Museums & Interpretive Centres
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St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3
The purpose of the museum is to collect, preserve, research, and exhibit and interpret artifacts and archival records, along with their associated information relative to the history of St. Catharines and the Welland Canals for the education and enjoyment of the public. It's a very special place for people to encounter history and learn about St. Catharines and the Canal - a major link in the St. Lawrence Seaway System.
The St. Catharines Museum is located in the Welland Canals Centre at Lock 3, where you can witness ships entering and maneuvering through the lock system from the unique elevated observation platform. Watch massive freighters from around the globe bypass the great Niagara Falls by climbing the Niagara Escarpment on a stairway of water. From Lake Ontario to Lake Erie ships are lifted or lowered to a height of 326 feet through 7 locks - the equivalent height of Niagara Falls itself!
Welland Canals - Past and Present
This is a 26 minute video detailing the history of the Welland Canals. It can be viewed as part of your Museum fee or if you do not have time to visit the Museum, you can view the video for a donation. It can also be ordered by calling 1-800-305-5134 ext. 235. The cost (call or email for details) includes all taxes and shipping and handling anywhere in Canada or the U.S.
A number of the Museum services are available in French, including tours when a French guide is available. They include the Welland Canals video, informational brochures, and a selection of retail items at Merrit's Merchantile the Museum Shop at Lock 3.
(see interactive Google map below for custom directions)
The museum is located 5 minutes off the QEW and 15 minutes from Niagara Falls and the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
QEW Niagara over the Garden Skyway
Exit 38A Glendale Avenue (south), through the lights at Taylor Road
Right on Welland Canals Parkway
Right into Welland Canals Centre parking lot
From Niagara Falls, New York:
Cross the Rainbow Bridge
Follow the signs to Hwy 420
Take the QEW towards Toronto
QEW exit 38 (Glendale Avenue)
Left on Glendale Avenue at the lights
Glendale Avenue (south), through the lights at Taylor Road
Cross the Glendale Avenue Welland Canal Vertical Lift Bridge
Right on Welland Canals ParkwayRight into Welland Canals Centre parking lot
Community Heritage - Discover the early days of St. Catharines. Museum exhibits feature select stories and prominent people from the past.
Discovery Park - Learn how the lock works and compare the size of the present Fourth Canal Lock to a First Canal Lock in an outdoor exhibit setting.
Follow the North Star - Fugitive slaves found freedom in Canada when they followed the North Star - an enduring symbol of freedom. Experience the rich legacy of Niagara's African Canadians / African Canadian Heritage Network.
Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame & Museum - Explore the history of North America's oldest team sport!
Special Exhibits - Watch for something new all the time - new feature exhibits from other museums or new exhibits from our collection.
Welland Canals - Explore the fascinating story of the Welland Canals and the cities that grew up around them. Exhibits illustrate the engineering feats of yesterday and today.
Basic Educational Tours
The Museum offers educational tours on the Welland Canals, Black History, Community History, and Lacrosse. All tours are 1.5 hours.
Special Educational Programs
Other educational programmes are developed throughout the school year, including a special education program for the Holiday Season.
To book a tour, please contact the Booking Secretary at 1-800-305-5134 or e-mail.
Niagara Bound Tours specializes in quality, customized, early Canadian Black history attraction tours (Underground Railroad era) known as The Crossing Point Tour. http://www.niagaraboundtours.com/
Cramp. Mike. The Welland Canal And The Metal Beasts That Travel It. http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~ffueten/canal/well.html .
Muller, Eric. Welland Canal Math Trail - http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~emuller/mathtrail/wcmt/wcmtstart.html
Welland Canals Parkway Trails