Museum Classroom: The 4 Welland Canals Colouring Page

Lesson: The Routes of the Four Welland Canals
Topic: The Welland Canals
Sub-Topic: The History and Routes of the Welland Canals
Grades: K-12

Activity: Colouring Page

The Four Welland Canals were built over a period of more than 100 years and follow somewhat different paths through the city. The original First Welland Canal was primarily built for supplying water power to mills and factories. Later, the Fourth Welland Canal was primarily built to move very large ships from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie.

The purpose of these canals can be seen physically in the geography of each path.

Colour the map. Choose a different colour for each route and perhaps colour the different cities and towns along the canal in different colours too.


  • colouring sheet
  • pencil crayons or crayons

Wrap up: Timeline Review

After your student has finshed colouring the map, review each route with the information below:

First Welland Canal:

  • built between 1824 and 1829
  • financed by the private Welland Canal Company
  • built primarily to supply water power to local mills
  • included 40 wooden locks
  • a Feeder Canal was built from the Grand River to bring additional water into the canal
  • ships were small sailing schooners that were towed by horses while in the canal (sailed must be furled (stored) while in the canal as a safety precaution)

Second Welland Canal

  • built between 1840 and 1845
  • built generally along the same route as the First Welland Canal
  • financed (at first) by the Welland Canal Company but then taken over by the government of Upper Canada
  • included 27 stone locks
  • A mix of sailing and steam ships used the Second Welland Canal

Third Welland Canal

  • completed in 1887
  • built in a new route across St. Catharines
  • financed by the Federal Government of Canada
  • included 26 stone locks
  • primarily steam ships used this canal

Fourth Welland Canal

  • completed in 1932
  • built a new east of St. Catharines
  • built a new entry way at Port Weller
  • financed by the Federal Government of Canada
  • includes 8 concrete locks
  • a Bypass around the City of Welland was completed in 1973
  • diesel engine lakers and ocean-going vessels use this canal

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