Hilton Beach

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Hilton Beach
Village (single-tier)
Village of Hilton Beach
Old town hall and previous municipal office.
Old town hall and previous municipal office.
Hilton Beach is located in Ontario
Hilton Beach
Hilton Beach
Coordinates: 46°15′N 83°53′W / 46.250°N 83.883°W / 46.250; -83.883Coordinates: 46°15′N 83°53′W / 46.250°N 83.883°W / 46.250; -83.883
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
District Algoma
 • Type Village
 • Mayor Robert Hope
 • Governing Body Hilton Beach Village Council
 • MP Bryan Hayes (CPC)
 • MPP Michael Mantha (NDP)
 • Total 2.46 km2 (0.95 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 145
 • Density 59.0/km2 (153/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code P0R 1G0
Area code(s) 705
Website www.hiltonbeach.com

Hilton Beach is a village located in Algoma District, Ontario, Canada. It is located on the northeastern shore of St. Joseph Island in the North Channel of Lake Huron, approximately 60 kilometres from Sault Ste. Marie. The village had a population of 145 and a land area of 2.4 km² per the Canada 2011 Census.


The area which is now known as Hilton Beach had its origins in the 1850s when a wharf was first built. By the 1860s, fourteen families had settled in the area, including the Trainors, Rousseaus, Gordons, Bishops and Desjardins.[citation needed]

John Marks came to St. Joseph Island in the 1860s to settle at Sailors Encampment. He moved to the area that would become Hilton Beach in 1872. Marks first opened a store and a wood dock followed by a post office six years later under the name of Marksville. A school was established in 1877, and in 1881 St. John's Anglican Church was erected.[citation needed]

J. Archibald built a hotel in 1879, originally called The Ottawa House. It was moved to its current site in 1890. Other businesses included Bowker's General Store, Duncan's General Store, R. Chester's shoemaker shop, and the sawmill operated by Dean and Davis. J.C. Cooper was a wagon maker, and T. Steinburg was the blacksmith, who operated out of the white concrete building still standing today on Hilton Road.[citation needed]

General store

A.G. Duncan, D. McPhail and John Marks were justices. The village was called Marksville until June 1, 1921, when it was changed to Hilton Beach. Two years later the village separated from Hilton Township and became St. Joseph Island's first village.[citation needed]

Many of the historical buildings in Hilton Beach are still being used today. The community hall, renovated in 1989, was originally built in 1896 and used as a schoolhouse until the 1960s. The old town hall, built in 1916, was used as a violin workshop for several years and is now for sale. The Hilton Beach General Store is over 100 years old and is still open for business.[citation needed]

The Hilton Beach jail is unusual in that it never actually housed an inmate. The small building, barely measuring 20' by 20', in fact housed the Hilton Beach Library for several years in the 1920s. The library is now housed in another historical building on Marks Street.[citation needed]


Canada census – Hilton Beach community profile
2011 2006
Population: 145 (-15.7% from 2006) 172 (-1.1% from 2001)
Land area: 2.46 km2 (0.95 sq mi) 2.46 km2 (0.95 sq mi)
Population density: 59.0/km2 (153/sq mi) 70.0/km2 (181/sq mi)
Median age: 52.4 (M: 48.3, F: 55.3)
Total private dwellings: 124 142
Median household income:
References: 2011[2] 2006[3] earlier[4]


Hilton Beach has been a popular tourist destination since the early 1900s. Several families from Michigan, Ohio, California, Ontario, Washington, Massachusetts and Florida have been spending their summers in and around Hilton Beach since the 1910s.[citation needed]

The MS Norgoma, a package freighter and passenger ferry, called on Hilton Beach on Wednesdays until 1963.[citation needed]

Hilton Beach Marina

Today, the village attracts visitors primarily from Sault Ste. Marie and southern Ontario, as well as Michigan.[citation needed]

The village's location on Lake Huron makes it a very popular boating destination. The Hilton Beach Marina has over 180 slips (approximately one for every resident in the town) and is very popular in the summer. The excellent[according to whom?] sailing in the St. Joseph Channel is the main attraction for many seasonal residents and tourists. The marina operates from May through to October.[citation needed]

The Hilton Beach Tourist Park, a tent and trailer park, was built in the 1950s. The Park welcomes back dozens of seasonal residents every summer and is a community unto itself during peak season.[citation needed]


Arts at the Dock is one of the largest and longest-running multimedia art shows in the district, which began in 1986. It is held annually on the third Sunday of July.[citation needed]

The Hilton Beach Summer Festival is a classic car show with about 50 cars, plus arts and crafts vendors and the Coureurs de Bois encampment held annually on the fourth Saturday of July.[citation needed]

Hilton Beach Community Night is an annual event that has been held for over 100 years in various forms. For the past few decades, it has included a cold plate supper, followed by a parade down Hilton Road and Marks Street. After the parade, a crowd numbering in the high hundreds plays various games of chance and enjoys barbecued food along Marks Street until dark. During community night a new hot dog stand was set up that is very popular.[citation needed]

Old Town Hall Concerts is a series of three concerts that began in 1995. This series is well known[by whom?] for bringing in some of Canada's best musical talent. Usually held on the first three Wednesdays of August.[citation needed]


The mayor of the village is Robert Hope. Councilors include Pat Davey, Gregory Duma, Julie C. Moore and John Wells. The village clerk Peggy Cramp.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Hilton Beach census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  2. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  3. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  4. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. 

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