Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The ribbon was cut on a $5 million project to open up the East Canal to the public. It will host Canalside's holiday celebration this weekend.
“Every day, we are making more progress in the transformation of Buffalo’s waterfront and today, the Erie Canal project is complete,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project preserves public access to the waterfront, with a new outdoor space for locals and visitors to enjoy, and it also serves as a catalyst for private investment and development. It has been completed on budget and on schedule, just in time for the holidays, and I encourage New Yorkers to come see and celebrate the new East Canal.”
“I was here when this project broke ground just eight months ago and today I’m so pleased to hear the project is complete, complementing the continuing progress being made at Canalside,” said Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy. “The people of Western New York have demanded public access and the state delivered by creating this beautiful urban destination that will attract additional development to the surrounding area. Governor Cuomo has placed an extraordinary emphasis on Buffalo’s revitalization and we are now seeing the results.”
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC)-driven East Canal project creates an outdoor public space that features a granite plaza, a shallow pool of water, fountains, seating, lighting and a shaded tree grove. It is located just south of One Canalside – the former Donovan State Office Building – where a ribbon cutting was recently held for the upper four stories occupied by Phillips Lytle, the second largest law firm in Buffalo. The lower four floors of One Canalside will open this spring as a Courtyard by Marriott. Next to the East Canal will be further private investment possibilities between One Canalside and HARBORCenter projects.
The 3rd annual ECHDC waterfront holiday celebration will be held at the East Canal on December 20 and 21. A 30-foot holiday tree and holiday landscaping will be featured, along with music and programming inside heated tents, food trucks and a visit from Santa.
Funding came from a NYPA settlement in 2006. Congressman Brian Higgins said, “In 2006 we stood up with and for Western New York and fought for a fair relicensing agreement for this community from the New York Power Authority. It is that $279 million settlement that funded this project and so many others that continue to reshape the waterfront that many doubted would ever see progress in our lifetime. The East Canals represent the latest step forward in Buffalo looking within to find success rather than seeking an outsider to shape our destiny. This particular site pulls together our Erie Canal history with our region’s future as it neighbors the exciting private sector development at One Canalside and HARBORCenter and gives the public yet another reason to visit our waterfront. ”