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St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3

The St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3 offers a wide array of fascinating interactive and static echibits celebrating the City of St. Catharines and the Welland Canals.

General Information

The purpose of the museum is to collect, preserve, research, and exhibit and interpret artifacts and archival records, along with their associated information relative to the history of St. Catharines and the Welland Canals for the education and enjoyment of the public. It's  a very special place for people to encounter history and learn about St. Catharines and the Canal  - a major link in the St. Lawrence Seaway System.


The  St. Catharines Museum is located in the Welland Canals Centre at Lock 3, where you can witness ships entering and maneuvering through the lock system from the unique elevated observation platform.  Watch massive freighters from around the globe bypass the great Niagara Falls by climbing the Niagara Escarpment on a stairway of water.  From Lake Ontario to Lake Erie ships are lifted or lowered to a height of 326 feet through 7 locks -  the equivalent height of Niagara Falls itself!

Welland Canals - Past and Present 
This is a 26 minute video detailing the history of the Welland Canals.  It can be viewed as part of your Museum fee or if you do not have time to visit the Museum, you can view the video for a donation.  It can also be ordered by calling 1-800-305-5134 ext. 235. The cost (call or email for details) includes all taxes and shipping and handling anywhere in Canada or the U.S.

French Services

A number of the Museum services are available in French, including tours when a French guide is available.  They include the Welland Canals video, informational brochures, and a selection of retail items at Merrit's Merchantile the Museum Shop at Lock 3.


Photo Gallery

Hours of Operation

Daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Winter Weekends & Holidays: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm


(see interactive Google map below for custom directions)


The museum is located 5 minutes off the QEW and 15 minutes from Niagara Falls and the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. 


From Toronto:

QEW Niagara over the Garden Skyway

Exit 38A  Glendale Avenue (south), through the lights at Taylor Road

Cross the Glendale Avenue Welland Canal Vertical Lift Bridge

Right on Welland Canals Parkway

Right into Welland Canals Centre parking lot  


From Niagara Falls, New York:

Cross the Rainbow Bridge

Follow the signs to Hwy 420

Take the QEW towards Toronto

QEW exit 38 (Glendale Avenue)

Left on Glendale Avenue at the lights

Glendale Avenue (south), through the lights at Taylor Road

Cross the Glendale Avenue Welland Canal Vertical Lift Bridge

Right on Welland Canals Parkway

Right into Welland Canals Centre parking lot



Community Heritage - Discover the early days of St. Catharines. Museum exhibits feature select stories and prominent people from the past.

Discovery Park - Learn how the lock works and compare the size of the present Fourth Canal Lock to a First Canal Lock in an outdoor exhibit setting.

Follow the North Star - Fugitive slaves found freedom in Canada when they followed the North Star - an enduring symbol of freedom. Experience the rich legacy of Niagara's African Canadians / African Canadian Heritage Network.

Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame & Museum - Explore the history of North America's oldest team sport!

Special Exhibits - Watch for something new all the time - new feature exhibits from other museums or new exhibits from our collection.

Welland Canals - Explore the fascinating story of the Welland Canals and the cities that grew up around them. Exhibits illustrate the engineering feats of yesterday and today.

Basic Educational Tours
The Museum offers educational tours on the Welland Canals, Black History,  Community History, and Lacrosse. All tours are 1.5 hours.

Special Educational Programs
Other educational programmes are developed throughout the school year, including a special education program for the Holiday Season.

To book a tour, please contact the Booking Secretary at 1-800-305-5134 or e-mail.

Adjacent Land Uses

Welland Canal

Welland Canals Parkway

Further Information

Niagara Bound Tours specializes in quality, customized, early Canadian Black history attraction tours (Underground Railroad era) known as The Crossing Point Tour. http://www.niagaraboundtours.com/

Cramp. Mike. The Welland Canal And The Metal Beasts That Travel It. http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~ffueten/canal/well.html .

Muller, Eric. Welland Canal Math Trail - http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~emuller/mathtrail/wcmt/wcmtstart.html

Welland Canals Parkway Trails


Ownership & Management

City of St. Catharines


Free parking to the south of the Museum for cars and buses.

Bicycle racks for 40 bicycles are available but you must provide a lock.

Merrit's Merchantile the Museum Shop at Lock 3

Picnic Tables

Snack Bar offers light snacks, soft drinks and ice cream treats (April to October)

Room Rental: Have your next event at a place where great discoveries are made!  Let us help you discover the perfect setting for your corporate event, picnic or meeting.  Rentals include a special admissions rate.  Audio visual equipment available for a fee.

Admission Fee

Admission by Donation. Please call for rates for group tours and programming. Members are complimentary, except for specially ticketed events. Children five years and under admitted free.


St.Catharines Museum at Lock 3
1932 Welland Canals Parkway, RR 6
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 7K6


(905) 984-8880

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.156405869098
Longitude -79.194427586809
UTM easting 646797
UTM northing 4779766


St. Catharines Museum
Welland Canals Centre at Lock 3
1932 Welland Canals Parkway
RR 6
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 7K6
Tel (905) 984-8880
Fax (905) 984-6910
Toll free 1-800-305-5134 ext. 226
Email museum@stcatharines.ca

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