Monthly Archives: March 2020

Niagara College Suspends All On-Campus Classes

/Photo by Joe Barkovich

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, Niagara College has suspended all on-campus classes beginning Monday, March 16 until further notice, while staff and faculty work to develop plans for alternative program delivery.

Effective immediately, all on campus events, social and sporting activities are cancelled. College campuses and services will remain open at this time, and online courses will continue. Placements, co-ops and clinicals will continue for the time being, but students should contact their program area for further information.

 At this time, all faculty and staff should continue to report to work.

More information will follow later today.

Message from Pam Skinner, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services:

Further to NC President Sean Kennedy’s message to the College community, I am writing to provide important updates with regard to COVID-19 and college operations. As we are seeing more rapid developments related to COVID-19, the college is taking action in the interests of health and safety for our students, employees and our community.


All outgoing college travel to countries with active travel health notices is cancelled. All other college travel is tightly restricted, with any exceptions considered by the respective Senior Vice President on a case-by-case basis.

Contingency Planning/Semester Completion

While classes haven’t been cancelled or modified at this time, academic contingency and semester completion planning is underway, and discussions will take place within each division to ensure that students can complete the semester should the current situation change.

Please note that yesterday’s announcement by the Ontario Ministry of Education regarding school closures applies to publicly funded elementary and secondary schools only.

College Events

The Spring Open House scheduled for March 28 has been cancelled. All other events that fall outside of  core academic operations and bring additional community members on to our campuses are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis, using criteria for events provided by Health Canada, and guided by the health and safety of our students, employees and the community. Updates on specific college events will be provided as they become available.

Providing a safe learning environment

As we continuously monitor COVID-19 and consult with public health authorities at all levels, we are implementing public health recommendations and directives while taking any additional steps that we deem necessary in terms of health and safety. Over the past month we have increased the number of hand-sanitizer stations college-wide, enhanced our education campaign, sharing preventative measures such as hand-washing and cough etiquette, and enhanced our cleaning services, including the use of hospital-grade disinfectant for cleaning all common areas and touch points on our campuses. We will continue to monitor, consult and take steps necessary to support the health and safety of our college community.

A reminder that we all share a responsibility to follow recommendations from public health authorities aimed at preventing or slowing the spread of COVID-19, specifically:

  • Stay home if you are sick. Return when you are well;
  • Wash your hands. Use soap and water or hand sanitizer;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or into your sleeve;
  • Avoid shaking hands and close contact with people who are sick;
  • Avoid sharing personal items and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For more information and timely updates, including specific recommendations for travelers to impacted countries, and resources from public health, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 webpage at

(Source: Niagara College News Release)

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.


9Waterway Advisory Committee  ≫5:30 PM Monday Mar. 9  2020 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

10Special Council Meeting in the Council Chambers  ≫7:00 PM Tuesday Mar. 10  2020 –
Council Chambers

11Arts and Culture Advisory Committee Meeting  ≫6:00 PM Wednesday Mar. 11  2020 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.

(Source: City of Welland website)

Mars Est Le Mois De La Francophonie/ March Is The Month Of La Francophonie

WELLAND – La Ville de Welland offre ses meilleurs vœux à la communauté francophone de Niagara pour le mois de ‘ La Francophonie 2020’. En tant que l’une des 26 communautés désignées francophones en Ontario, Welland continue de faire un effort concerté pour enrichir la vie de sa communauté qui est 11 % francophone. Pour célébrer ce mois de ‘ La Francophonie 2020’ , le pont 13 va être illuminé vert et blanc à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la francophonie, ce vendredi 20 mars 2020.

Le Conseil et le personnel de la Ville de Welland s’efforcent de renforcer les relations avec la ministre des Affaires francophones, l’honorable Caroline Mulroney, et de demeurer à jour avec les politiques et les possibilités francophones de l’Ontario.

La Ville de Welland continue d’établir et de favoriser des relations avec le Centre francophone d’emploi et de ressources (CERF-Niagara), le Centre de santé communautaire, le Foyer Richelieu Welland, l’AubergeRichelieu Welland et la Paroisse Sacré-Cœur. Ces organismes contribuent à faire de Welland un endroit accueillant ou il fait bon vivre, travailler et prendre sa retraite, pour les familles francophone.

La Ville de Welland s’efforce de sensibiliser et d’offrir un accueil chaleureux aux visiteurs potentiels en élargissant ses services en français et en faisant la promotion de la culture francophone en lien direct avec le Réseau des villes francophones et francophiles. Le Réseau des villes francophones et francophiles rassemble les villes en les reliant à un sentier de villes associées à travers le Canada, les États-Unis et les Caraïbes.

Le site Web de la ville offre également aux visiteurs une section française qui fournit des informations sur les meilleurs endroits à venir voir et visiter dans la ville. La section française met en valeur les attraits de Welland, présente une histoire de la culture francophone de Welland, met en valeur la ville sœur de Welland, Sorel-Tracy, au Québec, et fournit des liens pertinents vers les nouvelles et les ressources connexes.

