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Does the Welland Ship Canal connect two of the lakes?
from Jennie in Emporia, Kansas
The Welland Canal connects Lakes Ontario and Erie. The canal was necessary because the Niagara River, the natural connection between the lakes, has impassable falls and rapids (Niagara Falls, to name one). Therefore, the canal forms an important link for the shipping industry in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.
Welland canal was built (1914-32) to replace a canal opened in 1829, and was modernized and enlarged in 1972. The canal is 27 miles long with a minimum depth of 30 feet, and it contains eight locks, guiding ships up and down the 326 foot difference in elevation between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
For a detailed history of the Welland Canal, go to: The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway web page.
Thank you for your question!


Answered on January 5, 2001

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