Because the falls have to be bypassed, large ships that ply Lakes Erie and Ontario do so by means of the Welland Canal.

The first Welland Canal was built in 1829.

Construction of today’s fourth Welland Canal began in 1913 but did not officially open until August 1932.Construction stopped for many years due to World War 1.The canal travels between Port Colborne in the south and Port Weller in the north. There are eight locks that allow these ships to, “climb the mountain”.

The depth of each lock is 7.6 metres (25 feet) .The locks are 233.5 metres (766 feet) long and the width is 24.4 metres (80 feet) wide. There are a number of bridges that allow vehicles to cross over the canal. The bridge at Port Colborne is pictured with this blog.

You can see ships travel through the Welland Canal at Lock 3 in Thorold where there is a viewing platform. Admittance and parking are free.

The St. Catharines Museum, with an emphasis on the building of the canal, is also located here.

The museum is open daily until 5 p.m. and on Tuesday’s until 8 p.m. Admission is by donation.

For more information: www.stcatharinesmuseum.ca.

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