Photo Credit: City of St. Catharines



The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is preparing to launch their new exhibit, ‘Just a Line to Say: Postcards from the St. Catharines Museum Collection.’ 


The ‘Just a Line to Say’ exhibit, opening spring 2021, will feature historic postcards from the Niagara Region and surrounding area, drawn from the museum’s collection. With travel limited due to COVID-19, the hope is to feature resident-submitted postcards from trips anywhere in the world in order to provide a virtual glimpse of travel to compliment the archival pieces on display as part of the exhibit.


“In recent years, the historic postcards that helped promote St. Catharines in the early 20th century have become an important window to the past for many on social media, engendering a special sense of nostalgia for a time gone by,” said Kathleen Powell, Supervisor of Historical Services. “Since we can’t really travel these days, that nostalgia extends to recent memories of the excitement of either going on a trip or receiving a postcard from a far-away place.”


Whether the postcard was received in the mail from someone on vacation, or collected as a souvenir on a recent trip, the museum invites residents to make as many submissions as possible. Submissions are due by March 15, 2021. Following the launch of the exhibit, the museum will subsequently open a virtual portal for residents to share their postcards digitally.


In addition to the ‘Just a Line to Say’ exhibit, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre has been seeking contributions to their ongoing ‘Legacy of a Pandemic’ project. The project sees the museum documenting how the current health crisis is impacting and has impacted the local community for future generations. The St. Catharines Museum is looking to collect journal or diary entries, creative writing or photographic representations of how the pandemic has affected community members.


Located next to Lock 3 of the historic Welland Canal, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is a local history museum and community gathering place, engaging visitors with a series of programming and exhibits. Through collection programs and initiatives, the St. Catharines Museum seeks to preserve local stories and the cultural identity and history of the city.


As a result of Ontario’s mandated lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ease the burden on healthcare facilities and workers, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre continues to be closed to the public. With the recent announcement of Ontario’s six-point COVID-19 action plan, the closure of the facility to the public will likely continue into the near future.


In response to provincial restrictions, the museum has had to implement virtual programming to maintain community engagement. This programming, which is accessible through the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre website, includes free lesson plans, activities, resources and programs for students, teachers and at-home educators.


St. Catharines residents are encouraged to continue engaging with the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre through their website and take part in their programming when possible.


Individuals who desire to submit a modern postcard to the exhibition for display are able to contact Adrian Petry, Visitor Services Coordinator, via email at [email protected] To keep up to date with the latest events and initiatives being hosted by the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, interested individuals are encouraged to visit Submissions for the Legacy of a Pandemic project can be made by emailing [email protected]