Port Hope, Ontario – Southern Ontario, Canada

June 27, 2024

Port Hope, Ontario

A Community Embracing New Growth


Innovative strategies and dignified values build a bright future in southern Ontario

Set against an enviable rural backdrop lies the quaint municipality of Port Hope, Ontario. This small yet mighty community, brimming with potential, has been implementing a rather holistic approach to community development that allows it to remedy the exact pitfalls other communities typically face.

Despite its size, this community is known far and wide for its rich history, vibrant culture, and unwavering spirit.

Port Hope’s leadership has made it a point to champion initiatives that attract industries aligned with the town’s identity. By fostering partnerships and investing in infrastructure, Port Hope creates sustainable growth while preserving its unique character.

The community is embracing change and thinking long-term, positioning itself as a hub of opportunity and prosperity.

From big social events to digital outreach programs, Port Hope is adopting a mix of modern and traditional methods to bridge the gap between its rural and urban wards.

Ultimately, success for this organization looks like a vibrant and thriving community, where opportunities abound, and residents feel proud to call it home. So, in this municipality, bold ideas are welcomed, and challenges are met with determination.

As Port Hope charts its course for the future, it envisions a community where residents enjoy a high quality of life, economic opportunities abound, and a strong sense of community prevails.

A Culture that Defines the Community

Port Hope is a small yet vibrant community renowned for its heritage, and woven between the historical charm of its well-preserved downtown streets is an incredibly engaging residential experience.

Several events and festivals punctuate Port Hope’s social calendar, drawing visitors from afar.

From the iconic “Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny” river race to the enchanting Jazz and Candlelight Festivals, Port Hope’s active community life has stepped into the spotlight over the years as a regional hub of fun, entertainment, and culture.

Mayor Olena Hankivsky

“There’s just a whole range of events and activities that occur here throughout the year, So, there’s always something for everyone to do,” says Mayor Olena Hankivsky.

Port Hope also has a stellar reputation within the filming industry, as it was the chosen location for the filming of many hit TV and movie productions like the “IT” horror franchise and Murdoch Mysteries.

Getting to this point of noticeability has not been easy. Port Hope has deployed many methods to promote more engagement and outreach for the municipality, and its strategies have proven to be as effective as they are diverse.

“We use multiple branches. So, that’s social media and our website. We do mail-outs, we have community signs, we do outreach, and we have pretty pivotal partners as well,” says Chief Administrative Officer Candice White. A next step in progressive communication is the launch of a Municipal App in late 2024.”

The municipality has not only attracted tons of attention and visitors over the years, but all of the attention and activity has given its split rural and urban wards a unifying point of pride and communication to gather around.

Partnerships with local institutions like the Capitol Theatre enhance Port Hope’s visibility, attracting theatre enthusiasts from across the province. However, even without that, the municipality is great at getting noticed by the outside world.

Its leaders have adapted creatively to the era of digital communication with a balanced strategy that combines newer and older marketing mediums.

Currently, the latest development is a municipal app being implemented that will soon be accessible to residents and visitors alike.

Local Prosperity Through Expansion and Diversification

While the vibrant social life and residential engagement are quite appealing, Port Hope’s success as a community is also built on a strong local economy.

The economic landscape is marked by stalwart institutions like Cameco, which has been a nuclear-strong pillar of the community for decades.

Simultaneously, the market is also moved by the community’s firmly ingrained moral values. The best example is the $2 Billion Port Hope Area Initiative.

“It’s a radiological clean-up due to the nuclear industry being here over the years, which is a huge economic driver for the municipality and employs hundreds of people,” White explains.

Just as the presence of Cameco stimulates the local economy, this multibillion-dollar counter cleanup project is also being leveraged to significantly boost the town’s economic vitality, create employment opportunities, and drive growth.

This move speaks to the new economic development strategy implemented by Port Hope leadership. As part of that strategy, Port Hope is in both writing and active conversation with a number of industries that it’s hoping to attract to the community.

