Hats off to the opening of the Welland Canal

Posted by Michelle Cuthbert on Friday, March 8th, 2019

As clocks spring forward this weekend and the first day of spring is less than two weeks away, the opening of the Welland Canal is sure to follow! Port Colborne’s Top Hat Ceremony celebrates the opening of the Welland Canal and start of the 2019 shipping season by welcoming the Captain of the First Downbound Vessel.

 

Kicking off the festivities on Sunday, March 17, 2019, St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church (55 Charlotte Street, Port Colborne) will host a Mariner’s Service at 7 p.m., filled with music, prayers, dance and fellowship, followed by a reception in the Guild Hall (across the street at 72 Charlotte Street).

 

The Top Hat Ceremony will be held on Friday, March 22, 2019 in the pavilion at Lock 8 Gateway Park (163 Mellanby Avenue, Port Colborne), hosted by Mayor William C. Steele, along with representatives from upper levels of government and the marine industry. Starting at 8 a.m. Port Colborne’s Fair Trade Committee will once again provide a Pancake Breakfast with students from McKay Elementary School offering entertainment. The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. 

 

FUN FACTS:

 

  • Port Colborne became Ontario’s first Fair Trade City in 2009! We’re proud of our status and committed to making our world a better place by offering, using and educating the public about fairly traded products.

  • The present Welland Canal is the fourth Canal to be built and was officially opened August 6, 1932.

  • The Top Hat Ceremony began in Port Colborne in the early 1970s under Mayor John Buscarino.

  • The Top Hat that is currently presented to the Captain of the first Downbound Vessel has been loaned from the Port Colborne & Historical Museum since 1999. It’s a beaver felt fur hat that was donated to the Historical & Marine Museum by an anonymous donor. It’s a turn of the Century Tress and Co. from London, England. The Founder of the Tress & Co.  hat firm was Cooper Tress Sr (1787-1869), son of William Tress and Sarah Clifford, of Upchurch, Kent, England. He was joined at the firm by his son Cooper Tress Jr. and later by Cooper Tress Jr.’s sons, Sidney Cooper Tress and Herbert Charles Tress. The company was active in England for over one hundred years being established in 1846 and finally selling to Christy’s in 1953 in the neighbouring suburb of Bermondsdey.

  • After the Ceremony the Top Hat is stored in an acid free box in the Captain John W. Sharpe Heritage Resource Centre, a climate controlled building that was built in 1995 to house over 17,000 artifacts and archives. But don’t worry, the Captain is given a keepsake Top Hat to take with them on their downbound journey!

  • New from 2017, in celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, the Captain will also be presented with a silk tuxedo scarf bearing the Canada 150 logo.

  • Every Civic Holiday long weekend Port Colborne celebrates their Marine Heritage during Canal Days. August 2 – 5, 2019 marks the 41st Annual celebration. For more information, visit www.canaldays.ca.   

 
 
 

News Archive

 
PORTicipate in Port Colborne this March Break…
There are plenty of activities occurring in Port Colborne during March Brea…
Corporate CommunicationsMon Mar 9th, 2020
Sidewalk Closure and Parking Restrictions
Maintenance Work in Downtown Core
Nancy GilesTue Mar 3rd, 2020
Lake Erie Shoreline and Watershed Conditions …
Lake Erie Flood Watch
NPCAThu Feb 27th, 2020
Niagara Region looking for resident input on …
Niagara Region and Niagara Regional Police Services, in collaboration with …
Niagara RegionWed Feb 26th, 2020
NIAGARA REGION TO HOST 2020 U14 & U16 BOYS CA…
The Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society, in partnership with Soft…
Niagara 2021 Summer GamesWed Feb 26th, 2020
Niagara Counts - Volunteers needed for the 20…
Volunteers are needed to conduct Niagaras coordinated Point in Time Count (…
Niagara RegionTue Feb 25th, 2020
10 amateur photographers are #PortColbornePro…
Public voting is now open for the 10 finalist photos submitted in photo con…
Corporate CommunicationsTue Feb 25th, 2020
Bridge Maintenance Update
Bridge 19A now open, but Bridge 21 set to close.
Corporate CommunicationsFri Feb 21st, 2020
« Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Next »