Working on the Canal Gateway Interpretive Center

Welland, Ontario, Canada

Applied Expertise

  • Interpretive Planning
  • Parks and Open Space
  • Recreation Planning
  • Waterfront


The Welland Feeder Canal opened in 1829 to provide ample water to the Welland Canal, linking Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It was quickly recognized as a commercial trade route in its own right and was an important shipping lane until 1892. In the early 1920s the Feeder Canal was dammed and filled. In the 1970s interest in excavating the Feeder Canal Lock in Welland started and more than 35 years later, the lock was excavated and opened as a public park.

peter j. smith & company, inc. was engaged to create an interpretive program for the lock to tell the stories of the mariners, cargo and boats that worked the Welland Canal. Located at one of the main gateways to Welland, the lock interpretive program is educational for all ages. Site amenities include a classroom and stage, boardwalk, interpretive panels and interactive and educational play in the form of a reproduction historic canal boat.