Port Colborne
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Port Colborne

Port Colborne
City of Port Colborne
Former bank building on West Street in Port Colborne[1]
Former bank building on West Street in Port Colborne[1]
Motto(s): 
"Gateway to Navigation"[2]
Location of Port Colborne in the Niagara Region
Location of Port Colborne in the Niagara Region
Port Colborne is located in Southern Ontario
Port Colborne
Port Colborne
Location in southern Ontario
Coordinates: 42°53?N 79°15?W / 42.883°N 79.250°W / 42.883; -79.250Coordinates: 42°53?N 79°15?W / 42.883°N 79.250°W / 42.883; -79.250
Country Canada
Province Ontario
RegionNiagara
Settled1830s
Incorporated1870 (village)
 1966 (city)
Government
 o MayorBill Steele
 o MPVance Badawey (Liberal)
 o MPPJeff Burch (NDP)
Area
 o Land121.96 km2 (47.09 sq mi)
Elevation175.30 m (575.13 ft)
Population
(2016)[4]
 o Total18,306
 o Density150.1/km2 (389/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Port Colbornite
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 o Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Forward Sortation Area
Area code(s)905, 289, 365
GNBC CodeFCHYP[6]
Websiteportcolborne.ca

Port Colborne (2016 population 18,306) is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is located on Lake Erie, at the southern end of the Welland Canal, in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario. The original settlement, known as Gravelly Bay, dates from 1832 [7] and was renamed after Sir John Colborne, a British war hero and the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada at the time of the opening of the (new) southern terminus of the First Welland Canal in 1833.

History

In pre-colonial times, the Neutral Indians lived in the area, due in part to the ready availability of flint and chert from outcroppings on the Onondaga Escarpment.[8] This advantage was diminished by the introduction of firearms by European traders, and they were driven out by the Iroquois around 1650 as part of the Beaver Wars.

Originally called Gravelly Bay, after the shallow, bedrock-floored bay upon which it sits, today's City of Port Colborne traces its roots back to the United Empire Loyalist settlements that grew up in the area following the American Revolution. Growth became focused around the southern terminus of the Welland Canal after it reached Lake Erie in 1833. The town was the location of the Port Colborne explosion a grain elevator explosion that killed 10 and injured 16.

As the population rose, Welland County was formed in 1845 from Lincoln County and 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. In 1970, Niagara Region municipal restructuring added Humberstone Township, further expanding the city.[9][10]

Sometime during the 1880s, American tourists from the Southern states began building vacation homes on the lakeshore of the Western edge of the town. Before long, an entire gated community of vacationers from the South called Port Colborne their home during the summer months.[11]

Port Colborne was one of the hardest hit communities during the Blizzard of 1977. Thousands of people were stranded when the city was paralyzed during the storm, and the incident remains one of significance to the local population.[12]

Environmental concerns

Emissions from Inco's base metal refinery, closed in 1984, resulted in soils contaminated with concentrations of nickel, copper and cobalt above the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's "soil remediation criteria."[13] However, two studies, one in 1997 and another in 1999 found "[no] adverse health effects which may have resulted from environmental exposures."[13] After a series of public meetings between the City, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and Inco, it was decided to perform a Community-Based Risk Assessment, a process designed to determine whether the contamination poses a threat to the current, past, or future residents of Port Colborne, and what Inco must do to clean up the contaminated areas.[14]

Some residents launched a Class-Action Lawsuit against Inco in 2001[15][16] seeking $750 million in damages to health, property value, and quality-of-life. Although this suit failed to be certified in 2002,[17][18] it was subsequently modified to limit the class, and focus solely on devaluation of property[19] and was certified on appeal on November 18, 2005.[20][21] A timeline of the case has been written from the point of view of the plaintiffs.[22]

On July 6, 2010, the Ontario Supreme Court sided with the residents and awarded more than 7,000 households in Port Colborne a total of $36 million. Households in the Rodney Street area, in the shadow of the nickel refinery, were each awarded $23,000 while those living on the east and west sides of Port Colborne were each awarded $9,000 and $2,500 respectively.[23] Vale appealed the ruling to the Ontario Court of Appeal, who found in 2010 that the plaintiff had not provided sufficient evidence of economic harm, raising the legal burden of proof but not invalidating Rylands v Fletcher as precedent law.[24][25][26] In April 2012 the Supreme Court of Canada sided with Vale and denied the residents the awarded compensation.[27][28] Court costs in the amount of CAD$1,766,000 were awarded the defendant by Henderson, J.[22]

