The John, Ontario and Queen Street Heritage
In 2003, the Municipality of Port Hope issued a Request for Proposals
to study the possible expansion of the Walton Street Heritage Conservation
District along John, Ontario and Queen Streets, the streets adjacent
to the existing heritage district. The resulting document titled the
Report on the Proposed Expansion of the Heritage Conservation District
dated November 2003 recommended that the heritage district be expanded.
The Report contained Heritage Character Statements for the buildings
within this new district. In March 2006, Heritage Port Hope (formerly
known as LACAC) commissioned a new study be undertaken to be in accordance
with the new amended Ontario Heritage Act.
The John, Ontario and Queen Street Heritage District Conservation Plan
was presented to Council on February 6, 2007.
A By-law to formally create the new John, Ontario and Queen Street Heritage Conservation District was passed by Council in the spring. We formally have 2 heritage districts!
Walton Street Heritage Conservation District is located in the core
of Port Hope's commercial area following Walton Street, the main street,
extending between Pine Street in the west and Mill Street in the east.
Port Hope is known for its noteworthy heritage architecture. The Heritage
District is distinguished by buildings that collectively form one of
the best-preserved and most complete 19th century streetscapes in the
The Walton Street Heritage Conservation District was established by
the passing of By-laws 44/97 and 45/97 by the Council of the Corporation
of the Town of Port Hope on October 6th 1997 recognizing its significant
historical, architectural and contextual value.
Port Hope's noteworthy rolling hill typography lends considerable charm
to the preserved historic streetscape with intersecting streets and
laneways providing access to the significant harbour on Lake Ontario
and secondary streets that follow the Ganaraska River as it winds its
way northward from the lake. While primarily a commercial district built
circa 1845 to 1900, the vast majority of buildings in the heritage district
are those originally constructed of brick after earlier wooden blocks
were destroyed by fire. There are several 19th century houses and a
church within the district and a few 20th century infill buildings.
Port Hope experienced a significant period of prosperity and development
from 1850 to 1880 when the construction of many important public works
were completed. During the 1850s, the building of the harbour, Grand
Trunk Railway and viaduct, and Midland railroad lines and roundhouse
were completed and local industry was developed. The districts overall
heritage character reflects the subsequent growth of Port Hope in response
to these changes.
The Walton Street Heritage Conservation District's
Character Defining Elements
to four storey preserved 19th century commercial blocks many representing
the various architectural styles popular as the downtown core evolved.
The blocks have a similar scale and site plan with compatible setbacks.
The subtle variation of detail and style within the discipline of the
streetscape as a whole makes the district worthy of long-term conservation
Historic laneways branching
off Walton Street add diverse character to the heritage district. Lent
Lane preserves the railway right of way and the location that the Midland
Railway once passed through the downtown core across Walton Street and
between the main street buildings as it made its way to its roundhouse
to the south.
The district includes residential
buildings ranging in style and use of building materials from a modest
frame cottage to brick mid-century terrace housing and townhouses, to
a later Queen Anne style house.
The Heritage District includes
significant public and cultural landmarks such as St. Paul's Presbyterian
Church (1906) and the historic Music Hall and Opera House (1871) intact
on the second floor of the present day Royal Bank.