As my regular readers know, I have a real love affair going with this picturesque town located about an hour east of Toronto. Port Hope offers a welcome respite from the hub-bub of the big city – the Ganaraska River runs thru the historic downtown, the stores carry fashions, accessories and nic-naks that cannot be found in the big box chain stores of Toronto and the people….well, they are what make Port Hope such a delight. So friendly you’d think you were in Mayberry. Even the local policeman waved at me yesterday when I was taking photos of the main street (Walton St) as he drove by. So come take a virtual stroll up Walton Street with me….. (all websites linked at end)My best friend, Erena, and I always make our first stop at the charming Queenies Bake Shop (pictured above – far right end of bldg) for a “tinkle and a tea”…LOL The young ladies behind the counter and Adam the master baker/owner always make sure we’re well nourished so check out yesterday’s treats…yummmm While we sat and devoured our goodies, I overheard an interesting conversation at the next table and before you know it, I’m chatting with Port Hope Councilor Robert Polutnik and the town’s Marketing Manager Kevin Narraway. I shared my love of their town and how I’ve become an unofficial ambassador for the stores and points of interest….hopefully I can add my voice to the tourism siren’s call for Port Hope. I wouldn’t let them leave Queenies without a paparazzi shot so here’s Mr. Narraway (l) and Councilor Polutnik (r). No visit to Port Hope is complete without a visit to the king of bling himself, Kenneth Bell, whose store is packed to the rafters with fabulous jewellery, accessories and fashion items. And so our spending spree began. Here’s Erena with Ken after dropping a load o’ cash for gloves, scarves and sparklies – no wonder Ken’s smiling…LOL! Loved the cute toques with fur trim and the cute little owl pendant (below)…very on-trend, and very affordable. Next up, while Erena was buying up shoes from Gould’s, I wandered up Walton Street to visit the colourful Holton Florists (below)…isn’t this pretty? They even had mini Kangaroo Paw wildflowers from my home (Western Australia) – the red and yellow ones below. I dropped in quickly to say hi to the ladies of Bubbles and Gems (below) who I visited back in the summer. Lots of groovy sparkly things and I even shot a video so log on to this YouTube link and take a trip down their aisles…. http://bit.ly/1jQPF7K A block or two further up Walton, I discovered the best smelling shop in town – Joie de Vivre! Owner Diane showed me around the shelves and introduced me to a new line of Canadian-made hand and body products called Barefoot Venus and I purchased their new Maple Blonde body lotion. My skin is now smooth as a baby’s bottom and I smell like a maple syrup latte…yummmm. I went looking for Erena who had found the motherlode of fall fashions at Susan Dewhurst, a fabulous ladies’ fashion and accessories boutique. The brightly coloured sweaters & socks were displayed along the walls while racks of well-priced designer separates offered a wide variety of wardrobe choices. Erena really injected major funds into the local economy there!!! No wonder owner Susan (bottom left) and her associate Tammy (bottom right) had big smiles on their faces. Erena also did some serious damage to her credit cards over the road at G. Facey, another great store offering top of the line fashions for men and women. Owner Teri-Jo has become a friend after two previous visits that helped empty her shelves..haa haa.After 5 hours in Port Hope’s finest shopping establishments spending like two drunken sailors on shore leave, Erena and I had worked up a real appetite so where did we go to end the day? Olympus Burgers….seriously these are the yummiest, biggest and freshest home-made burgers and fries you could ever imagine. No wonder the locals tell everyone to go there. Thanks to owner George (bottom pic) and his staff for taking such great care of our grumbly tummies. I was going to take photos of the burgers as we ate them but we devoured them so quickly (and we needed both hands to eat!) that all I can share with you are the plates as they came out of the kitchen.
If you want a fun day trip out of Toronto where you can find fashions, home accessories, antiques, shoes and food that you cannot find in the city, then Port Hope is the place for you. Head E on the 401 past Oshawa and it’s probably about 50 mins from the GTA. They have a lovely beach, beautiful heritage houses to admire and…the friendliest residents who make you feel right at home. Lots of community events, festivals and family activities, plus the turn-of-the-century Capitol Theatre (below) that presents amazing big name entertainers. In fact, my friend, Mike D’Urzo, is presenting his mystical and amazing Mega Magic show there on Oct. 30th.
If you’d like to check out the places in Port Hope Erena and I visited, here are their websites (and tell them Glenda sent you):