History InSite: Merritt Street at CNR Crossing, S1938.63.3.4

A parade is shown in a long line down a street with buildings and people on either side.
A view looking South along Merritt Street at the famous Labour Day parade in 1938. | STCM S1938.63.3.4

The Longshoremen are pictured marching down Merritt Street with hundreds in attendance for the annual Labour Day Parade in Merritton.

The annual parade – a community marquee event – celebrates the achievements of the labour movement and always features various Unions and their members.

Seemingly the whole of Merritton attended the parade, filling Merritt Street for this photograph from the St. Catharines Standard. Also in the background can be seen the imposing milling complex of the old Independent Rubber Company. The same building burned down in May, 1961.

The Industrial Capital of Niagara

For decades, Merritton was the industrial capital of Niagara thanks to the many factories that established themselves along the banks of the Welland Canal to take advantage of water power and water for use in manufacturing.

Naturally, Merritton became a beacon of labour rights and the Labour movement has proudly paraded in Merritton for generations. Check out our online collection portal for more photos from the big parade on EMuseum.

Historic Merritton

Learn more about the Independent Rubber Company complex with our History From Here video series:

There’s More to the Story

Check out the entire History InSite installation across Merritton, downtown St. Catharines and in Port Dalhousie.

About History InSite

A permanent, site specific installation, History InSite juxtaposes historical photographs with modern streetscapes by presenting the photo in, or close to, the place which it was taken.

St. Catharines has a rich photographic history and when compared to the changing streetscapes around the City, that history becomes much more meaningful, poignant, and relevant to our modern eyes.

The Downtown series was installed in July 2021. The Port Dalhousie series was installed in May 2022. The Merritton series was installed in May 2023.

History InSite is presented by the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre.

Graffiti Report

If you spot any graffiti on our purple History InSite signs, please send us a message and photo via email museum@stcatharines.ca.