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Richard K.C. Ling, Broker

Harvey Kalles Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

Port Hope  –   A Treasury of Early Homes by Tom Cruickshank

    Managing Editor of Century Home (www.centuryhome.com)

Photographed by John de Visser

Published by Bluestone House Inc.  Port Hope Ontario 1987



 Springtime magnolias grace the garden of the house said to have been built by Mayor James Scott in the 185Os. Back verandah offers quiet contemplation.


Scott House

Ward Street c. 1853

There is an unmistakable similarity between the house pictured here and at least two others in town, the Craig House and the Willows (p. 36 and p. 38). All share a basic symmetrical form in brick and are distinguished by the unusual overhang of the eaves, which lends a measure of Grecian fanfare to each composition. They have an imposing Victorian countenance, yet their well-defined clarity of line sets them apart. Here, that singular character is exaggerated further by a poetic setting atop a hillside lot, dramatic when viewed from the street below. The verandah is commodious, especially compared to the sister houses; the centre upstairs window was originally a balcony door.


There is some confusion as to the history of the house. While reseachers have attributed it to James Scott, a well-established lawyer during the 1850s, a contemporary directory notes Scott residing on King Street; his widow, Louisa, also gives a King Street address in 1871. The house was grand enough, befitting the man who held the mayor's office during the Prince of Wales' visit in 1860.


In the early 1900s, the property was home to the Ambrose family; Thomas Ambrose was partner in one of Port Hope's most enduring breweries. "Ambrose & Wilson's" was a well known local brew in the early years of this century.











A Christie Great Estate Property






3 Ward Street



Distinctively Opulent Home


Canadian $879,000 / ~ U.S. $785,000





Richard's Notes

I scratched my head and pondered.

Many of you know that I name all my properties as they inspire me.  I am stumped with this one!  I don’t think even my supporting platoon of the cognoscenti’s or literati’s can help me right now.  Perhaps not unlike Tom Cruickshank’s puzzlement in his Port Hope - A Treasury of Early Homes1.  The original provenance is unclear.  The architecture, well…”imposing Victorian countenance distinguished by the unusual overhang of the eaves, .... which lends a measure of Grecian fanfare to (the) composition”.  I think the current owner, Artistic Director of the Regional Walsh Mountain Ironworks Inc. fame, enhanced it further with aluminium columns, wrought iron gates and fences surrounding the property, a preponderance of oversize Gothic Lanterns and a sprinkling of Regency ones in addition to different Ribbon Metalwork Wall Sconces and, my words, an obsession with inlaid lattice marble floors and various other antique features, transformed it to a very Gothic feel.  While not quite Notre Dame by the Seine, the fact that the property sits on top of the hill overlooking the Ganaraska River and a Steeple Top on the other side of Port Hope adds to this feeling.

Perhaps the qualifier would be, by asking myself the question,  do I feel like I am in the Batman movie set?  In certain quarters inside the house, I do feel like I am…. Imposing Ceilings 10’ and 11”, with one of the bedrooms on the second level that opens to a 14’ x 16’ 7 Piece Ensuite by a double “Antique Doors” (original from the Property), flanked by two Marble Top Antique Vanities on each side, two Water Closets directly across (one for Steam and Shower and the other for the Toilet – veritable Marble Cocoons enclosed by imposing 8' latticed Wrought Iron and Glass Doors), a Chevlot oversized Claw Foot Porcelain Tub in between, inlaid Marble Floors … all together with two commanding treetop views of Port Hope.  As an aside, all bedrooms have marble ensuites.  Two others of notes are one with a walk-out (through two Antique Doors from the House again) to a Terrace with Parapet Walls (Galvanized Steel Tops) with a panoramic view of Port Hope - and the Ganaraska River along with the Steeple!

This Home was part of the 2006 Port Hope House Tour and featured in Canadian Living twice (August and October 2006 issues).

1 This Book is definitely a "must have" for the history enthusiast interested in Port Hope - rich in photography as well, by John de Visser


Notes on The Region

Tap into what the cognoscenti have known for several years, a little bit of insider information if you will - Port Hope (www.town.porthope.on.ca) is turning into a bedroom community of Toronto. 50 minutes of highway driving east of Toronto on HWY 401, Port Hope is one of (maybe a couple), towns in Ontario that has a proactive Heritage Conservatory that has prevented bulldozing of Century Homes for Parking Lots - "managed growth" is a term that comes to mind.  In this gradual transformation, property values have risen exponentially in the region.

Steeped in history, it was the playground of the Rich and Famous since the early 1800's.  That would explain all the majestic estates both in town and in the surrounding countryside as well as the "satellite" communities of Cobourg and Grafton - aggregately known as the gems of Northumberland Country.

Northumberland County benefits from the growing trend of "city folk" moving out from the hustle and bustle in the "big smoke" to somewhere quieter and safer.  With the Internet revolutionizing the way we do business and communicate, many have taken advantage of what telecommuting has to offer. When we placed the Director of Marketing for a major National Bookstore in Grafton close to 10 years back, he traded his home in North York for a 100 acre farm with a restored Century Home that once belonged to the Masseys for $550,000.  I won't even extrapolate what it's worth today!

Port Hope, being the closest to Toronto in Northumberland County, has positioned itself to be a gateway of sort.  Port Hope, indeed, is unique with it's water frontage, Yacht, Golf and Country Clubs, developed cultural events and mildly eccentric denizens.  We have the Big Apple in Colborne that opens year round attracting millions.  And Brighton turning into a well received retirement community - great success in the development of Brighton-by-the-Bay by a REIT.  Then Prince Edward County, with picturesque Picton,  is turning into the other Wine Producing region.  After selling The Hillcrest in Port Hope to an area Spa close to 10 years ago, I see a few more popping up that provide a variety of alternatives and choices.  Another client from the U.K., now a good friend, has set up another one in Brighton - www.ElementalEmbrace.com .  This is quite special - as influenced by her background as a hotelier in Africa and her son as an impresario in the entertainment/music industry in the U.K. and New York.  Then there is Trenton and Belleville, led by one of the most dynamic Economic Development Boards in the person of Chris King; and Kingston, which is also experiencing phenomenal growth.


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