A new memorial honouring the men who died and laboured constructing the Welland Canal will be unveiled Sunday, November 12, 2017.
“The Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial Task Force and the entire Niagara community is proud to be fulfilling a long-forgotten promise to honour the fallen workers
– 137 men who were fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, friends and veterans,” said St. Catharines, Ontario Mayor and Task Force chair Walter Sendzik.
Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial Unveiling Ceremony
1932 Welland Canals Pkwy, Lock Three, just north of the
St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre
Sunday, November 12, 2017, 2 pm
All are invited to join with family members and descendants of the fallen workers
Not long after the canal opened in 1932, Robert James Manion, then federal minister of railways and canals promised a memorial
to the men who died and recognition to the thousands who toiled on this massive and dangerous construction effort. Nothing ever came of this pledge—until now.
Arden Phair, local historian and former curator of the St. Catharines Museum, took up the cause to have a memorial built for these “fallen heroes”. With the help of a handful of other historians and researchers, he searched public records and spoke with surviving relatives to gather the names, ages, countries of origin, causes of death and information related to the family members left behind.
The Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial will consist of a parkette featuring elements such as walkways and panels fashioned from black steel. Two of these panels, known as the Gates of Remembrance, will be inscribed with the name of each worker killed
building the canal from 1914 to 1932, along with those killed dredging the canal from 1932 to 1936. Each of their ages at death and place of birth will also be inscribed.
To date, the project has secured significant financial support from the labour movement, the corporate community and various levels of government. Donations have also poured in from family members of those killed building the canal and many other individuals, both in the Niagara Peninsula and beyond.
The Task Force is still accepting donations
in support of the memorial and other elements of the parkette.
Download and share the Memorial Unveiling Invitation
Want to know more about the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial project, including the unveiling and how to donate?
Want to read stories about the Welland canal fallen workers published by the St. Catharines Standard?
Want to learn more about many other worker memorials in communities across Ontario?