Le maire Frank Campion a déclaré que «La présence francophone de Welland a enrichi notre ville multiculturelle.» «Nous reconnaissons également les contributions importantes apportées à la croissance et à la prospérité des membres de la communauté francophone et l’influence positive de la langue française, culture francophone et le patrimoine sur notre ville.»

Pour plus de reseingments sur la ville de Welland et pour en savoir d’advantage sur la section francophone des visiteurs de la ville, allez sur le site Web, visitez


WELLAND – The City of Welland is sending best wishes to Niagara’s Francophone community for Month of ‘La Francophonie 2020’. As one of Ontario’s 26 designated Francophone communities, Welland continues to make a concerted effort to enrich the lives of its 11% French-speaking community. To celebrate the month of ‘La Francophonie 2020,’ Bridge 13 will light up green and white on International Francophonie Day this Friday, March 20, 2020.

City of Welland Council and staff are focused on strengthening relationships with the Minister of Francophone Affairs, The Honourable Caroline Mulroney, and staying current with Ontario’s Francophone policies and opportunities.

The City of Welland continues to build and foster relationships with the Francophone Employment and Resource Centre (CERF-Niagara), Centre de Santé Communautaire, Foyer Richelieu Welland, l’ Auberge Richelieu Welland, and Paroisse Sacré-Cœur. These organizations help make Welland an inviting place to live, work, and retire for French-speaking families.

The City of Welland strives to build awareness and offer a warm welcome to potential visitors by expanding its French-speaking services and promoting Francophone culture with connection to the Francophone and Francophile Cities Network (FFCN). The Francophone and Francophile Cities Network brings cities together by linking them with a trail of associated cities throughout Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean.

The city’s website also offers visitors a French-language section that provides information on the best places to see and visit in the city. The Francophone section highlights Welland’s attractions, provides a history of Welland’s Francophone culture, showcases Welland’s sister city Sorel-Tracy in Quebec, and provides relevant links to related news and resources.

“Welland’s Francophone presence has enriched our multicultural city,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “We also recognize the significant contributions to growth and prosperity made by members of the Francophone community, and the positive influence of French language, culture, and heritage on our city.”

For more information on the City of Welland and to learn more about the city’s French-speaking visitors section on the website, visit

(Source: City of Welland news release)

HERITAGE LIVES: The Crash That Hit Both The Country And The Town Of Welland

Photo shows baggage car dangling over edge of the abutment, curious passengers gathered for a look. (Supplied photos)

By Terry Hughes

It’s 1929 and the month of June introduces an abnormally hot summer across the continent followed by a chilling fall when the bottom falls out of the economy and we would enter the Great Depression.

Here in Welland, 1928 was a year of major canal improvements with the completion of lift bridges at the Lincoln and Broadway crossings and the excavation of the west channel enabling ships to pass on both sides of the swing bridge that carries the New York Central Railway across the canal.

Although the majority of passenger trains heading for Buffalo use the route south of Lake  Erie, the most direct path was through southern Ontario enabling trains averaging 80 miles an hour on route. A 13-car express train coming from Milwaukee that included 136 Kiwanians was racing east toward Welland and should have encountered a red signal near Broadway Ave.

The swing bridge had opened for a passing freighter and the bridgemaster had set the signals to notify trains approaching Welland that they would have to stop. An additional feature for safety involves derails that intentionally cause a train to leave the tracks before it would enter the canal.

The impossible happens when the engineer and his fireman miss the red signal, run through the derails and their train now heads for the canal. Not wishing to die at the throttle, both jump but sustain injuries. They will be taken by the trolley that passes nearby to the hospital.

Before jumping the engineer must have set the brakes on the train for emergency. The locomotive and tender fall into the canal while the rest of the train comes to a halt with the baggage car dangling over the edge of the abutment as seen here in this George Caswell photograph. The locomotive that was extricated from the canal sat on the tracks paralleling Sixth Street. This photo comes from the George Blazetich collection. 

Because the shipping channel was dug to a depth of twenty-five feet, a passing ship was able to pass over top of the engine before they removed it from the water.

When looking (a magnifying glass helps) at the passengers who came to see where the train stopped, their fashions and headgear are telling. Knee-high stockings, short skirts and bobbed hair are fashions that echoed the Roaring Twenties.

Photo shows extent of damage to the locomotive. Tower at right was at the crossing on King Street not far from the Station Hotel.

Note: Shortly after the decommissioning, the swing bridge’s cabin was set on fire by vandals. Fortunately, a special signboard, the Bridge 15 Interlocker, was removed beforehand and still exists at the Moulton Station in Wainfleet. Our museum here in Welland may want to pursue securing this device for display purposes here.

Next column: The Barclay Hotel.  

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

Terry Hughes