Geography

Climate

Climate data for Port Colborne (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
(59.0)
16.0
(60.8)
24.0
(75.2)
32.5
(90.5)
31.5
(88.7)
33.5
(92.3)
35.0
(95.0)
33.0
(91.4)
31.0
(87.8)
27.2
(81.0)
20.0
(68.0)
18.0
(64.4)
35.0
(95.0)
Average high °C (°F) -0.4
(31.3)
0.6
(33.1)
4.8
(40.6)
11.5
(52.7)
17.9
(64.2)
23.1
(73.6)
25.9
(78.6)
25.4
(77.7)
21.3
(70.3)
14.8
(58.6)
8.7
(47.7)
2.7
(36.9)
13.0
(55.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) -3.7
(25.3)
-2.9
(26.8)
0.8
(33.4)
7.0
(44.6)
13.2
(55.8)
18.7
(65.7)
21.9
(71.4)
21.3
(70.3)
17.4
(63.3)
11.0
(51.8)
5.5
(41.9)
-0.4
(31.3)
9.2
(48.6)
Average low °C (°F) -6.9
(19.6)
-6.5
(20.3)
-3.2
(26.2)
2.4
(36.3)
8.5
(47.3)
14.4
(57.9)
17.8
(64.0)
17.2
(63.0)
13.4
(56.1)
7.3
(45.1)
2.2
(36.0)
-3.4
(25.9)
5.3
(41.5)
Record low °C (°F) -26
(-15)
-25
(-13)
-24
(-11)
-11.5
(11.3)
-3.5
(25.7)
2.2
(36.0)
6.0
(42.8)
5.0
(41.0)
-0.5
(31.1)
-6.1
(21.0)
-11.5
(11.3)
-26
(-15)
-26
(-15)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 73.1
(2.88)
57.0
(2.24)
66.8
(2.63)
76.1
(3.00)
89.7
(3.53)
78.9
(3.11)
82.2
(3.24)
82.5
(3.25)
98.0
(3.86)
90.4
(3.56)
100.9
(3.97)
88.8
(3.50)
984.6
(38.76)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 32.5
(1.28)
26.9
(1.06)
46.6
(1.83)
71.9
(2.83)
89.1
(3.51)
78.9
(3.11)
82.2
(3.24)
82.5
(3.25)
98.0
(3.86)
89.7
(3.53)
95.2
(3.75)
53.2
(2.09)
846.8
(33.34)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 40.5
(15.9)
30.1
(11.9)
20.2
(8.0)
4.2
(1.7)
0.6
(0.2)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.8
(0.3)
5.8
(2.3)
35.6
(14.0)
137.7
(54.2)
Average precipitation days 15.2 11.1 12.5 13.8 13.3 11.2 10.6 10.3 11.8 13.4 15.1 14.9 153.2
Average rainy days 6.2 5.3 8.7 13.2 13.3 11.2 10.6 10.3 11.8 13.4 13.9 9.0 127.1
Average snowy days 9.6 6.6 4.5 1.4 0.08 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.12 1.9 7.1 31.3
Source: Environment Canada.[5]

Communities

Communities within the city include:

  • Bethel - Chippawa Road and Yeger Road
  • Cedar Bay - Cedar Bay Road and Vimy Road
  • East Village
  • Elco Beach - Wyldewood Road and Fireland 15
  • Gasline - Pinecrest Road and Vimy Road
  • Humberstone - Killaly Street and Highway 3
  • Lorraine - Weaver Road and Firelane 1
  • Nickel Beach - foot of Lake Road
  • Pine Crest Point - Pincrest Road and Firelane 2
  • Pleasant Beach
  • Sherkston
  • Sherkston Beaches
  • Shisler Point
  • Silver Bay
  • Sugar Loaf Point/Sugar Loaf Marina - west side of Gravelly Bay