“We would like to attract industries and businesses that really resonate with the identity of Port Hope. We have a very strong agricultural history, and we’re also, because of the cleanup activity, striving to be a very clean and green community in Ontario,” Mayor Hankivsky explains.

The overall intention is to attract industries that resonate with Port Hope’s community values and this strategic focus significantly increases the odds of sustainable development for the future.

However, it is important to note that the economy isn’t the only area of focus for Port Hope. The municipality has also made infrastructure an area of improvement.

Addressing the infrastructure gap is a top priority for Port Hope’s leadership. Despite facing a $10 million annual shortfall, the town remains committed to funding essential projects while balancing the needs of a growing population.

Chief Administrative Officer Candice White

A Future Focused on the Resident

Currently, leadership is completing a land inventory project to help identify the area within Port Hope that can be leveraged for economic development.

Simultaneously, however, expansions in the municipality’s infrastructure that are most relevant to the people have taken precedence. For example, a 110-unit senior center is scheduled for completion soon, but with limited space, Port Hope’s leaders are getting quite creative in their solutions.

“Not all your traditional brick-and-mortar builds are going to work, so we’re actively pursuing creative solutions for housing such as modular builds and 3D printing,” White says, explaining that leadership is most excited about leveraging these and other green technologies to expand.

As Port Hope charts its course for the future, it’s taking a rather holistic approach to development by focusing on the services that residents need most across the board. The Mayor and a fellow Councillor advocated for the re-opening of the walk-in clinic.

According to Mayor Hankivsky, the way it happened highlights what’s truly special about Port Hope, as the clinic reopening was the result of a concerted effort by a number of different service organizations that came together to make it happen.

“We’re an extraordinarily engaged community. Our community is very caring, given the right opportunity or the right project, you see people come together at record speed,” Mayor Hankivsky explains, referencing it as proof of just how deeply invested in the community Port Hope’s residents really are.

Additionally, there is also a newly revived surge in health and wellness among residents thanks to a new Youth Wellness Hub that the municipality managed to entice and settle down through the Rebound Organization with a significant investment from the Province and local donors.”

This hub operates as  part of a wider Ontario network of Youth Wellness Hubs focused on building resilience and upstream opportunities for young people in the community.

Lastly,  to ensure that residents can easily access all of their new amenities and opportunities, leadership has also been working on upgrading to different transportation modes for the community.

Everything that has been mentioned, the land inventory projects, residential expansions, and economic development strategies exemplify Port Hope’s commitment to progress.

At the same time, the municipality’s investments in innovative and morally aligned technologies exemplify its commitment to preserving its unique character. In short, the community has mastered moving forward while honoring the past.

Through collaborative efforts and community engagement, Port Hope emerges as a beacon of resilience, warmth, and opportunity—a place where heritage thrives, and the future is promising.

It’s a place where businesses flourish, families thrive, and the spirit of belonging is palpable at every turn. Through strategic planning, visionary leadership, and grassroots empowerment, this small yet mighty community remains poised to continue growing and is charting a course toward greatness for years to come.


Port Hope, Ontario

What: A small yet vibrant community known for its rich heritage, strong spirit, and innovative approach to growth and development

Where: Southern Ontario, Canada

Website: https://www.porthope.ca/en/index.aspx


Nautical Lands Group of Companies – https://www.wellingscommunity.com/

Focused on holistic living and community connection, Wellings of Port Hope will offer unique carefree 55+ living. Grounded by member goals to remain active and independent, members live life the way they imagined; on their own terms.

Welcome to Wellings, where active retirement living is re-imagined for a new generation.

Clearway Construction – https://www.clearwaygroup.com/

Clearway has been the trusted name in water and underground works in Toronto for 50 years. Now, we’ve transformed into a full service heavy civil contractor completing all forms of complex horizontal infrastructure across Canada.  Next, Clearway aims to transcend the limits of construction and deliver sustainable communities and infrastructure excellence.

Winslow Gerolamy Motors Limited – www.wgmotors.ca

Cameco Corporation  – www.cameco.com

D.M. Wills Associates Limited  – https://www.dmwills.com/

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