Back by Popular Demand for the Holidays!
Virtual House Tour
Stories, Histories & Inspiration
Explore our homes from yours.
Feedback about the 2021 Port Hope House Tour was so overwhelmingly positive that it's being re-released for the holidays! Buy or gift a ticket now and watch the tour between December 15 and January 15. It's perfect for a quiet holiday afternoon.
Even though we can't take you inside houses in person this year, we want you to experience the personality, renovations, art, decor, and stories of a few properties in greater detail.
Watch it yourself or gift it to a friend – get an in-depth virtual tour of 12 historical properties in Port Hope. The videos not only show you the nooks and crannies of each property, but also share home owner interviews about the buildings, interior design and decor, lifestyle, art, and more!
House Tour Guests Say:
Oh my goodness! We were mesmerized by the home owners and their treasures.Helen E.
I enjoyed the extra features that you would not get in a normal house tour; the interviews with the owners, the historical photos, and personal videos that linked to their conversations.Bruce W.
Most impressive and way beyond our expectations. Wait till someone watches this 100 years from now.Bonnie G.
It was absolutely fabulous, so professionally done. I was really impressed and loved it.Fionna B.
It was just like being there with all the hosts and home owners.Paul C.
Amazing. I've done the in-person tour before, but this surpassed all expectations.Christine M.
12 Historic Properties
20 Barrett Street - The Lift House
The two-storey brick mill portion of the Lift House was part of Barrett’s Mills, built around 1884. The railroad building was built at the same time as the rail line from Port Hope to Lindsay and Beaverton was laid, c. 1858.
The building became the original work shop of the industrial plant of contractors Thomas Garnet and Sons who were able to make use of the area after the river had been tamed. Rod and Masumi decided to expand the space of the primary building by extending the second floor which now stands on seven columns. This is important because it’s in a flood plain. The new expansion enjoys an even better view of the Ganaraska River and valley from the floor to ceiling windows and the huge deck allows for indoor/outdoor living and entertaining.
37 Mill Street South - Dr. Anna Tucka's Office
Not much is known about the history of this house except that it survived damage from the flooding of the Ganaraska River probably more than once. The house was added on to over the years and at some point, an impressive vestibule was added to the south side entrance. Unfortunately, the vestibule was poorly built and not attached to the house and had to be demolished during the house’s most recent renovation to become the dental office of Dr. Anna Tucka. The building’s renovation and restoration, guided by architect Phil Goldsmith, was designed with a goal to maintain an exterior suitable to the downtown area.
37 & 39 Mill Street North - The Crawford Block
This three-story terrace of three houses sits on a limestone block foundation. It was once known as the Crawford Block and is a good example of Classic Revival architecture. In the past, the building may have been a carpet mill with a mill race running behind the building. The gable roof has eight chimneys, four of them set into the end parapet walls. The front façade has three entrances each to a separate townhouse. The doors are doubled with medallion decorations at the corners of their surrounds. Above these doors are mullioned light transoms. The doors lead in to a vestibule and to the inside entrance. The building was built by H. H. Meredith who was the original owner of Hill and Dale on Pine St. In 1868 it was used as temporary classrooms for Trinity College School and the ground floor was fitted for their chapel. In 1895 the building was sold for $1200 to James Guest Williams, known as “Yankee Williams”.
85 Walton Street - The Opera House
In 1871 James and Richard O’Neill, two dry goods merchants erected the Opera House Block. Prior to 1870 all musical performances, lectures and plays were held at the Town Hall.
The Music Hall was located on the second floor in a simple room which was twenty-five by fourteen meters. This included the stage at one end and a dressing room at the other.
Eventually it became a movie theatre outfitted with a projection booth at the south end that first showed newsreels from the war zones of WWI. The ground floor was rented out as commercial spaces.
The Royal Bank Purchased the building in 1912 and operated there until 2016. The building was sold to ACO Port Hope for $1 for them to maintain the upkeep until they could find a buyer to restore the building to become a cultural centre for Port Hope once more.
65 Pine Street North - Rose Cottage
Rose Cottage was designed in 1904 by Winnifred King, the eighteen-year-old daughter of the King family, residents of Rochester, New York who purchased Penryn Park as their summer home in 1894 from the Williams family estate following the death of Col. James Tucker Williams (local MP). Williams died while commanding the Midland Regiment of Militia during the North-West Rebellion in 1885. The Midland Battalion, during the North West Rebellion (1885) (alivingpast.ca)
The house was built for Mary Rose, nee McBurney who, in 1907, at 16 years old, was brought to Canada from Ireland by the King family to assist with household and childcare duties at their Penryn Estate. Mary married Allan Rose in 1915 and continued to work for the King-Schultz families (Winifred married a Schultz) for 48 years. She was famous for her chocolate chip cookies and the unusual little cottage became a town landmark.
Rose Cottage was placed some distance from the Penryn estate, sitting on the west side of Victoria Street, facing Strachan Street, near to the stores and homes of the district known locally as “English Town.” The frame house, covered by stucco is very narrow and not very tall. It has a large window on each side of its central door and above its simple shed-roofed porch or “stoop” are its two “eye-brow” windows which provide light for the bedroom space and gave the cottage the appearance of a Victorian “doll’s house”. It originally had a small kitchen “tail,” and the outline of this has been preserved inside the repurposed house.
