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Westport (Ontario)

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Jan 8, 2022

Westport is a tranquil village of 700 people in the Rideau Lakes at the west end of Upper Rideau Lake, the head of navigation for the Rideau Canal system.

Westport, viewed from Foley Mountain

. . . Westport (Ontario) . . .

Initial settlement began between 1810 and 1820, with Westport incorporated as an independent municipality in 1904. By 1829, Westport was the site of a saw mill and grist mill; the construction of the Rideau Canal in the mid-1800s contributed to the growth of the village as a local commercial centre. Westport received many Irish immigrants following the Great Famine (1840s through 1860s); St. Edward’s Catholic Church, built in 1859 at Concession and Bedford, served as a community centre. A railway ran from Brockville (and the St. Lawrence River) to Westport from 1888 to 1952. A provincial fish sanctuary was established at the Westport Pond in 1957.

By motorcar:

  • From Perth (Ontario), head south on County Road 10; this road leads through Westport to Kingston, ending at Queen’s University.
  • From Kingston (Ontario), take Perth Road (401 exit 617) north. The 50km/30 mile drive takes the better part of an hour on a winding two-lane road through rural countryside with many small lakes.
  • From Highway 15 and the Rideau Canal, Westport is directly west of Crosby/Newboro on the former Highway 42.

Upper Rideau Lake is north of Newboro lock station on the Rideau Canal; Westport is at the northwest corner of the lake. Westport Harbour’s marina has docks for thirty boats, a visitor’s centre and a picnic area.

Westport and the Foley Mountain Conservation Area are part of the Rideau Trail, a hiking trail from Kingston to Ottawa.

There is no scheduled bus or rail service in Westport village. The last train ran from Brockville to Westport in 1952; the nearest scheduled bus line is Greyhound’s Voyageur run from Kingston to Ottawa (which follows Highway 15 on the other side of the Rideau Canal). There is a tiny airstrip for private planes, but the closest (limited) passenger services are in Kingston.

As of 2010, there was one cab in the village (Celtic Cab, +1 613-767-9257 ). It is also possible to dock a small boat at Westport Harbour’s marina and then walk to destinations within the village.

Conversely, one can drive to Westport, park in the village and rent a boat to go onto the lakes:

  • Norris Bait and Tackle, #8877 Hwy.42, Westport K0G 1X0, +1 613-273-6462. Hunting, fishing, bait, tackle, guns, boat rentals. 
  • Scotty’s Cool Breeze, 73 Concession St, Westport K0G 1X0, +1 613-273-7268. Chip wagon, garden centre, bait, tackle, boat rentals. 

. . . Westport (Ontario) . . .

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. . . Westport (Ontario) . . .