Port Stanley, ON
Lat: 42° 39.320 Long: 081° 12.742
Port Stanley Ontario is the largest harbour on the north coast of Lake Erie. It is a thriving community with an active commercial fishing fleet as well as being a popular summer tourism destination. Its many attractions include a beautiful beach, many art studios, a tourist railroad and one of the best ice cream shops you will ever encounter.
Port Stanley Ontario was an important stopping point for native peoples and early explorers venturing west along the coast of Lake Erie. The permanent settlement was established in 1812 as Kettle Creek. In 1824, it was remamed Port Stanley in honour of the Earl of Derby, one Lord Stanley. Its connection to Canada's national sport lies in the fact that the son of the above-mentioned Earl of Derby served as Governor General of Canada and this Lord Stanley donated one of the most sought-after prizes in the world of sport - the Stanley Cup.
The approaches to Port Stanley Ontario are clear from all directions. There is a radio tower east of the village lit with RED lights. West of the village are silos visible from offshore. Also visible for several miles offshore is the Port Stanley water tower.
The harbour entrance is marked with a Fl GREEN light on the west pier and a F RED light on the east pier. After transiting up the channel, you come to a bascule bridge (13' charted clearance when closed). The bridge opens on the hour and half hour between 0600 and 2200, May 1 to Sept. 30. No call or signal is required. After Sept 30, the bridge hours are 0600 til 1800, Oct 1 to April 30. After hours, contact "Port Stanley Bridge" on VHF 6 or by telephone at (519) 782-3451.
Most marinas and yacht clubs are located north of the bridge, along Kettle Creek. Further north along the creek is a fixed railroad bridgedwith a 15' charted clearance. For sailboats, this is the effective limit of trave. Power vessels will find marinas beyond the bridge but the water will be vert skinny.
MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES
Transient mooring may be arranged along the seawall in the inner harbour near the bascule bridge but permission must first be obtained from the Port Stanley Harbourmaster who can be reached either by radio - VHF 6 or phone - (519) 782-3451.
Marinas and yacht clubs are located north of the bridge. Be aware that a strong southerly wind can cause a surge up the creek which will affect most facilities along the shoreline.
Kettle Creek Marina (519) 782-3261 VHF 6, 68
Located on the east side of Kettle Creek, just north of the bridge, Kettle Creek Marina has 8-10 slips available for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock or pump-out station. Water and power are available dockside. There are washrooms and showers available. There is a Tiki bar tent with picnic tables and BBQ grills. It is steps away from the village centre with grocery stores, restaurants and pubs located close by.
Port Stanley Sailing Squadron (519)782-9910
PSSS is located next door to Kettle Creek Marina, just upstream. It has several slips available for transient sailors on a reciprocal basis.
Stan's Marina (519) 782-3553 VHF 68
Stan's Marina has 2-3 transient slips available. It has the only fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) in Port Stanley. There is a pump-out station. Water and power are available dockside. Engine repairs and mechanical systems maintenance is available. There are washrooms and showers. There is a well-stocked chandlery with marine parts and equipment and cleaning supplies. There is also a travel lift for haul-outs.
Kanangio Yacht Club (519) 782-8901 VHF 68
KYC is located on the west side of Kettle Creek. They have 3-5 tansient slips available on a reciprocal basis. There is no fuel dock or pump-out station. Water and power are available dockside. There are washrooms and showers available in the clubhouse. The club has lovely grounds along the creek and picnic areas and BBQ grills are available, There is a travel lift.
Anchoring is an option in the Outer Harbour. Avoid the west side due to pilings which make lurk below the surface. Close to the east wall is the preferred choice. The Outer Harbour is open to significant surge when a strong southerly wind is blowing.
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's
Kettle Creek Marine can carry out repairs and maintenance (see above).
Stan's Marine can carry out repairs and maintenance (see above).
Port Stanley Foodland grocery store is located just north of the village centre.
CIBC bank is located in the village centre, a couple of blocks from the waterfront.
There is a medical clinic located in the centre of Port Stanley Ontario.
The nearest hospital is St. Thomas-Eligin General Hospital (519-631-2020), located in St. Thomas, ON, approximately 10 mi/16 km north
The Drug Mart (519-782-3324) pharmacy is located within a block of the waterfront.
Internet service is available at the public library.
PLACES TO EAT
Port Stanley Ontario has a good selection of restaurants and attracts a number of visitors from neighbouring St. Thomas and London, both to the north.
Brodericks Ice Cream Parlor is a fixture in downtown Port Stanley Ontario and its one of my personal favourites. With 40+ flavours, decadent pecan pies and huge sundaes, this is the place to go to cool off on a hot summer day! (Actually, any day, if you have a sweet tooth.)
Buccaneer Restaurant is located in the Port Stanley Beach Hotel. Great views and right by the beach. The Buccaneer serves a varied menu but naturally, Lake Erie perch headlines the menu.
GT's Beach Bar & Grill claims to be the 'best beach bar north of the caribbean"! With a 400 seat patio abd the beach next door, live entertainment and several beach volleyball courts, its worth seeing if the claim is accurate. Menu is classic beach fare.
Mackies, located on the beach, is a perenial favourite. Established in 1911, it serves a casual menu in a relaxed, beachfront setting.
The Kettle Creek Inn is a small but very fine hotel. Its cozy, upscale dining room is highly regarded. Its more expensive but the value and quality are evident. They have a lovely small sitting room where I have enjoyed some of their fine scotches.
THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT
The principal activity in this summer haven is relaxing. Port Stanley Ontario has a beautiful, groomed beach that is perfect for a day in the sun.
There is an active artist community here and a number of small galleries to visit.
In the early 1900's, Port Stanley made a name for itself as a tourist location and a large dance hall, named the Stork Club, was build. Its 6,500 square foot dance floor attracted many of the big bands from that era as well as huge crowds. One musician that played here frequently was Guy Lombardo from nearby London, ON. The Stork Club Big Band Hall of Fame organizes events and activities that feature that great music period.
Port Stanley Terminal Rail is a popular attraction It runs a small passenger train up the Kettle Creek valley to St. Thomas, ON, about 10 mi/16 km north.
For hikers, the Elgin Hiking Trail runs north through the lovely valleys and ravines, just west of St. Thomas. A quick look at this Port Stanley Ontario tourism site will give you many ideas on getting the most of your visit.
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