In the heart of Niagara, Welland is as well-known as the historic canal that runs through it. Although its downtown passage no longer hosts the kind of freighter traffic it enjoyed in its early days, the history of trade and commerce still loom large. Nothing is more evident of that than Bridge 13. A muse for both local artists and photographers, it boasts some serious eye candy when illuminated at night.
Canoe art can be seen scattered across the city’s core in an ode to its sporty side. These unique creations are there to remind you that a visit to Welland is an open invitation to get the blood pumping. Activity abounds on paved trails, at welcoming parks, and without a doubt, on the waterway. For maximum fun, make sure you have family or friends tag along for the ride.
An active recreational corridor alive with community spirit
The largest by population of all the South Coast destinations, Welland has proud roots tracing all the way back to Europe and Quebec. As the city experienced extensive growth during and after the canal’s construction, it also became a key manufacturing centre for the steel, automotive and textile industries. Cherishing the past for all that it left behind is very much a part of Welland’s present and future. The people living in this down-to-earth community will be the first to point out which historical attractions they appreciate the most. From monuments honouring the memory of its earliest residents to the neo-classical courthouse facing Civic Square, the stories you encounter are positively unforgettable.
Get in on all the action happening at Welland’s many multi-sport venues. On top of the state-of-the-art baseball stadium at the Sports Complex, a variety of indoor and outdoor field sports are constantly on offer throughout the year at Youngs Sportsplex. When crowds of fans and athletes want to celebrate a win or mourn a loss, they have a number of favourite local restaurants to visit for a range of dining options.
Bursting with multicultural pride, it’s easy to feel at home among the out-of-town guests attending an annual festival or canalside event. Admirers of open-air art should be surprised by a feast for the eyes that includes more than two dozen hand-painted murals. Artistic expression is also on full display weekly at the largest farmers’ market in the region, where the focus on fresh food sends the senses into overdrive.
Outdoor enthusiasts marvel at the beauty and serenity of this green oasis located a few steps from downtown. Boasting a 4.2km tree-lined path perfect for virtually every age and ability, the natural landscape couldn’t be better suited for families and visitors looking to walk, jog, bike, rollerblade or simply picnic in the park.
Welland International Flatwater Centre
This premiere facility combines international-standard competitive watersports with recreational and social opportunities. Set in 411 acres of parkland and 272 acres of water, it is a facility of choice for hosting elite events and championships. Being situated on the flatwater of the recreational waterway also makes it possible for people to venture out by kayak, canoe and paddleboard.
Merritt Park Amphitheatre
The 750-seat stone stepped amphitheatre cuts right into the east bank of the recreational waterway. Taking place on an extraordinary floating stage, music and theatrical events are a regular fixture at this location during the summer months. The park nearby displays a landmark monument recognizing the hard-working people who built the Welland Canal.