The Port Hope Heritage Award was established in 1981, and given to James Cutting, editor of the Port Hope Evening Guide. In 1998, it was renamed The Marion W. Garland Heritage Award, named for one of the founding organizers of the chapter, and The Heritage Award’s second recipient.
The intention, judging by the reasons for each annual recognition was to honour residents who had completed important restoration work of the town’s heritage buildings. Before long, it proved to be impossible simply to maintain this single focus, and in some years, a runner-up was also noted, until awards were made for two categories, commercial and residential properties, as well as for other contributions in building restorative work or community service.
In 2019, the chapter created a second award, The Bluestone Award for Community Service, named after the town’s most famous residential building, the last two owners of which, the Rumgays and Ruth Redelmeyer, have been important champions of heritage preservation both in Port Hope and the province.