Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Truth About Port Colborne - The Little City That Could

For those of you have been following my blog since this past September, you all know that I moved from Canada to live in the overwhelming, historical, and eternal city of Rome. But what you may not know about is the place where my permanent address is, and more importantly, what my hometown is like. I usually just tell people that I'm from Niagara Falls, because the truth is that it's a mere half hour drive away, and most people in this great big world have never heard of a little fishing city called Port Colborne. Well, luckily for you, I'm about to tell you everything you would ever want to know about what is known as the New York City of the Niagara region, because Port Colborne is where it's at.
Port Colborne is a city that everyone complains about, yet no one seems to leave. Its a city where people come to be born, die, and where teenagers spend their spare time parking discreetly at the abandoned Robin Hood flour mill to get it on (don't ask me how I know about that). I knew early on in my childhood that I would never live here longer than I had to, and that coming back to
Port Colborne is great - just ask them!
raise a family after completing my degree at university was not in the cards for me. And it wasn't - I'm in Rome. Don't get me wrong. I'm extremely proud to call Port Colborne home and appreciate being raised there. It was great as a child, and it's great for retirement (or maybe not, since we don't have an E.R...). They don't call it God's waiting room for nothing. But any age in between? There are no job opportunities to build a life, unfortunately. The cities greatest landmark is the Old Folks home. But I am proud to say that I come from Port Colborne, and am happy to return for the summer to spend time with the people I grew up with, ride my bike through the Friendship Trail, and have breakfast at Sambo's. But enough about that. Let's get to the good stuff. I'm going to give you the inside scoop on how to be cool in this grand city.If you want to wear the hottest styles, pajamas is very in right now, and has been for the past several decades. You can wear them anywhere, and yes, it really is that easy - just pajamas. 
Brownie points for pockets, buttons or a butt flap that make having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night much more convenient than having to actually pull them down. What kind of bullshit is that? People wear their pajamas everywhere in Port Colborne. On bikes, in the grocery store, whilst driving an automobile... Rumours has it that people some people even wear their pajamas - gasp! - at school. My high school had a strict uniform policy where even a white stitching on a black shoe could mean detention. But in Port Colborne, people actually think it's ok to wear plaid, cartoon, whatever pajamas in public as though it was ok. And if they have socks sewn to the bottoms? Well, in this city, that's like donning the latest Birkin bag. Hot? Newsflash to the 18,000 lazy kids and bad parents who allow this trend to continue - It's not ok! I don't care how comfortable you are. You look like an idiot. I mean, haven't you seen People of Walmart?!
How do these people expect to get on the Best Dressed list when you literally just roll out of bed and carry on about your day? Did you even bother to take them off to change your underwear? I know 
that when I want to have a laid back day, I'll wear a pair of jeans and a T shirt with flip flops. But pajamas? Have you lost all hope? Below is a poem written by the one and only Dr. Suess, taken from his Green Eggs And Ham piece, which I feel relates to how I feel about pajamas:
I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not wear them in the rain.
I will not wear them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not wear them in a house (Ok, this one, I would).
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE! (Except when I'm sleeping.)
If you're the type of person who likes to fit in with the in-crowd, then I know exactly what hobby 
Wild parties in Port Colborne.
you need in order to be invited to smoke cigarettes in the school parking lot and attend the coolest house party when someone's parents go out of town (a.k.a Welland)... Ride a bike, of course! But don't make it an actual hobby. Don't waste your time or money on a mountain bike or Spandex shorts so you can ride it with adrenaline rushing through your veins on the Niagara Escarpment, because that's not what we do here.
The cool thing to do is to ride it around the Compass in a wife beater bought from mom at Liquidation World. If you can do tricks, you're in. If it's a BMX, whoa. If it looks like a toddler's tricycle that is half your size, that's way far out, man. But seriously - the bikes teenagers ride around the city look as though they stole from a five year old, which very well may be the case. I hope all you
Port Colborne canal.
hooligans who jolly ride around the Compass take a minute to stop and think about the poor girl's heart you broke who is still sitting on her front porch steps in the heart of Lidsville who will never recover from this traumatic experience. 
Since summer is coming up, I can't leave out the go-to spot for enjoying this festive season. For some summer fun, a little suggestion for you all... Don't have a pool? No problem! The canal is free for all!!! I like to think of the canal as a giant toy box that is full of ecoli and other diseases that one can only get when swimming through the oil-filled waters. What's not to like, right? Not only do
My old high school.
you get to up your cool factor, but you also get cooled off after all that biking. It's like killing two birds with one stone (two birds who are floating dead beside you in the water, that is). 
There are two high schools in Port Colborne. There's Lakeshore Catholic (the one I went to) and Port High. They are nicknamed Lakewhore and Pot High, which is a bit telling. I'm happy I went to Lakeshore because there were more people, more sports, class options, clubs, and ultimately, more opportunities. My sister also went there, and most of my friends were going, so it only made sense than I would too. I don't have any regrets, because if I had gone to Port High, I don't know where or who I'd be today. But anyway, I am constantly getting status updates in my newsfeed about the details of everlasting high school drama, about how this girl is a slut and how that girl won't leave my boyfriend of four days alone, and how "UGH! Hate this school and everyone in it. Can't wait to leave." It's exactly like that, but with broken grammar.
As much as people may complain about Port Colborne and how most of our population is dying off (literally), I loved growing up here, and will tell everyone that I meet in university that I'm from a little city in the south of Ontario called Port Colborne. Sure, Tim Hortons may be our hot spot and tricycles are our Ferrari's, but you know what...?
It really is a beautiful place to live, and I wouldn't change it for the world.


