Local Eyesore Becomes A Place Of Civic Pride

DSC_0643 (3)

Former sight of urban blight, McCarthy’s Pond. Welland Club, under construction, is in the background. (Supplied photo)

By Terry Hughes

DSC_0653 (2)


Early maps of Welland show a drainage system that ran parallel with the east bank of the second canal. With the construction of the third canal, it no longer functioned in this manner and became an unsightly body of water called McCarthy’s Pond. The local citizenry used it as a dump for articles such as tin cans, bed springs and other refuse. It became the home for a large population of rats.

When a local contractor, W.E. Phin, was awarded the project to straighten the canal between Quaker Road and Port Robinson, he was persuaded by city councillor, James O’Neil, to use the excavated earth as fill to rid the community of the unsightly pond.

Our photo for this column shows the fruits of their labour as the pond has disappeared and been replaced with a grass-covered property lined with trees overlooking the third canal. Closer observation of the photo shows the construction of the Welland Club that would function as a meeting place for Welland’s elite. That would date this picture in the year 1910.

On the west bank you see a mound of earth created with the digging of the third canal. A canaler is passing the Beatty Ship Yards which were located on King Street. They were busy building dredging equipment for use in the construction of the fourth canal. A circular bandstand would be built in the centre of the park as a home for the Welland Civic Band who played on Sundays and holiday weekends. A little over a century later, we have a beautiful park with a historic fountain everyone can enjoy.

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. This marks the debut of his column, HERITAGE LIVES!, which will appear monthly for the time being. )


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.