Port Perry, Ontario Canada

Discover Port Perry, Ontario: A Historical and Cultural Hub

Port Perry, Ontario, is a vibrant community nestled in Scugog, Ontario, Canada. Situated 84 kilometres northeast of central Toronto, north of Oshawa, and east of Whitby, this town boasts a population of 9,553 as of 2021. Serving as the administrative and commercial centre for the township of Scugog, Port Perry is a hub for many small communities in the Scugog area.

The Rich History of Port Perry, Ontario

The area around Port Perry was first surveyed as part of Reach Township by Major Samuel Street Wilmot in 1809. The first settler, Reuben Crandell, a United Empire Loyalist, built a homestead with his wife in May 1821. Their original home is still in use and can be seen on King Street between Prince Albert and Manchester.

In 1848, settler Peter Perry laid out village lots on the shore of Lake Scugog on the site of a former native village known as Scugog Village. The townsite was named Port Perry in 1852 and was incorporated as a village in 1871. At the time, there was an intense rivalry between Port Perry and two nearby towns, Prince Albert and Manchester.

The first train on the Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway reached the terminus in Port Perry in 1872. The following year, the grain elevator was built, still standing today as Canada's oldest existing grain elevator. The village was amalgamated with Cartwright, Reach and Scugog Townships to form the Township of Scugog in 1974 upon the creation of the Regional Municipality of Durham.

Cultural and Recreational Activities in Port Perry, Ontario

Port Perry's Victorian-era downtown is a tourist destination, with clothing stores, restaurants, cafés, bookstores, galleries and antique shops. In the summer, the town features the festivals Mississauga First Nation Pow Wow, the Highland Games, the Dragon Boat Races and StreetFest. Port Perry is also home to the Theatre on The Ridge summer theatre festival featuring 6 shows performed at Townhall 1873 during July and August.

The Lake Scugog shoreline offers two popular lakeside parks, Palmer and Birdseye. There are active fishing seasons, both winter and summer. In the winter months, Lake Scugog is dotted with ice-fishing huts and is a destination for ice fishermen and snowmobilers.

Port Perry, Ontario in Film

Port Perry has attracted many film crews over the years, both for feature film and television. It doubled as the fictional Maine town of Mooseport in the 2004 film Welcome to Mooseport and was used briefly as a small town in New Hampshire during the sixth season of The West Wing.

The town was the primary production location for the 1996 film, Fly Away Home, based on Port Perry inventor Bill Lishman's experiments in the 1980s and 1990s imprinting geese in order to alter and preserve migration routes. The film fictionalized Lishman's personal life, but used him as a consultant for its aerial and technical production.

Port Perry is also used as exteriors for the TV series Hemlock Grove which is set in Western Pennsylvania. American TV Series "Jack Reacher" (Season 1) was shot around Downtown Port Perry in 2020–2021. The town's "Piano Inn & Cafe" was changed into a "JJ's Ale House" for the shoot. Port Perry is being used as a small town known as Lakeside for season three of the Amazon show American Gods (TV series). They painted the Mill black and added fake shops, the "PORT PERRY" wording at the top of the Old Mill will be changed to "LAKESIDE as well as adding fake snow around the town.