Monthly Archives: November 2017

Heritage Lives: Unknown Local Facts About The N. S. and T.



Draw bridge, shown above, was operated with a hand crank, at left. (Supplied photo)

By Terry Hughes


The recent recognition by the heritage community of the walking/bicycle trail at Thorold Road (Stop 19) that was once part of the trolley line, brings back some memories not known by the general public.

DSC_0653 (2)


When the tracks were laid across the Welland River to the new station near Catharine Street in 1908, further expansion to Port Colborne was halted by the placement of the present-day swing bridge. It was to carry the new double track line between Buffalo and Detroit that was under construction at that time.
The New York Central line and the entrance to the new Coyle Yard crossed the right of way of the N.S,&T. (Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto Railway) requiring special signaling and track construction that was to be controlled by the men operating the swing bridge.
Secondly, the Feeder Canal was still considered a navigable channel and required a draw bridge pictured here in this article. It was operated with a hand crank opening like a jack-knife bridge. It sat near the parking lot of the current day Croatian National Home. When the Feeder Canal was filled in with the construction of the Fourth Canal in the late 1920s, it sat in a field leaving people wondering what it was doing there! It was demolished in 1956.
When the need to establish business and technical departments in high schools occurred in the 1930’s, Welland High was chosen. Students from Port Colborne and Pelham made the daily trip by trolley to WH&VS to utilize these facilities. Shopping in St.  Catharines was made easy from here as was enjoying a day at the amusement park in Port Dalhousie.

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. His column, Heritage Lives, appears on the blog once or twice monthly.)

(Next month:  Some Christmas Thoughts)

Back To School – Message To Niagara College Students

With the passage of legislation to end the faculty strike, classes will resume on Tuesday, November 21.
We understand that this has been a time of significant concern and disruption for you, and we thank you for your patience during the strike. In the days ahead, all of us at Niagara College will focus our efforts on ensuring that you have the opportunity to meet the learning outcomes of your courses and succeed in your program, while providing you with support and resources that you need to do so. We have developed academic plans that allow you to complete the current semester, and continue to progress toward graduation from your program. Plans for individual programs and courses will be shared with all students via Blackboard by Monday November 20 by 5pm.
Due to the duration of the strike, we have had to make adjustments to the fall term schedule. To complete the term, classes will run until December 22, and then from January 2-10. Further information regarding the return to classes, course completion, registration and enrolment questions, and college operations have been posted online at
We know that many of you have questions regarding the student relief fund that was announced by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Niagara College, along with all Ontario colleges, is working closely with student groups and government to finalize the details regarding this fund. Information on the criteria and how to access this fund will be provided to students as soon as it is finalized.
As classes resume, we know that there will be a period of adjustment in the days ahead and we are committed to making your return as smooth as possible.

(Source: Niagara College website)

Sign Language


St. Catharines-based church now has a permanent home in Welland. It’s at 414 River Road, on the site formerly occupied by Riverstone Event Centre. Renovations to the building now are underway. It currently holds its Sunday service at Welland Community Wellness Complex at 10am. (Sign Language is a recurring feature on the blog. Photo by Joe Barkovich.)

At This Popular Soup Luncheon Fundraiser, Every Ladle Bit Helps


Tickets go on sale this weekend for the annual Soup’s On! luncheon.

