Monthly Archives: September 2020

Water Heritage

A small collection of images taken over the past few weeks when riding as a passenger across Woodlawn Bridge, which spans the old Welland Canal and the Welland River. The exception is the photo at top right, which was taken from the riverbank along River Road not far from Auberge Richelieu. The main photo, top left, is a view of the old canal with the steeple of St. Mary Church visible in the distance. All others show recreational use of our river. The next time you drive across the bridge, have a peek yonder, you just might be pleasantly surprised by what you see. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

Heritage Lives: Ghosts Of The WRCC

Part 1

By Terry Hughes

WELLAND – Recently, Row Ontario announced it will make its home on our Welland International Flatwater Course. They cited the fact that this facility is one of the finest in the country and that their relationship with the operator of the course, the city, has been a good one for the past ten years.

Simple arithmetic shows that Row Ontario’s relationship was primarily with the Welland Recreational Canal Corporation (WRCC) on a course that was developed under its supervision. Newspaper accounts indicate that the course was developed within the budget set at the time and it is given high marks by those organizations who have come here to use it.

Ironically, the WRCC was dissolved several years ago and administration now functions under a new governance model. According to the city this change was necessary and would facilitate a more efficient operation featuring openness and accountability.

But with this new approach, would the dissolution of the WRCC change any of the fundamental features that protected and assisted in developing the canal lands? Could a less drastic change have been made that would have reduced risks to this local asset?  Was the public given the total story about why the city questioned the way the WRCC did business?

Using documents, newspaper accounts and reliable sources, an argument can be made about the – in my opinion – unnecessary dissolution of the WRCC that unfortunately could not be made at the time the city rushed the change to its present model. It will raise some questions about the financial future and control of this local asset. More to follow. 

(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.)

Barky’s Billboard

Please support this deserving community event

Barky’s Billboard is a recurring feature on the blog./ Supplied graphic.

The 46th Annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival has gone VIRTUAL!
Enjoy a unique online shopping experience with more than 80 artisans, crafters, food vendors and local farmers from Sept 12 to Oct. 7th. While this year’s Festival will look a lot different, festival-goers can still travel back in time to the 1800s during Thanksgiving Weekend at Ball’s Falls, with Immersive Heritage Tours and Interactive Demonstrations.

Fore more information and to reserve your heritage tour, visit

Welland’s Central Station Project In The Spotlight

By Wayne Campbell

WELLAND – A project to preserve and to use the 100-year-old Welland Central Fire Station will form part of the opening episode of Historical Niagara’s Second Season on YourTV Channel 10.

Central Fire Station, which the city closed in 2007, will be featured with historic fire stations throughout Niagara.

The Central Station Education Initiative, a not-for-profit group, leases the Central Fire Station from the City of Welland. It plans to turn the three-storey classic 1920 fire station into a lively centre.

On the first floor, it will celebrate local firefighting history by creating a heritage display using the available firehall equipment including a classic fire truck, hose tower, dispatch room, alarm reception board and other items.

The second and third floors of the heritage-designated building, to help sustain the project financially, will serve as rental space for community groups.

With support from city council, Central Station Education Initiative is working on a major federal grant to mark the centennial of the unique classical building. The grant will assist in the upgrading of the building to meet current standards.

For more information about the Central Fire Station and about ways to donate to assist the project, see its website,

Peter Sacco, Niagara filmmaker and author, created Historical Niagara to spotlight the Niagara Region’s history, legends, myths and facts as well as the enigmatic, obscure places and tidbits of history that are less well-known to people, especially residents of the Niagara Region.

During its first eight episodes, Historical Niagara touched on local museums, the story of wine country, Niagara’s four historic forts, and, the communities of Grimsby, Queenston, Ball’s Falls and Port Robinson.

The opening episode of the second season will air:

Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 10:30 p.m. on YourTV Channel 10;

Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. on YourTV Channel 10;

Sunday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. on YouTube channel.

(Wayne Campbell, a member of the Central Station Education Initiative, is a retired journalist living in Welland and occasional contributor to the blog.)

City Seeks ‘Clear Strategy Plan’ For Dain City Drainage Issues

WELLAND – The City of Welland is commencing a thorough investigation throughout the Dain City area this fall to produce and implement a Dain City Inflow and Infiltration Investigation and Remediation Action Plan (DCII&RAP). 

The DCII&RAP is a response to recent flooding in the Dain City neighbourhood. A full project outline is available to the public on the city’s public engagement platform, 

The city has retained the engineering firm GM BluePlan Engineering Limited to conduct a comprehensive research strategy that includes on-site work exploration and a data collection survey for people who have been affected by basement or property flooding. 

City staff expect to have a detailed DCII&RAP report completed and presented to Welland City Council this December.

 “Being active and on-site in Dain City is essential to finding the sources of high Inflow and Infiltration, so we can learn more about this neighbourhood’s drainage issues to build a clear strategy plan,” said Marvin Ingebrigtsen, Infrastructure Planning and Asset Management Supervisor. “Our goal is to reduce stress on the wastewater systems through a reduction in stormwater entering the wastewater system.” 

For more information on City of Welland infrastructure projects and improvement initiatives, visit

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Prime-Time TV For Former Fire Station Project

/Supplied photo

WELLAND – The former Central Fire Station in downtown Welland and a heritage preservation group’s plans for it will get some prime time coverage on the local community cable channel.

Plans of the Central Station Education Initiative “to revitalize and reuse this one of a kind Heritage treasure of Canadian firefighting history” will be highlighted in the program, Historical Niagara. 

Air dates are: Wednesday, September 16, 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, September 20, 11 a.m.,  on Your TV Channel 10. It will also be shown Sunday, September 20, 6 p.m. on You Tube channel.

More to follow.

Monarch Butterfly Release At Butterfly Conservatory

Release program assists researchers with tracking Monarch migration patterns

Free annual event runs from 12 to 4pm outside Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory 

NIAGARA FALLS, ON – Niagara Parks on Saturday, September 5, will hold its annual monarch release program, Majestic Monarchs at the Butterfly Conservatory. Guests are invited to join Niagara Parks staff for this free event as the Monarchs are tagged for tracking and released to embark on their remarkable journey to Mexico for the winter

Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in tagging and releasing of the butterflies, which will take place at each half hour, beginning at 12:30pm and running until 4pm. 

The tags allow researchers to effectively track Monarch migration patterns and document changes and trends in their behaviour. Also, any found tags are recorded and posted online, giving participants the chance to potentially see where their tagged butterfly ended its journey.

 In addition to the release initiative, Niagara Parks staff will be educating visitors on the Monarch’s fascinating lifecycle and the unique conservation efforts being taken to support these amazing insects.

 Appropriate safety measures will be in place for staff and guests, including the required use of face coverings while participating in the event. Guests are asked to bring their own face coverings.

(Source: Niagara Parks media release. Photos courtesy Niagara Parks.)