Return to Port Colborne

You know I love doing Niagara road trips, right?

Then you might remember this one from last fall – a spontaneous road trip to Wainfleet and Port Colborne.

Ken and I had a really nice day out there, discovering some of its gems.

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Like Marshville Heritage Village

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And lunch at The Smokin’ Buddha.

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That day we also walked the stores on West Street, with Ken trying to convince me that we really, really, really needed an antique fireplace screen from Treasures on West. He’s the interior decor/antique freak in this couple.

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We finished up that day by driving around, gawking at the beautiful historic homes we found.

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In short, it was a lovely day. It just confirmed to me how much I enjoy hopping in the car with no agenda, and discovering something new in the Niagara region.

But there’s a couple more things I’ve discovered in Port Colborne.

You must have heard of Bremfield’s.

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I have lived in Niagara for three years now. And I ask myself one very important question : How on earth have I waited for three years to get to Bremfield’s?

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They make the most amazing butter tarts and squares of all kinds. I’ll let you know, I am the Queen of Squares. By that I mean I am the Queen of dessert bars, not the Queen of “boring people”. ( Just had to clarify that. Back in my day if you were a “square” you were a very boring, not very fun person. Perhaps I’m really dating myself here.) People seem to call them “bars” now, but in my family, they’re still “squares”. And they’re certainly not boring.

My favourite one that I’ve tried at Bremfield’s (and I’ve forgotten what it’s called, sadly) tasted exactly like a square my Mom made when I was a kid. It was amazing.

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But now I’ve got one more thing to add to my Port Colborne List.

Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival.

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This year was the 38th annual Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival, and boy, did it have a lot going on.

First of all, it seems like the whole community gets behind this event. People of all ages were there, and there were so many things happening. It is estimated that 300,000 people come to the festival over its four day run.

Just think about that. 300,000 people. That’s incredible, isn’t it?

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There were lots of things to do, with activities at a dozen different spots.  You could take in live concerts at two main venues, and at the Roselawn Centre. You could check out the marine attractions and vessels. There was a Car Show, which Ken was disappointed we didn’t get to see. Kids were loving the Midway rides, but there were lots of activities to keep kids happy throughout the Festival. And that’s not all –  I really can’t list everything because there was so much.

But the thing that I loved the most? Seeing people out in their community, enjoying what it has to offer, and celebrating the town’s marine heritage.

We went on Saturday, and it was jumping.

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I love museums, so our first stop was The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum.

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We headed straight into the Museum first, as there were two displays to see. The first was about the Fenian Raids, and its impact on Port Colborne. The second was my personal favourite, a brief display on Prohibition.

I didn’t realize that they also have a heritage village attached.

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There were other interesting things to see on the museum grounds too. These boat builders have done some beautiful work. Talk about dedication, and attention to detail.

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The same goes for these plane builders too.

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There was entertainment

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And an interesting display from the Port Colborne Volunteer Fire Company.

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Check out this steam powered fire engine below, dating from 1906. There are some interesting facts about it listed in the second picture.

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By this point, we were getting a bit hungry. I know I probably should’ve tried somewhere else to eat, but I just couldn’t resist another stop at The Smokin’ Buddha.

I could eat their samosas forever. I get them every single time without fail.

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It was a hot day, perfect for the light and delicious Pad Thai

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Ken went for the Chimmi Changa. Another favourite of mine.

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And after that scrumptious treat, we walked along West Street. We stopped at some of the vendors, but mostly we did some people watching – one of our favourite things to do at these events.

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We finished off with a stop by the Empire Sandy

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The Fireboat Edward M. Cotter

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And of course, a shot of the Welland Canal.

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A really fun, nice, community event, and I’m glad we were able to get there for an afternoon.

So Port Colborne, you’ve got some good stuff going on. Looking forward to what I’ll find on my next trip.