Tag Archives: Welland

Bell Box Murals: The Fox On Woodlawn

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND –  Be on the lookout for the fox on Woodlawn Road, not far from First Avenue.

It adorns a mural by artist Dan Kozina, one of the Welland Bell box murals bringing grace and imagination to Welland through vibrant imagery and enticing colour.

Kozina, 29, started on his mural Monday. He was back on the scene this morning and worked into the afternoon. He expects to be back again Wednesday in the early evening.

Now a Thorold resident, he attended St. Paul High School in Niagara Falls and then Humber College in Toronto for its two-year program in visual arts and digital media. He works at the Dawg Pound Tattoo Studio in Niagara Falls.

Kozina says he is partial to painting animals. A previous project ties him to Welland in a creative way: he painted the sheep on a mural outside Niagara Street’s Black Sheep Lounge and Coffee Roasters.

He chose a fox for the Bell box initiative because foxes are becoming more common in urban areas, which he sees as a symbol of their adaptability. He says artists also must be adaptable to changing conditions in order to stay relevant.

Kozina says he has animal-themed art in Niagara Falls, Beamsville and St. Catharines.

“So this is cool to again be in Welland.”

He chose roses to tie the mural to Welland, Canada’s Rose City.

Bright colours were picked because this portion of Woodlawn Road has “little going on” and he thought “it might be cool, in a nice way,” to brighten it up. Also, there are children in the neighbourhood and he thought the lively colours would be appealing to them.

Kozina says projects like this are valuable because they can be transformative to communities not just by heightening awareness of local art talent but by encouraging others to become involved and display what they can do.

“Anything that gets people to show their skills is a good thing.”

The mural attracts attention of passersby.

Some drivers honk their car horns and offer encouragement as they drive past. 

“Everyone’s been supportive. Some people like to comment as they walk by and that’s okay. It keeps me going,” Kozina says.

Where To Find Ward 3 Byelection Results On Voting Day

WELLAND – Voting Day is Monday, August 9, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. During this time, the Clerk’s staff will process ballots that have been received.

Following the 8 p.m. closing of the polls, the election results will be posted on the City of Welland website at www.welland.ca//Elections/ElectorResults.asp.

Additional Resources for voting, including a video on how to complete the Vote-By-Mail kit and Ballot Return Location operating hours, is available on our website at https://www.welland.ca//Elections/ElectorsResources.asp

Electors may contact the Clerk’s Office for further information by emailing election@welland.ca or calling 905-735-1700, ext. 2153.

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Receive An Extra Voter Card? Here’s Why And What To Do

WELLAND –  The City of Welland is aware of some residents receiving voter cards and kits addressed to individuals who no longer live at the mailing address they were delivered. 

Anyone receiving an extra ballot for someone who does not reside in their household for the upcoming Ward 3 byelection can return the envelope to City Hall via mail or at the drop boxes located at:

  • Drop-Box Civic Square, 60 East Main Street
  • Ballot Drop- Box at Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln St
  • Ballot Drop- Box at Welland Library Main Branch 50 The Boardwalk
  • Ballot Drop- Box at Welland Library Seaway Mall Branch 800 Niagara St.

As per the Municipal Elections Act, it is illegal to vote without being entitled to do so or vote more times than the Act allows. Electors should only complete the vote by mail kit addressed to them; it is a federal crime to open or destroy mail not intended for you.

The additional voter cards result from a discrepancy in the voter list, which the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation compiles (MPAC) and provides to the City of Welland. However, the records kept by MPAC are not always current, and municipalities cannot check and confirm all elector information.

Residents are encouraged to confirm they are on the voter list before the voter lists/cards/kits get mailed. Establishing you are on the voter’s list helps the City ensure that information for its electors is correct.

Voting day for the Ward 3 byelection is on August 9, 2021. More information about the by-election can be found at page https://www.welland.ca/Elections/index.asp

Residents with questions about the extra voter cards can contact the City Clerk’s staff at 905-735-1700 or by emailing election@welland.ca

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Gadabout Gardener: During The Rain

Couldn’t do any weeding, pruning, deadheading etc., in the garden this morning because of the rain, gentle though it was most of the time. But it didn’t stop me from trying to capture the beauty of rain and raindrops on the good things growing. The rose at the beginning and end of the display, incidentally, is Electron. /Photos by Joe Barkovich.

