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city, regional municipality of Niagara, southeastern Ontario, Canada. It lies along the Welland River and Welland Ship Canal. During the War of 1812 the area was the scene of several battles between British-Canadian and American forces. Founded as The Aqueduct by loyalists around the first Welland Canal (completed 1829), the settlement was renamed Merrittsville in 1842 after William Merritt, one of the canal builders. In 1856 it was renamed for the Welland River in Lincolnshire, England. It developed as a trading centre for the Niagara fruit-growing belt. An abundance of natural gas and electric power serves the city's diversified industry. Inc. city, 1917. Pop. (2006) 50,331.