Slated for demolition, ACO Port Hope quickly sought alternatives and approached Stephen Henderson of Henderson Construction who bought the building for $1. $800,000 later and with support from ACO Port Hope for its relocation, the house has been restored and renovated to a charming and functional home and soon, it will receive the Heritage Designation that it had not received in its original location, a protection that ought to have left it close to its original positioning.
28 Ross Street
This charming frame house was once owned by a delivery person who had some form of barn or stable on the property to house his team of horses and wagon. The wood from the barn was used to build the outbuilding the current owners call their office. The house is situated on a treed quiet lot at the west end of Ross Street. The front door faced south on to Gifford Street until two building lots were severed and sold on the Gifford Street side. The front door now faces Ross Street and the original front door is now a window and French doors have been added to the west facing on to a quiet patio with lovely gardens and mature trees – a delightful country oasis in the middle of town. Many Port Hope residents will remember Ross Street as the route to the Lions Club outdoor pool. The street now ends at 28 Ross Street, the Lions Club shares its space with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 30 and the pool has been filled in.
46 Pine Street South - Maid's House for Hill and Dale
The house across the road from Hill and Dale was the original Maids’ house for all the staff that supported Hill and Dale. The granddaughter of the last maid to work at Hill and Dale lived there until 2001. The house was practically unchanged in all that time. Its current owners, Dee and Patrick McGee added the beautiful gardens, the back porch and renovated the interior to bring it into the 21st century.
150 Dorset Street West - Idalia Carriage House
c. 1860, altered c. 1980 & c. 2000
This charming Italianate structure was built as the carriage house for the Idalia mansion (S/E corner of Victoria St. and Trafalgar St.). It was moved to its current location around 1975. Rod Stewart Construction Ltd. played a major role in changing what was a forlorn shell into a sophisticated living quarters. The cupola was restored with glass instead of louvers to act as a skylight to the second floor landing and the drive doors flanking the front door changed to large windows. The house looked very different, quite stark, without the large front verandah added by the current owners around 2000. The verandah is a restful, protected place to sit to take in the morning sun and views across the lake. The house was placed on the rear of the double lot as the large two storey house, the 1874 Judge Chisholm/Lightburn House had to be demolished in 1978 due to radium deposits.
85 Victoria Street South - Idalia
Built by the first mayor of Port Hope for his daughter upon her marriage in 1869, this one of a kind 10,000 square foot home is perched on a hill overlooking lush greenery and Lake Ontario.
The architecture is Italiante and house is full of original features including beautiful intricate molding and stained glass. Idalia House features a large wrap around porch and picturesque grounds.
240 Ridout Street - Ridout Hall
This house began life as a fairly modest Ontario cottage like many of its neighbors. The land was purchased in 1850 and the house was finished by 1853 and appears on the Forrest and Wall map of that year. It stands at the beginning of the Ridout subdivision and it was a part of all the frenzied land speculation in Englishtown that came with the arrival of the railroads in the 1850s.
It changed hands several times for increasing amounts. Around 1880, an owner expanded the house by adding a second floor and an Italianate tower. Evidence of this can be seen in the brickwork and in the windows, most of which changed from Georgian 6/6 to stained glass accented. The house stayed within the same extended family for most of the early part of the 20th century. In 1956, it was sold to the Burch family who lived here for the next six decades.
The house retains original woodwork, plaster mouldings and trim throughout. The current owners have been careful to maintain the integrity of the house. Major changes involved opening up the kitchen area in order to accommodate a modern kitchen and re-imagining the summer kitchen tail on the north end of the house.
The owners are long time antique collectors and this house with its 10 ft ceilings provides ample space to show off their collection of figured maple Canadiana, more formal furnishings and items related to the history of Port Hope. They are privileged to be the ones who get to update and maintain this great old house and carry it forward into its 3rd century.
187 Walton Street - The Albion Inn
You may have seen this house on the 2019 tour, but a combination of lots of stairs (did you make it to the top?) and several Covid renovation projects meant we thought we should feature it again!
Prior to 1857, a coaching inn stood on this property. The last stop at the top of the hill, drivers would leave their coaches and horses at the inn and walk down into town.
With the opening of the railways, the coaching inn was no longer needed. It was torn down and the Albion Inn built in its place. Subsequently known as the Temperance Hotel, the building was partitioned into a duplex in the mid-20th century and converted back to a single dwelling bed and breakfast in the 1980s.
Now a single family home, when Kate & Ian Everdell bought the house in 2016, they fell in love with the sunlight streaming in the large 6-over-6 windows (which also boast handsome brick voisseurs), the wide-plank pine floors on the 3rd floor, and the large back yard extending into the ravine.
The house has a symmetrical layout with a central door flanked by two windows on either side, known as 5-bay Georgian. The brick is laid in Flemish bond on the front and common bond on the sides, and brick pilasters frame either side with a corbelled brick frieze and brick parapets supporting large chimneys.
One of the few properties in Port Hope with heritage designated features inside, watch for the mahogany bannister and newel post on the main staircase, the classically designed chimney-piece in the living room, and the wood panel under the window in the kitchen.
The Everdells have embarked upon several projects since moving in, including a major kitchen/dining room renovation that also added a powder room to the main floor, and exposing the brick wall in the living room.