The city of Welland was settled in the late 1700’s by the United Empire Loyalists. The construction of the Welland Canal in 1829 saw the area change from a farming community to a shipping centre.
A large wooden aqueduct was built to move the Welland Canal along the Welland River and a small shantytown soon developed. Initially the area was referred to simply as The Aqueduct. As the town grew a more suitable name was chosen.
William Hamilton Merritt had been instrumental in the building of the Welland Canal and it was decided to call the new community Merrittsville. In 1858 Merrittsville was incorporated and the name changed to Welland.