Niagara Falls Exchange (NFX) - Cultural Hub & Market

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The Exchange Niagara Falls and Government of Canada logos

A Hub for Culture, Food and People

Niagara Falls City Council’s 2015-2018 and 2019-2022 Strategic Priorities included a commitment to building and promoting a vibrant, sustainable city that supports an active, connected and creative community. The Priorities identify both the revitalization of the Niagara Falls Farmers' Market, and fostering culture as key contributors to attracting and retaining talent, providing quality of life and supporting creative businesses as strategic objectives. The City of Niagara Falls Culture Plan expressed the desire for cultural intensification to create a vibrant and well planned city, and called for the development of an integrated, centralized cultural asset.

On August 11, 2020, after several years of study and planning, Niagara Falls City Council approved funding for the construction of the Niagara Falls Exchange, a new market and cultural hub designed by DTAH and located in the Main and Ferry neighbourhood. Construction is expected to begin in September 2020.

The new Niagara Falls Cultural Hub & Market will become a vibrant centre of activity in the community by providing shared spaces where artists, musicians, food vendors and patrons, and local businesses can come together and create. Located in the historic Main and Ferry district, it will include a large culture and market hall, café, artist studios, creative workshop and public washrooms surrounded by two multi-functional civic plazas that interconnect the flanking streets. The Market Hall, which will house the regularly scheduled Farmers’ Market, will be a space for other events that include music, theatre, lectures and other weekend markets.

Located adjacent to the Niagara Falls History Museum, the site is knit together with a design language that prioritizes an accessible public realm, and creates quality indoor and outdoor space that is durable, flexible, and sustainable.

The project name - Niagara Falls Exchange (NFX), speaks to the rich exchange of ideas and creativity that is anticipated to occur on site and between the arts and culture, food and farming communities of Niagara Falls.

This area has the potential to become the cultural and social heart of our community

Subscribe to future updates - click on the "subscribe" button to the right!

A Hub for Culture, Food and People

Niagara Falls City Council’s 2015-2018 and 2019-2022 Strategic Priorities included a commitment to building and promoting a vibrant, sustainable city that supports an active, connected and creative community. The Priorities identify both the revitalization of the Niagara Falls Farmers' Market, and fostering culture as key contributors to attracting and retaining talent, providing quality of life and supporting creative businesses as strategic objectives. The City of Niagara Falls Culture Plan expressed the desire for cultural intensification to create a vibrant and well planned city, and called for the development of an integrated, centralized cultural asset.

On August 11, 2020, after several years of study and planning, Niagara Falls City Council approved funding for the construction of the Niagara Falls Exchange, a new market and cultural hub designed by DTAH and located in the Main and Ferry neighbourhood. Construction is expected to begin in September 2020.

The new Niagara Falls Cultural Hub & Market will become a vibrant centre of activity in the community by providing shared spaces where artists, musicians, food vendors and patrons, and local businesses can come together and create. Located in the historic Main and Ferry district, it will include a large culture and market hall, café, artist studios, creative workshop and public washrooms surrounded by two multi-functional civic plazas that interconnect the flanking streets. The Market Hall, which will house the regularly scheduled Farmers’ Market, will be a space for other events that include music, theatre, lectures and other weekend markets.

Located adjacent to the Niagara Falls History Museum, the site is knit together with a design language that prioritizes an accessible public realm, and creates quality indoor and outdoor space that is durable, flexible, and sustainable.

The project name - Niagara Falls Exchange (NFX), speaks to the rich exchange of ideas and creativity that is anticipated to occur on site and between the arts and culture, food and farming communities of Niagara Falls.

This area has the potential to become the cultural and social heart of our community

Subscribe to future updates - click on the "subscribe" button to the right!

  • Prequalified Artists named for Public Art Commission

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    The Main Street Courtyard will have a commissioned piece of public art once the project is complete.

    Details on the prequalified artists and the process are on this page.

  • Market Building is going up

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    The ironworkers on this project have turned their focus towards the Market Building. It is great to see it come together. We are quite excited about what possibilities this building holds for us.

    Market Days

    As you know, the Market has relocated to MacBain Community Centre for last and this summer season. The market will finish there at the end of November. Following that, the plan is to bring the vendors back to Main & Ferry in Spring of 2022 with a new building and a new indoor/outdoor experience. The site will be a wonderful blend of market stalls inside and outside of the building. We are also planning on adding Wednesdays to the rotation of the market during peak season. For years, residents have complained that they work every Saturday. The addition of a Wednesday market should be a welcome addition to the Exchange. We hope you are as excited about that as we are.

    The Market Hall

    Besides hosting the Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays (during peak season), the Market Hall is intended to be equipped to host a wide variety of events and activities. We heard the need for a space that is a mid-sized facility (150 seats theatre style) that is affordable to host vendor shows, music, theatre, dance and so much more. Community celebrations and events that bring the people of Niagara Falls will find a home here at the Exchange, and the Market Hall will be at the heart of it. This truly community gathering place will be a public space for City and community events alike.

    Aerial images courtesy of Garritano Bros. Ltd.


  • Steel, art and videos

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    Construction update

    The steel is going up on the Studio building and the form of the building is starting to become more apparent. The weather hasn't quite been on our side, but the work went really well and there is more to come. The construction team have also completed all the underground ductwork at the Studio building. Over the coming weeks, you will see more steel go up as they shift to the Market Hall building. And servicing for the site continues, as the water line service line will be completed shortly.