WELLAND – Want some comfort on a cold, mid-winter day in Welland? Then stop in at  Soup’s On!, of course. The soup is hot and the camaraderie and hospitality, warm and welcoming.
Tickets for the  fundraiser held annually at the Parish Community of St. Kevin go on sale this weekend.
The luncheon brings together soup prep teams from Blessed Trinity High School (Grimsby), Confederation Secondary School (Welland), Eastdale Secondary School (Welland), Lakeshore Catholic High School (Port Colborne), Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Notre Dame College School (Welland) and a local business – Stephanie the Lunch Lady. The soup menu, always eclectic, will be  announced shortly.
Friday, January 26, 2018 is the date for the 16th annual Soup’s On! The luncheon is held in the  parish hall.
Tickets will be on sale in the foyer of the church starting the weekend of November 18-19 and most weekends thereafter, before and after all Masses. Tickets will also be sold from the parish office Monday through Friday during business hours beginning Monday, November 20. Ticket price is still just $10!  Sittings are at 11am, noon and 1pm.
The event is a fundraiser for the St. Kevin Food Bank Social Justice Scholarship. In June 2017 after an interview process, four scholarships were presented –  to Notre Dame applicants (two) and one each from Lakeshore Catholic and Blessed Trinity.  The scholarship recognizes young people who work for positive change through social justice/charity initiatives and involvement. Applications for the 2018 scholarship will be available in guidance offices early next year.

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Meeting Calendar
Meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Information is obtained from the applicable agency, board, committee, or commission and downloaded to this calendar as it becomes available. Information is subject to change. Please check back often for the most up-to-date information, including cancellations.

Budget Review Committee Meeting  ≫
5:00 PM Monday Nov. 20 –
Council Chambers

Welland Public Library Board Meeting  ≫
7:00 PM Monday Nov. 20 –
– Welland Public Library, Program Room, 50 The Boardwalk

Nominating Committee Meeting  ≫
6:10 PM Tuesday Nov. 21   –
Council Ante Room

Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole In-Camera (Closed to the Public)  ≫
6:30 PM Tuesday Nov. 21   – to discuss the following.
Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board:
– Community Improvement Plan Funding from the Region of Niagara.
Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.
– Non-Union Staff.

in the Council Ante room

Council Meeting, in Open Session  ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Nov. 21   –
in the Council Chambers

Niagara Police Services Board Meeting  ≫
7:45 AM Thursday Nov. 23 –
LOCATION: Civic Square, Council Chambers

Welland Arenas Advisory Committee Meeting  ≫
12:00 PM Thursday Nov. 23   –
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

(Source: City of Welland website)

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size

christmas open house

It’s Open House time at the museum, ho, ho ho!

Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large  


City Shorts!

City Shorts is a compilation, from various sources (government websites, news announcements, press releases, church bulletins, advertisements, community service information and events, bulletin boards, requests, telephone requests, web postings, email requests etc.) of short items (in most cases) about matters of local interest in Welland. Want to submit an item for consideration? Please send to:

WELLAND – Welland’s Santa Claus parade is being held Saturday, November 18 starting at 4pm.
WellandSantaClausParadeLogoRoute: Parade begins at Canadian Tire Financial Services (corner of East Main & Wellington Streets), travels west on East Main St, ending at Civic Square. Join in the fun as Welland welcomes Santa Claus.
Along the route, Canada Post carriers will be collecting letters to Santa and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council will be collecting donations for the Welland Open Arms Mission.
Back at Civic Square, the fun is just beginning with the lighting of Welland’s Christmas Tree. Here, kids can visit with Santa, while warming up with free hot chocolate and treats. After the parade, why not stay for a showing of Merry Madagascar on the big screen at Civic Square.

WELLAND –  Welland Library is excited to partner with Employment Solutions to offer exciting new workshops at the Diamond Trail Branch: APPLYING FOR JOBS ONLINE, Tuesday, November 21: 4:30pm-6:30pm.
Are you applying online for jobs and never hearing back? Or getting strange responses from companies that don’t even seem to exist? Come and learn the tricks to getting your application to the employer without any glitches.
There will be complimentary refreshments from the Blue Star Restaurant at this workshop.

WELLAND –  Niagara College’s Fall Open House scheduled for Saturday, November 18 has been cancelled due to the college faculty strike.
Please check for future opportunities to visit Niagara College, including the Spring 2018 Open House, on Saturday, March 24.
For more information, please email

WELLAND  – An evening of comedy with award-winning talk show host and comedian Joe Crawford. Friday, November 17,  7pm in the Theatre at Welland Community Wellness Complex, this is a free event.

