The John, Ontario and Queen Street Heritage Conservation District
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!


The 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 province.

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

Three 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 and enhancement.

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