Next Best Thing To Being in Welland During The Canal Bypass Project?

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

I was with The Evening Tribune in December 1972 when the Main Street bridge was raised for the ceremonial last time. The date was December 15. It was a cold, snowy evening. Thousands of people were downtown to witness the evening. It was a night to remember.

Five years before that, on Friday, June 9, 1967, construction started on the $133.8 million canal bypass project, a red-letter day in the city’s history. It was a huge construction project as folks who were around back then will attest right to this day.

I’m sure many of us have had occasion, over the years, to  retrieve old newspaper clippings and photos, or old black and white glossies from photo albums tucked away in closets or desk drawers to experience those years, those special days, once again.

But here’s another way of reliving them, or seeing it for the first time – in the case of  “young folk” who weren’t around, or recent arrivals in the city:

A Youtube link showing old 8 mm film footage of Welland, mainly the closing of the Main Street bridge in 1972 and the construction of the canal bypass. Some great video, including views from the Main Street bridgehouse, and footage of PM Pierre Trudeau visiting the bypass construction.  (link doesn’t seem to work on mobile devices, but plays on PC)

(Special thanks to former Wellander  but always a “Welland  boy” at heart, meteorologist Rob Paola for sharing this with me!)



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