Spirit of the Big Ditch: The Story of the Welland Canals in Pictures, Poems and Songs

Bridges 20 & 21, Port Colborne, ca. 1930
by Charles Walter Simpson 

Spirit of the Big Ditch The Story of the Welland Canals in Pictures, Poems and Songs, edited by Prof. Emeritus Rob Taylor of Brock University, author of 8 books and numerous articles on the 4 iterations of the Welland Canal.

  • an anthology of poems, songs and illustrations celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Mr. Merritt’s “Big Ditch.”
  • 45 poems and songs tell the story of the Welland Canals from 1824 to the present
  • full colour artwork reproductions, early photographs, and other illustrations
  • QR codes for each poem to access a recording of the poem or song on The Spirit of the Big Ditch website


Published by The Historical Society of St. Catharines, December 2023, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the 1st Welland Canal in 1824.