The West Beach in Port Hope used to be one of the most beautiful beaches on the north shoreline of Lake Ontario. Over 30 years ago it was abandoned.
The Port Hope “West Beach” as it is now known used to be one of the finest beaches on the north shoreline of Lake Ontario. It had a vast 3100 ft of sandy shoreline complete with a baseball diamond, pavilion, children’s playground and ample parking. It was something, of which, all of Port Hope, young and old, were very proud.
A core group from Port Hope has recently formed “Restore the Port Hope West Beach” to lobby the town on revising the Consolidated Master Waterfront Plan (CMWP) to see a more fitting future than has been planned for Port Hope’s West Beach.
Background Information on Port Hope’s West Beach:
Starting in the early 1960’s a number of things started happening at the beach that would eventually lead to the demise by the early 1980’s:
Water pollution was weakening the native fish as well as causing excess seaweed washing up on the shore and making the water murky.
Invasive species of fish such as Alwife and Lamprey eels created havoc throughout the lake making conditions not very nice.
The numbers of beach users dwindled as many headed northward to other inland lakes and much better conditions.
Federal government officials confirmed that Eldorado Nuclear had contaminated much of the area with industrial and low level radioactive waste, which was not an easy fix.
A huge boom in nuclear generating stations began requiring Eldorado Nuclear to expand facilities towards a portion of the West Beach.
The whole town turned their backs on the West Beach and though with a heavy heart never looked back.As the years and decades have passed, a number of things have changed in favor of the West Beach.
What the town has planned for the West Beach:
• A lighted boardwalk or pathway as a waterfront trail that extends from the West Beach, around the harbor to the east beach and existing eastern trail.
• Parking lot
• Children’s playground
More on Restore the Port Hope West Beach group’s vision and plans for the West Beach.