When European explorers and travellers began their exploration of this area in the 1700’s, they would portage through this area on their way to London, Ontario, from Lake Erie.
In 1832 a ferry service was started between the city of Buffalo, NY, and Port Stanley, Ontario.
Situated where the Kettle Creek meets Lake Erie, and originally named "Kettle Creek", the name of the community was changed in 1824 and named for Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who was a former Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Hockey enthusiasts may be interested to know that the above mentioned Lord Stanley, was the father of the 16th Earl of Derby, Lord Frederick Stanley who became Lieutenant Governor of Canada and is the man after whom the STANLEY CUP is named!
By the beginning of the 20th Century, this village was a great tourist attraction on Lake Erie – not only for its sandy beaches but for the famous Stork Club which was popular with visitors who came to hear Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians
and dance to their Big Band Sound.
Today, there is no Big Band Sound here, however, you can enjoy the good food and music at GT’s Restaurant on the beach!
It is a great place to spend the day with children or with a book sitting in the shade and watching the world go by!
If you have small children who want to play on the sand and paddle in the water, then try the Little Beach, which is located at the end of Main Street.
From the berms near the Little Beach you can check out some of the Southern Ontario fishing - why not pack a picnic and spend a relaxing day seeing what is biting in Lake Erie.
Adults and teens seem to prefer the Big Beach which you find at the end of William St, where you will find Sea-do rentals, restaurants and bars.
Remember when visiting the beach in the summer, please observe safety rules, check the flags for water conditions, and obey the life-guards who are on duty there.
If you are looking for a snacks or a burger & fries meal, try Mackies on the beach, as they have juicy burgers and hot-dogs and it is lovely to sit inside where it is air-conditioned, or outside at the picnic tables..
Buccaneer Restaurant at 128 William Street is a great place for a special meal and our family enjoys dinner there often.
For fine dining the Kettle Creek Inn is a popular restaurant.
If you're looking for a fun place to eat on the beach in the summer, you could check out GT's On the Beach which has a bar and is a fun place to stop and enjoy the beach.
One of the most recognizable land-marks in Port Stanley is the King George IV lift-bridge.
This magnificent bridge, which opened in 1939, spans the Kettle Creek just as it reaches the lake, and opens at regular intervals, to allow sail-boats to pass underneath.
Near the lift-bridge you will find the Port Stanley Terminal Railroad station, and can take the train ride to St Thomas, which has always been one of our family's favourite summer activities.
Check out their schedule of Special Events, including the Santa Treats Train Ride which runs from early December until the week before Christmas.
Residents and holiday-makers alike will enjoy the change of perspective when you see the countryside from the railroad carriages, as the beautifully restored trains make their way toward Union and St Thomas .......... "All Aboard!"
The Port Stanley Festival Theatre will have a full calendar of events for the summer season and other events year round, check out their site for details.
Port Stanley Links
The picture of Port Stanley Harbour is shown thanks to Michael Hoskin and Flickr