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The Ganaraska River towards WaltonMedia Kit and Story Starters 

So, you’ve heard of us? Now, get to know us! This is a place where you can slow down. If the weekend was a place, if the weekend was a philosophy, a conversation, a memory – this is where it would be. Port Hope is a place where you can shake hands with a farmer, snuggle a goat, take a dip in a cool lake, eat a meal freshpicked from a local field, and breathe it all in. There’s room here. There’s quiet. There’s slow. And there are more ways to enjoy your day than weekends in a year. Come enjoy craft food, drinks and sunsets by the water. Explore quaint streets and scenic country roads. It’s the weekend.

Ever wondered what would happen if you turned off Highway 401? You’ll discover cute towns and quirky stops along the coast, art studios and farm markets. You’ll come so close to sandy beaches that you will want to get out and put your feet in the water! Port Hope is a place to recharge and reconnect, put away your phone for an hour or two (yes you can!). We’re on the lake, and the Ganaraska River flows right through the downtown core. You can walk by the river up to the fish ladder and conservation areas for good places to picnic and watch for owls.

  • Outdoor life in Port Hope
    Top view of the Ganaraska River with Salmon

    Annual Salmon Migration

    Anglers take note, be it the full moon, rain, advent of cooler nights, or any other cause – something incredible triggers this spectacular natural phenomenon to occur in Port Hope. Every August through to early October, thousands of Atlantic salmon migrate up the Ganaraska River from Lake Ontario to spawn.
    Tourists flock to the area to photograph and watch the fish as they jump and fight against the river’s current to climb to the top. A man-made fish ladder allows visitors a close-up look at the salmon as they tirelessly swim up the Ganaraska. Planning a day off in late summer or early fall? Don’t miss the Port Hope salmon migration in action.

    Family walking along East Beach

    The Golden Shores

    Steps from popular downtown restaurants, cafes and shops, lies the serenely beautiful Port Hope waterfront. Whether traveling East or West of the Ganaraska River you will find long quiet stretches of golden sandy beaches – ideal places for a refreshing swim on a hot summer afternoon. Enjoy the beach while strolling next to Lake Ontario, relaxing, reading and tanning in one of the few best kept “little-known” secret beach locations along the lake perimeter of the Golden Horseshoe. Get out of the GTA, skip work for the day and enjoy yourself with an escape to the golden shores of Port Hope.

    Crazy craft floating down the Ganaraska River

    Float your Fanny Down the Ganny

    This annual event commemorates the resilience of the Port Hope residents who survived a most devastating flood to rebuild and restore the community to the beautiful place it is today. Each year Port Hope residents gather on the river banks to challenge the Ganaraska with a flotilla of homemade crafts. Experience Port Hope’s most authentic small-town Canadian event. Visit us the first weekend of April and join thousands of residents and tourists as they witness these makeshift crafts navigate the ice-cold water. Cold-weather attire is a must to brave the frigid late-winter temperatures at the river’s edge. An extraordinary way to enjoy Port Hope and an exciting day away from the office.

  • Food and Drink Port Hope
    Plate of food at Cultivate Festival

    Cultivate: A Festival of Food and Drink

    With an excellent selection of restaurants serving local foods and drinks in Port Hope, the town continues to grow its reputation as a top Ontario culinary destination. Naturally, this love of food has led to an annual local food celebration that attracts many tourists to the area. As summer draws to an end in September, Cultivate: A Festival of Food & Drink, winds down the final days of summer with a celebration of local agriculture set to a fantastic soundtrack. Foodies from across the province arrive to sample the tastes of Northumberland in Port Hope’s Memorial Park. Save some vacation time for September, because Cultivate is the perfect day-off excursion for both food and music lovers.

    Burger and fries at Olympus Burger

    Olympus Burger

    Olympus Burger, a landmark Port Hope restaurant, was recently featured on Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here.” A restaurant with a mighty theme and bold flavours, this family-operated business offers a variety of “Greek inspired” hamburgers named after mythical Greek gods and goddesses. Helping Port Hope to define itself as a successful “food destination,” an Olympus Burger comes with a choice of delicious sides. Beverages include special milkshake flavours, craft beer and wine available on tap. It’s well worth the wait (as one of our most popular restaurants, be prepared to line up here during lunch and dinner hour). Take a day off and work up your appetite and maybe you can conquer the “Labour of Hercules.”

