Monday, July 01, 2013

Snug Harbour Port Credit Renovated

After being closed for several months for renovations, Snug Harbour re-opened in early March. I'd dropped in for coffee that day, had a good look around, and snapped a few pictures. I'd hoped to return for lunch or dinner before I posted the photos, but so far, that hasn't happened. In any event, here are some photos of the interior, a look at (and links to) Snug Harbour's new menu and wine list.

On the banks of the Credit River, green roofed Snug Harbour at the Credit VIllage Marina.
Snug Harbour Port Credit ON
 Here's the view looking south-east across the river from the Port Credit lighthouse. The sign is new, too, with 'Snug Harbour' writ in much larger letters. An almost-all-season patio curves around the water frontage along the river and the Credit Village Marina. Snug Harbour has, arguably, the best located patio in Port Credit, if not along the entire north shore of Lake Ontario.  Boaters can tie up alongside the dock below the sign.

Stacked gray stone with art niches for model boats new feature at Snug Harbour in Port Credit.
New Stone Feature Wall Snug Harbour
Inside, a large stone feature with art niches and a fireplace runs along the west wall, with openings to the patio at either end.  Opposite the stone wall, near the entrance, is a new wine storage feature wall.  The expansive bar linking the two has been totally redone as well. Basically, everything inside has been redone.

New kitchen area at east end of Snug Harbour overlooks marina, Port Credit.
New Seating, New Lighting, New Kitchen
 Across the dining room from the new stone feature wall, a new, second kitchen is sited at the rear, center of photo, in a former seating area. To the right, back wall, edge of picture,  is the new wine rack. The long banquette seating is new, too, and faces the marina.

Interior view of Snug Harbour shows the new kitchen to the rear, looking out over the Credit Village Marina.
New menu with more items, old favourites.
 Still only one folded sheet (3-page) menu, there's room for the new dishes, and new prices. Have a look at the starters here. I was relying on my memory to compare prices of foods I knew from dinners past.  (Fish and Chips I recall as about $15 (one piece of fish, a few fries. That's it. And that seems the same on the new menu.) The increases, where they occur, seemed minimal, and in keeping with current costs. But I stand to be corrected.

Close up detail of new menu at Snug Harbour shows prime rib special for Friday nights.
Snug Harbour Menu Detail
 One new item on the menu is the Friday night prime rib special, detail in photo above and on the site. This is one of the dinners I had planned to try and haven't yet. (Comes with Yorkshire Pudding! Yum)!  Have a look at the wine list. The prices start at $9/glass for all wines. Just saying.

Landmark lighthouse across from dining room, patio at Snug Harbour.
Port Credit Restaurant has Best Dining Room, Patio Views 
 Prices and menu aside, the best thing about Snug Harbour, is it's location, location, location. And the location on the banks of the Credit River, a short walk from Lake Ontario, is worth every penny. At night, the harbour lights and the lighthouse (a replica, and home of the Port Credit BIA), are stunning.  Visitors often ask about the Lighthouse Restaurant, and usually, what they mean is Snug Harbour.

Newly renovated Ladies restroom at Snug Harbour shows stainless steel trough-style sink.
The Ladies at Snug Harbour
And I cannot resist a restroom shot of the renovated Ladies. Marble (granite?) vanity with stainless steel trough sink and cool new hands-free faucets. Assuming the Gents is equally luxe.

And so, two months after the fact,  here are the pictures. The patio is a huge draw, and busy most days, even days when other patios in Port Credit are empty, or nearly so.

And according to the site:

. . . Our seating in particular during the busy summer months is available on a first-come first-served basis. 
During our off-peak seasons of the year, we do accept a limited number of reservations through the week and even on the weekends depending on availability, size of your group, time, etc. 
Please remember seating is limited on weekends so please call in advance and we will do our best to accomodate your request.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Canada Day Fireworks, Parade Parking in Port Credit

Have a Parking Plan for Canada Day in Port Credit

 Update Canada Day July 1, 2014:
Canada Day Parade in Port Credit officially renamed The Hazel McCallion Canada Day Parade. See Paint the Town Red/ Facebook

Port Credit's celebration of Canada Day July 1 is one of the biggest in Mississauga, and even before the 11 a.m. start of the parade, parking spots fill up fast.

And after the fireworks show, they empty out even faster. Well, they would but for the massive traffic jam-gridlock especially on the west side of the river to Mississauga Road on both sides of Lakeshore. Being stuck in traffic for half an hour or so tends to take the edge off the magic.

