Located at Lock 3 of the Welland Canal, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre welcomes you to explore the history of St. Catharines and the Welland Canals. Watch as ships work their way through the canal. Enjoy our amenities, including our gift shop, or stroll, bike or rollerblade along the Recreations Trail.
Wander through our galleries and explore the fascinating story of the building of the Welland Canals and the city that grew up around them.
Follow the path of the fugitive slaves as they fled to freedom in Canada on the Underground Railroad and the rich legacy they created as they made a new life in Canada.
In our outdoor Discovery Park, learn how the locks work and compare the size of the original Welland Canal locks to today's engineering marvel!
Stroll the grounds and spend some time watching the ships as they navigate their way through the Welland Canal. Witness this engineering marvel in action!
Our current featured Exhibitions are:
On loan from the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science
Discover how science and technology have contributed to the improvement of sports performance in this interactive exhibition!
Explore modern and historic sports equipment, then measure your strength, speed and heart rate. Visitors are invited to experience, first-hand, the contributions of video in sport and be filmed testing their skill as a cheerleader or baseball pitcher. The whole family can learn about the important contributions of physical trainers, coaches, kinesiologists and even nutritionists to sporting success!
The War of 1812
October 4, 2013 - December 2014
Discover the city’s connection to the War of 1812 and its impact on the community through a new exhibit at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, developed by Brock University and the City of St. Catharines.
“War of 1812” captures the fears and worries of life in an occupied land, with battles raging close to home, and how the conflict shaped the community’s growth. Developed over the last year by the City and Brock University,with a $90,000 grant from the Government of Canada’s Bicentennial of the War of 1812 program, the exhibit features rarely seen artifacts, archival records and newspaper clippings contributed by the City, the University, Parks Canada and local private collectors. The exhibit brings local stories from the war to life through hands-on activities and interactive displays visitors can explore using touchscreen technology.
Building Champions to Meet Tomorrow's Challenge: Soap Box Derbies in St. Catharines
until December 31, 2013
Capture the thrill of racing down a hill in a car you built yourself and learn about St. Catharines’ rich history of soap box racing through this exhibit of artifacts from the St. Catharines Museum collection!
Click here to learn more about these exhibits
Learning adventures at the Museum link directly with Ontario's Ministry of Education curriculum requirements. Our skilled docents like children, they love history and their mission is to connect your class to the past in the spirit of discovery and fun!
It's like getting your own Museum expert in a box!
Relax in the comfort of your own classroom and take the Museum to the school. Our education kits are guaranteed to liven up your classroom environment and enhance the learning experience of your students.
Education Kits are hands-on, object-oriented educational resources and, most importantly, they're fun! They come in a variety of topics based upon the common core curriculum.
Browse through Merrit's Mercantile where you can find that perfect gift for the history buff or the lover of all things nautical. Our gift shop offers an eclectic mix of books, Canadiana, souvenirs and seasonal gifts for everyone on your list.
Don't forget to drop in and pick up your "Christmas Story" inspired gifts!
The St. Catharines Museum library/archives comprises both reference and archival material of local historical significance with particular focus on St. Catharines and the four Welland Canals. Researchers will find material about local families, black history, buildings and monuments, business and industries, communication and transportation, the community, government and human services, the military, sports and the arts. Our holdings also include city directories, maps, insurance plans and an extensive collection of photographs, copies of which are available for purchase.
A dedicated group of volunteers assists with filing, retrieving reference materials and answering research requests (a fee may apply).
Researchers can also visit the St. Catharines Public Library website where an advanced search will indicate if a specific book is located at the centre. Please note that research centre books must be used on site and cannot be checked out.
The research centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. or by special arrangement.
Be it for meetings or get-togethers, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is a unique place to hold events.