Historic & Heritage Sites
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The route of Second Welland Canal through St. Catharines is often marked by landmarks and monuments that reflect the canals development and history. This Johansson bar on display just north of Glendale Ave. is a great example of the type of tools needed to build the canal.
By all accounts the item on display is over 150 years old and was used in the building of the Second Welland Canal sometime between 1842 to 1845. It was donated by Walker Brothers Quarries Ltd. and has been on display since 1983. The Johansson bar was used to lift and lower the large stones used to build the locks of the canal. According to the plaque this one was made in Sweden and capable of lifting 2000 lbs.
Lock 15 of the canal is located a short distance south, in Mountain Locks Park, on the other side of Glendale Ave. The exposed lock provides a great opportunity to see the size of stones the Johansson Bar was capable of moving. Locks 13 and 14 are also nearby, located approximately 200 and 50 meters north of the Johannson bar display, respectively. Lock 14 has unfortunately been buried underneath fill, graded over during the construction of Mountain Locks Plaza.
In a comment posted in response to a letter to the editor in the St. Catharines Standard on 15 May 2010, Welland Canals authority Rene Ressler stated, "The lock is located adjacent to the west wall of the new Sobeys store, slightly north of the Johannson's bar display. The big scrub tree on the lot is the center of the buried lock which is just below the surface."
"Before the Sobeys went in one could still see portions of the top of the lock walls. It was all graded over just before the store opened. I spoke to the manager of the store about the issue of the lock shortly after the store opened its doors. The manager had no idea that the canal ran adjacent to the store, yet they attach our maritime legacy to their development by naming the plaza after the nearby Mountain Locks?"
From Hwy 406
Exit Hwy 406 at Glendale Ave. Travel east on Glendale approximately 400 meters. Turn left onto the unnamed access road immediately west of Mountain Locks Plaza (west entrance to Sobey's grocery store). The Johansson bar and stone marker / plaque are located adjacent to the curb on the right side of this road.
Text and photographs on this page were graciously contributed by Matthew Jantz.