The City of Welland has 48,000 residents located along the Welland Canal about midway between St Catharines on Lakes Ontario and Port Colborne on Lake Erie. Welland is the third largest city in the Niagara Peninsula, and is know as the “Rose City”. The City of Welland industrial based is built on an abundance of transportation facilities.
The area was first settled by Pennsylvania Loyalists who established flour mills on Lyons Creek following the American Revolution. During the War of 1812-14, American invaders sent a small army to capture the grain and flour in the mills. The British forces under the Marquis of Tweedale battled fir two days without being decisive but on the third day, the 20th of October, 1814, the Americans withdrew to Buffalo and the war was over.
In 1829, when a wooden aqueduct was built to carry the First Welland Canal over the Welland River, the settlement was called Aqueduct. In 1842, The Second Welland Canal replaced the wooden aqueduct with one of stone, and community was renamed Merrittsville, in honour of the Honourable William Merritt. It was finally incorporated as the Village of Welland in 1858 became a town in 1878, and a City in 1917.
In 1967, construction began on a new 8.3 mile channel to relocate the Welland Ship Canal about 1-1/2 miles east of the City’s core, with a width of 350 feet and a depth of 30 feet. At the end of 1972’s shipping season the city’s lift bridges over the Welland Ship Canal came down permanently a and in April 1973, the new canal opened up. In order to speed vehicle and rail traffic, two tunnels were built under the new bypass. The tunnels are located on Main Street (vehicular traffic) and Townline Road (rail & vehicle traffic). Since then the lift bridges were replaced by permanent roadways, and the canal has become a world class rowing course.
In June of each year, the City celebrates the Rose Festival (June 3rd – 18th) which is culminates in the Rose Festival Parade.
|Welland Folklore Festival||End August|
|Mike Burwell Welland Triathlon||early September|
|Niagara Regional Exhibition||mid September|
|Niagara Food Festival||early October|
Welland Court House
102 East Main Street
This 1855 Palladian-styled structure was built using Queenston Limestone, and was the site of the last hanging in Canada. The front of this building is dominated by a monumental projecting portico surmounted by a classical pediment and is given character by four large Ionic columns. Recently completed renovations enable the Courthouse to continue to be a state of the art facility. Tours available in the summer.
Welland Historical Museum
140 King Street,
Welland Ontario L3B 3J3
Museum documents the history of the industrial development of the City of Welland, including the history of the 4 versions of the Welland Canal and their impact on the City is featured. A special partnership between the Welland Historical Museum and the Niagara Children’s Museum has provided the community with a place where children are encouraged to touch things and participate in interactive play. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Niagara Regional Exhibition & Fairgrounds
Niagara Regional Agricultural Society
Niagara South’s largest fall fair for over 150 years. The annual fall fair is traditionally on the second weekend of September and brings farm people, produce and displays from the Niagara agri-tourism industry and farming businesses in Niagara. The Welland Indoor Tennis Club uses the main fairgrounds building for fall/winter tennis. See special events year-round, including Rodeos and Car Shows.
Festival of Arts Office
Take a self guided tours of the 28 mural located throughout the City, with canvasses stretching up to 25 metres (80 feet) long and three storeys high. Starting in 1986, Welland commissioned artists from across Canada to paint murals on the sides of buildings. More than two dozen colourful murals depicting historical themes of the region now grace the city, adding a rich visual element to the urban landscape.
Welland Canal Memorial Monument
The Welland Canal Memorial monument was built in 2002 to commemorate the hard working people who came to the Niagara Peninsula to build the Welland Canal. Some of the workers from around the world lost their lives digging with picks and shovels. The bronze boy at the back of the fountain overlooks the canal and memorial pathway. See donor names on the 3 plaques and in bricks used in the pathway. Bas Degroot designed the fountain and bronze statue, which were completed by Mylinda and Bill Jurgenson, following his untimely death.
Welland -Thorold Parks
First Avenue & Fitch Street
The Chippawa Park rose garden features many varieties of roses, with the City of Welland rose as a part of the display. This floral garden is a popular location for wedding pictures.
South Pelham Road, south of Thorold Road
This community park, in the south-central section of the City, is home to a community pool, wading pool and a large passive park area. There are plans for a splash area, play structures to be added.
Memorial Park Drive & Ontario Road
Adjacent to the current Welland Canal, in the south-east end of the City, this park provides a family environment to meet and play with amenities like a splash pool, wading pool and community pool, five pavilions, numerous softball fields and children’s play area.
Merritt Island Park
Old Welland Canal & Welland River
A 4.2-kilometre multi-use trail begins at a parking lot just north of the Welland Water Treatment Plant and runs north between the old canal and the Welland River. A paved path, with a small section of stone chip trail, runs beside the Welland River. The City is adding a new play area for children and other new amenities. This park is excellent for family picnics, walking, hiking, biking, and blading, wheeling or jogging. The Island serves as the home of the Niagara Food Festival, the peninsula’s tastiest party, in the last weekend of September each year and the Mike Burwell Memorial Niagara Triathlon on the second weekend in July.
King Street, adjacent to Welland Club
This park is across the street from the Welland Public Library’s main branch and features the Welland Canal Monument & scenic winter lighting displays. The park is intended for passive usage (incontrast to Merritt Island Park) and features smaller rose gardens, shrubs and trees; a park to relax, read and view the recreational waterway beside this park.
Short Hills Provincial Park
Access: Roland Road in Pelham, Wiley Road in Thorold, or Pelham Road in St. Catharines
This 688-hectare natural environment features six established trails designated as either shared use hiking/cycling/horseback riding or exclusively for hiking.
St. George Park
St. George Street, off Broadway
Located in the south-west section of the City this park is one of the community parks that once you find it, families always want to come back. Amenities include: picnic areas with pavilions, Olympic pool, wading pool, play structure for children and plenty of off road parking.
St. Johns Conservation Area
Take RR 20 to N Pelham Rd to Hollow Rd. Fonthill
(on Hollow Road, just north of Baron Road)
Walkers will enjoy nature trails that feature the unique Carolinian zone and a small cold water trout pond.
Steve Bauer Trail
This 6-kilometre multi-use trail stretches from Fonthill to Welland with a stone chip rail bed (and some roads) through several developments and end at the Welland River. Begin your walk in Fonthill at Quaker Road and North Line Avenue
Stop 19 Trail
Begin your walk north of Thorold Road West and continue along the Welland River to Quaker Road. Here, the trail joins to the Steve Bauer trail. This 4.4-kilometre trail is mainly stone dust and is accessible by wheelchairs and strollers.