Museum logoDid you know the museum has been a community effort from the very beginning?

A Community Museum

The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum opened to the public on May 31, 1975. Dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to preserve the existing Williams' home and buildings, a perfect place for Port Colborne to have its own museum.

Since then, thousands have visited the museum and supported its mission. The Heritage Village has expanded, with the addition of historic and new buildings. Thanks to donations, there is now more than 18,000 artifacts in our collection. This support from near and far has made it possible for the museum to tell the stories of our communities, and our people.

Arabella Williams' Legacy

Arabella Williams, a Port Colborne business woman, was dedicated to sharing her love of learning, so she decided to leave her property, including her family home, to the people of Port Colborne when she died in 1950.

Canal Days – it all started at the museum!

In 1979, the communities and museums along the length of the Welland Canal held special events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first Welland Canal, including the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum. Organizers in Port Colborne welcomed more than 400 visitors to the very first Canal Days. The board and staff of the Port Colborne Museum decided to build on this success and make Canal Days an annual event at the museum.

The museum's Canal Days continued to grow, drawing thousands to the museum grounds for two days over the Civic Holiday weekend every year. The event expanded beyond the museum, as Canal Days became a four day city-wide festival attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

At the very heart of the festival, Canal Days at the Museum is still a step back in time, a place for Canal Days visitors to explore our heritage and enjoy the family-friendly museum grounds.