St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre Events

museum reopening

The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is now open public as of Tuesday, July 28, 2020!  

We have made some changes to our operation to provide you with a safe and enjoyable visit:

  • The Museum facility and the Lock 3 Viewing Platform will be open by timed entry only.  Visitors will be required to call ahead and book a time to visit the facility.  Visitors will have 1.5 hours to visit the Museum and Lock 3 Viewing Platform with their timed entry. Please call the Museum at 905-984-8880 to book your entry time. There will be four entry times throughout the day:
    • 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • 1 p.m.  to 2:30 p.m.
    • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Masks will be required to visit the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.
  • We will be closed at times throughout the day to accommodate additional cleaning of the facility.
  • The Lock 3 Viewing Platform will only be accessible through the building in order to control the number of visitors to our site.
  • We continue to encourage all visitors to wash hands frequently and we have hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility to help visitors stay safe!
  • Starting on July 28, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre will be open daily.

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum is offering free lesson plans, activities, resources, programs, tours, and exhibits online.

You can explore our online programming through the descriptions and links below: 

Virtual Family History Workshop - Oct. 24 & Nov. 7

family history workshop

The Family History Workshop that has been so well-received over the last few years has now been reformatted for virtual delivery! 

Now offered remotely through Zoom, this two-day workshop will cover useful knowledge and tools needed to effectively, and efficiently, care for and preserve your family history.

Expert Museum Staff will lead you through tutorials on how to properly organize and preserve family photographs and records, care for family heirlooms, and record family stories through oral histories interviews and written documentation. We are also pleased to have the Mayholme Genealogical & Historical Research Centre join us to offer valuable tips and tricks for conducting genealogy. 

Join us virtually for this two-day workshop, held on Saturdays, October 24 and November 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. $50.00 investment per participant. Each participant will receive a professionally printed workbook.

Pre-registration is required. Register by October 5 to receive your workbook by mail. Otherwise, workbooks will be available for pick-up at the Museum ahead of the workshop. 

Call 905-984-8880 or email for further inquiry and to register. 

Virtual Museum Lecture Series - Fall 2020 

We are thrilled to have our Virtual Museum Lecture Series return for the Fall 2020 season! 
Discover your local history from the comfort of your home, with fascinating new stories and fresh takes on St. Catharines' past. These engaging talks are led by our Museum historians and feature expert special guests from the community.
Mark your calendars and join us alternate Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., starting September 15, 2020. See the drop-down menu below for the full line-up. 

All lectures are available by donation and are approximately 45 minutes in length. Send us an email to sign-up and we will send you a secure, private link to access the online lecture.

September 29 at 7 p.m. - Where They Walk: The Making of the Annual Guided Spirit Walks

Join Visitor Services Coordinator and public historian Adrian Petry as he discusses the many exciting stories from behind-the-scenes at our annual Guided Spirit Walks. From stories omitted, to why William Hamilton Merritt has never appeared in the annual walks, this talk will be an exciting look into how we 'do' history in the region's largest cemetery.

VMLS - Sept 29

October 13 at 7 p.m. - Ontario's Racially Segregated Schools 

Special Guest historian and President of the Ontario Black History Society Natasha Henry joins us to speak about the not-so-distant history of Ontario's racially segregated schools.

VMLS - October 13

October 27 at 7 p.m. - Lost and Forgotten: The Third Welland Canal

Visitor Services Coordinator and public historian Adrian Petry will present a talk about the somewhat lost and mostly forgotten Third Welland Canal.

VMLS - October 27


November 10 at 7 p.m. - Stories from the Front

Museum staff and volunteers will present their emotional and deeply touching First World War series 'Stories from the Front' to mark Remembrance Day. The program includes stories from the Museum's collection about experiences at home in St. Catharines and at the Front.

VMLS - November 10

November 24 at 7 p.m. - The Howe Report

Visitor Services Coordinator Adrian Petry and Public Programmer Sara Nixon will present a talk on the influential and revealing 'Howe Report'. Commissioned in 1863 by the United States Congress Freedman's Inquiry Commission and written by Samuel Gridley Howe, the report reveals the conditions of Freedom Seekers in St. Catharines. Local interviews with both Freedom Seekers and recognizable names of the City's established businessmen opens up new histories we aren't used to hearing.

VMLS - November 24

December 8 at 7 p.m. - Marking Time: The Fashion and Textiles of Life's Milestones

Supervisor of Historical Services and Museum Curator Kathleen Powell will discuss the Museum's new exhibit 'Marking Time' and feature textiles and fashion from the Museum's collection that help us mark life's significant milestones.

VMLS - December 8

Daily Social Media Content

We post daily museum content across our social media channels to keep you and your family engaged and learning!

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

You’ll find videos, interactive polls, podcast episodes, blog posts, photos from the Museum Collection, and so much more!

Museum Classroom 

Museum Classroom

Check out Museum Classroom for all sorts of curriculum-based lesson plans, interactive virtual activities and fun online tours! All access is free to help keep students engaged and learning while staying safe at home.

You can find all sorts of lesson plans designed to provide at-home educators with fresh learning content. It's all on The St. Catharines Museum Blog!

Virtual Tours and Programs 

The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is happy to offer free, private, booked virtual school and educational programs and tours.

Our engaging and experienced staff are ready to take your students on a virtual tour of our permanent galleries or behind-the-scenes in our Museum’s collection. Other fun and exciting opportunities involve programs like Jr. Engineers, which have been modified slightly to ensure enjoyment for all your students learning from home.

We’re also happy to tackle any local history topics you and your students might have an interest in, including a virtual walking tour of St. Paul Street or a virtual walking tour of the city’s historic architecture.

 Please view our Museum Classroom flyer for more information.

Where's the Pig? Virtual Adventure Series

Where's the Pig?

While our Where’s the Pig? virtual adventure series is now wrapped up, you can watch all the episodes online! Follow along with Sara in her search for a mischievous pig missing since 1945 and explore historic spots in downtown St. Catharines along the way!

Watch the episodes on FacebookInstagramYoutube, and on our blog!

Virtual Exhibitions 

Victorian Tweets

Victorian Tweets Virtual Exhibit

What if the Victorians had Twitter?

Victorian Tweets juxtaposes daily Victorian life found in newspapers, diaries, letters, and ephemera from the Museum’s archival collection against the modern Twitterverse.

Click here to explore the digital version of this exhibition by clicking on the category pages below. Scroll through Tweets and photographs to view the exhibition.

Coming Home, Commemorating the End of WWII

Coming Home Virtual Exhibit

The Second World War officially began for Canada on September 9th, 1939 when Parliament voted to support the British and French against the German incursions in Poland.

The war ended for many Canadians on May 7, 1945 with Victory in Europe, while fighting continued in the Asian theatre for a few more months and ended on August 14, 1945 with Victory in Japan.

September 1945 saw the beginning of the return of men and women combatants from St. Catharines.

This virtual photo exhibit captures the poignant moments that were a part of coming home.  Using the unique on-line features of History Pins. we are able to create a picture map of the relevant locations throughout the City of St. Catharines and in some case we can even see specific locations then and now.  (Look for the images with the little yellow person graphic in the lower left corner.)

Click Coming Home to launch this interactive photo exhibit.


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