Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The Founding of St. Catharines

The Founding of St. Catharines

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted August, 2004

The Founding of St. Catharines

Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted November, 2010

Plaque Location

The Region of Niagara
The City of St. Catharines
On the southwest corner of Church and James streets

Coordinates: N 43 09.573 W 79 14.837


Plaque Text

Before this region was settled, several Indian trails intersected here at a ford in Twelve Mile Creek. They were improved by early settlers and a church was erected at the crossroads by 1798. A tavern soon followed and a settlement, known as St. Catharines or Shipman's Corners developed. After the War of 1812 the community expanded largely through the efforts of William Hamilton Merritt. He was the chief promoter of the first Welland Canal, built in 1824-33, which made St. Catharines a centre for water transportation and provided abundant water power for industry. Factories and mills were established and St. Catharines became a leading flour-milling and shipbuilding centre. It was incorporated as a Town in 1845 and as a City in 1876.

Related Ontario plaques
William Hamilton Merritt 1793-1862
The First Welland Canal 1824-1833



St. Catharines Plaques

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