Although today the village of Bronte’s harbour is known to be one of its defining features, the process of making the harbour the way it is now was tough and drawn out. Neighboring town Oakville’s harbour had been successfully funded and set up by 1828, only a single year after William Chisholm purchased the land from the crown and almost three entire decades before the town was officially designated. Conversely, the land for Bronte was purchased by Joseph Hixon the year before Oakville’s, but still would not have a harbour twenty years later.
The planning of Bronte harbour finally getting underway is attributed to Samuel Bealey Harrison who, thanks to his connections to the government of Canada, was able to get permission from the government to build a harbour for the town. Bealey set about appointing the Bronte Harbour Company to begin planning. Directing the company was Bealey himself and a group of nine others, and overseeing the layout was a group of three including William Chisholm of Oakville. Construction of the harbour, including two piers, a lighthouse, and warehouses, was complete by 1856.