The City of Port Colborne was founded in 1833 and named after Sir John Colborne, a lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada. The town began as a port of entry for ships entering the Welland Canal from Lake Erie.
Prior to the building of the Welland Canal a small community existed about one mile north of Port Colborne. Anyone travelling to Port Colborne today may notice that the town actually has two city centres.
The reason for this is the original settlement referred to first as Petersburg and then Stonebridge was a separate community of about 1,100 inhabitants and consisted of the Humberstone Post Office, two butcher shops, a flour and feed store, three churches, three carriage shops, two harness shops, a barber shop, a jewlery shop, a cooper shop, six hotels, three shoe stores, a tailor shop, a baker, a manufacturer of agricultural implements, a gun shop, a planing mill, a saw mill, a marble works, a cabinet shop and a few more shops catering to whatever needs a settler in 1880 may require. Eventually this community would merge to become the City of Port Colborne.
Over the course of four Welland Canals, Port Colborne has managed to remain the entry point for ships traversing the Welland Canal. Port Colborne became fashionable with American tourists in the late 1800’s and many old mansions and summer homes line the lakeshore.
Port Colborne celebrates Canal Days, a weekend celebration held every summer.
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