Category: Niagara Falls Ontario

More funding means brighter Niagara Falls event

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From Niagara This Week:

Organizers of the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights say extra funding from the city will allow for the festival to expand its programming for the 2017-18 event.

On May 9, city politicians approved a request for $300,000 in additional funding so organizers could expand programming to mark a number of milestones — the festival’s 35th anniversary, along with the sesquicentennial of both Ontario and Canada.

“Not only will this funding allow us to draw more visitors to Niagara Falls but at the same time we can expand our programming which provides locals with a world-class festival right here in Niagara,” said Tina Myers, executive director of the festival.

Halt development charges on new hotels: Thomson

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

A suggestion from Niagara Falls Coun. Wayne Thomson the city and Niagara Region put a moratorium on development charges for new hotel developments is a “really interesting concept,” says regional chairman Alan Caslin.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Caslin told Thomson when he recently updated local politicians about several regional council activities.

“Development charges, as you know, are meant to offset the cost of the infrastructure in the ground and on the streets. Let’s look at it with a lens of what does that infrastructure cost, really, instead of just the cookie-cutter development charge — what’s the real cost of that infrastructure, and is that substantially less than what they would have paid, and is that a benefit that we might be able to afford through economic development.”…

Thomson said Niagara Falls has 27 hotel development projects on the books “that have been approved and ready to go,” but have not proceeded.

Does hotel tax mean end of Niagara Falls DMF?

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Will a new hotel tax the province has granted municipalities power to impose replace the notorious Destination Marketing Fee in Niagara Falls?

There were lots of guesses after Thursday’s provincial budget, but not much clarification. Even Mayor Jim Diodati is unsure just what the new tax is, and what it means for the city.

“I’ve got a lot of questions I need answers to, but if it’s done right this could be a good thing,” said Diodati Friday. “I’m guessing that the province’s idea is not to add a tax, but to create an environment that’s more accountable, more transparent, more consistent.

“But at this point, we’re still in the dark on it.”

What would a hotel tax in Niagara Falls mean for the DMF?

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From Niagara This Week:

More information on a measure that would allow municipalities to institute a hotel room tax is needed before what that may mean for Niagara Falls can be determined, says Mayor Jim Diodati.

“I’d be very interested to learn more,” Diodati said Friday morning while attending a tree planting at Lions Park in Chippawa. “Then we can bring it before council, we can consult with the industry.”

Taxes collected under the scheme would be used to fund tourist organizations.

Currently, hotels and restaurants charge a destination marketing fee — or DMF for short. The fee is known by many names, including the tourism improvement fee. The province first allowed the practice in 2004 and said the fee is voluntary, and still is.

The fee has been the subject of two investigations by the CBC public affairs show Marketplace, which revealed some hotels and restaurants are telling customers the fee is mandatory.

Concerns over Niagara Falls casino jobs not being taken seriously: Diodati

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From Niagara This Week:

The province is moving ahead with the modernization process for gaming in the city after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) issued request for proposal (RFP) documents to pre-qualified proponents selected to bid on the Niagara Gaming Bundle. Read More…

Mayor defends city after harsh video

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The president of Ryerson University has apologized to Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati for a student film depicting the city in a harsh light.

The four-minute documentary As Niagara Falls is listed as a “Ryerson University Production” on the Facebook page of its student filmmakers, known collectively as Mayday Pictures. The film claims to reveal “what truly lies within the city” by showing images of dilapidated houses and boarded-up buildings, while unnamed people comment on the wide divide between tourism and the rest of Niagara Falls.

Diodati responded to the video in a lengthy Facebook post Tuesday which has been shared more than 160 times. He was most puzzled by the film’s connection to Ryerson, which the city has been in discussions with to possibly bring programming to downtown Niagara Falls.

Tired of Toronto? Why not move to the St. Catharines-Niagara region

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From the National Post:

It took Russell Phipps just one day to sell his three-bedroom, 1,800-sq.-ft. house in Ajax, Ont., after a fierce bidding war. With an early closing and no place yet to live, the Toronto native moved into a friend’s 550-sq.-ft. Corktown condo in the city to give downtown living a try. It didn’t take long before he realized he wanted out ? far out… Read More…

$8.3M second phase Victoria Avenue revitalization

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The second phase of the streetscape revitalization along Victoria Avenue will cost $8.3 million.

It’s one of the most expensive projects in council’s 2017 capital budget. Read More…

Niagara Falls tourism fee called ‘ridiculous’ as some businesses make it mandatory

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From CBC News:

Every year, millions of people flock to Niagara Falls, Ont., shelling out hundreds of dollars for hotels, restaurants and attractions clustered around the towering falls. But at some businesses, visitors are finding a contentious tourism fee is now a mandatory part of their bill.

CBC’s Marketplace, which has looked into the tourism fee before, returned to Niagara Falls with hidden cameras in January to see how things have changed after receiving dozens of complaints from consumers about the fee.

Cultural hub a missing piece of city: Mayor

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

A new cultural hub announced in Mayor Jim Diodati’s state of the city speech Wednesday would be a “shared gathering space” for the community, and create a vastly improved Sylvia Place Farmer’s Market. Read More…

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