Lock 5 - Second Welland Canal, Centenial Park



Canal Valley is a name given to the valley that the First and Second Welland Canals followed as they left St. Catharines and travelled south toward the town of Merritton and the Niagara Escarpment.

Today the valley is preserved as a series of parks allowing hikers to travel the entire route from Downtown St. Catharines to Mountain Locks Park in the south. Lock 6 of the First Welland canal and Locks 5 - 14 are all still visible along the route.


Canal Valley doesn't have a complicated history, designers appreciated it's slow and steady climb toward the escarpment and decided it would make a good route for the canal. The First Welland Canal was built here in 1825-29 and operated until 1844. In total there were 15 wooden locks built over a 3.5 km distance.

After leaving St. Catharines the canal followed the main branch of Dick's Creek for about 1 km. Starting at lock 8 the canal followed a tributary south another 1.5 km. The First Welland Canal actually climbed out of the ravine at lock 16 and travelled another 500 meters before reaching the escarpment. The following map shows the route of the First Welland Canal in relation to the local streets used today.


The Second Welland Canal was built in 1842 to 45 and supported shipping until 1915. The second canal was built with larger stone locks than the original with only 10 being needed. All of the locks from 5 to 14 can be seen today.

It's route followed the Fist Canal until lock 12 where the second Welland canal started running parrallel to the first. The following map shows the route of the Second Welland Canal in relation to the local streets used today.

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