018. The Welland Canal is one of the world's greatest man made wonders. Although not as well known as the ancient Egyptian pyramids or as famous as its neighbouring natural wonder Niagara Falls, the Welland Canal can be best described as simply amazing. The Welland Canal is important because of its ability to move ships full of cargo up and down the Niagara Escarpment and therefore contribute to the economic growth and development of Canada and the United States. Approximately 40,000,000 metric tonnes of cargo is carried through the Welland Canal annually by over 3,000 ocean and lake vessels. What makes the Welland Canal fascinating is how it moves these ships up and down the escarpment. The canal utilizes its most abundant resource - water, combined with the Earth's gravity to lift and lower ships in a watertight chamber called a lock. It is an example of brilliant, yet simple innovative engineering.