Port Colborne, Ont, incorporated as a city in 1966, population 18 424 (2011c), 18 599 (2006c). The City of Port Colborne is located on Lake ERIE and serves as the south port of entry to the WELLAND CANAL. It was named for Sir John COLBORNE, a lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada. The settlement was founded in 1833 with the construction of the canal and expanded to serve each successive waterway. Lock 8, the longest on the canal, is located here; at 392.1 m it is one of the longest in the world. The town grew around its harbour and benefited from its location on the Welland Railway and on the Buffalo and Lake Huron (now CN) Railway.
Industries associated with the canal have included the servicing of vessels, flour milling, repair and breakup of vessels, lake fishing and limestone quarrying. The city also has an important nickel refinery. The surrounding industrial areas occupy land reclaimed from the lake bed. Intensive agriculture in the rural vicinity occupies former marshland. Port Colborne attracted wealthy American tourists in the late 1880s and their influence can be found along Tennessee Avenue in the mansions they built as summer homes. Today's tourism is reflected in summer cottage and residential developments along the shoreline in both directions. The Historical and Marine Museum consists of 7 heritage buildings in the city centre. Through new retail, theatre and tourism developments (for example, Canal Days) Port Colborne has struggled to replace its dying manufacturing base and its status as the only Niagara local municipality to lose population between 1991 and 1996.