Museum Classroom: Virtual Gallery Tour

Lesson: Welland Canals Tour
Topic: The Welland Canals
Sub-Topic: The History and Routes of the Welland Canals
Grades: 3-12

Instruction for Educators

Watch the below video of a brief tour of our Permanent Galleries before leading discussion and activity below.

Activity: Gallery Tour

Discussion: The Welland Canals

After watching the video of the Gallery Tour, discuss the following with your students:

  • Can you think of anywhere – maybe in your own backyard – of a place you’ve seen a structure from the early canals?
  • Why were four different canals built?
  • In 1829, there were two main benefits to building the canal. The first was for water power to operated milling businesses. What was the second reason?
  • If you were to build a canal, what materials would you use?

Extension: Historic Canals Mapping Project

For an extension activity, find and explore the following points of interest on the Historic Canals Mapping Project map:

  • The routes of the four different Welland Canals.
  • Your own house and the lock that is located closest near you.
  • Your school and the lock that is located closest to your school.
  • Your friend or grandparents house and the lock that is located closest to them.
  • At least one shipyard.

Wrap Up: The Impact of the Welland Canal

Wrap up this activity with a discussion about the impact of the Welland Canal in the City. Specifically that:

  • Major transportation projects have physical and lasting impacts on how we use spaces in our community (a good modern example is how the QEW highway cuts through the city and changed the way we navigate that area).
  • The Welland Canal fostered business and much of our built heritage in the City is related to the Welland Canal.
  • Even though the old Welland Canals no longer operate, they continue to impact our daily lives.

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