Demographics

Economy

Maritime commerce, including supplying goods to the camps for the labourers who worked on the first canal, ship repair and the provisioning trade, was, and still is, an important part of Port Colborne's economy. Like other cities in the region, Port Colborne was a heavily industrial city throughout most of the early 20th century. A grain elevator, two modern flour mills,[33][34] a Vale nickel refinery,[35] a cement plant operated by Port Colborne Canada Cement, and a blast furnace operated by Algoma Steel were all major employers. However, several of these operations have closed over the past thirty years,[when?] while those companies that remain now employ significantly fewer residents due to modernization and cutbacks.[]

In more recent years,[when?] Port Colborne has been successful attracting new industry, such as the agro-business operations of Casco Inc.[36] and Jungbunzlauer,[37] which process corn into products such as sweeteners and citric acid.

The International Nickel Company (now Vale) has long been one of the city's main employers, since the opening of a refinery in 1918. Taking advantage of inexpensive hydroelectricity from generating stations at nearby Niagara Falls, the refinery produced electro-refined nickel for the war effort, and grew to employ over 2,000 workers by the 1950s. Cutbacks in operations and increasing factory automation have reduced the workforce to its present-day (2018) total of 170.[38]

Marine Recycling Corporation is a ship recycling firm, boasting of Green (environmentally friendly) services, located next to the Welland Canal at Gravelly Bay and operating since the 1970s. [39]

A 2012 report indicates the following as the largest private sector employers, with a staff of over 50, in Port Colborne at that time:[40]

  • Port Colborne Poultry (Pinty's Delicious Foods), 229 employees
  • Vale Canada Limited, 200
  • J. Oskam Steel Fabricators Ltd., 150
  • IMT Partnership, 108
  • ADM Milling, 95
  • Thurston Machine Co. Ltd., 85
  • JTL Machine Ltd., 78
  • Jungbunzlauer Canada Inc., 74
  • Brennan Paving Ltd., 70
  • Ingredion Canada Inc., 70

Arts and culture

Port Colborne hosts the annual Canal Days festival in recognition of the important role played by the Welland Canal in the history of the city. Originating as a small fair held at the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, it has grown to feature live music, an antique car show, fireworks, tall ships, a kite festival, and international foods. The festival also highlights Lock 8, which at 420 m (1,380 ft), is one of the world's longest canal locks.[41] Lock 8 keeps the water level on the Welland Canal constant independent of weather on Lake Erie. Hence the ships are only raised or lowered one to four feet depending on the current water level in Lake Erie. Much of the festival centres around West St., which runs parallel to the canal, and offers a view of the Clarence St. Bridge, built in 1929, one of very few remaining lift bridges on the canal.[]

The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, located near the centre of town, is a resource for local history and archival research. In addition to a collection of historic buildings and artifacts, it opened the "Marie Semley Research Wing" to foster research into local history, named to commemorate the long-standing efforts of a local resident who devoted hours to the museum.[]

The community features theatre venues with the professional Showboat Festival Theatre and the amateur Port Colborne Operatic Society.[42] The company has been presenting annual productions since its inception in 1945.

The Port Colborne Lions Club, chartered in 1922, is one of the world's oldest Lions Clubs, and one of Canada's oldest service clubs in continuous operation.[43] The club is still active within the community, hosting many yearly events including an annual Lions Club Carnival in the summer.[44]

Kinnear House is a local heritage property associated with the jurist Helen Kinnear, the first woman in Canada to be appointed judge by the federal government, or to appear as counsel before the Supreme Court.[]

The "incredible shrinking mill" is an optical illusion produced when viewing the federal grain elevator in Port Colborne. When travelling east on Lakeshore Road, the mill appears to move farther away as one drives closer.[45]

Attractions

Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum
Welland Canal in Port Colborne

Tourism is important to the Port Colborne's economy, aided by the city's proximity to Lake Erie beaches and marinas, and to Niagara Falls. In 2015, Port Colborne formed The Tourism and Marketing Advisory Committee to provide advice and recommendations for increasing this aspect of the economy.[46] Described by the city as "Niagara's South Coast", Port Colborne features live theatre, golfing, trails, fishing, beaches, restaurants, recreation, a marina, and shopping districts along the Welland Canal.[47]

Notable sites in Port Colborne include:[48]

  • 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
  • Historical and Marine Museum

Education

There are two high schools in Port Colborne, Port Colborne High School (commonly called Port High) and the Lakeshore Catholic High School (formerly a public high school called Lockview Park Secondary School). Lockview closed in 1987.