WELLAND – St. David’s Anglican Church,  369 Thorold Road, is hosting a gently used clothing sale Saturday, November 18 from 9am to noon.  Includes Boutique Room and $5 per bag room.

WELLAND – The Evening  Book Club returns this fall to the Main Branch of the Welland Public Library on the last Tuesday of every month. First up: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, Tuesday, November 28,  7:30pm. Copies of each month’s book selection are available at the Information Desk. No registration required. For more info call the Welland Library at 905-734-6210 ext. 2521 or visit

WELLAND –  Lots here, including  a cookie walk, deli table, bake table, Christmas items, craft table, silent auction and refreshments. At Wesley United Church, 244 First Avenue, Saturday, November 18 from 9am to noon.

WELLAND –  Seasons First Avenue is hosting its annual  Holiday Bazaar Saturday, November 18 from 10am to 2pm. All welcome. Seasons is located at  163 First Avenue.

WELLAND – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 29 Bald St., is hosting its annual Tartan Festival Saturday, November 18 from 9:30am to 1pm. Featured are Christmas gift baskets, Ruby’s Attic, silent auction, deli and baked goods, knitted and crocheted items and more. Proceeds will be going to Hospice Niagara and Wellspring Niagara.

WELLAND –  Orders are being taken by the Veseli Hrvati music/dance group for Christmas strudel sales at the Croatian National Home’s Club Room. Please pick up your order Sunday, December 17 from 11am to 3pm. Both apple and cheese strudel are being made! To order, call Barb, 905-788-6991.

WELLAND –  Succeeding in Safety and Mobility/Ask the Pharmacist,
Tuesday, November 28, 2pm. This eight-part series hosted by the Welland Public Library’s Seaway Mall Branch will explore the many ways by which older adults can maintain optimal health and wellness. Exercise and yoga, keeping your mind sharp, and gadgets that can make daily tasks easier are just a few of the topics that will be presented. This series is part of the Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program. No registration required. For more info call the Welland Library at 905-734-6210 ext. 2521 or visit

WELLAND –  Blue Hawaii Party at Welland Museum, December 1, 7 pm – 10pm.
Join the retro Hawaiian themed party with an Elvis twist. Elvis will be in the building with a live performance. There will be food and drinks from Smokin Buddha. Hawaiian decor and activities. 19+. Buy your tickets at for $10 or $12 at the door

WELLAND  – An evening of Kindred’s Canadian Songbook (Canada 150), their Celtic to Cajun Journey, and some reflections of the Christmas season. The performance is Saturday, December 2, 7pm, in the Theatre at Welland Community Wellness Complex.Tickets: $12 for passholders and $15 for non-passholders. More Information: 905-735-1700 Ext. 4000 or

WELLAND – The Afternoon Book Club is back in session at The Black Sheep Lounge, 64 Niagara Street. Due to high demand, the afternoon book club now runs the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of every month. Copies of each month’s title can be found at the Information Desk at the Library’s Main Branch. The Library will provide a complimentary coffee or similar beverage at Black Sheep. Registration is limited. Please register early to ensure your place at the table. For more info call Welland Library at 905-734-6210 ext. 2521.

WELLAND  –  A New Year’s Eve party is being held at the Croatian National Home, sponsored by the home and Veseli Hrvati music/dance group.
Music is by the well known popular group, Introduction. Doors open 6pm, dinner at 7pm. Tickets are $75 per person and the fare includes a midnight buffet!

WELLAND – Do you have a beautifully lit house in your neighbourhood? Nomination forms for the 24th Annual Residential Lighting Contest are being accepted at Civic Square (60 East Main Street) and the Welland Community Wellness Complex (145 Lincoln Street). Nominations close: Friday, December 1, at 4:30pm.

