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ECHDC: Central wharf extension complete, ready for Canalside's busy summer season


Fri, May 20th 2016 08:25 pm

2016 programming and events schedule includes new activities, music, fitness, food and family activities

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. today announced the upgrade and extension of the central wharf is complete and open to the public. The $2.2 million boardwalk project enhances the recreational use of the Buffalo River and improves the trail system along the waterfront.

The work consisted of the construction of more than 500 linear feet of permanent, wooded boardwalk, extending from the existing boardwalk installed by Empire State Development in 2008. The beach area, sponsored by EduKids Inc., has also been expanded by 30 percent with added umbrellas in the sand area and landscaping designed to complement the play area.

In addition to the boardwalk, ECHDC replaced the temporary chain-link fence with a permanent railing to match the existing motif. Bike pathway improvements have been made at the southern entrance to the site, including new walks and paths, signage and landscaping. The beach area has been expanded with landscaping added throughout the site. The design was coordinated with the City of Buffalo and New York State Department of Transportation.

"The central wharf expansion will make it easier for people to explore the water's edge at Canalside," ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said. "The new section of the wharf improves the flow for walkers and bicyclists looking to head to the Outer Harbor. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together and creating the vibrant destination that is Gov. Cuomo's vision for Buffalo's waterfront."

The New York Power Authority provided funding for this project in support of its operating license for the Niagara Power Project.

"The resounding success story that is Canalside has a new chapter with the central wharf extension," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "The more we can help open up the waterfront the better."

"Our waterfront has evolved from one Western New Yorkers cringe at to one we crave," said Congressman Brian Higgins, whose efforts helped to secure the NYPA federal relicensing settlement supporting Canalside improvements and programming. "Just a few short years ago, the site of this new wharf had no visitors; last year 1 million people visited Canalside. Increased public demand is driving these increased activities and expanded amenities, proving new offerings that will continue to build excitement drawing people to the water's edge."

Scott Lawn Yard, Inc. with offices out of Sanborn, provided construction services for the central wharf extension.

ECHDC also announced its 2016 season of summer events and programming at Canalside. This year, Canalside will host more than 55 special events, 1,000 programs and an additional 1,000 daily activities on Buffalo's waterfront, including a packed calendar of options just for kids and families, fitness enthusiasts, music lovers, history buffs, festivalgoers and more. Visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com for the full calendar of events, which is continuously updated as activities and events are booked.

"Canalside visitors tell us they love having things to do on the waterfront, and I can guarantee that is exactly what we have planned for the 2016 summer season," ECHDC President Thomas Dee said. "We have a vast variety of activities every day for every age group. The toughest part of the summer may be deciding how to fit all the Canalside fun into your summer schedule."

New offerings at Canalside in 2016 are plentiful with the team at Spectra Venue Management and other partners working to make this summer memorable. New activities and events for 2016 include:

Arts & Culture:

  • A new art space on the Lloyd Street Bridge featuring free mini-art classes and an art cart filled with an array of supplies for the public's use.
  • The "Canalside Create Series" with StudioHue, Paint the Town, Buffalo Knit-Wits and Makers Buffalo, featuring weekend art classes and a variety of fun crafts.
  • Buffalo Roots, a cultural series with five evenings dedicated to exploring and celebrating the diverse cultures of Buffalo's neighborhoods. The series is created with the help of The Buffalo World Music and Dance Academy and Arts Services Initiative.
  • "Cultural Connections," a series where multiple forms of art and culture come together for a unique memorable experience, encompassing many forms of artistic expression.
  • Slyboots "Introduction to African percussion and African dance workshops"
  • Free historical Canalside walking tour presented by Buffalo History Tours


  • Fitness presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York: acroyoga with Acro WNY, Primordial SYSTEMA: Russian martial arts by Primordial Strength Inc., "De-Stress Through Dace and Mindful Mediation" with Sarah Haykel, Salsa for the Soul and Free to Be Life Coaching, Kangoo Jumps and kettle bells with Garage Fitness Studio, "Family Power Yoga" with Power Yoga Buffalo, "RevFit" with Revolution Indoor Cycling, "PiYo" with BelieveFit-AchieveFit
  • Children's programming: "PJ Library" with the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, science programming with Tifft Nature Preserve, Every Person Influences Children, Young Audiences of WNY with crafts before select "Tuesday Night Flix," presented by Catholic Health family programming
  • Music: "Future Sounds of Buffalo" music series
  • Merchandise: Canalside merchandise will be sold at the new information kiosk on the boardwalk

Old favorites returning include the Saturday artisan market; children's programming with Explore and More Children's Museum, "Nick Presents Magic Show," Young Audiences of WNY and WNY Family Magazine; music and dance series; the "Tuesday Night Flix" series; and fitness classes, such as Zumba, power yoga, barre centric, pound fitness, "Exercise Like the Animals," thai chi and more.

Amenities, such as table games/game rentals, BFLO Kayak tours/rentals, water bike rentals, paddle and pedal boat rentals, Spirit of Buffalo rides, history tour boat rides, Blue Bike Rentals presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, beach sand play area and Buffalo Sunset Chairs, will also be available throughout the summer.

This schedule is in addition to the continuation of the popular Thursday night concert series with 12 free Thursday concerts that run from June 9 to Aug. 25.

Starting Friday, May 20, The Dish will also open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, with daily lunch and dinner offerings, select specials and popular activities such as open mic night, "Quiz Night in Buffalo," karaoke and "Groove Garden Sessions" at Canalside on select nights. Beer and wine will be sold at The Dish from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. New this year, The Dish will have a vegetarian option: a falafel wrap with lettuce, tomato, sprouts and garlic spread. Also, The Dish added a gluten-free bun option for the hot dogs and hamburgers and three "grab-n-go" boxed lunch options for people on a time crunch. Find The Dish's full menu at http://www.canalsidebuffalo.com/visit-canalside/food-and-dining/thedish/ or on its new Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/thedishcanalside/

Other food choices will be located in the Canalside Pavilion located next to The Canals and will include a Bubbles and Brew beverage area, Harborside Mercantile and the newest vendor, Tipico coffee. Tipico will offer cold brew coffee, lemonade and locally brewed kombucha.

Highlights of the 2016 Programming and Events Season include:

  • Three-day Canalside Boardwalk Carnival being put on by Hammerl Amusements on Memorial Day weekend
  • Pride Festival on June 5, back for the third year in a row
  • "Bad Boy Reunion Tour" concert on June 17 being put on by Stage One Live
  • "Kiss The Summer Hello" on June 19
  • Twenty One Pilots concert on June 21
  • Patty's People Pictures creating a new human Buffalove photo on June 26
  • Official City of Buffalo Independence Day celebration sponsored by Russell J. Salvatore/2016 Fourth of July celebration
  • Alternative Buffalo's "Kerfuffle" on July 23
  • Gospel Festival on July 24
  • Two-day Buffalo Ribfest being put on by TownSquare Live Events on July 29-30
  • 103.3 WEDG "Edgefest" on July 31
  • Three-day Canalside Auto and Boat Show Aug. 5-7
  • Autorama car show on Aug. 14
  • Color Run on Aug. 20
  • 2016 Buffalo Maritime Festival presented by Catholic Health Aug. 26-28

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