St. Catharines Museum

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.

Explore St. Catharines' History

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!

See What's New

father and son pointing to something exciting

Our current featured Exhibitions are:

  • 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!

  • COMING SOON: Playing Favourites: Feb. 17 - Dec. 30, 2014

    Official opening Monday, Feb. 17, 2014.

    The staff at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre know they aren’t supposed to play favourites, but they couldn’t help themselves! Check out this exhibit of the Museum staff’s favourite artifacts from the collection, then share your own favourites with us!

    Also launching on Feb. 17, is the Playing Favourites blog - check it out for exhibit extras and a peek behind-the-scenes of this exhibition!

Teachers: Take an Educational Journey with Your Class 

eager students raising their hands in class 

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.  

Gift Shop

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! 

Find History of Your Choosing

framed portrait of a woman

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).

The research centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. or by special arrangement.

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.

Facility Rentals

Be it for meetings or get-togethers, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is a unique place to hold events.

What's available?

  • Lockview Lounge (Capacity of more than 150 people): $31.50/hour plus HST - not currently available for rental
  • Burgoyne Room (Capacity of 56 to 150 people): $23.50/hour plus HST

View our rental request form and facility rental terms and conditions for more information.

Copyright © 2013 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines