I've identified 13 historical sites associated with the canals. You can click on the map to visit a location. Brief descriptions are provided below.
Locations & Descriptions
Port Dalhousie was the northern terminus for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Welland Canals. Now part of St. Catharines "The Port" is still abuzz with a large marina, entertainment and local tourism. Port Dalhousie has maintained and refurbished parts of the old canals as historical landmarks..
North St. Catharines
No kidding, the 3rd Welland Canal once went right across the middle of present day St. Catharines. It's buried now but you can still follow its path if you know what you're looking for. Join me on this bizarre trek across the city of St. Catharines.
Wellandvale was the site of William Hamilton Merritt's original milling operation. It's on the edge of downtown St. Catharines, where Welland Ave crosses 12 mile creek. If you're in the area take a look. It's the site of Lock 2 of the Second Welland Canal and a good place to see a stretch of the First Welland Canal built in 1824-1829.
Downtown St. Catharines
Granted there isn't much of the Old Welland Canal there anymore but downtown St. Catharines does claim a rich canal history. Take a look at where the canal used to leave 12-mile creek and start it's journey up the Canal valley. See Merritt's house and the monument erected by the city in his honour.
"Canal Valley" describes the ravine that the First and Second Welland Canals followed as they left St. Catharines and headed toward Merritton. Maintained as a series of parks this 3 km stretch contains nine continuous locks from the Second Welland Canal, Lock 6 and sections of channel from the First Welland Canal.
Welland Canal Parklands
At over 2 miles in length Welland Canal Parklands is the Taj Majhal of Old Welland Canal sites. Located on the east side of both St. Catharines and Thorold, locks 11 to 24 of the 3rd Welland Canal still make their accent of the Niagara Escarpment at this location.
Mountain Locks Park
Once called "Neptune's Staircase", both the first and second canals climbed the Niagara Escarpment at this point at the south end of St. Catharines. The park is mysterious and full of canal remnants that are scattered throughout the park. Take a hike through the park for a unique look at a local treasure
Town of Thorold
Take a close look at the town of Thorold and you may wonder why its divided so clearly into an eastside and a westside. The Second Welland Canal once ran right through the center of Thorold. In the early 1960's the canal was filled in and landscaped over but it's original path is still clearly visible.
South of Thorold
Just south of the town of Thorold exists an area that can best be described as an industrial wasteland. Not that I'm complaining, it's an interesting place where a lot of people go hiking or biking on weekends. With a good map you should be able hike around and identify the landmarks as you go
The Deep Cut
It may seem insignificant today but back in the 1820's it took canal diggers over 4 years to dig through this 3 km stretch of high ground. An excellent 9 km hike takes you over the ridge and visits the historic towns of Allanburg and Port Robinson.
City of Welland
The city founded where the Feeder Canal once crossed the Welland River has had a long canal history. Right until 1973 ships still passed through the center of town. Aside from this converted recreational waterway a few additional landmarks lie scattered through the area that deserve recognition.
It's mind boggling to think that people dug a 40 km channel just to bring water to the first canal. But they did, and they later enlarged it enough for boats to travel down its length. There is actually so much distance involved that I can only recommend seeing it by car. Join me as I discover what happened to the Feeder Canal.
Port Colborne has been the southern terminus for the Welland Canal since the canal was extended there in 1833. The town has done a lot to refurbish and maintain their history, there's even a historical walking trail that takes you past the different points of interest you can visit.
Please forward any comments and suggestions to ac.ocitapmys|slanacdnallewdlo#ac.ocitapmys|slanacdnallewdlo. The information on this page was written for informational purposes only, reprinting without permission is not allowed.