At the north-west end of St. Catharines, Ontario is a place called Port Dalhousie. There you’ll find a public beach and a marina allowing access to Lake Ontario. The natural beauty of the area is stunning and on a clear day you can see Toronto on the north shore some fifty kilometers distant. Port Dalhousie is also home to the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. It’s a great place to go, especially during the summer.
The residences there are up-scale and the entertainment is upbeat. The nightlife there is amazing! There are several drinking establishments that, judging by the music, seem to cater to the college crowd and feature open-air live bands and DJs. The place really rocks!
Being in my 50s, those young-crowd places are not really my scene (anymore) but there are many bars and restaurants that are more appropriate for sticks-in-the-mud like myself, some even with small stages where bands playing ’60s and ’70s music make an occasional appearance. One of my favourites is a pub (that doesn’t have a stage) called The Kilt & Clover which promises “warm beer and lousy food“, but they’ve never lived up to this threat — the food is actually pretty good and the atmosphere is great! There are also real sit-down seafood restaurants and an small Indian restaurant that I’ve just got to try. For you shopaholics, there are a bunch of fun boutiques, too.
The problem is that this will be the last season for many of the businesses there. It seems that they are slated to be torn down and a block of condos is to be put up in their place. Hey, I’m all for making a buck (but don’t have a clue how to do it) so I can understand the closures if the landlords got offered a huge chunk of change for their properties. But once the condo dwellers start moving in, I’m sure that they’ll start complaining about the noise blaring from the party establishments that did not fall victim to the wrecker’s ball and there will be pressure on them to close down as well.
I’m a relative newcomer to the area and to me Port Dalhousie’s character has always been centered on its fun and offbeat clubs, shops, and restarants in a beautiful natural setting. I fear that the beginning of the end is at hand and that this neighbourhood’s allure to locals and tourists is doomed to be gelded by gentrification.
So I offer you, dear reader, a few photos of how Port Dalhousie looks today so tomorrow you’ll remember how it once was.