So if you don't relish a carload of tired kids and cranky friends, or cranky kids and tired friends, plan ahead and feel justifiably smug when you negotiate your way in and out of Port Credit like a native.

Keep in mind that Lakeshore Road is closed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Front Street to Enola Avenue (the parade route), so there are fewer parking spots to be had and fewer options to leave during that time.

Lakeshore Road is the main road through the village, and congested at the best of times. During special events, such as Canada Day, it's even busier. Try to stay to side streets to save yourself the aggravation.

Have a plan for where to park according to when you plan to arrive, what events you plan to take in and where you want to go (east, west, north) when you leave.

Coming to the Parade / Daytime Activities Memorial Park

These events are between 11 a.m. to any time before the start of the fireworks show (variously shown as 'after dusk', after 10 p.m, and 'weather permitting') mainly around Memorial Park.

During the day, you should have a good choice of parking spots on either the west side or the east side of the Credit River bridge at the Lighthouse. BUT you have to be on whichever side of the Credit River before Lakeshore Road closes at 10 a.m., and you have to stay on that side of the river until it re-opens after the parade.

Along that route, since traffic cannot cross Lakeshore Road during the parade, you should decide if it is better for you to be on the north side of Lakeshore (leave via Hurontario) or the south side (leave via a 'snakes and ladders' route east past Enola.)

Coming to the Parade and Staying for the Fireworks

The time frame for these events is between 11 a.m and about 11 p.m. and if ever there was a time to park a few blocks away and walk to the Memorial Park area, this would be the time.

Why? During the day, visitors come and go, and parking spaces come available throughout the day whether on side streets or in the large parking lots. But when even more people show up to watch the fireworks, parking gets harder and harder to find.

 Best to arrive a few hours ahead of the fireworks start time, and walk a few blocks. It will be faster and easier to get out of Port Credit when they are done.

For although people may arrive at different times throughout the day, you can bet the farm they will all want to leave the minute the last of the fireworks fades to black.

And that's when the gridlock sets in. Even intersections controlled by traffic lights won't help you then.

 Decide ahead of time whether it's better for you to be on the East side or the West side when the fireworks are done. That of course depends on where home is, or where you are going next. And keep in mind that Mississauga Road north of the Lakeshore is only two lanes; Hurontario north of the Lakeshore is four lanes. Just saying.

 West Side of the River

Look for parking lots on Mississauga Road South at Saddington Park and on side streets (pay attention to No Parking signs)  Generally, parking is not that big an issue during the day, though it may take some time driving around to find a spot.

Parking availability in Marina Park (pictures here) right beside the Lighthouse or in the lot just south of Marina Park (towards the Lake) comes and goes throughout the day, with boat launching and charter fishing boat traffic all day and into the evening.

But in the hour or so before the fireworks' start time, when most of the boaters have gone, Marina Park will fill to overflowing, with space markings ignored, and vehicles crammed in with barely room to walk between them.

East Side of the River

On the east side of the Credit River, look for on-street parking where you can find it, and for parking lots near the LCBO and J.J.Plaus Park ( beside Snug Harbour). While it may be a little bit of a walk to get to Memorial Park, it could well be faster to leave after the fireworks.

Friends have parked closer to the Port Credit GO station (transit map here), and walked west towards the arena, which is on higher ground and offers a good view of the fireworks. When the show was over, they walked a few blocks back to their car, and left via Hurontario north and avoided much of the traffic.

Take Transit GO Train or the Bus

GO Transit: As of June 29, 2013,  GO trains run every 30 minutes along the Lakeshore route from Oshawa to Aldershot. And the Port Credit GO station is close to the action. See this post for details.

MiWay (Mississauga Transit) : See the route changes for the Parade here. Frequent service all day, every day, to points north including Square One terminal area.

Best thing about taking transit? You don't have to worry about a DD (designated driver).

Canada Day Port Credit Information

'Paint the Town Red' Canada Day schedule of events official site
Canada Day 2011 pictures and video.
Mississauga Transit

What's Open in Port Credit on Canada Day

Many owner-operated shops will be open including Port Credit Emporium (behind NoFrills on Port Street) and Macondo Artisans (open from 10:00am – 2:30 p.m.) near the end of the Parade route where the giant cake cutting takes place outside La Villa Bakery.

 A new children's shop is open --  The Ant and the Grasshopper  (Facebook page), just east of Hurontario on Lakeshore, and across from NoFrill, Seasons Boulangerie (Facebook page) "will be open tomorrow, Canada Day from 8am - 6pm."

