Former industrial space transformed
Article and images by Bill Hornbostel
The Port has transformed an industrial building at 15 Cavan Street into a space for working, learning, and playing.
Tracy Strong Burnside, owner of The Port, says, “I’ve created The Port because I wanted to have it essentially be a community hub; I would like everybody from all walks of life to be able to experience this beautiful building.”
“Through that, we’ve come up with a concept called work, play and learn,” says Strong Burnside. ‘’During the day, from Monday to Thursday, you can come and you can work in a beautiful co-working space, meet other like minded people network, so many things that you can do here.”
The Port’s co-working concept is based on the “Scandinavian model” of a four-day work week, which can “allow independent workers the opportunity to shift their working behaviours and perspectives to meet their personal and professional goals of creating the perfect work-life balance.” The workspace includes things like flexible workstations, natural light, greenery, printing and copying services, and fast WiFi and Internet service.
“And then the learn component, we’re going to be having workshops and speaker series and things like that where people can come in either teach or learn,” continues Strong Burnside. “That’s wide open for the community.”
“The play component is this place can be rented out privately, or we’ll be holding things like wedding receptions and corporate events and things of that nature and dances,” adds Strong Burnside.
The grand opening of The Port last week was attended by Councillor John Bickle and members the Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce.
Bickle said, “The Port is a unique destination in our town, and it is a testament of the strength of our residents. When the pandemic hit, they could have given up, they could have gone under, but did they reinvented themselves with this beautiful, multifunctional space we have here today.”
“As time goes by and this venue sees weddings, galas, post workshops, and gives entrepreneurs and teachers their own space, we are confident that it will become an important part of our community,” Bickle added.
Maria Papaioannoy-Duic, President of the Chamber, praised Strong Burnside for adapting to the pandemic while developing her business, “literally being the definition of what everyone expected from small business owners during a pandemic.”
“The Port is more than what you thought it would be in 2019,” said Papaioannoy-Duic. “People will be inspired, and families will celebrate all in one space, and at the end of the day, you built this place where community members from Port Hope and around can not only dream, but they can make those dreams come true.”
The Port is located at 15 Cavan Street in Port Hope. For more information, visit their website, http://www.theport.fun/, or call 905-885-9825.