and hit one of four golf courses. Located in tranquil countryside settings, these courses are well suited to golfers of all levels.

7. Grab a fishing pole, charter a boat and get ready for some of the best Bass and Walleye fishing on the Great Lakes. Boat dock, boat launch, and fish cleaning facilities are available at Sugarloaf Harbour marina and H.H. Knoll Park. The International 444 Walleye Tournament takes place in June.

8. Try your hand at scuba diving and explore the waters of Lake Erie. There are more than 20 marine wrecks within a 30-km radius. Lake schooners, barquentines and tugs from the 19th century can be found resting on the bottom of the lake.

9. Explore the back roads and country lanes of the Lake Erie shore by bike. Cycle west on the Long Beach Pedal or east on the Ridgeway Ramble.

10. Go rockhounding. The ancient Onondaga Escarpment passes through Port Colborne near the shores of Lake Erie. Local quarry sites contain an array of coral fossils extending back more than 380 million years.

11. Attend a summer performance or a concert at the Roselawn Centre.

12. Hit the antique trail and find a hidden treasure. More than 30 outlets are located in town and along the Lake Erie shore.

13. Explore the lakes, streams, wetlands and woods of Mud Lake Conservation Area. A great spot for hiking, fishing, hunting, nature study and birdwatching. More than 60 species of birds and waterfowl have been identified at this location.  

For more kid-friendly activities:

1. Go swimming at Nickel Beach. Sun, white sand and clean, warm water are the perfect summer combination.

2. Visit Sherkston Shores Resort, which has a giant waterslide, tennis, picnic groves, water-sport rentals, a big screen theatre and an indoor arcade.

3. Join a cowboy cookout, take a pony ride, or let the kids explore the playground and petting zoo at Horseplay Niagara.

4. Pack a picnic basket and head for H.H. Knoll Park, where you can also enjoy a round of mini-golf.

Think your city or town can top the historical and family fun in Port Colborne? Let us know for a chance to be featured as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations.

Read more about Ontario:
Our Canada: Oakville, Ont.
Our Canada: Keene, Ont.
A weekend in Toronto: Where to stay, eat and shop


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Our Canada: Port Colborne, Ont.