The world-famous Welland Canal, operated by the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, opened Thursday, March 29th for its 2018 navigation season. This canal allows ships to by-pass Niagara Falls and carry ships from above the falls to Lake Ontario below the falls (and vice-versa to Lake Erie above the falls). The distance between the two lakes is 42 kilometres, or 26 miles. It has eight locks. The canal was first cut in1829 with significant improvements made in 1932 and 1973.

Locks 4, 5, and 6 in nearby Thorold are called the flight locks because they function like giant steps in a large flight of stairs. To avoid delays, the locks have been twinned to allow for two-way ship traffic.

To best view these ships, go to Lock 3 along the canal where you will find an observation deck overlooking a lock. You will also find here the St’ Catharines and Welland Canals Centre. (

Admission is by donation.

It’s a fifteen-minute drive from Niagara Falls.

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