Discover Port Colborne, Ontario: A City Rich in History and Natural Beauty
Port Colborne, Ontario, is a charming city nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, at the southern end of the Welland Canal, in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario. With a population of 20,033 in 2021, this city is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty.
The Historical Journey of Port Colborne, Ontario
The history of Port Colborne, Ontario, dates back to pre-colonial times when the Indigenous Onguiaahra (Neutral Iroquois) inhabited the area. The city's original settlement, known as Gravelly Bay, was established in 1832 and renamed after Sir John Colborne, a British war hero and the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.
The city's growth was centered around the southern terminus of the Welland Canal after it reached Lake Erie in 1833. Port Colborne was incorporated as a village in 1870, became a town in 1918, merged with the neighbouring Village of Humberstone in 1952, and was re-incorporated as a city in 1966.
During the American Civil War, Varina Davis, wife of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis, spent three years in the relative comfort and safety of the community. Port Colborne was one of the hardest hit communities during the Blizzard of 1977, a significant event in the city's history.
Environmental Concerns in Port Colborne, Ontario
Port Colborne, Ontario, faced environmental concerns due to emissions from Inco's base metal refinery, which resulted in soil contamination. However, a Community-Based Risk Assessment was performed to determine the threat to the residents and the necessary cleanup actions. A Class-Action Lawsuit was launched against Inco in 2001, which resulted in a compensation award to the residents in 2010.
The Geography and Climate of Port Colborne, Ontario
Communities within Port Colborne, Ontario
Port Colborne, Ontario, is home to several communities, including Bethel, Cedar Bay, East Village, Elco Beach, Gasline, Humberstone, Lorraine, Nickel Beach, Pine Crest Point, Pleasant Beach, Sherkston, Sherkston Beaches, Shisler Point, Silver Bay, Sugar Loaf Point/Sugar Loaf Marina, and Lidsville.
Demographics of Port Colborne, Ontario
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Port Colborne had a population of 20,033 living in 8,710 of its 10,219 total private dwellings, a change of 9.4% from its 2016 population of 18,306.
Arts and Culture in Port Colborne, Ontario
Port Colborne hosts the annual Canal Days festival, a celebration of the city's history and the role of the Welland Canal. The city is also home to the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, the Showboat Festival Theatre, and the Port Colborne Operatic Society. The Port Colborne Lions Club, one of the world's oldest Lions Clubs, is still active within the community.
Attractions in Port Colborne, Ontario
Tourism plays a significant role in Port Colborne's economy, with attractions such as the Welland Canal, Port Colborne Port Promenade, The Friendship Trail, HH Knoll Lakeview Park, The Welland Canals Parkways Trail, Nickel Beach, Lock 8 Gateway Park, Sugarloaf Harbour Marina, and the Historical and Marine Museum.