Welland (2016 population 52,293) is a city in the Regional Municipality of Niagara in Southern Ontario, Canada.
The city is in the centre of Niagara. Within a half-hour, residents can travel to Niagara Falls, Niagara-On-The-Lake, St. Catharines, Port Colborne and Buffalo. It has been traditionally known as the place where rails and water meet, referring to the railways from Buffalo to Toronto and Southwestern Ontario, and the waterways of Welland Canal and Welland River, which played a great role in the city’s development. The city is separated by the Welland River and Welland Canal which links Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Welland is the home of C Company of The Lincoln and Welland Regiment which is part of 32 Canadian Brigade Group, the classification of this unit is Light Infantry.
Welland’s nickname is The Rose City.
The city was settled in 1788 by the United Empire Loyalists. On 19 October 1814, Canadian forces led by George Hay, 8th Marquess of Tweeddale, met an American raiding party, numbering approximately nine hundred, near the eastern edge of the present community during the Battle of Cook’s Mills. After an intense skirmish, the Americans retreated to Buffalo, New York. Cook’s Mills was the second to last engagement of the War of 1812 on Canadian soil.
The Welland Canal has been involved in the area’s history since the First Welland Canal was extended to reach Lake Erie in 1833. A wooden aqueduct was built to carry the Welland Canal over the Welland River at what is now downtown Welland, and the area became known as simply Aqueduct. A lock to cross from the canal to the river and vice versa was also built. A small shantytown soon developed around the facility, providing essential services in what was a convenient stop-over location.
The growing town was later named Merrittsville, after William Hamilton Merritt, the initiator of the Welland Canal project. This name is still reflected in the name of the Merrittville Highway (Niagara Road 50), which served as the primary north-south route in central Niagara before the construction of Highway 406. Welland gained its present name when it was incorporated on July 25, 1858. It became a city in 1917.
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