The City of Welland, long associated with the Welland Canal, is gaining a reputation as the largest open-air art gallery in the world, and the canvasses are gigantic, stretching up to 25 metres (80 feet) long and three storeys high.
To beautify the city, Welland commissioned artists from across Canada to paint murals on the sides of buildings. More than two dozen permanent, colourful murals depicting historical themes of the region now grace the city, adding a rich visual element to the urban landscape. Started in 1986, this is an ongoing project with new murals being added periodically.
The map below shows the locations of the murals and is keyed to the following listing. If you wish to see all the murals you will need to drive; however, as most of them are concentrated in the downtown area, a walking tour is an attractive option that will let you enjoy the giant art and also have a glimpse into the life of a city on the canal.
- "Towpaths" at 1030 Niagara Street North, by Ross Beard, depicts a sailing
ship being pulled through the Canal in the 1800's.
- "Welland Dairies" at 871 Niagara Street North, by Mike Svob, has three panels
showing the milk business in the early 1900's
- "History of the Niagara Peninsula" at 800 Niagara Street North on the Sears
building at the Seaway Mall. This mural depicts the cultural and economic development
of the Niagara Peninsula.
- "History of Welland Canal" at 800 Niagara Street North, on the front of the
Seaway Mall. The artist captures the many obstacles that had to be overcome in the construction
and development of the Niagara Peninsula.
- "Welland Trolley" at 1 Niagara Street, by David More. The NS&T trolley
brought visitors to the Welland County Fair on Denison Street from 1910 to 1930.
- "Lift Bridges" at 31 West Main Street facing Niagara Street. Painted by Greg
Garand, it depicts the canal prior to the completion of the by-pass to the east, when
ships from around the world passed through the heart of the city.
- "Welland's World War 1 Efforts" at 51 Division Street on Columbus Hall, by
Risto Turunen, illustRates & Reservations
Welland's involvement in World War 1.
- "New World" at 77 Division Street is a brick mosaic mural designed by Dutch
artist Bas Degroot. The mural depicts people moving to a "new world" and
can be interpreted from a spiritual or secular viewpoint.
- "Three Historical Scenes" at 115 Division Street is by Toronto artist John
Hood. It consists of three panels each containing a great deal of historical detail.
- "Wagons" at 250 Division Street, by Andrew Miles. This is a stained-glass
effect of several turn-of-the-century wagons and buggies.
- "Education" at 285 East Main Street, by Risot Turunen. Teacher, principal, students,
and school are based on old photographs.
- "Triathlon"at 285 East Main St, by Paul Elliot. The runner, cyclist, and
swimmer are captured in a scene from the annual Welland Triathlon by Mike Burwell.
- "Upbound at Midnight" at 228 East Main Street, by Ross Beard. This is a night
scene of a ship travelling south towards Port Colborne along the Welland Canal.
- "Welland Fair" at 228 East Main Street, by John Hood. Three scenes from the
1940, 1958, and 1975 Welland Fair are shown.
- " The Cordage Community" at 212 East Main Street, by Marsha Charlebois,
depicts the employees of the Plymouth Cordage Company circa 1906 at work and play.
- "Tell me about the Olden Days" a freestanding wall across the street from
212 East Main Street is by Chemainus, B.C. artist Dan Sawatsky. It depicts the arrival
of immigrants in Welland circa 1910.
- "Little Helper" at 225 East Main Street is also by Dan Sawastzky and depicts
a farm family of father, son and grandson in a local agricultural scene.
- "The Pond - New Year's Day" at 188 East Main Street, by Ross Beard, depicts
the Welland Junction area about 1970, with upturned earth suggesting the construction
of the new canal by-pass.
- "The Welland Club" at the corner of Hellems Avenue and East Main Street,
by John Hood, depicts the professional club around 1920, with the Union Jack and lawn
bowling featured prominently.
- "Where Water Meets Rail" at 147 East Main Street, by Larraine Coakley-Black,
concent Rates & Reservations
on various means of transportation.
- "Tugboats" at 77 East Main Street, by Stefan Bell, depicts the tugboat "Hector" circa
1920, pulling barges and ships through the canal. Look for the artist's juggling equipment
hidden in the mural.
- "Steam Engine" on the side of the Bell Building on Cross Street, by Ron Baird,
depicting the old "work horse" used
in the construction of the old canals.
- "Working Women" at 27 East Main Street, by Ted Ziegler, shows the contribution
of women to the industrial work force in the factories of Welland.
- "Downtown Welland" at 14 King Street, by Phillip Wolf, depicts the commercial
life of early Welland.
- "Main Street" at 22 King Street, by Mike Svob, contains two scenes of commercial
activity in early downtown Welland
- "Canal construction" at 140 King Street, by Bas Degroot, depicts the construction
of the canal bypass.
- "Canal Digging" at 175 King Street, by Brian Romagnoli, depicts the era
around 1824, with great detail in size historic scenes.
- "Paint by Number Mural" at 300 Lincoln Street East is the world's largest
paint by number mural, completed by approximately 1000 people. It depicts the diverse
ethnic mixture that played a major role in Welland's development
- " O Canada" a relief Mural in Basswood, at 300 Lincoln Street East (inside
the Lincoln Centre) by the Niagara Wood Carvers Association. This carving depicts the flora,
fauna, and heraldry from countries of Europe and Asia, which are the homelands of a large
percentage of the population of Welland. The birds and animals from these countries have
come to the "Canadian Beaver Pond" to
drink in peace in harmony.