picture of Salmon mural

The Municipality of Port Hope offers a variety of public art pieces as well as art and cultural programs and events. These programs and events contribute to the unique character of the community. Our commitment to arts, heritage, and culture is part of our long-term vitality and growth plan.

The Ontario Government announced the province is temporarily moving to a modified Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen. As of Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the Jack Burger Sports Complex and the Town Park Recreation Centre will be closed until the end of the provincial order. We are in the process of contacting user groups, and registered participants. As always, we thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate these mandates.

Our arts community is vibrant!
Discover these unique public art spaces

Children holding their fish paintings

Public art adds an enormous value to the cultural, aesthetic, and economic vitality of any community. It contributes to our identity, fosters a sense of community pride and belonging, and enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors.

The Municipality of Port Hope implemented a Permanent Public Art Policy in 2013 to guide the placement of permanent public art in areas that are freely accessible to the public and provided the greatest opportunity for interaction, and that the creative concepts are primarily - but not limited to - local artists.

 The Salmon Mural 

Fish mural painting on the riverbanks of the Ganaraska River in Port Hope

In September of 2018, Metis mural artist Mique Michelle travelled to the Municipality of Port Hope to participate in Cultivate Festival however arrived a couple days early. With supplies on hand and the perfect canvas on the west wall of the Ganaraska River awaiting, she created a 50-foot wild salmon. The mural, gifted to the Municipality with the intentions to be a temporary piece, was promptly approved as permanent public art, to remain indefinitely in the heart of Port Hope. The salmon mural highlights art and culture activities that take place in our community and reflects the heritage of the salmon migration.

Meet the Maker

Mique Michelle is a Franco-Ontarian from Field, Mique’s nomadic journeys allowed her to exercise her graffiti from northern Ontario to France. Through her travels and studies at the Ottawa School of Art, she has evolved as a mixed media artist and an active facilitator of the arts in Ottawa. Her work can be seen in galleries, public buildings and in outdoor venues. Mique remains a strong advocate for abolishing negative perceptions of graffiti.

For more information, visit Mique Michelle's website

Salmo Salar: The Once and Future Fish

Fish hanging from the ceiling of the Jack Burger Sports Complex

This participatory art project for Critical Mass Art, "Salmo Salar: The Once and Future Fish," hundreds of fish were created through a series of community and school workshops, to give visual representation to the power of collaboration. School children and the community took part in a multistage process of building colour and pattern on reclaimed sailcloth one layer at a time, exemplifying how small individual contributions can become part of a greater whole, while sparking conversations about sustainability and caring for the environment. 

The Salmo Salar installation was suspended over Lent Lane initially, then migrated to its permanent location above the therapy pool at the Port Hope Jack Burger Sports Complex.

Meet the Makers

Critical Mass logo

Critical Mass is a Port Hope-based not-for-profit art organization, led by a volunteer group of curators, artists and art supporters dedicated to bringing contemporary art experiences to the community we live in. For more information on this organization visit the Critical Mass website

Vivian Wong is a Toronto-based artist, arts educator and workshop facilitator. In her public art practice, she focuses on process and engagement through participatory art, using sustainable and upcycled materials and a mix of found and natural objects. She has animated spaces like Nuit Blanche Toronto, Evergreen Brick Works, and the Gardiner Museum with interactive and ephemeral installations and community art. Vivian's work frequently explores the intersections of contemporary art, urbanism, and nature.

In Vivian's work, familiar and whimsical visual tropes form the basis of accessible, relatable, uplifting art with an emphasis on process and community engagement -- it's art for everyone.

For more information, visit Vivian Wong's Instagram account.

Rock Garden at Peace Park

Painted rocks in Peace Park rock garden

This community project lives in Peace Park along the Cochingomink section of the Ganaraska Trail. Installed in 2018, in partnership with artistic lead Lee Higginson of Fluke Craft, the Rock Garden became permanent public art, an entirely positive project meant to inspire, uplift, and engage the community. All are invited to paint a rock with a positive message or image of love and hope and display it in the Rock Garden.
The Garden is a take one / leave one garden and creations may travel.

Meet the Maker

Fluke Craft was formed in 2017 by Port Hoper Lee Higginson. Visit Lee Higginson's Instagram and Facebook account. The heart and essence of Fluke Craft is to celebrate art, community and connection. Fluke Craft believes that the process of creation is every bit as important as the final product. Art isn't hard... it's everywhere! And, every person has an equal right to enjoy, contribute and participate within it. Using unique, natural and salvaged materials is a core part of Fluke Craft. Anything can become art! Fluke Craft's mission is to make art fun, healing, and joyful. 