Bars and restaurants, coffee shops and frozen yogurt shops are open. Look for a Timmie's on Lakeshore at Mississauga Road (Esso station) and east of Hurontario (Pioneer station). There's a Second Cup at NoFrills, and a Starbucks at the Lighthouse.

Snug Harbour on the riverfront will offer good views of the fireworks. I don't think they take reservations. First come, etc. The Breakwater at the Waterside Inn does.

So Happy Canada Day, everyone! See you in Port Credit!

Note: Fireworks info City of Mississauga

Signs at Memorial Park Port Credit posted for fireworks Canada Day.
Memorial Park Canada Day Sign
  • Fireworks may only be set off on Statutory Holidays such as Victoria Day, Canada Day or on a day for which a permit has been issued by the Fire Chief and only on the property listed within the permit.
  • NO fireworks can be set off on a public street or roadway within Mississauga at any time.
  • NO fireworks can be set off in a park at anytime without a valid approved permit.
  • NO person shall hold a public fireworks display without a permit issued by the Fire Chief.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Chinook Salmon Pen Project Port Credit

Salmon sent to pen for 3 to 6 weeks. 

About 10,000 baby Chinook salmon, called parrs, were moved today from a tank in a Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) truck to a holding pen in the river at the  Credit Village Marina.

On hand to help in the salmon transfer were representatives from three levels of government, local businessmen including charter boat operators, members of the Port Credit Salmon and Trout Association (PCSTA), area residents and visitors.

Over the next three to six weeks, these baby-salmon parrs will roughly double in size, becoming 'teenage salmon' known as smolts. The process is aided by warming water temperatures. The smolts will be towed, pen and all, down the Credit River and out into Lake Ontario, where they will be released to grow into adult salmon. The time frame depends on the water temperature; while it's been a very cold spring so far, weather conditions can change suddenly.

View of Credit Village Marina docks and sign across river to Lighthouse.
Salmon Pen Sign, Credit Village Marina Docks, Port Credit Ontario
 The PCSTA posted a sign at the docks entrance near the marina office, located south of Lakeshore, west of Stavebank, to mark the installation of the holding pen and young salmon. Seen from here, the pen is located in the water on the far docks in line with the lighthouse. This is one of seven pen projects on the Canada side of Lake Ontario, all operated by volunteers.

Information table at Credit Village Marina, PCSTA booth on patio.
Port Credit Salmon and Trout Association (PCSTA) Information 
 The PCSTA formed in April, 2010, "to organize local interest in supporting Lake Ontarios's salmon and trout populations."  In addition to these 10,000 salmon, another 70,000 salmon are released further north on the Credit River.

Historically, Port Credit had a strong commercial fishing industry, and while these days, fishing is purely recreational, it remains very important to the area's economy, including a number of charter boat operators, all looking for Port Credit's share of Lake Ontario's $180 million Chinook Salmon industry.
Salmon Pen day attendees at MNR truck, Port Credit marina include Councillor Jim Tovey, MPP Charles Sousa, MP Stella Ambler.
Jim Tovey (left), Charles Sousa, Stella Ambler Salmon Pen Day
Councillor Tovey, MPP Charles Sousa and MP Stella Ambler were among the two-man crews who carried the fairly-heavy pails of parr-in-water along the docks to the pen.

Each year, the MNR releases about 300,000 Chinook salmon in Ontario, all of which come from eggs (roe) gathered from Credit River Chinooks.

MNR Technician with a Net full of Salmon 
The salmon were hatched at the MNR's Normandale fish hatchery, and moved in special tanks by truck to Port Credit. The MNR technician first scooped tank water into the large pails, then added a few netfuls of parrs for the volunteers to hand-carry to the pen.

Large bucket of salmon parrs in water carried by Councillor Tovey and MP Ambler.
Councillor Tovey and MP Ambler Carry Pail of Parrs to Pen
As the young salmon mature, triggered by warming water temperatures to 'smolt',  they imprint Port Credit as their home for future spawnings, says the PCSTA, noting that future research is needed to determine if, as suspected, that pen-raised salmon have a better survival rate.

Releasing the salmon into the pen, Port Credit.
A crowd watches from the docks as salmon are poured from their buckets into the pen. The pen is basically a floating cage the size of a small car. Salmon will be fed regularly over the coming weeks, and nearly double in length to about 4 inches by the time they are released.

 The salmon seemed to handle the move well, as none were 'floaters', and soon swimming around the pen, flashing their silver sides in the spring sunlight.

Dave Fodor, left, empties salmon into the Pen.
Dave Fodor, of Fish on Charter, was one of several charter boat operators on hand to help move the salmon.  Most operate out of the boat docks across the river, south of the landmark lighthouse in Marina Park, where there is also a public boat launch.

