First announced in April 1997 by the Rotary Club of St. Catharines Lakeshore, the Charles Ansell Gateway Park was designed to honour Charles Ansell (the founder of Port Weller Dry Docks); to celebrate the Marine heritage of Niagara; and to showcase the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Located at the Port Weller Terminus of the Welland Canal, near the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Bunting Road, the three acre (1.25 hectare) park site borders the west side of the canal adjoining Lock One and overlooks the Port Weller shipyard. The overall estimated value of the Gateway project as outlined at the time exceeded $400,000. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Catharines Lakeshore in association with Port Weller Dry Docks and the assistance of its union members, the Park links with the popular Welland Canals Parkway and Trail presently extending to Thorold. The project was planned on a series of five-year stages to accommodate financial donations and in-kind volunteer services and materials.
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