 The Ganny Bear

Ganny bear wood carving statue

The Ganny Bear is temporarily hibernating. Check back for updates in the Spring.

The Ganny Bear sculpture, standing at 6 feet tall and weighing over 400 lbs., was carved with a chainsaw by Port Hope native Lee Wigmore. It was purchased by Richard Rogalski, owner of the Ganaraska Hotel, where the bear hibernated on display for seven years before being generously gifted to the Municipality of Port Hope in 2017.

The Ganny Bear can be found on the east side of the Barrett Street footbridge, at the Pat Lawson-Jack Goering trailhead – a fitting location that nods to the sculpture’s namesake, and the connection between bears and salmon.

Sports Day Mural 

Sports Day Mural in Town Park Recreation Centre

The artist inspiration and motivation for this project is the desire to give back to the community through celebrating art, culture, and sports. The ‘Sports Day’ Mural, completed in 2016, is located on the north wall of the Town Park Recreation Centre. Artist Herb Jung is a great believer in the positive impact of recreation opportunities in Port Hope. His caring nature led him to paint this mural to support children and families, hoping to raise some money on an annual basis that goes toward the subsidy program offered by the Municipality. The sponsorship aligned with this mural help support program registration subsidies in our community.

Meet the Maker

Herb Jung is a Port Hope resident and a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. Herb has served as an educator in the Sheridan College of Fine Art Department and Toronto Board of Education leading after school art programs for children, youth, and adults.

Redevelopment Mural

Mural of different sports activities

The Town Park Recreation Centre Redevelopment Mural was created in 2002 to recognize donors that contributed to the redevelopment of the centre. The sports in the mural represent the many ways the centre can be used by the community to engage in sports and recreation. The Town Park Recreation Centre has a large outdoor recreation space and gymnasium that allows for a variety of sports to be played. Each grass blade in the mural represents the generous contributions of the donors. This mural is inside the Town Park Recreation Centre on the east wall just outside the gymnasium.

Meet the Maker

Oliver Studios created this mural in 2002 as a way to recognize the contributions of the community to the fundraising campaign for the re-development of the Town Park and construction of the Town Park Recreation Centre.

Iron Sculptures on the Ganaraska River

Iron fishermen sculpture near Rotary bridge

Two metal sculptures were installed along the Ganaraska River in the summer of 2019. Located near Rotary Park along the Ganaraska River, and at the Fish Ladder at Corbett's Dam. Residents are invited to post and hashtag #porthopeontario. The sculptures are taken down in the winter and set up indoors before being reinstalled in Spring.

Meet the Makers

Rok Capuder created the artwork along the Ganaraska River. Rok is a local Port Hope blacksmith, carpenter, musician, and metal artist, originally from Slovenia.

Marko Lipovsek is a musician, luthier, carpenter, sculptor, and metal artist who created the artwork located at  Corbett’s Dam.


HIGH FIVE® accredited 

We are an accredited HIGH FIVE® organization, maintaining the highest standard in Canada

What is HIGH FIVE?

High Five LogoHIGH FIVE® is Canada's quality standard for children's programs and is an innovative approach to help us enhance program quality and provide positive experiences for children. HIGH FIVE® supports us with Training and Development, Program Assessments, Policies and Procedures and Awareness. HIGH FIVE® is a standard committed to assisting children along the path of healthy child development by:

  • Ensuring that program practitioners develop a high level of knowledge and expertise in child development; 
  • Helping parents to make informed choices and; 
  • Providing practitioners with the tools for enhancing and maintaining a high level of program quality. 

Youth Friendly Community

We are recognized as a Youth Friendly community. 

What makes a Youth Friendly Community?

Youth Friendly logo - Platinum Level

The Youth Friendly Communities recognition award is a program of Play Works, an Ontario partnership for youth. The program outlines criteria for communities to support engaged youth and highlights the investments the community makes to youth play. Promising practices for youth engagement are highlighted and celebrated. The award recognition is a community collaboration and involves youth to complete the submission. The Municipality has been recognized as a Platinum Youth Friendly Community since 2008.

Age-Friendly Community

We are recognized as an Age Friendly community. 

What makes a community Age-Friendly?

 An age-friendly community (AFC) is a community where policies, services and physical spaces are designed to enable people of all ages to live in secure and accessible physical and social environments. AFCs contribute to good health and allow people to participate fully in society throughout their lifetime. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities project developed eight domains of AFCs. These domains outline the physical and social aspects of communities that contribute to independent and active aging.

The Municipality of Port Hope is recognized as an Age-Friendly Community through the World Health Organization, and was Awarded the Ontario Age-Friendly Recognition Award in 2018 through the Ministry of Seniors Affairs.