Port Stanley has a large sheltered harbour that supported trade in coal and wood between Southwestern Ontario and the United States. Today, most of these facilities are dormant, but a commercial freshwater fishery operates from the harbour.
The site of Port Stanley was part of an important early route from Lake Erie to other inland waterways for a succession of explorers and travellers of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was an important landing point and camping spot. Adrien Jolliet, brother of Louis Jolliet, landed at this location in 1669 during the first exploration of the Great Lakes by Europeans. Other notable visitors included François Dollier de Casson and René de Bréhant de Galinée (1670), Jean-Baptiste Céloron de Blainville (1749) and Sir William Johnson (1761). In commemoration of this role, a site bounded by Bridge, Main and Colbourne Streets was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1923, and was marked with a cairn.
A settlement named Kettle Creek was founded here in 1812 by Lieutenant-Colonel John Bostwick. Around 1824, it was renamed Port Stanley after Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who had visited nearby Port Talbot. Lord Stanley later became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the father of Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, Governor General of Canada, ice hockey enthusiast and donor of the first Stanley Cup in 1893,
Port Stanley is 42 km south of London (Ontario).
- Dockside Cabs, +1 519-782-3855
- Port Stanley Beach - a large sandy beach
- Port Stanley Festival Theatre, 302 Bridge St, ☏ . Great summer theatre in the former town hall building on Bridge Street.
- Port Stanley Lighthouse, William Street. At the end of a long, refurbished pier. It makes for a nice walk, and there is a beautiful view of the shoreline from the end.
- The Stork Club - Big Band Museum and Hall of Fame, 302 Bridge Street, ☏ . Call to inquire.
- Lifting bridge across Kettle Creek
- Enjoy small town village life, leave the car parked, all amenities within walking distance.
- 1 Port Stanley Terminal Rail, 309 Bridge St (near the King George lift bridge in the centre of town), ☏ , toll-free: . Excursion service Jul Aug: W-Su 11AM, 1PM & 2:30PM; June Sep Oct: Sa Su and holiday M 11AM, 1PM & 2:30PM; special trips in Apr May Nov Dec. This heritage railway operates a tourist train between St. Thomas, Ontario and Port Stanley using a portion of the former London and Port Stanley Railway line. It uses four historic diesel electric locomotives from the 1940s and 1950s and nine passenger cars. Adults $15, child (2-14) $9 tax included.
- Art Emporium Port Stanley, 177 Main Street, ☏ . Jun to early Sep: W-M 11AM-5PM. The work of 40 local and regional artists in a large well-lit gallery. The gallery artists work in many media from painting to sculpture, pottery, photography, glass, textiles, encaustic and more. The Gift Boutique offers a wide assortment of high-quality hand-crafted items.
- Moore Water Gardens, 4683 Sunset Rd, ☏ . Mar Aug Sep: M-F 9AM-5PM; Apr to mid-Jul M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 11AM-5PM; mid- to late Jul: M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa noon-4PM; Oct to Feb: M-F open by chance or by appointment. specializing in waterlilies and aquatic plants.
Fresh Lake Erie Perch is featured on every menu in town.
- SoLo on Main, 187 Main St, ☏ . M-Th noon-3PM and 5-9PM, F SA noon-10PM, Su noon-8PM. Dishes made in house with fresh local ingredients. Mains $22-37.
- Kettle Creek Inn, 216 Joseph St, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-8:30PM. Intimate dining inside, or al fresco dining on the patio. Mains $15-48.
- The Buccaneer, 128 William St (at the Port Stanley Beach Hotel), ☏ . Daily 8AM-8PM. Seafood. On the beach.
- The Art & Soul Cafe, 291 Bridge Street, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 8AM-4PM. Pastries, salads, paninis.
- Main Street Taqueria, 208 Main St. Authentic tacos.
- GT's on the Beach, Edith Cavell, ☏ . May-Sep 11AM-11PM (to 1AM if there's a band). A 400-seat patio right on the main beach. 8 beach volleyball courts, locally caught Lake Erie Perch, live music weekends. Mains $13-19.
- 1 Barnacles Beerhouse and Eatery, 170 William Street, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Tu 3PM-midnight, W-Th noon-1AM, F-Sa noon-2AM, Su noon-midnight.
- 1 Kettle Creek Inn, 216 Joseph Street, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Custom beds, fluffy duvets, cable flat screen televisions, DVD, radios, free high speed wireless internet, coffee makers, fridges and irons & ironing boards. All suites have private balconies and five of the rooms have either porches or seating off the courtyard. From $165.
- 2 Inn on the Harbour, 202 Main St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Rooms, suites, apartments available. From $169.
- 3 Eagles Rest, 140 Brayside Street (Eastern side of Port Stanley at Lake Eerie, off Harrison Road.), ☏ . Deck, sunroom, High Definition Satellite TV, selection of DVDs, WiFi and BBQ available. From $128.