Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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William Hamilton Merritt 1793-1862

William Hamilton Merritt 1793-1862

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted August, 2004

William Hamilton Merritt 1793-1862

Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted October, 2010

William Hamilton Merritt 1793-1862

Photo Source - Wikipedia

Plaque Location

The Region of Niagara
The City of St. Catharines
On the southeast corner of
St. Paul Street West and McGuire Street
just east of the bridge over Highway 406

Coordinates: N 43 09.254 W 79 14.767


Plaque Text

A pioneer in the field of transportation, Merritt was born in Bedford, New York, and settled at Twelve Mile Creek (St. Catharines) with his Loyalist family in 1796. He served with the provincial cavalry during the War of 1812, then operated mercantile and milling enterprises here. Primarily responsible for the construction of the first Welland Canal (1824-33), Merritt worked tirelessly to promote this ambitious venture, both by raising funds and by enlisting government support. During his long tenure in the Legislative Assembly (1832-60) he championed free trade policies and various transportation projects. In particular he advocated building a comprehensive system of canals and railways linking inland waters with the ocean, a scheme which foreshadowed the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway over 100 years later.

Related Ontario plaques
William Hamilton Merritt 1793-1862
United Empire Loyalists
The First Welland Canal 1824-1833
The Construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway



St. Catharines Plaques

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