The Port Dalhousie community is located on a small peninsula that separates Martindale Pond from Lake Ontario. The historical growth of this community around an elongated road grid pattern can be directly attributed to the development of the Welland canals, commerce, industry and Great Lakes shipping during the 19th century. By the end of the 20th century, Port Dalhousie began to be recognized as an area of rich cultural heritage.
The commercial core, located on Lakeport Road, Lock Street and Hogan´s Alley, is characterized by varying architectural styles from the 19th and early 20th centuries, ranging from red and buff brick to Italianate.
The residential area is comprised of dwellings once inhabited by sailors, canal workers, business people, locktenders, farmers and many other individuals from an eclectic mix of social classes. Architectural styles include Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, and Neo-classical among others.
In 2004 the Port Dalhousie Heritage District Advisory Committee was established to assist in the implementation of the Port Dalhousie Heritage District.