The downtown area of St. Catharines was originally known as a storehouse for goods at the crossing of an Iroquois trail over Twelve Mile Creek. Curving trails formed the foundation of the downtown streets as they appear today. St. Paul Street curves and meanders along a little ridge which mimics the winding creek that used to run behind it. Construction of the first and second Welland Canals behind St. Paul Street quickly elevated the area into a prosperous hub for commerce and industry in the Niagara Region. Our older downtown buildings reflect St. Catharines’ history. Architectural landmarks reveal the stories behind the development of St. Catharines and its varying roles as the former seat of Lincoln County, a popular health spa destination, and the premiere retail centre of the Niagara Region.