Marina Park is also an official weighing station for the Great Ontario Salmon Derby, held each summer. See my previous blog post about the GOSD and Marina Park.

Engraving text: In dedication of John Powers Imprinting pen donated by Strait Line Anglers  through the generosity of its members and the following sponsors: All Tool Manufacturing Grimsby Tackle Petro Canada
Engraving on the Salmon Imprinting Pen 
A thin strip of engraved metal bears the following inscription:

In dedication of John Powers
Imprinting pen donated by Strait Line Anglers
 through the generosity of its members and the following sponsors:
All Tool Manufacturing
Grimsby Tackle
Petro Canada

For more information, see the PCSTA Site

The PCSTA is also involved in a new salmon-related initiative in Port Credit. Called The Hatchery Project,  it's working with community partners to turn the Port Credit pumping station buildings located at the foot of Mississauga Road at Saddington Park into a demonstration fish hatchery and fisheries resource centre.

The City of Mississauga has approved the project in principle, and funding is being sought to create an educational community resource in these heritage buildings.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mississauga Fire Department Rescue Training

Port Credit Marina Water, Ice Training Venue

The sunny, windless days this past weekend proved the perfect opportunity for Mississauga Fire Department to practice pulling each other out of the frigid Credit River waters.

And though these pictures show large burly men in full gear walking on the ice, please do not attempt this yourself. With temperatures fluctuating from sub-zero to balmy, ice conditions change rapidly. And the firemen were already on scene in case real rescue was needed; it may take them a bit longer to come pull you out.

Credit River at Snug Harbour restaurant views across Marina to Port Credit Lighthouse, Mississauga, ON.
Port Credit Lighthouse at Marina
The warm (for winter) weekend days drew dozens of visitors to the Port Credit waterfront, including the couple pictured feeding the ducks and gulls sunning themselves on the river ice. The frigid temperatures earlier in the week allowed the river to freeze solidly in shallower sections.

Group of firemen in safety gear inflate rescue boat at Port Credit Marina near Snug Harbour.
Fire Department Inflate Rescue Boat at Marina Port Credit
Wearing safety gear, the firemen open and inflate the boat to be used in practice rescue.
 Overheard: "Who put the boat away wet?"
[The building visible top right is Snug Harbour restaurant, currently closed for renovations. I've been informed re-opening is slated for February 21.]

Firemen probing ice thickness of Credit River at Snug Harbour, Mississauga, ON
Mississauga Firemen Testing Ice Thickness Credit River 
 While the boat is being inflated, two firemen walk across the ice to a previously-created hole, and the edge of the ice sheet. Behind them, interested onlookers watch from the pier outside Snug Harbour. As soon as the firemen began to cross the marina ice, the ducks and gulls took wing, though you can see the birds' tracks on the snow-covered ice.

Mississauga Fire Department launch inflatable boat from Port Credit Marina dock.
Inflatable Boat Port Credit Marina Dock
 Meanwhile, boat inflated, the firemen move it onto the ice, near the open water. The buildings center background (see One Port Street) are part of the (private) Port Credit Harbour Marina, slated for extensive redevelopment over the coming months and years.

See Inspiration Port Credit for aerial view of affected lands. The area pictured in this post is in the blue area between the red.

The blue railing, foreground, marks the end of the pier that separates the Credit River from the (public, city-owned) Credit Village Marina.

Kneeling on river ice, fireman uses rope with float to pull another fireman from Credit River.
Chilly Swim for Mississauga Firemen
Credit River water temperature is about 3C (36F), which, this day, is only a little warmer than the air temperature. The fireman kneeling on a sled on the ice hauls in a colleague, while the third fireman swims away from them, across the clear ice sheets.

Bright orange inflatable boat launched by Mississauga Fire Dept at Credit River in front of Snug Harbour restaurant.
Launching the Inflatable ~ Credit River 
One fireman swims away from the ice edge in preparation for a water rescue using the inflatable boat. To enter the open water of the river, most of the firemen knelt or crouched on the ice edge, then rolled over and slid into the water.

To the delight of onlookers, one fireman bravely stepped off the edge, and entered with a splash that gave him a good dunking, and sent a stream of icy water into his suit.

One fireman in orange inflatable boat pulling in two firemen from Credit River in winter.
Winter Water Rescue Training Mississauga Fire
 Snug Harbour patio pillars reflecting in Credit River are testament to the calm winds and water that provided a perfect opportunity for training exercises. Several different teams took part, as the training covered two sessions each day (Saturday and Sunday).

