The Village of Bronte: Preserving the Past
Celebrating Bronte
Bronte Commercial Fishermen's Memorial
Bronte Commercial Fishermen's Memorial Details


The Bronte Commercial Fishermen's Memorial was erected in Bronte Heritage Park in 2007. Nestled amongst trees the memorial stands by as boats come into the harbour.

The memorial celebrates the men who worked tirelessly as commercial fishermen as well as the history of Bronte as a harbour village. The seven etchings show scenes of various fishing activities from the 1800s.

The plaque on the memorial reads:

”In memory of the Bronte Commercial Fishermen who ventured onto the lake in good weather and bad to set and lift their nets to earn a living catching fish. Ciscoes, Herring, Whitefish, Lake Trout. Cleaned at the dockside shanties. Packed in ice and shipped to markets in Toronto, Hamilton and New York City. Twenty-two boats travelled from the harbour at the peak fishing season. As the fish dwindled, so did the boats fishing from Bronte. The last boat left the lake circa early 1950s.”

Bronte Commercial Fishermen's Memorial
Bronte Commercial Fishermen's Memorial Details
Civic Holiday, Bronte, 1915
Civic Holiday, Bronte, 1915 Details

The village of Bronte comes alive in the summer as both residents and tourists make their way down to enjoy the scenic views of Lake Ontario and Bronte Harbour.

As early as the turn of the century, the Civic holiday has been a time for the citizens of Bronte to celebrate their village. In those days, the festival highlights would be the games which included: foot races, baby show, ladies nail-driving contest, swimming goose chase, double skull race for ladies and gentleman, walking greasy pole, canoe tilting and canoe races (Turcotte 105).



The Mariposa docks in Bronte Harbour - Civic Holiday, 1978.
Oakville Civic Holiday Celebration '78
Oakville Civic Holiday Celebration '78 Details
Blanchard Family - Tall Ships in Bronte Harbour
Blanchard Family - Tall Ships in Bronte Harbour Details

Tall ships in Bronte Harbour, Civic Holiday.

Bronte still celebrates their village on the Civic long-weekend with the newest festival being called Harbour Days. Other celebrations take place in Bronte, including a large fireworks display on Canada Day.

The Empire Sandy docks at Bronte Harbour.<br> Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA.
The Empire Sandy docks at Bronte Harbour.
Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA. Details
Habrour Days - Sand sculpting competition.<br> Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA.
Habrour Days - Sand sculpting competition.
Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA. Details

Harbour Days is a two-day festival combining musical entertainment, cruises around the harbour on the Empire Sandy tall ship, side-walk sales, various kids’ activities, and the very popular Sand Sculpting Competition which attracts master sand sculptors from around the world. ("Harbour Days in Bronte" 13)



Harbour Days is sponsored by the Bronte Business Improvement Area (Bronte BIA) and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism's 'Celebrate Ontario' program.
Master sand sculptors at work.<br> Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA.
Master sand sculptors at work.
Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA. Details
Creating sculptures out of sand.<br> Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA.
Creating sculptures out of sand.
Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA. Details

While Harbour Days has many attractions, the sand sculpting competition is the most popular event attracting master sand sculptors and tourists alike to Bronte Harbour.

In the summer there are often activities going on down in the harbour and the village itself, fostering a sense of community spirit.
Habrour Days - Sand sculpting competition.<br> Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA.
Habrour Days - Sand sculpting competition.
Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA. Details
Canada Day celebration.<br> Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA.
Canada Day celebration.
Photo courtesy of Bronte BIA. Details

The Bronte BIA also sponsors and raises money throughout the year for the annual Canada Day fireworks display in Bronte Harbour which attracts people from Oakville and Burlington.
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