(Gadabout Gardener is a recurring feature on the blog. The focus is on randomly selected or recommended garden spaces in the city. Do any sights or sites come to mind as photo suggestions? Contact Gadabout Gardener at fromareportersnotebook@gmail.com.)

Artists Named For Murals Project, Work On ‘Neighbourhood Masterpieces’ To Start July 25

Aldo Parrotta, the Wellander who liked what he saw when viewing Bell box murals in Toronto, then successfully advocated for a similar startup here in the Rose City. He’s shown in front of a Bell utility box on First Avenue at Chippawa Park. Emilia Jajus will be showing her artistry on this box. For complete list of participants, see below. /File photo Joe Barkovich.

Note: This story has been updated to provide information on mural themes.

WELLAND – Welcome to the Welland Neighbourhood Murals! 

17 murals will be painted in Welland beginning Sunday, July 25 as part of the Bell Box Murals Project.

 The murals are a partnership between the City of Welland, North Welland BIA, Community Matters, and Bell Canada.

 The artists and designs were selected by a jury consisting of members of the City of Welland’s Artist and Culture Advisory Committee and the North Welland BIA. 

Artists will be paid $750 each upon completion of their respective mural. 

Wellander Aldo Parrotta, who spearheaded the local initiative, is thrilled about seeing the project moving closer to fruition. A distinguished artist himself, he put many hours into planning, then working for it to happen:

“Finally seeing the city of Welland and North Welland BIA Bell Box murals projects come together after that delegation in 2019, gives me a tremendous feeling of pride and happiness for the Welland community.

“It is for me, extremely exciting to see so many artists and their families sharing this moment of getting the opportunity to beautify the city and neighbourhoods through their art. I am looking forward to trying to get every Bell Utiliity Box in Welland painted, can you imagine where that would put us in the art world? I can.”

According to Parrotta, the Bell utility box murals will have a variety of themes.
Some examples include: firefighters, local sports, homage to Welland history, canal, bridges, the Rose City, local recreational trails, unity of community and historic beginnings in Welland.

Here is the list of participating artists and their locations:

Sandra Bell, 428 Lincoln;

Sydney Bouwers, Niagara Street north of Lancaster – TD Bank;

Sarah Dall’Orso, Niagara Street in front of Desjardins Bank;

Emilia Jajus, 150 First Avenue at Chippawa Park;

Darlene Kisur, 250 Thorold Road;

Daniel Kozina, Woodlawn Road west of Trelawn Parkway;

Chris Lagesten, 3 Cross Street;

Jungle Ling, 620 Niagara Street, front of former KFC (now Garden City Cannabis);

Julie Mastrantonio, Niagara Street north of Quaker Road – Donut Diner/Carwash;

Colin Nun, Welland Hospital at Welland Arena;

Cassandra Peebles, Wellington Street South of East Main;

James Takeo, Division Street east of Hellems;

John Zaleski, Woodlawn Road east of Clare Avenue;

Petraleah Bouwers, Thorold Road west of Niagara Street;

Melika Saeeda, 894 Niagara Street South of Quaker Road – Welland Toyota;

Laura Voigt, Niagara Street north Thorold Road;

Yong Yi,Woodlawn Road west of Welland Canal.

Heritage Lives: Some Unknown Stories About The Forkes Road Bridge

By Terry Hughes

Historical maps from the 1880’s tell us that Forkes Road was an important land route serving Humberstone Township and would require a canal crossing in what is now known as Dain City. By 1903 the federal government had initiated a bridge replacement program that included the Forkes Road crossing with a steel swing span in 1903. 

Our first picture (top left) was taken from the wooden pilings of that bridge looking north to the railway crossing the canal. This spot is where the rowing course is presently found. The third canal was half as wide as it is today. Notice the road on the right of the photo and how close it was to the canal. It would pass behind all of the buildings that now are found on Canal Bank Road. It connected Welland and Port Colborne and became known as Highway 58. In the background beyond the tracks can be seen the beginnings of the John Deere facilities. 

The second photograph (bottom left) shows the Forkes Road swing bridge opening over a widened canal in 1927 and the railway bridge is being dismantled in the foreground. It was at this time that soil tests indicated that the canal banks were unstable. That fact meant the approach spans to both bridges needed to be lengthened. The photo showing the two bridges (top right) bears this fact out. That issue would require that the highway would have to be moved to its present location forming an “S curve ” near the former John Deere site.

