Port Stanley Beach

Ontario, Canada

Starfish Rating of 4

Claim to Fame

The town was named Port Stanley after Edward Smith-Stanley, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and father of Frederick Stanley, Governor General of Canada, the ice hockey fan who donated the first Stanley Cup in 1893. It is also widely known for being a pretty town with a vibrant summer beach scene.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of GoAskAlice
  • Where is it?on the north shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of Kettle Creek, 15 miles (22 kilometers) south of the city of London, 110 miles (177 kilometers) west of Toronto
  • Coordinates: latitude» 42.6667°
    longitude» 81.2167°
  • Water Type: freshwater
  • Climate: humid continental
  • Development: resort town with developed areas and substantial residential development, and a beachfront area with harbor
  • Length of Beach: .75m/1.2km
  • Type: beige sand
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Although the town of Port Stanley is relatively small, it abounds with variety and charm thanks to the whimsical seaside look of the homes, with their brightly colored facades and gaily striped canvas awnings. It retains some of its historical influence through not just architectural design, but by individual style of the residents, some of whom have spectacular permanent homes and others with cute little cottages. Private gardens are lush, pretty and make for a delightful walk about town in the summer.

Here is a large, sheltered commercial harbor, operated by the government of Canada, plus a commercial freshwater fishery (perch is a delicious catch!), and one of the most entertaining sites in town, the King George VI lift bridge; itís fascinating to watch in operation!

The dramatic cliffs at the eastern end of Port Stanley Beach tower over part of the harbor and its many concrete piers (in the days of coal, this was a significant fuel port). A superb place for summertime weddings, Port Stanley has a wonderful yacht club, excellent restaurants of all descriptions, galleries, and well regarded theater company, and a collection of unique inns, some right on the water.

With hot, humid summers and cold winters, Port Stanley Beach is typical of the climate in southern Ontario along the north shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, but the water of this Great Lake tends to give the town a break from the severity of the winter in areas further inland. Port Stanley is primarily a summer destination for those seeking the beach life.

Funky kiosks that sell sunglasses, bikinis, surfboards and sun tan lotion dot the beach, along with hot dog stands and changing pavilions. This is a mecca for beach volleyball, with tournaments all summer long. Itís a safe place to swim, if the water is in good condition, and there are dozens of options for boat tours and charters. Let a round of golf or a ride on the 1940 Port Stanley Terminal Railway complement your stay.

Port Stanley Beach is only about two hours by car from Toronto, and roughly the same distance from Detroit, Michigan. And there are lots of interesting places for day-trips, including the Stratford Festival, the city of London, and Niagara Falls.

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