Notable people

References

  1. ^ "index.HTM". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "City of Port Colborne - Quick Facts". portcolborne.ca. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ City of Port Colborne o Mayor's Office
  4. ^ a b "Port Colborne, Ontario (Code 3526011) census profile". 2016 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Port Colborne, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981-2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ "Port Colborne". Natural Resources Canada. October 6, 2016.
  7. ^ "Port Colborne - Ontario, Canada". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Huron Indians". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "index.HTM". Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "City of Port Colborne - History". www.portcolborne.com. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "City of Port Colborne o History". portcolborne.ca. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ McNeil, Mark (January 28, 2012). "Missing the snow? A look back at the Blizzard of '77". TheSpec.com. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ a b Government of Ontario, Canada / Gouvernement de l'Ontario, Canada
  14. ^ "City of Port Colborne". Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ "English - JATAM". www.jatam.org. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "Koskie Minsky LLP". Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "Koskie Minsky LLP" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 9, 2007. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ "Trouble for Toxic Torts as Class Actions". Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ hazmatmag summary as at February 2004 Archived June 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Koskie Minsky LLP" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 8, 2006. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ ""Pearson v. Inco Ltd., 2005 CanLII 42474 (ON CA)"". Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Smith v. Inco Ltd. - Koskie Minsky LLP". Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ nurun.com. "Vale appeals $36-million judgment". St. Catharines Standard. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ "Page not found - Norton Rose Fulbright". www.nortonrosefulbright.com. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Case Law Update: Smith v Inco Limited, WeirFoulds". www.weirfoulds.com. Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ Farber, Miller Thomson LLP-Tamara. "No Harm, No Nuisance - The Ontario Court of Appeal Lays Out What Will, and Will Not, Fly in Proving Nuisance: Smith v. Inco Limited - Lexology". Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ "Who pays when your well is sucked dry and your home is contaminated?". halifax.mediacoop.ca. Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ ""Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal of Smith v. Inco"". Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 2009.
  30. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013.
  31. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2009.
  32. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  33. ^ "Archer Daniels Midland - ADM". ADM. July 31, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  34. ^ "- Robin Hood®". www.robinhood.ca. Retrieved 2017.
  35. ^ "Port Colborne". www.vale.com. Retrieved 2017.
  36. ^ "Canada - English". www.casco.ca. Retrieved 2017.
  37. ^ AG, Jungbunzlauer Suisse. "Jungbunzlauer". www.jungbunzlauer.com. Retrieved 2017.
  38. ^ "Vale Port Colborne". ADM. 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  39. ^ "Vale Port Colborne". MRC. 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  40. ^ "TOP 15 PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS IN PORT COLBORNE". City of Port Colborne. Retrieved 2018.
  41. ^ "Welland Canal Navigation, Locks, and Transit Information". www.offshoreblue.com. Retrieved 2017.
  42. ^ "Port Colborne Operatic Society-Home- Port Colborne Operatic Society". www.portcolborneoperaticsociety.com. Retrieved 2017.
  43. ^ Edwards, Luke (October 12, 2012). "Ninety years strong, and we aren't Lion - NiagaraThisWeek.com". Retrieved 2017.
  44. ^ http://www.bexct.com, Bex Consulting Technologies. "Port Colborne Lions Club >> Port Colborne Lions Club - Serving Port Colborne Since 1922". www.portcolbornelionsclub.ca. Retrieved 2017.
  45. ^ "City Of Port Colborne - Visiting Here - The Incredible Shrinking Mill". February 12, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. Retrieved 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  46. ^ "TMAC". City of Port Colborne. Retrieved 2018.
  47. ^ "Canal Days" (PDF). City of Port Colborne. Retrieved 2018.
  48. ^ "Things to do in Port Colborne". Tripadvisor. Retrieved 2018.

External links


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Music Scenes