Category: Niagara Falls News

Company plans three high-rises on Loretto property


From the Niagara Falls Review:

One of the most historic sites in Niagara Falls could become one of the biggest hotel developments the city has ever seen.

Owners of the old Loretto Christian Life Centre want city council’s approval to put three high-rise towers on the 7.6-acre property now occupied by the 148-year-old school and its park-like grounds. The next-door neighbours, an order of Roman Catholic priests, however, say they’re concerned about the “immensity” of the project and what it would do to their “oasis.”

Romzap, a company co-owned by Tony Zappitelli, wants to build a 57-storey hotel and two other towers – one 42-storeys and a second at 32 storeys on land the Loretto Sisters, a Roman Catholic order of nuns, used to own. The site has a commanding view of the falls to the east, and the Niagara Convention and Civic Centre is being constructed on the other side of Stanley Avenue.

Vacation hits home on U.S. side of falls

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From Pittsburgh Live:

Vacations, it’s said, will be a casualty of the recession, a luxury easy to put off. But summer is a powerful incentive. People want to get somewhere else, if only for a day or two.

As it happens, Pittsburgh is well-situated for the economy getaway.

Within a half-day’s drive are destinations recreational, historical and marvelous, including one on everybody’s list of earthly wonders. Niagara Falls, of course.

Haven’t all the famous travelers of the past 200 years made it their business to get to the falls at least once in their lives?

Silver Mist graduates to High School Musical 2

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The East High Wildcats are in the house.

And by the time they leave, Silver Mist Productions may have its biggest hit to date.

It was midway through last year’s run of “Beauty and the Beast” that producer Linus Hand learned the rights to Disney’s “High School Musical 2” just became available. He knew he could have brought “Beauty” back for a third successful year, but this was a no-brainer: The “High School Musical” franchise is a juggernaut for Disney, and was virtually a guaranteed hit.

But Hand didn’t realize just how big it was.

Even before the official opening night this Saturday, the show has sold 25,000 tickets for its three-week run, making every performance close to a sell-out.

Possible drowning at Niagara Falls hotel

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Paramedics took away a patient from a Centre Street hotel last night after responding to an unconfirmed report of a drowning.

Firefighters, police and paramedics responded to the Days Inn and Suites, at 5068 Centre St. at about 9:15 p.m. An ambulance could be seen parked at the front door, and a fire truck and police cars were on the street.

‘Flexible’ U.S. guards ease border flow

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From the Toronto Star:

As cars and trucks breezed across the Peace Bridge to Buffalo this morning, it was shaping up to be a typical Monday at the U.S.-Canadian border despite new documentation requirements coming into effect today.

Under the new requirements, Canadians will still be allowed across the U.S. border without a passport or enhanced driver’s licence during this summer travel season.

They’ll just be scolded a little.

Passport required

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Canadians travelling to the U. S. by car need to add one more thing to their checklist starting today as new rules requiring passports kick in.

Showing up at a crossing with your birth certificate or citizenship card and photo ID won’t guarantee entry anymore. The United States now requires Canadians and Americans entering the U. S. by land or water to present passports or other types of specified documentation.

This is the last phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative — America’s post 9-11 effort to toughen up border security.

The policy was developed by the Bush administration, but the former president told a Toronto crowd Friday he didn’t know about the passport requirement.

‘Extremely unsettling time’ for wary tourism operators

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Things are going well for the Niagara Parks Commission.

The first half of 2009, including two long weekends, brought better than expected crowds around the historic park area.

“It has been a good kickoff to the year,” said general manager John Kernahan.

“But I’m extremely fearful of what’s coming.”

After four years of false starts and minor concessions to its opponents, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative officially kicks in Monday, affecting travellers over the age of 16 in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, as well as Americans returning from abroad at land or water ports.

Starting Monday, all those travellers will be required to have a passport or some other form of enhanced, U. S.-approved documentation to enter the States.

“It’s an extremely unsettling time. We’re happy with what we’ve done so far this year. We’re making the best of what we’ve got. Now we have to deal with a new law that threatens to bring all that down,” Kernahan said.

Niagara Falls tourism industry braces for impact of new passport rules

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From Travel:

Just beneath the cheery din of slot-machine sirens, the sound of blissed-out tourist traffic and the crash of Niagara Falls, an undercurrent of anxiety is flowing among merchants and attraction operators as they brace for what some fear could be a summer of discontent.

As of June 1, those who make their livelihoods serving visitors on the Canadian side of the border will be contending with strict new rules that require anyone entering the United States to carry a passport – including returning American tourists.

The fear is that incoming U.S. traffic will dwindle and the southern Ontario city’s tourism industry will take a beating as a result.

The Seneca is Back


From the Niagara Falls Review

Seneca Theater Rendering


Close to 15 years after the curtain closed, the Seneca Theatre is back in business this week.

And it took a savvy group of gypsies to pull it off.

For nearly a year, Gypsy Theatre owners John Dalingwater and Bernadette Feeney have been transforming the abandoned former movie house into the city’s newest live theatre venue.

The pay-off comes Thursday, when the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic Cats starts a four-week run, and a huge part of Queen Street’s revitalization gets underway.

“I really feel part of a community on this street,” says Feeney, who started Gypsy Theatre with husband John 20 years ago in Fort Erie.

“I truly believe (it will thrive). And the reason I believe that with all my heart is that every single business person (here) has passion for what they’re doing.

“Because you enjoy what you’re doing, you put more into it.”

The theatre is one of several Queen Street properties owned by Historic Niagara Development Inc., who have put just over $1 million into extensive renovations.

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