    Public Art RFPQ

    We have started the two stage process to have public art created for the property. The call to artists for the first phase has closed. The adjudication panel will now take a look at the applicants and select five to proceed to the next phase.

    The qualified applicants who move on to the adjudication stage:

    Aligned Vision Group

    Bermingham Studios

    Ferruccio Sardella

    Germaine Koh Studio Ltd.

    Kyle Thornley

    LeuWebb Projects

    Lilly Otasevic

    Nate Nettleton

    Nicholas Crombach

    Opus Art Projects

    Robert Cram

    Signature Sign & Image

    Slipper Liu Studio

    Stephen Cruise

    Studio Iregular Inc.

    Ted Fullerton

    and some videos

    We captured some photos and videos today that can show off the work to date.


  • Construction Update - June 2, 2021

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    Work is moving along on the property. The exciting news in the past two weeks is the completion of the floor of the Market Hall and the movement of the steel onto the property. In the coming weeks, you will start to see the buildings move up from the ground, as a lot of the foundational work is nearing completion. There is still some work underground to do, but a lot is completed. There is still a staircase from the basement to finish and some of the underground ductwork that is underneath the ramp in the Studio building to complete.

    The team on site will be testing the water supply into the buildings in the coming weeks as well. Hopefully, the steel framing will commence in the coming weeks and the shell will start to take shape.

    It is also exciting as the RFPQ that we have out to create the Public Art on the property is closing today. Can't wait to see the great ideas coming forward for that part of this project. We will share results as we move forward on that.

    AND, we had a visit from YourTV Niagara this week. Check out the video.

    Views of the Market Hall
    The Studio building from Main Street The Studio Building next to Bickles
    Another view of the Studio Building The rest of the yard

    Photos courtesy of Garritano Bros. Ltd.


  • Construction Update - May 19, 2021

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    It is a significant milestone in the project for several reasons. We hit a point where the foundation work is pretty much complete (except for some ramps, stairs and a small entrance space). We are also looking at a substantial completion date that is approximately one year from now (okay, so maybe we are jumping it a bit, but the current projection is the end of May 2022).

    You can see from the photos provided by Garritano Bros. Ltd that work is progressing along very nicely. The concrete floor finishing for the Studio building is halfway done. The crew continues to work on weatherproofing, insulation and vapour barriers on the property. And they have completed the testing of the radiant heating system.

    In the next two weeks, they will continue with more of the concrete floors in other areas and you will see some structural steel start going up. The team has been working hard since last November, but you will really start to notice changes once the building goes vertical.

    While the steel is going up, the work on the ductwork will continue as they will also continue to backfill the foundations when appropriate. It will really start evolving over the coming few weeks/months.

    Images Courtesy of Garritano Bros. Ltd
  • RFPQ out for Public Art at the eXchange

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    We are really excited to launch our search for the public art piece to be located in the Main Street Courtyard of the eXchange.

    The official bid page and all details can be found here.

    For a summary of the project and to follow the process. Check out the Public Art Let's Talk page.


  • Flyover of the property

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    Thought we would share this quick video we took this week.

    This takes one from above the Market Hall through that space towards the Studio Building and the front cafe space.


  • Archeology at the eXchange

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    Last week the Museums hosted Doug Todd of ASI to talk about the history of the property and what was discovered. Check out the youtube video of this discussion.

  • Construction update - May 6, 2021

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    I think we come on here every two weeks and say that things are progressing in the same ways. It is hard to explain how far things really have moved forward. But when you are on the property, you get a really great sense of change. Yesterday that struck me as I saw the insulation for the market hall floor in place. It is getting real. Basement floors are going in, servicing to the building - at least the conduits - are in place.

    The final foundation work is getting into place very shortly, as the 'two buildings' will be connected very shortly. They have started moving steel onto the property for the next stage of work as the building starts to move upwards.

    As it is in many aspects of life, the foundation is so critical, so there is still a little bit more before we start seeing the building go vertical, however floors will be poured in the next couple of weeks and the radiant heat system will be put in place and tested just before that. This are moving really well and we anticipate that we can be moving into the building a year from now.

    On a similar note - the Farmers' Market is relocated to MacBain during construction and is opening on May 15th! We are really excited about that sign of summer.

    All images in this post are courtesy of the General Contractor on the project, Garritano Bros. Ltd.

    And one last reminder - the Niagara Falls Museums will host a talk tonight by Doug Todd on the archeology found on the property during construction.


  • Construction Update - April 21, 2021

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    The construction site was covered with snow like the rest of the region today. Work continues on the site as it meets the criteria to continue under current restrictions.

    If you look closely (and hopefully tomorrow on our social media we hope to have a few more pictures from the site) in the pictures, you will see that they have started to support the basement walls of the Studio building with steel braces. Next will come (hopefully) in the next two weeks the concrete floors for both the Market Hall and the basement of the Studio building. As the team has completed the foundations, they will start to backfill on the site, giving us an even better sense of what the buildings footprint will be like.
    It is slowly taking shape. We are very excited to think, in just over a year, we hopefully will be enjoying a coffee in the front courtyard on a nice, sunny and warm spring morning. It was easier to picture last week than today.

    Photo courtesy of Garritano Bros. Limited