Archways part of city’s history
For more than 100 years, two brick archways have stood at the entrance of Parkway Boulevard.
Welland heritage advisory committee members want those archways to stand for another 100 years or more and are seeking a bylaw to keep them protected and designated as having cultural heritage value under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Nora Reid, secretary/treasurer, and researcher for the advisory committee, said the designation would bring attention to the history of the area. “I think a lot of people have wondered what the archways were and who built them. They are a big part of Welland’s history and development. They mark the move from a farm-based economy to an industrial economy.”
Welland experienced rapid industrial expansion from 1905 to 1915, with companies such as Plymouth Cordage, Electric Steel and Metals, Page Hersey Iron Tubes and Union Carbide moving to the city.
Reid said Cyrenius J. Laughlin, president of Laughlin Realty, wanted to build an elite subdivision, to be called Parkway Heights, for all of the “movers and shakers” in the community — the industrialists, the bankers, company managers and business people.
“All these new people were coming in and a high-class subdivision was needed for them.”
I think a lot of people have wondered what the archways were and who built them. They are a big part of Welland’s history and development. They mark the move from a farm-based economy to an industrial economy.” Nora Reid, secretary/treasurer, and researcher for the advisory committee
Parkway Heights, she said, was built on farmland purchased from the Price family in 1910 and the archways to the gated community were built in 1913. The archways fronted the subdivision on what was then called North Main Street, now Niagara Street.
“The houses had to be a minimum distance from the street and all be of better value. It was also the first boulevard in Welland.”
Reid said the archways were built of tapestry brick, meaning each brick was of a different colour, with tile roofing and wrought iron lights.
The archways still stand, however, the lights are long gone and the tile roofs have been replaced with wooden shake shingles. The city has been taking care of them for nearly 100 years.
“Maybe the city could bring back some nice lights here,” she said.
Earl Engemann, a heritage advisory committee member, said protecting the archways makes residents more aware of what kind of treasures Welland has to offer.
“We want to make sure they stay around for a long time,” said Engemann.
Reid does not know when the report on the archways, and the committee’s request to protect them, will be before Welland council.
Nora Reid, left, Welland Heritage Advisory Committee secretary/treasurer, and researcher, and committee member Earl Engemann, stand in front of a brick archway at Parkway Boulevard Saturday.