Minister MacLeod Joins Niagara Region for its Official Reopening
Province supports new one-of-a-kind tourist attraction
NIAGARA FALLS - The Ontario government is supporting the Niagara Region's vital tourism sector by providing a $25-million loan to the Niagara Parks Commission to redevelop the historic Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station into a one-of-a-kind, made-in-Ontario attraction.
Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, was in Niagara Falls to announce the province's support for the project, which will transform the 1905 heritage building into a thriving tourist attraction, offering visitors an educational experience about Ontario's power generating history, and a unique new perspective on the Falls through a new viewing platform.
The minister was joined by Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls, Sandie Bellows, Chair of Niagara Parks Commission, Joel Noden, Chair of Niagara Falls Tourism and Rebecca Mackenzie, President and CEO of Culinary Tourism Alliance, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially welcome people back to the Niagara Region as part of Stage 2 of the province's reopening plan.
"This has been a very challenging time for the tourism sector, but today the Niagara Region will begin to reopen its world-class attractions and start down the road to recovery," said Minister MacLeod. "I am proud that our government is supporting the new Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station project. It will be another terrific reason for people to come and visit one of the most attractive destinations in Ontario."
The first phase of the redevelopment of the Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station is scheduled for completion in July 2021, just in time for Niagara Region to welcome athletes, coaches and families from across Canada for the 2021 Canada Summer Games next August. The Ontario government loan will be repaid over 10 years, with the first payment expected in January 2024 after the attraction is fully operational and generating revenue.
The government recently announced $1 million in tourism support for Niagara Region through a new $13-million funding partnership between Destination Ontario and Destination Canada. This funding will help to deliver locally driven marketing programs to bolster the local tourism economy. As part of this partnership, the Culinary Tourism Alliance - a not-for-profit food tourism development organization - will receive $100,000.
"As our government moves forward with the safe and gradual reopening of the province, we are encouraging people to travel safely and rediscover the spectacular tourist attractions that Ontario has to offer," said Minister MacLeod.
In April 2020, Ontario released sector-specific safety guidelines for the tourism and hospitality sectors to help businesses operate and reopen safely in this current environment. The guidelines include enhanced hygiene procedures, physical distancing measures and screening of both workers and guests for health issues. These guidelines can be viewed at www.ontario.ca/covidsafety.
- Ontario is supporting the 2021 Canada Games by committing to a cost-shared investment of $29 million with the federal government for the construction of new sport facilities.
- The Niagara Parks Commission is a provincial agency with a mandate to preserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of the Niagara River corridor. On June 16, the agency released further details on the phased reopening plan of its facilities.
- Niagara attracts more than 13 million tourists every year.
- Niagara’s $2.4 billion tourism industry contributes over 40,000 jobs to the region annually.
“I am grateful to Minister MacLeod for making it a priority to come to the Niagara Region and celebrate our reopening. She has always been a firm friend of Niagara’s and I know that she will be working with local job creators in tourism, heritage, culture, and sport to ensure Niagara recovers quickly from the impact of COVID-19.”
“The adaptive reuse of CNP will provide an exciting new tourism driver for the region, while also continuing to deliver on Niagara Parks’ mandate of preserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage along the Niagara River Corridor, while remaining financially self-sufficient. We are proud, as an operational enterprise agency of the province, to be able to self-support this project with the support of our ministry while doing our part to grow tourism in Niagara and in Ontario. We are very much looking forward to opening Phase One on July 1, 2021.”
“Niagara Falls has always been the place for fun! With our innovative SafeToPlay.ca program, our operators have gone above and beyond to make sure that Niagara Falls is SAFE to have fun! See you soon!”
“On behalf of Niagara Falls Tourism and indeed me personally, I am thrilled that Minister MacLeod is joining us today to celebrate the reopening of Niagara Falls. Having her explore with us all that Niagara Falls has to offer is truly exciting, as we launch our campaign to have the people of Ontario re-discover Niagara Falls.”
“The Culinary Tourism Alliance recognizes the need for a systems approach to support the economic recovery of the province in the wake of COVID-19. With funding support from MHSTCI, we're excited to be able to kick-start our program "The Great Taste of Ontario Road Trip." It takes into consideration the level at which business operators will be able to reopen, the seasonality of our culinary tourism offerings, and the appetite with which consumers will feel safe to get out and explore again. Thanks to the support of MHSTCI, we can continue working with businesses along the culinary tourism value chain to get Ontarians out to explore just how delicious this province is!”