    Chef glazing food at the Social Bar and TableL

    The Social Bar & Table

    ocal food, local craft beer and local wine all conspire to create one of Port Hope’s favourite local places. The Social Bar & Table has long-been a favourite meeting place for residents and is fast-becoming a favourite of visitors who are discovering the taste of Northumberland County for the first time. Port Hope has become an intimate dining spot where food lovers continue to flock for good food, friendly service and a great experience overall. Visit The Social and allocate a personal day off to experience the wonderful flavours of Port Hope.

  • Rural Roots in Port Hope
    Goat standing in barn at Haute Goat

    Haute Goat

    Nestled in the heart of Northumberland County, the Municipality of Port Hope boasts some of our province’s best farmland. Local businesses have taken advantage of this by creating unique agricultural experiences to delight the senses of both neighbours and visitors alike. One of Port Hope’s premiere agricultural-entrepreneur attractions, Haute Goat, is a flavour-packed experience awaiting your arrival. Escape the city and spend your day wandering around this charming goat farm. Meet the goats, stay for the evening, relax and be sure to try a few delicious goats’ milk caramel treats..

    Rows of lavender at Laveanne

    Laveanne Lavender Farm

    Commune with nature by losing yourself in a sea of lavender. Laveanne Lavender Farm is a sensory delight, a unique agricultural experience just moments from downtown Port Hope and a tranquil respite from your busy daily life. Experience fields of purple flowers swaying gently in the breeze, attracting honey bees and butterflies and filling the air with the soothing fragrance of lavender. Reflect or meditate while walking the lavender labyrinth. Sample lavender-infused treats and honey, or take fresh lavender home by visiting the on-site shop where you can purchase linen spray, essential oils or sachets. Be sure to book a date to visit during the height of lavender season when special food and entertainment-themed events take place at the farm. Spend your next day off lost in a field of lavender – and rediscover all of your senses.

    Shelfs of product at Primitive Designs

    Primitive Designs

    Primitive Designs is the must-see tourist attraction you have yet to experience. A giant T-Rex and towering robots (who could easily give any Transformer a run for his money) greet you from the road. Imagination springs to life with one-ofa- kind gifts and much more. By searching the planet for unique treasures, fashions, furnishings and art, Primitive Designs houses an eclectic collection of incredible items to inspire you from all corners of the world under one roof. Minutes from downtown Port Hope, whether you’re looking for a gift for the “hard-to-buy-for” or simply taking the day off to explore, a Primitive Designs visit is an unforgettable experience that will kick your imagination into overdrive – yes, you can make room in your den for that life-size motorbike carved from driftwood.

  • Entertainment in Port Hope
    Outside view of the Capitol Theatre at night

    Capitol Theatre

    Recognition as a National Historic Site for its status as one of the oldest restored theatres in Canada, (and one of the few remaining atmospheric auditoriums in North America) was recently granted to the Capitol. Drawing in a huge audience to experience the future of live entertainment is par for the course for this heritage spot. You have never experienced live theatre quite like this. First, be impressed by the vintage theatre setting with original fixtures and stylish 1930s art deco design. Next, be awe-struck by the classic atmospheric English garden setting of the auditorium (complete with twinkling star ceiling). Finally, be amazed by the Capitol’s amazing production team and talented performers on stage. The Capitol should top your list of day-off day-trips.

    Behind the scenes view of IT filming

    Maybe this is what makes IT the perfect foil for horror?

    Pretty Port Hope was transformed into the fictional Derry, Maine, the setting for the Warner Bros. 2017 blockbuster adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. And the evil shape-shifting Pennywise is returning for the sequel, IT CHAPTER TWO slated for release this September 6, 2019. (Get ready for the Port Hope release party. We do it up right!).

    A group of people tree-top trekking in the trees

    Outdoor Adventure

    There’s no better way to stoke your inner mindfulness than a walk in our forest! The quiet beauty, the wildlife, like hawks, songbirds and wild turkeys, and the chance to experience nature. The Ganaraska Forest in Port Hope is 11,000 acres of protected land. You can ride a horse, hike, mountain-bike and make plans for your next corporate event. The education centre has a big hall, accommodations and its own culinary staff. In fact, it’s become a popular place for weddings, and the lookouts in the forest are choice spots for that romantic kiss. It’s also a great way to reintroduce kids to climbing a tree with the pros at Treetop Trekking located here in the forest. High Adventure!

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