The Welland Canal Company was formed in 1824 by William Hamilton Merritt. Construction of the first Welland Canal began in 1829 and was completed in 1834. The canal ran south from Port Dalhousie along Twelve Mile Creek to St. Catharines. An extension was built in 1833 to Gravelly Bay, now Port Colborne. As ships became larger and the wooden locks deteriorated, the need for a new canal became apparent. In 1839, the government purchased the Welland Canal Company’s assets and began making plans for the construction of a second canal. Construction began in 1841 and was completed by 1845. In 1887, a third Welland Canal was completed, which operated until 1932, when a fourth canal was completed. This canal remains in operation today.

Click here to view the Welland Canal/St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Fonds finding aid

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