Triumph & Tragedy, The Welland Ship Canal, a recent publication concerning the 137 persons who perished building the last canal contains a picture showing a bank failure (centre right) to the north of Bridge 17 and opposite the John Deere in 1939. It was attributed to hardened clay giving way at its base below the waterline. Shipping was able to get around it until some form of remediation took place.  

The fifth picture (bottom right) shows the Forkes Road Bridge raised to allow the CSL vessel Tadoussac to pass by just before this portion of the canal was closed. I had the opportunity to ride this bridge and the bridge master pointed to a pair of binoculars sitting on a desk in the control cabin from where he works the lift span. He said that a car drove into a group of trees that bordered the east bank of the canal and often visited this spot. The occupants in the car were safe from peering eyes but when the bridge was up …..well you can imagine what could be seen with those binoculars.

Thanks to a developer, the city and two levels of government, the bridge will be replaced with a more substantial span, rejoining this community to some form of normalcy.

Next column: Yachting on the canal.

(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.)

Zorbas The CAO Starts In New Position Today

WELLANDWelland City Council  selected a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) at Tuesday night’s council meeting. The City’s General Manager of Corporate Services, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Steve Zorbas, who has been in the role on an interim basis, has been selected.

The City completed an extensive recruitment process supported by Organization Consulting Limited, which included a hiring committee and Council members.

Zorbas has more than 35 years of municipal experience working for the City of Mississauga, Richmond Hill, and Burlington. Zorbas has built a comprehensive career portfolio in various leadership roles and brings extensive corporate experience with him, including seven years with the City of Welland.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work and advice provided by Andrea Daisley, Manager of Human Resources, and Robert Johnson of Organization Consulting Limited in guiding the CAO selection committee and subsequently Council through the hiring process,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “I am pleased with the decision to appoint Mr. Steve Zorbas to the position of CAO. Steve has proven to be a valuable, competent, and creative leader here in Welland. I want to thank Mr. Zorbas for his previous service and look forward to continuing to have him work with myself and Council through these very busy times.”

 Zorbas moves into the permanent position on July 7th, 2021.

“It’s an exciting time for the City of Welland,” said Zorbas. “As CAO, I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Mayor and members of council on achieving the City’s goals and objectives.”

(Source: City of Welland news release)

Ward 3 Byelection Nominations Have Closed And Resources For Electors Are Now Available

WELLANDOn Friday, June 25, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., nominations closed for the 2021 Ward 3 byelection. To view the certified list of candidates, visit https://www.welland.ca/Elections/CertifiedCandidatesList.pdf.


Beginning the week of July 19, Ward 3 residents will start to receive their Vote-By-Mail kits to cast their vote for the 2021 Ward 3 byelection. Resources for voting, including a video on how to complete the Vote-By-Mail kit, is available on our website at https://www.welland.ca//Elections/ElectorsResources.asp.

Resources included in Vote-By-Mail kit:

·        Information regarding the Voters list.

·        Important Dates for Electors

·        Ballot Return Locations

·        Frequently Asked Questions

All information regarding the 2021 Ward 3 Byelection is available at https://www.welland.ca/Elections/index.asp.

For additional information, electors may contact the Clerk’s Office for further information by emailing election@welland.ca or calling 905-735-1700, ext. 2153.

(Source: City of Welland media release)

That Landmark Limb

Seasons on the trail: Recently it came as bit of a surprise to be reminded I have three seasonal photos in my archive showing a favourite piece of the lower trail on Merritt Island. It’s where a large limb extends from one side of the beautiful walkway across to the other, and it is visible from a distance, becoming after so many walks down the trail, something to look forward to. I like thinking of it as a landmark, of sorts, letting walkers know where on the trail they are. But I was missing one seasonal photo: summer. So I went to the island Thursday, June 24, to walk this part of the trail and to photograph the section with the tree limb extending across it, thereby to complete the seasonal compilation, even if it was by circumstance more so than long-term plan or design. This is a charming stretch of trail, serpentine in part, always with great visual appeal, partly because of the palette of hues depending on season and of course that landmark limb. For this four-season visitor, a favourite feature of the lower trail. The photos, clockwise from top left: summer, autumn, winter, spring. (Text, photos by Joe Barkovich)