Old Films of Canada's Niagara Region Historical Preservation Project

Click HERE to watch my collection of these 1920s to 1980s 16mm & 8mm Films

The history project began in June 2016, seeking old films of the 4 Welland Canals. It soon expanded to films of the whole Niagara Region.

So far as of October 28, 2016, I have 15 old films of the Niagara Region in the collection from between 1921 and 1973.


My wife and I moved to St Catharines in November of 2015, and while settling in we read a lot of local history books from the library, including about the Welland Canals, which is how I was soon struck and possessed by the idea for a fantastic history project that's never been done before now.  

Since 2002, as HomeMovies.Ca, I have been digitizing old movie films; photos; slides; video tapes and audio; for many many customers and clients, including a bunch of late 1920s early 1930s 16mm films recorded by Denton Massey, of the famous Canadian Massey agriculture equipmnet family, that I transferred some years ago which I uploaded to my youtube channel for all to watch. One of those films was a late 1920s film of a lake steamer day-trip from Toronto to Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie, now part of St. Catharines, and what people used to do for fun while there. It's that film that made me realize in early 2016 that there must still be old films of the 3rd and 4th Welland Canals still existing that must be saved, preserved, and transferred to digital for everybody to see. And so I devised the plan to do so, and began looking for people to help make it happen. And I've already found some terrific people, with more to surely come onboard soon.

Carlos Garcia is a Port Dalhousie Councillor for the city of St Catharines and a local history buff, supports St. Catharines Heritage Committees, and is helping me get the word out about that plan.

Kathleen Powell is the current curator of the St Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.

Stephanie Baswick is the current curator of the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum.

Randy Barnes and Steve Fulton of the Thorold and Beaverdams Historical Museum stream my collection in their new museum.

And several other museums are also supporters.

Together we want to find those old movie films of the Welland Canals that still exist, and make the content of those films available for the enjoyment and education of all Canadians, and the world, in time for 2017 to celebrate Canada's 150th National Birthday since Confederation in 1867, and the museum's Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial unveiling dedication.  

We need the public's help to do it.  

If you, or someone you know, can bring Steve a 16mm film or films recorded in those years between 1923 and the early 1930s,  or 16mm & 8mm from 1932 through World War II, that is/are still in good condition and can be donated to the Museum for public viewing display, that film or films will be digitized and a digital copy given to the donor free of charge. Suitable credits will also be part of the donation.  

So, please, join the search, and help make this incredible Canadian history project a success.

Steve Hartwell steve@homemovies.ca www.homemovies.ca 647-470-1684 voice or text