North St. Catharines Walking Tour - Martindale Pond to Ontario St.

Duration: 45 minutes Difficulty: Easy if you skip the towpath

The area where the canal met Martindale Pond has been converted into a horticultural garden called Jaycee Park. There are several things to see here. The map below shows the route of the 3rd canal channel on a current roadmap. Click on it to jump to a description and picture for each item.


The Bollard: Near the parking lot you'll see a bollard on display as a monument. Bollards were used to tie ships up while in the canal. The original concrete footing is still attached to this one and gives a good idea how they were built.

This one was salvaged from Lock 1 of the third canal in Port Dalhousie. Lock 2 can be seen behind the bollard. A lengthy plaque gives a brief history of the third canal, but makes mistakes. 1887 is a debatable date for the start of the canal but 1930 as the ending date is absolutely wrong.

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Third Welland Canal Plaque, 1887 - 1930: In 1871 a canal commission recommended an enlarged and uniform series of locks for the St. Lawrence and Welland Canal systems. Work on the Third Welland Canal commenced in 1874 and was completed in 1887, allowing for a navigable depth of 14 feet. The canal's length was shortened by choosing a new route from Port Dalhousie diagonally across the Township of Grantham to Thorold. The third canal's lift locks constructed of the finest stone masonry, measured 270 feet by 45 feet. They wee designed to accommodate the longest vessels "allowed by accepted rules of naval architecture". Lock 2 is visible directly behind this plaque, which is mounted on an original bollard structure salvaged from lock 1.
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The Weir: Just north of the bollard display is an almost covered weir. This weir once allowed excess water to bypass lock 2 of the Third Welland Canal. The weir is easy to miss if your not looking for it.
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Lock 2: At the very end of Jaycee park sits a well preserved Lock 2 of the 3rd Welland Canal. It's look is inspiring from many different views. There are also several interesting places to walk around and explore. The picture at right is the approach to lock 2, looking into Martindale pond and beyond that to Port Dalhousie.
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Lock 2 - The Approach: One feature of the lock in Jaycee park is the well maintained approach walls to the lock. A well landscaped lawn lowers into the lock.
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Lock 2 - Inside the chamber: The lock chamber also makes for a good picture. You can see from the picture the east lock wall has been partially dismantled. The opposite side (west side) is left intact and gives a better sense of what the lock walls once looked like.
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Lock 2 - Lower end: The lock walls below the lock chamber are also in good shape. Again you can see them flaring outward.
The opposite side was also originally designated as the towpath where horses would tow boats through the canal. The approach to the lock has a gradual climb and further out you can be the towpath actually extending into Martindale Pond.
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More Bollards: Again you can see how well preserved this lock is. On the west side of the lock all of the bollards are left intact about 15 feet behind the lock wall.
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Lock Chamber: Another picture inside the lock chamber, this time from the much higher west wall. On the opposite side you can see the indent where gates would rest when they were open.
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Martindale Pond: The west wall also gives you a great view of Martindale Pond and the approach to the next lock. You can see both sides of the canal continuing into the pond. In the distant center, another section of the towpath can be seen in the pond.
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Secret Path: It looks like a secret path and it does lead somewhere. If you follow the lower end of lock 2 on the west side you'll eventually come to a scene just like the one pictured on the right. The wall is or becomes the towpath. Just climb up the wall and continue down it for a short distance.
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Towpath: If you found the secret path and followed it you'll be rewarded with a trip on the towpath about 50 meters into Martindale pond. Its an interesting place to walk.
On the path, you'll even meet up with two concrete telephone poles on the way (not pictured). They were used to bring lights and electricity to the canal
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Turning Basin: Starting at Lock 2 the channel turned and climbed to Lock 3 at the far end of the park. The picture at right shows the turning basin where boats were given a little extra room to turn.
The position of lock three is in the distant center of the picture.
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Lock 3 - 1921: The photo on the right was taken in 1921. It shows Lock 3 of the 3rd Welland Canal. Also pictured is Ontario St. being rerouted to cross the canal nearer to the lock
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Lock 3 -Today: Today lock 3 is entirely buried although you can tell by the slope of the land where it is. It lies under a clump of evergreens and is the highest hill in the park.
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