  1. this is not a recommendation of your hometown...if you have any regard for the community/family/friends still living there why post something like this?

  2. this is not a recommendation of your hometown...if you have any regard for the community/family/friends still living there why post something like this?

  3. This is pretty accurate only you forgot a lot of details, like the beautiful trails along the canal, the numerous of seasonal festivals, our wonderful historical and social events, Roselawn has a wonderfully rich background, Canal Days is always a great time for all, a number of unique shops filled with treasures, and so many beautiful scenic areas found on the shore lines. I also attended lakeshore and am proud to call Port Colborne my home town, Lidsville to be more precise, though to me, it seems you only layer out its flaws neglecting the descriptions of our natural environment, like our rare trees and frutation. I suggest doing some real reseach and adding a revised entry that actually touches on what Port Colborne is, besides pj wearing teenagers and retired people. Did you know there is a ship you can scuba dice and exploiring just off our shore? Did you know that there was a war fought on Nicole Beach? There is so much more to this town, please don't lead people to believe that your description is all that there is to be had. Port Colborne is unique in so many ways, I'm shocked that you left so much out. Please revise!

  4. We are thinking of retiring in port colborne. Now I'm afraid it may be a mistake. We are looking for a quiet lifestyle but we do want to be involved with the community. Anyone have positive feedback for seniors in port colborne??

  5. Hi Linda Scott, my husband and I just moved to Port Colborne to start our family in March and it was one of the best decisions of our lives. Unfortunately a lot of residents born here share this young person's dim view of Port. They're drawn into hustle if the city, which in my opinion offers little more than shopping. The community is very involved with more festivals and community events than I've ever seen, and many of the events are free, asking for donations, or very reasonable.
    Before we moved here we spent 3 years visiting friends and looking around at properties and I would recommend you so the same(though not necessarily for 3 years, we wish we'd moved sooner). The city of Port Colborne's website has many annual events listed as well as a community listing that several groups post on and some interesting rebates in place including planting trees on your new property.
    The a sewing group that meets at the library for a toonie, fishing derbies, Christmas looks like it will be a month long event (this will be out first Christmas here and I can't wait), the are Pat's nights, fish fries, and roast beef dinners monthly, there's a pool league, and something called sledge hockey, volleyball league in the summer, if you have decent neighbors you can have a small fire as to fire ban is only enforced if someone calls.
    All of the parks have newer equipment and the locations along the water have covered bench areas and barbecue pits. Most of the shops here are locally owned so you are far more likely to find unique items.
    The people here are lovely, polite drivers who yield the right of way without a sour grimmace on their face. Every person I've met here has given countless suggestions on where to eat, which Beach is best, how to get my address changed on my identifications, more suggestions of events in nearby communities.
    It is a year round vacation community, I haven't personally seen people in pajamas, but it wouldn't surprise me. This is a very laid back place full of charming people eager to help one another. And a sense of community that has been squashed out in most other places.

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