St. Catharines Council Move to Bestow Heritage Designation on Welland House Hotel Now Seems Like a Bad Joke

Or Have We Just Entered Just Entered the Twilight Zone?

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted July 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – With images of the smoldering remains of the historic Welland House Hotel still in my mind, I woke up this morning to a headline in the online version of The St. Catharines Standard that read; St. Catharines designates destroyed Welland House under heritage act.


Did I just cross over to the Twilight Zone. I am almost expecting Twilight Zone producer to walk out behind the charred wreckage of the building and tell me I did.

This heritage designation was reportedly approved by a majority of St. Catharines City Council at a meeting this past Monday, July 12th meeting while smoke was still rising from the rubble at the corner of Ontario and King Streets in the city’s downtown, where the building stood for 168 years. Sorry to resort to sarcasm, but how many of St. Catharines councillors know that the building burned down? So many citizens I have heard across this Niagara region continue to complain about how far behind too many of our municipal councillors are when it comes to addressing issues like public transit, urban sprawl, climate change and the like.

St. Catharines City Council grants the old Welland House Hotel a post-mortem heritage heritage designation, hours after it burned down. Heritage representatives in the community have been wanting a designation for this historic building for at least a year now.

But this heritage designation, approved at least a year after citizens in the heritage community launched an application to get one to protect and preserve this historic old building, pretty well takes the cake.

There is that old cliché about closing the barn door after all the horses have gone, and this certainly seems to be a high-octane case of that.

Then again maybe they can use the designation to erect a historic plaque where the Welland House Hotel once stood. That would be nice.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

To read a Niagara At Large commentary on this tragic fire, click on – .

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