The Welland Canal is a ship canal that runs 42 km (27.0 miles) from Port Colborne, Ontario on Lake Erie to Port Weller, Ontario on Lake Ontario. As part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the canal allows ships to avoid Niagara Falls by traversing the Niagara Escarpment.
Approximately 40,000,000 tonnes of cargo is carried through the Welland Canal annually by over 3,000 ocean and lake vessels. It was a major factor in the growth of the city of Montreal. The original canal and its successors allowed goods from Detroit, Michigan, Cleveland, Ohio and other heavily industrialized areas of the United States and Ontario to be shipped to the port of Montreal where they were reloaded onto ocean-going vessels for international shipping.
The completion of the Welland Canal made the Trent-Severn Waterway (which links Lake Ontario with Lake Huron) all but obsolete as a commercial traffic route for Great Lakes navigation.
The canal's Lake Erie (southern) terminus, at Port Colborne, is 99.5 m (326.5 feet) higher in elevation than the Lake Ontario (northern) terminus at Port Weller. The canal comprises eight lift locks, each 24.4 m (80 ft) wide by 233.5 m (766 ft) long. Due to the Garden City Skyway, the maximum ship height allowed is 35.5 m (116.5 ft). All other crossings are movable bridges (lift or Bascule) or tunnels. The maximum permissible vessel length is 225.5 m (740 ft). It takes ships an average of 11 hours to traverse the canal's length.
This panorama was shot at the Glendale Ave lift bridge which croses the Welland Canal. Post 9-11 security measures have restricted access to the actual locks.