WELLAND – Registration began November 13.  Bus tours take place: Monday, December 11 and Tuesday, December 12. Enjoy the best Welland has to offer as you and your family tour the city enjoying the breathtaking lights. Christmas carols, apple cider and treats provided for all. Confirm your spot on a bus tour early to avoid disappointment. Wheelchair accessible busing available.

WELLAND –  Join the Velvetones as they perform a variety of choir, solo, duet and ensemble songs – both sacred and popular Christmas music. The concert is Sunday, December 10 at 2pm in The Theatre at the Welland Community Wellness Complex. Tickets: $7 for passholders and $9 for non-passholders. There will even be an appearance by the Grinch.

WELLAND  –  Meet Mayor Frank Campion at the Merritt Island parking lot Monday mornings at 7:30am for a 40-Minute Walk on Merritt Island.



Welland Parish Hosts Speaker Night, Anniversary Mass November 27

WELLAND – The tradition continues.
The Parish Community of St. Kevin hosts its 20th annual Distinguished Speaker Night on Monday, November 27 commencing at 7:30 p.m.


Ellen Kaas

This year’s guest is former Wellander Ellen Kaas.
Kaas, who has a rich background as a social justice activist, will speak on: ‘My Story’. It promises to be informative, enriching and challenging.
Kaas attended St. Andrew and St. Augustine Catholic elementary schools and Notre Dame College School in Welland. According to her biography, her interest in social justice and equality began at a young age. She campaigned for women’s equality at Notre Dame by demanding that girls not be restricted to wearing skirts but also be allowed to wear pants – and so the rules were changed. For her Grade 12 year, she attended school and lived with families in Mexico on an exchange program sponsored by Welland Rotary.
Kaas graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and Finance from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. While at U of T, she spent two summers in Guatemala volunteering with the Sisters of St. Joseph. After university, she went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant in 1980. Having achieved this goal, she left the corporate world to work as part of the Youth Corps team in the Archdiocese of Toronto, founded by Father Tom McKillop to facilitate youth leadership in parishes and schools using a model of friendship, reflection and action.
As a mother of four children, Kaas chose to stay at home until they were all in school. In the late 1980s, she and her husband worked part-time as lay pastoral associates at Holy Name Parish, Toronto.
As her own children grew, Kaas returned to her profession as a chartered accountant, working as a private practitioner with not-for-profit and charitable organizations. She has found many ways to continue her passion for social justice while providing financial management to organizations such as Canadian Jesuits International, Street Health, Elizabeth Fry Society, Wildlife Conservation Society and the Woman’s Abuse Council of Toronto. In recent years she has served as a volunteer director on the boards of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and the international board of Peace Brigades International.
Her volunteer and work commitments have taken her to Guatemala, Nicaragua and Zambia, her spirituality has taken her to walk the 800 km of the Camino de Santiago with her husband in 2015, and her family and friends bring her home to Welland.
Distinguished Speaker Night is held in Delaney Hall, the downstairs parish hall at St. Kevin’s. Following the address, a question and answer period will be held. No tickets are needed to attend Distinguished Speaker Night. It is open to the community.
devp-logo-enPrior to the Speaker Night program, the parish is holding a Mass of Thanksgiving in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Development and Peace (the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace), the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada and the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. The Mass starts at 6:30 p.m.

(Source: Media release)

Town Hall Meeting On Local Health Services

WELLAND – A Save Our Hospitals town hall meeting is being held this evening (November 16) in Wainfleet.
The meeting is scheduled for Wainfleet Fire Hall, 31907 Park St., Wainfleet Thursday, November 16 at 7pm.
A flyer distributed in advance of the meeting says it is sponsored by Niagara Health Coalition, Ontario Health Coalition and Save Our Welland Hospital.
The agenda includes reports from: local politicians, the Save Our Hospital Group and the Niagara and Ontario health coalitions.
“Give us your input and help plan our next steps to maintain and enhance our health services in south Niagara,” the flyer says.
For more info, contact:, Sue Hotte 905-932-1646.