Port Perry

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Port Perry
Historic Post Office in Downtown Port Perry
Historic Post Office in Downtown Port Perry
Port Perry is located in Regional Municipality of Durham
Port Perry
Port Perry
Port Perry is located in Southern Ontario
Port Perry
Port Perry
Coordinates: 44°06′17″N 78°56′39″W / 44.10472°N 78.94417°W / 44.10472; -78.94417Coordinates: 44°06′17″N 78°56′39″W / 44.10472°N 78.94417°W / 44.10472; -78.94417
Regional municipalityDurham
Incorporated (village)1871
 • Total9,553
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)905 and 289
NTS Map31D2 Scugog

Port Perry is a community located in Scugog, Ontario, Canada. The town is located 84 kilometres (52 mi) northeast of central Toronto and north of Oshawa and Whitby. Port Perry has a population of 9,553 as of 2021.[2] Port Perry serves as the administrative and commercial centre for the township of Scugog. The town is home to a 24-bed hospital (Lakeridge Health Port Perry), Scugog Township's municipal offices and many retail establishments. Port Perry serves as a hub for many small communities in the Scugog area, such as Greenbank, Raglan, Caesarea, Blackstock and Nestleton/Nestleton Station. The Great Blue Heron Charitable Casino is a major employer. Located at the basin of the Trent-Severn Waterways is Lake Scugog, one of Ontario's largest man-made lakes.


The area around Port Perry was first surveyed as part of Reach Township by Major Samuel Street Wilmot in 1809. The first settler in the area was Reuben Crandell, a United Empire Loyalist who built a homestead with his wife in May 1821. Their original home is still in use and can be seen on King Street between Prince Albert and Manchester. In November 1821, Lucy Ann Crandell became the first child of European descent born in the area. In 1831, Crandell and his family moved to a homestead at what became Crandell's Corners (later called Borelia).[3] It had its own Post Office, near the present-day junction of Queen Street and Highway 7A.

Settler Peter Perry laid out village lots on the shore of Lake Scugog in 1848 on the site of a former native village known as Scugog Village. The townsite was named Port Perry in 1852 and its first Postmaster was Joseph Bigelow. It was incorporated as a village in 1871. At the time there was an intense rivalry between Port Perry and two nearby towns, Prince Albert and Manchester. Expecting great things for "his" town, Peter Perry predicted that goats would eat grass off of Prince Albert's main street.[4]

At the time, Prince Albert sat astride a planked toll road running south to Whitby. Grain and lumber from areas throughout the area south-east of Lake Simcoe fed through Prince Albert, which was a major grain trading area. Perry and others in Port Perry felt a railway was a much better option, and Perry's prediction would eventually come true.

A group of local businessmen started the process of bringing the railway to the town in 1867, and the first train on the Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway reached the terminus in Port Perry in 1872. In the following year the grain elevator was built, still standing today as Canada's oldest existing grain elevator.[5] Cargo from all over northern Ontario was shipped via the Trent-Severn Waterway to Port Perry via Lake Scugog, and then via the railway to Whitby, where it could be loaded onto the CP or CN mainlines running along the shore of Lake Ontario, or onto ships in Port Whitby. Businesses quickly moved out of Prince Albert and moved to Port Perry, leaving Prince Albert effectively a suburb of Port Perry today. The Port Perry Granary still stands as a tall sentinel on the shores of Lake Scugog and proud of being Canada's oldest grain elevator outlasting numerous fires and modern day demolition.

The Port Perry mill and grain elevator, circa 1930. Originally built in 1873, the building remains a major landmark to this day. The original line of the PW&PP Railway can be seen in the foreground.

The village was amalgamated with Cartwright, Reach and Scugog Townships to form the Township of Scugog in 1974 upon the creation of the Regional Municipality of Durham.

An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected at the Scugog Shores Museum by the province to commemorate cartoonist Jimmy Frise's role in Ontario's heritage.[6]

Culture and recreation[edit]

The Town Hall 1873 Centre for the Performing Arts

Port Perry's Victorian-era downtown is a tourist destination, with clothing stores, restaurants, cafés, bookstores, galleries and antique shops. In the summer, the town features the festivals Mississauga First Nation Pow Wow, the Highland Games, the Dragon Boat Races and StreetFest. Port Perry is also home to the Theatre on The Ridge summer theatre festival featuring 6 shows performed at Townhall 1873 during July and August. Its annual fair, held every Labour Day weekend, has been running for over 150 years. There are also golf courses, both public and private. Other attractions in Port Perry and surrounding area include the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino, Scugog Memorial Library (featuring the Kent Farndale Art Gallery), the Scugog Shores Historical Museum and the Town Hall 1873 Centre for the Performing Arts.

At many local farms, visitors may pick their own seasonal fruit (strawberries, raspberries, apples). In the summer, bass tournaments and lakeside activities are also featured.

The Lake Scugog shoreline offers two popular lakeside parks, Palmer and Birdseye. There are active fishing seasons, both winter and summer. In the winter months, Lake Scugog is dotted with ice-fishing huts and is a destination for ice fishermen and snowmobilers.


Historical populations


Notable residents[edit]

In film[edit]

Port Perry has attracted many film crews over the years, both for feature film and television; it doubled as the fictional Maine town of Mooseport in the 2004 film Welcome to Mooseport and was used briefly as a small town in New Hampshire during the sixth season of The West Wing.

The town was the primary production location for the 1996 film, Fly Away Home, based on Port Perry inventor Bill Lishman's experiments in the 1980s and 1990s imprinting geese in order to alter and preserve migration routes. The film fictionalized Lishman's personal life, but used him as a consultant for its aerial and technical production.

Port Perry is also used as exteriors for the TV series Hemlock Grove which is set in Western Pennsylvania.[10]

American TV Series "Jack Reacher" (Season 1) was shot around Downtown Port Perry in 2020–2021. The town's "Piano Inn & Cafe" was changed into a "JJ's Ale House" for the shoot.[11]

Port Perry is being used as a small town known as Lakeside for season three of the Amazon show American Gods (TV series). They painted the Mill black and added fake shops, the "PORT PERRY" wording at the top of the Old Mill will be changed to "LAKESIDE as well as adding fake snow around the town.[12]


  1. ^ "2021 Census of Population - Port Perry". Statistics Canada. Retrieved March 21, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (2001-01-15). "Census of Population". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  3. ^ Arculus, Paul (2000). Steamboats on Scugog. Port Perry, Ontario: Observer Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 0-9684932-2-X.
  4. ^ "The Nip N' Tuck", Scugog Shores Historical Museum
  5. ^ "Port Perry / Scugog TWP. Heritage Gallery".
  6. ^ "Ontario Plaque". Archived from the original on 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  7. ^ Arculus, Paul. "Three Port Perry High school graduates among Canada's top 100 highest paid CEOs". scugogheritage.com. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "Composite Portrait Souvenir of George W. Dryden, J.E. Farewell, John F. Paxton, Donald McKay, L.T. Barclay, His Honor Judge McCrimmon, G.Y. Smith, His Honor Judge McIntyre". Our Ontario. Whitby Public Library Archives. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "Thomas Paxton". Port Perry / Scugog Township Heritage Gallery. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  10. ^ Hall, Chris (March 16, 2012). "Film crews to return to Port Perry". durhamregion.com. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  11. ^ ""Alan Ritchson, a.k.a. Jack Reacher, came through my front doors covered in fake blood"". 29 April 2022.
  12. ^ "American Gods season 3 finds its Lakeside". Winter is Coming. 2019-09-25. Retrieved 2021-03-18.

External links[edit]