Author: Graham

    Work starts on new N.F., Ont. center

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    From Buffalo Business First:

    Regional and provincial officials gathered in Niagara Falls, Ont., Friday morning for the ceremonial ground breaking for the city’s first convention center.

    The nearly 200,000-square-foot, $100 million center is being constructed just off of Stanley Avenue and in the shadow of some of the city’s largest hotels. Niagara Falls officials have been pressing for a convention center for more than 25 years, but the deal finally came together when private-sector interests, including Falls Management Co. LLC — operators of Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort — and the Fallsview Business Improvement Association helped fund the project. That milestone agreement helped move the center from the dream stage to reality.

    Familiar faces return to iconic Falls tourism hot spot

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The new-look Oh Canada Eh? has an old face running the show.

    Three years after he retired and sold his share of the company he co-founded in 1994, Jim Cooper has returned to the award-winning dinner theatre.

    And he’s bringing some friends along.

    Veteran show member Melissa Penner, who left the musical around the same time Cooper did in 2006, has been brought back in her signature role of Klondike Kitty. As well, original cast member Larry Hurst -who has seen his role diminished in recent years -will enjoy more stage time.

    As Cooper describes it, coming back to Oh Canada Eh? was like slipping on a “comfy woolen sweater.”

    Gorge wall gets a spring tune-up

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It’s a job with a great view -as long as you are not afraid of heights.

    “I find it exciting every time I go over,” said Gordon Rosa, a mason supervisor with the Niagara Parks Commission.

    Each year, Rosa and his crew climb into a cage which is then lifted over the retaining wall near the brink of the falls by a large crane, and they are lowered into the gorge.

    It’s all part of the annual rock scaling operation along the great gorge wall on the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls. The job lasts about a week.

    Mint says law won’t allow Niagara Falls on new quarter series

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most iconic natural landmarks. Gov. David A. Paterson and Sen. Charles E. Schumer think the cascading falls would make an ideal pick to grace New York’s quarter in the upcoming America’s Beautiful National Parks quarters series.

    But the U. S. Mint says no.

    That’s because Niagara Falls is a state park, not a national park.

    Hilton Loyalty Exclusive with a new availability calendar!


    On Wednesday I received the latest newsletter from the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls Fallsview. I did notice that the name of the hotel appears to have changed since the last time the newsletter went out. It used to be Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview.


    To subscribe to the newsletter, fill out the form on the left-hand side of any page on the Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview web site.

    No Jay walking this summer

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It was supposed to be famed wirewalker Jay Cochrane’s fourth summer performing in Niagara Falls. But now he’s making other vacation plans.

    What would have been a spectacular daily walk from the top of the Skylon Tower to the top of the new Niagara Falls Hilton on Fallsview Boulevard was derailed when the Fallsview BIA recently voted not to contribute toward the $250,000 price tag to bring Cochrane back to town.

    “It’s such a shame,” he said over the phone from Florida. “I think some people live in a box.”

    The plan would have seen Cochrane, 65, walk between the two buildings once a day, sometimes twice, for a total of 70 walks this summer. He believes it would have been the highest (55 storeys) and longest (450 metres) wirewalk in history between two man-made structures.

    Cochrane’s three previous visits, in 2002, 2005 and 2007, generated massive publicity for Niagara Falls.

    Pitt and sons: Legends at the Falls

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    From the Buffalo News:

    People magazine may have named him “Sexiest Man Alive” twice, but even Brad Pitt looked a little goofy in his blue Maid of the Mist poncho.

    The superstar actor was in Niagara Falls, Ont., on a picture-perfect afternoon to take in the sights of the world-famous cataracts Saturday. In tow were two of his sons, Maddox and Pax; his parents, Bill and Jane, and his bodyguards. The group enjoyed the attractions while remaining relatively under the radar.

    Note: There have been all sorts of articles out there about this, but most of them are wire service copies of this original article.

    60 stories would be height limit within Falls


    From the Buffalo News:

    A new system of tiered building heights proposed for the downtown commercial district would allow buildings as tall as 60 stories on some blocks under a newly revised set of proposed zoning codes.

    Allowing even taller buildings on some city streets closest to the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel was an attempt to strike a balance between an earlier proposal approved by the Planning Board and concerns from the City Council about restricting downtown development.

    The previous proposal would have allowed buildings as tall as 30 stories on some blocks — 10 stories taller than what is currently permitted — but was criticized by some as placing too many limitations on building heights.

    “I think that this is an excellent compromise,” said Planning Board member Michael F. Lewis.

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