Portland was first settled in the early 1800s as one of the first settlements along the Rideau Waterway. The original seven houses in Portland, informally known as “The Landing” were a transfer point for passengers traveling from Brockville and continuing by barge to Perth.

With the completion of the Rideau Canal Waterway in 1832, steamboats and barges carrying raw materials such as cordwood from the clearing of forests, maple syrup, potash, cheese, tanned hides and salt beef were a common sight. Portland became a thriving village of trade with Kingston, Montreal and Ottawa.

The village of Portland took its name in 1843 from William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland. By the 1860’s, the settlement had expanded considerably to require five hotels and, by the early 1900’s, cottages were springing up around the lake and the tourist trade had begun. Advances in rail and road travel and increasing tourism offset a decline in the role of agriculture in the economy of Portland. Tourism then began to lead the economy of Portland, and still does to this day.

Sub-pages will include:

1. Introduction

2. Village of Portland

  • General
  • Maps and Layout

3. Big Rideau Lake

  • Rideau Canal History
  • Cottage History

4. People

  • Residents
  • Notable Visitors

5. Buildings and Related

6. Cemeteries and Burial Sites

7. Industries and Businesses

  • Retail and Other Services
  • Sawmills
  • Cheese Factories
  • Boat Building
  • Tourism

8. Events

9. Organizations

10. General Archives

11. Artifacts

12. Other