by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams
You're going to love it here!
The following is an excerpt from the Port Hope Tourism website - "The Port Hope area abounds with beautiful scenery and attractions. This historic community is nationally acclaimed for its designated heritage conservation district main street-winner of TV Ontario's competition for the "Best Preserved Main Street in Ontario", and for its wealth of beautifully restored early homes and buildings. Port Hope can boast of over 280 designated buildings-more per capita than anywhere else in Canada!"
"The following is a description of Port Hope based on our several visits to the town"
If you love antiquing, Port Hope is the town to visit! Known for having the "Best Preserved Main Street in Ontario", Port Hope boasts over 20% of Ontario’s Canadian Antique Dealers offering unique antique shops and a flourishing Architecture Conservancy. Port Hope is also home of the Capitol Theatre, Canada’s only surviving “atmospheric theatre”. Many of Canada’s best known stars have performed there. Port Hope, located on the shores of Lake Ontario offers an idyllic way of life. Many seniors have escaped from Toronto and now call Port Hope their home. For many years Judi and I worked in Port Hope and enjoyed it immensely. Port Hope offers its residents and visitors great amenities including 2 golf courses, Ganaraska Forest and the Jack Burger Recreation Centre. Festivals and Events include Estival, Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny, the All Canadian Jazz Festival, Historic House Tours, and Olde Tyme Christmas. Port Hope was also the home of The Great Farini (William Leonard Hunt) and Joseph Scriven. Joseph Scriven is best known for penning the hymn “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”. This is as a result of a letter he sent his mother. Scriven was born in Ireland and eventually immigrated to Canada. He lived and died in the Municipality of Port Hope.
William Leonard Hunt lived in the mid 1800’s and was one of Canada’s and perhaps the world’s most interesting characters. Hunt, or as he became better known as "The Great Farini", was everything from a "tight rope walker", to a "trapezes artist" and to a "Circus performer trainer and manager". He managed people and businesses. He was a botanist and produced several new plants. He was an explorer, "discovering" the Lost City of the Kalahari Desert He was an inventor and is credited with inventing the "human cannonball", "folding theatre seats" and much more! And, he was a land owner. He once owned most land in Hope Township (now part of the municipality of Port Hope). In his later years he lived and died in Port Hope and is now buried in Port Hope’s Union Cemetery. You can learn more about “The Great Farini” by going to www.shanepeacock.ca and about Joseph Scriven by going to www.josephscriven.org . Other famous Port Hope residents include Baseball pitcher and Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Paul Quantrill, artists, David Blackwood and writer, Farley Mowat. Port Hope is a great place to work and live and a special place to visit.