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 and snack bar 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
Our current featured Exhibitions are:
1812 April 6 - August 18, 2013
The War of 1812 was a dramatic event in Canadian history. But what was at stake, and who won? The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is proud to bring a highly successful and award-winning exhibition produced by the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa to St. Catharines. This exhibitexplores the War of 1812 through theperspectives of the four central participants: Canadians(including Canadian First Peoples), Americans, the British, and Native Americans.
1812, supported by National Presenting Sponsor TD Bank Group and National Supporting Sponsor Ancestry.ca, explores the way in which each participantexperienced the war. These multiple perspectives together provide a deeper understanding of the conflict as a whole.
1812 vividly conveys the motivations and aspirations of the four participants, their experiences of the war, and its effect on their future. It brings to life key personalities, such as Major-General Sir Isaac Brock; Francis Scott Key, the Baltimore lawyer who after witnessing the British bombardment of Baltimore, Maryland, wrote the lyrics for what would eventually become the American national anthem; and the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, one of the best-known and most respected Native American military leaders who fought alongside the British and was killed during the battle of the Thames. The travelling version is based on the original 1812 exhibition at the War Museum which received the 2012 Ontario Museums Association Award of Excellence in Exhibitions.
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national and international dimensions.
Teachers: Take an Educational Journey with Your 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.
Click here to visit Museum Programs and to learn more about our Edukits
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
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.
Click here to visit the St. Catharines Public Library
Be it for meetings or get-togethers, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is a unique place to hold events.