Welland Canal National Historic Event
Opening ceremonies of the Welland Canal, 1932
(© Library and Archives Canada | Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / C-045311)
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Research Report Number:
An important navigation link between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie
Existing plaque: Lock 7 Viewing Centre 50 Chapel Street South, Thorold, Ontario
The Welland Canals have long provided an important navigation link between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, which helped foster the growth of trade, industry, and cities around the Great Lakes. Between 1824 and 1932, four successively larger canals were built along different routes using the latest technologies. The construction of the Fourth Canal (the Welland Ship Canal) was recognized at the time as one of Canada’s major civil engineering projects. Thousands of labourers toiled in difficult and dangerous conditions to build these canals, initially without the aid of health and safety regulations, and an unknown number died.