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Port Robinson - A Town Divided

West Bank of the Welland Canal and location of the destroyed Port Robinson bridge. (Photo: Matthew Jantz)




The Welland Canal town of Port Robinson once had a bridge connecting the two halves of town. That was until tragedy struck and a ship managed to hit the bridge and destroy it in 1974. A decision made for economic reasons left Port Robinson with no bridge, and one of the few free ferry services operating in Ontario.




The accident happened on August 25 1974. According to a post-accident inquiry, a ship named Steelton failed to whistle or alert bridge operators of its approach. Without time to raise the bridge, the ship crashed into the bridge, knocking it into the water. Surprisingly, no one was seriously hurt despite the significant damage, and the Welland Canal was operating again 2 weeks later. Efforts to get the bridge rebuilt failed after studies concluded that there was insufficent traffic to warrant teh expenditure. In 1977 a free ferry service was set up to allow pedestrian and bicycle access across the canal.




From Hwy 406

Take the 406 Hwy to Port Robinson Rd and travel east approximately 1 km. This will take you to the east side of the Welland Canal where the ferry is stationed.  In the summer passage can be requested to the other side.



Text and photographs on this page were graciously contributed by Matthew Jantz.

(How can I become a Niagara Greenbelt website contributor?)


Bridge St.
L0S 1K0 Municipality Thorold

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.03900290
Longitude -79.21228408

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