Boat watching and the Welland Canal continue to be a major tourist attraction in Port Colborne. Each year thousands of tourists flock to Port Colborne to witness the exhilarating sight of an international "Saltie" or "Laker" as it slips through the Welland Canal. As well, there is the occasional transit of Canadian & American Navy or Coast Guard vessels through the canal, attracting large crowds.
One of the best ship watching locations in Port Colborne is at Lock 8 Gateway Park that provides a beautiful landscaped viewing stand & fountain. Picnic facilities as well as rest rooms are also on site. The Visitor Information Centre is located across Mellanby Avenue from the park, and provides tourists with up to date seasonal ship transit information.
Further south towards Bridge 21 and Historic West Street, it is not uncommon to find historic wooden tall ships quietly moored along the canal wall as they wait for clearance to transit the canal. This shopping district offers visitor's park benches to sit on and plenty of shops to stop for ice cream or lunch. Look across the canal, out towards Lake Erie to see the ship-breaking yards, where old ships are dismantled and the scrap materials recycled.