Municipality of Port Hope to close all property bordering the Ganaraska River

In response to the Provincial Emergency and Stay at Home Order for all Ontarians, the Municipality of Port Hope is temporarily restricting access to all land that borders the Ganaraska River in two phases: 

  • Effective Friday, April 9, 2021 closure of properties south of the railway tracks (excluding the beaches), the municipal boat launch and the Fishway.
  • Friday, April 23, 2021 (to align with the start of the Trout fishing season) closure of remainder of municipal properties that border the Ganaraska River from Molson Street South to Lake Ontario. 

While the Province is encouraging all Ontarians to limit outdoor activities and recreation to within their own communities, past experience has demonstrated that the Ganaraska River and the Fishway are popular destinations for individuals from across Ontario and Quebec. To manage enforcement of the Provincial Emergency and Stay at Home Order, limited access to the River is being imposed to discourage the anticipated out-of-town travellers and group gatherings.

“The decision to restrict access to the municipal lands along the Ganaraska River is not an easy one and we are disheartened to have to impose this safety measure again,” notes Bob Sanderson, Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope. “The number of COVID-19 cases, including the new variants, in our community has escalated and our priority is the health and wellness of our residents. The temporary closure of land, while disappointing, is needed to help slow the spread of the virus.”

Prior to enforcing this land access closure, Municipal staff consulted with the Port Hope Police ServiceMunicipal Law Enforcement, and the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, and have been contacted by many residents who have raised concerns about large group gatherings and an increase of visitors to the area to fish.

Phase 1 – Restricted access to lands south of the railway tracks

The following will be closed as of Friday, April 9, 2021:

  • Lands that border the mouth of the Ganaraska River, south of the CN Railway Tracks (excluding the beaches) 
  • The municipal boat launch
  • Access to the Fishway (also known as the Fish Ladder / Corbett’s Dam)
  • The fish cleaning station remains closed 
  • Access to Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority properties, including Ganaraska Millennium, Port Hope, Sylvan Glen and Thurne Parks Conservation Areas remains closed 

Temporary signage surrounding the impacted area will be installed on Friday, April 9, 2021 to alert residents and visitors of the temporary land use restrictions.

Phase 2 – Restricted Access to lands bordering the Ganaraska River from Molson Street South to Lake Ontario 

The following will be closed as of Friday, April 23, 2021 (the opening weekend of trout fishing):

  • All lands, including parks and trails, that border the Ganaraska River from Molson Street South to Lake Ontario (excluding beaches) 
  • Access to Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority properties, including Ganaraska Millennium, Port Hope, Sylvan Glen and Thurne Parks Conservation Areas remains closed 
  • Access to the Fishway (also known as the Fish Ladder / Corbett’s Dam) will remain closed
  • The municipal boat launch will remain closed
  • The fish cleaning station will remain closed.

Municipal staff will install temporary signage along the River on Friday, April 23, 2021 to alert residents and visitors of the temporary land use restrictions. 

Access to beaches, playgrounds, picnic areas, parks, and trails (that do not border the River) will remain open. 

Questions about the closures can be directed to Jim McCormack, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture or Fire Chief Dan Smith, Director of Fire and Emergency Services.

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