Port Dover is an unincorporated community and former town located in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada on the north shore of Lake Erie. Prior to the War of 1812, this community was known as Dover Mills. This community is the southern terminus for Ontario Highway 6; located 480 kilometres or 300 miles to the south of the Northern Ontario community of McKerrow. This highway stretches northward as a two-lane, undivided highway until the traffic flow increases to four lanes shortly after it departs from Caledonia. In addition to allowing Port Dover residents direct access to the city of Hamilton, it also briefly merges with Highway 403 to allow for access to the Royal Botanical Gardens and locations on to Toronto.
The postal forward sortation area is N0A; sharing its Canada Post service with the western portion of Haldimand County. All residences and businesses within the Port Dover area have a 583 in their phone number.
The warmest summers that Port Dover has witnessed occurred in 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 (with the exception of the month of July), 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Should the sea levels rise by 60 metres or 200 feet within the foreseeable future due to the increase in global temperatures, Port Dover would not be affected by global flooding. However, it may be affected by droughts as a by-product of the dislocation of available fresh water and may be forced to rely on desalinated salt water piped in from the Eastern United States. Constructing the proper infrastructure to carry the water hundreds of miles away would take considerable manpower along with significant economic costs and an unprecedented level of cooperation from multiple federal, state/provincial, and municipal governments.
In 1794, Mr. Peter Walker would become the first settler of this community; becoming its unofficial founder.
This community would become the subject of an American raid during the War of 1812, on May 14, 1814. After making their landing on the shore, 750 American soldiers committed themselves to a surprise attack on the village's civilians. Scattered elements of nearby militia and regular units tried to defend the village without any success. Re-enactments done with local volunteer groups would allow the British-Canadian forces to soundly defeat the American troops in battle. The survivors of the way would rebuild Port Dover further downstream on Patterson's Creek. This raid would become a part of the Niagara campaigns that America used near the end of the War of 1812. In 1835, Port Dover was incorporated as a village and later as a town.
The community once had its own railway station with frequent service from the Lake Erie & Northern Railway, owned by Canadian Pacific Railway. Notable amenities like Ivey's Greenhouses and the incredible Port Dover beaches caused most of the passenger traffic to occur during the summer months. A railway ticket to the "distant" community of Galt cost a meager $1.55 per person during the late spring of 1949 ($16.11 in today's money). Rail service was also offered on the Port Dover & Lake Huron Railway (later purchased by Canadian National) line from the Caledonia Train Station to Port Dover until these services were cancelled after October 26, 1957. Businesses would often close one hour earlier on Wednesday as an measure to ensure that breadwinners, homemakers and their children would spend more time together until the 1970s. This occurred regardless of negative economic effects and would apply to most non-essential services. In 1974, the town was amalgamated into the new city of Nanticoke within the Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk.
The Paris Port Dover Pipe Band was established on February 18, 2000 by Pipe Major Gordon Black as a competitive and as a community pipe band. They act as ambassadors on the global level as well as on a local level. The band was formally established when a constitution and small band were formed out of ten pipers, one bass, and one snare. In 2001, Nanticoke and all other municipalities within the region were dissolved and the region was divided into two single tier municipalities. Port Dover is now an unincorporated community in Ward 6 of Norfolk County. The Stanley Cup came to Port Dover in 2004 (with Jassen Cullimore) when the 2003–04 Tampa Bay Lightning won the Cup. He was the fourth NHL player to present the Stanley Cup to this small hockey town on the shore of Lake Erie. The Canadian Coast Guard stationed the Cape-class motor lifeboat CCGS Cape Lambton in the community in 2005.
Certain segments of the 2009 American horror film Survival of the Dead were filmed in Port Dover. The film was directed by George A. Romero and starred Alan van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, and Kathleen Munroe. 40 wind turbines sometime were supposed to be built in the area starting in 2013. However, Norfolk County council has effectively banned the placement of new wind turbines due to concerns about rural spaces being completely "industrialized" and "unnatural" by the year 2113.
Until 2013, Port Dover had a high school which served students aged 14 through 21 in the immediate area. Approximately 1800 young people had fled the Port Dover Area between 2001 and 2011. Academic programs in Valley Heights Secondary School and Delhi District Secondary School were beefed up and prepared to accept former PDCS students after the closure date. An elementary school called Lakewood Public School recently opened in the old PDCS building.Toby Barrett, Haldimand-Norfolk's current MPP (serving on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario)
Eddie Sargent, former MPP (who served on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the Ontario Liberal Party)
Rory Dodd, rock vocalist.
Henry Laird, journalist, wholesaler, and political figure who served Regina, Saskatchewan in the Senate of Canada
Megan Timpf, International softball player, Olympic Athlete
Jassen Cullimore, NHL Stanley Cup Player
John Axford, Major League Baseball pitcher
Charles Berkeley Powell, businessman and former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario)
Joey Muha, Drummer and musician
Jim McInally, Hockey Player
Rick Wamsley, NHL Stanley Cup Player
Elmer Lewis , Former owner of Lewis IGA which was found on Main St next to the formally owned Giant Tiger. Elmer Lewis Parkett now stands where the former grocery store once stood.
Sheena Snivley, former MTV Live personal currently on CBC's "That's What Sheena Said."
Located just a short driving distance away from the Stelco Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke, Port Dover is the site of romantic sunsets along its surrounding countryside.
There are scenic waterfalls nearby and tourists general go to nearby Port Ryerse as a side trip. Local roads that originate from here often lead to the hamlets of Fishers Glen, Normandale and Turkey Point (which is another seasonal beach destination). Even the farmers here generally enjoy the sunsets on their property. Apple wine, produced by the local farmers themselves, can be purchased by anyone due to their lack of alcohol content. This product is available in the Port Dover area. On clear summer nights, the Port Dover lighthouse can be seen glimmering brightly with the moon. The beaches in Port Dover have a tendency to emulate those that are beside the Mediterranean Sea. The Erie Beach Hotel and The Beach House are popular dining attractions for both locals and tourists alike; serving the best locally-grown cuisine.
Port Dover hosts thousands of people every Friday the 13th for the Friday the 13th motorcycle rally, which was started in 1981 by a local bike shop owner.
Port Dover is also home to the famous Arbor hot dog restaurant and the Knetchels neighborhood market and fish restaurant.Views of Port Dover, Ontario