A Mallard Duck stands on river ice, Port Credit Marina Park, ignoring three firemen and a rescue boat, part of a training exercise.
Firemen? What Firemen? Mallard Preens on Credit River Ice.
All firemen safely ashore (or should it be 'on ice?), and inflatable pulled from the water. Intent on his preening, a Mallard ignores the activity behind it.

Following the weekend's ideal winter weather, Monday (today) saw early morning wet snow fall that turned to freezing rain and ice pellets before turning into rain. The forecast calls for  unseasonably warm temperatures for today through Wednesday, with heavy rains on Wednesday.

That means most of the ice will be gone, as will any snow, before the next freeze on Thursday. Keep in mind it takes many days of consistently below freezing temperatures to before ice is thick enough to support your weight.

For information about Mississauga Fire, see the City of Mississauga.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

First Snow of Winter in Port Credit ON

A White Christmas was a day or so late in Port Credit this year, but a White Day or so After Christmas is just as good.  Once the snow fall tapered off, I headed out to see what the village looked like with a light blanket of snow.

Man on paddle board surfing the waves at the mouth of the Credit River in Port Credit, off Saddington Park.
Paddle Boarder Riding the Waves.
Just hours before the snow started falling, I spotted several very hardy and obviously experienced paddle boarders on the Credit River, just off Saddington Park. Strong winds heralded the approaching snow storm, setting up large waves on Lake Ontario and into the river, crashing ashore at the stone breakwater.

Snow is still falling as a cross-country skier heads through Saddington Park in Port Credit.
Skier Saddington Park Port Credit
 Just enough snow to entice a few cross country skiers to take to the slopes and trails at Saddington Park. Though fine weather and warm temperatures bring most visitors to the park, it's a good place to come in winter, too. With the arrival of snow and cold temperatures, this fairly compact city park has also drawn sledders to its low manmade hills and skaters and hockey players on its now-frozen shallow pond.

Snowfall blankets evergreen trees around the Waterfront Trail sign at the Port Credit Marina.
Waterfront Trail Port Credit Marina 
 New snow lays heavy on the evergreens at the Port Credit Marina, now closed for the season. In the picture, it looks as if it could be located out in the woods, but busy Lakeshore Road and the Port Credit library are behind the trees about 10 feet away.

Snow-covered grasses at Lake Ontario St Lawrence Park frame the gazebo.
Gazebo St Lawrence Park Port Credit
 The Waterfront Trail continues from the marina to Port Street East along the Lake Ontario shoreline to St Lawrence Park, where new snow covers the tall grasses and the gazebo. The trail had not been cleared as yet, as it was still snowing light flurries

Canada Geese Credit River in Winter
Along the jetty that separates Port Credit Marina from the Credit River, a small flock of Canada Geese took shelter from the windy, wavy lake. Nearby, mallards, long tail ducks and assorted seagulls and pigeons kept each other company.

Port Credit lighthouse, home of the BIA, rises at the west end of a pedestrian bridge across the Credit River.
Bridge and Trail to the Port Credit Lighthouse
A dreary day brightens with the light of the Port Credit Lighthouse seen here from across the pedestrian bridge that takes the Waterfront Trail over the Credit River. The total snowfall was about 8 cm (3 inches), just enough to remind us all to hone our snow-removal skills that had been eroded following two winters with little to no snowfall in the area.

This small sign relating the history of the Port Credit lighthouse is fastened to a cherry tree at the edge of Marina Park.
Port Credit Lighthouse History Sign
 A sign originally put up, perhaps for Doors Open Mississauga or one of the various Walks in Port Credit is tied to a cherry tree at the edge of Marina Park. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Cheery orange bike with basket of snow-covered greenery in front of Paint the Town Red trailer, Marina Park, Port Credit.
Decorated Bicycle Marina Park Port Credit
The Paint the Town Red trailer is behind fencing in the seasonal parking lot south of Marina Park. These decorated bicycles, place and maintained by volunteers for TOPCA  are found around Port Credit.  See TOPCA page for details.

The skies stayed overcast much of the day, but the snow flurries stopped by evening. Following days saw mostly bright sun and blue skies,  and a rare glimpse of the full winter moon.

The clear weather brought out more visitors to Saddington Park, a mix of  photographers, dog walkers and skaters, sliders and  skiers and families out for a New Year's Day stroll. A perfect week to have calm, cold weather, while the kids are still on Christmas break.

While sunny skies brought out the photographers, I wanted to show you how the village looks when the weather is overcast and stormy.