Local
5:03 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Opening of East Canal marks latest waterfront milestone

WBFO's Chris Caya reports

More outdoor activity space is now open to the public at Canalside in downtown Buffalo. Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the East Canal at Main and Scott streets. 

What used to be the parking lot of the former Donovan State Office Building is now a small urban park with a shallow pool to remind visitors of the canal that crossed the site in Buffalo's heyday.

An artist rendering of the site
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

The site is located between the recently opened One Canalside building and HarborCenter, which is scheduled to open in September.

Erie Canal Harbor Corporation President Thomas Dee says the $5 million project expands Canalside's footprint.  

"This was really important to us. When we sold this block as a state agency, we wanted to retain this area for the public," Dee said.

The park is open to visitors year-round. Before taking part in the ribbon cutting, State Senator Tim Kennedy said ten years ago, nobody would have stood around in the cold at Main and Scott.

"We're standing out in the cold here today to celebrate economic development, economic activity, job creation, public-private partnership, public investment that's spurring private sector development and job creation, and the re-definition of the Buffalo waterfront," Kennedy said.

Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the East Canal.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

The East Canal is currently decked out complete with a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree for the third annual waterfront holiday celebration at Canalside, being held Friday and Saturday.

The festivities include live music and programs inside heated tents, food trucks, and a visit from Santa Clause.

More information is available at canalsidebuffalo.com