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!

  • Floors, walls and waterproofing

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    It is really exciting to see this project really shape up. The series of photos provided today are courtesy of Garritano Bros. LTD who is the General Contractor on the site. From the images, you can see how much work has progressed on the property. Foundations for both buildings have been set. The walls of the Market Hall have started and in the next two weeks, they will be starting on the Studio section.

    Image Courtesy of Garritano Bros. Ltd.

    Archaeologist have found more materials, but nothing major. Looks like some waste pits and maybe some burn pits in various areas, but work has continued on the property.

    Once the walls start, the contractors will start working on weeping tile around the building and doing water proofing below grade. The team is also starting to work on some of the underground duct work.

    Image Courtesy of Garritano Bros. Ltd.

  • Building a foundation

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    We are so excited to see work move quickly on the site to transform the neighbourhood and bring vibrancy back to Main & Ferry. The site has been busy over the last couple of days. If you live in the area, you have probably heard and felt it. The construction team has been making some noise and the work to remove any below grade obstructions certainly remind us as well. This will continue for a little while longer as they continue the foundation work and the compaction of the earth. This should be the worst of it, and once this foundation work is complete, the impact on our neighbours should be minimized. The Garritano team is also installing the underground utilities required for the property over the next couple of weeks.

    We have launched splash page for the new site. You might want to bookmark it and check in to see it evolve. We have added the webcam to that page as well so you can check out progress.

    Last week we also took another interesting step in the Public Art on the property. Once complete, their will be four original works on the property. One larger permanent piece and three temporary pieces that will change on a (somewhat) regular basis (like annually/biannually). The step we took was to have a stakeholder group of local residents, business owners and representatives from the BIA discuss the character and vibe of the neighbourhood. This was a great meeting and they provided a great set of values and opinions on what artists could consider when they work on their proposals for the site. We will let you know when we put the call out for art in the near future.

  • Construction update - January 27, 2021

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    The work on the property continues with the foundation work for the property. The east building is moving along well, with foundations poured (and covered from the snow - see below). Work will move over the market hall portion of the project next with more footings and piers established for the foundation. We also start moving some of the early plumbing onto the site.


    Photo Courtesy of Garritano Bros. Ltd.


    We also completed installing our info panel on the Main Street portion of the hoarding. We are really excited to announce our plans for the site to all that use the Main Street bus transfer area and who are walking and driving by the site. Be sure to follow us on Social Media.


  • Uncovering the past

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    Yesterday on the site, the construction team uncovered some of the past use of the property. Some analysis still is to be done and we are working with Archeological Services Inc. and the Mississauga's of the Credit First Nation to monitor the site and record what we found. When I came onto the site, ASI had already been and retrieved some bottles and other materials from the property. And from the attached photos, you can see that what is maybe a cistern and an adjacent well were uncovered in the work to create the foundation for the eXchange. You will also see in the photos, some early wooden boards that were covering the well portion (I neglected to get a picture of the well - but needless to say it was just a deep pit).

    Most of this is most likely (and could be proven wrong) during the period that Kick's Hotel occupied the property. Main Street was an important section of the portage route that went around Niagara Falls following the American Revolution up to at least the construction of the first Welland Canal.


  • New Year and a new hole

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    Construction on the site has continued despite the provincial lockdown. Work on municipal projects are deemed as necessary during current regulations so our team will continue to work on this exciting project and will ensure that all safety at the site is followed closely.

    If you check out the webcam you can see that it is really starting to look like a construction site. The Garratano team is busy setting up the foundation work for the site and over the next two weeks will be ensuring that all older foundations (from the old theatre) are removed and that new foundation work is started, with supplies coming in and forms set.

    They will be constructing a ramp to get to the bottom of the foundation to assist with that work in the next week or so.

    While digging on this long used property, they came across what appears to be an old firepit/fireplace and we have ASI on site to conduct the archeological review of the construction and we also have contracted the Mississauga's of the Credit First Nation to also supervise the site to ensure that all early human history is properly recorded and cared for.

  • Construction continues during lockdown

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    With the province going into full lock down as of December 26th, the construction of the Exchange will continue.

    The photo makes it look like a mud pit with not much going on, but the team has been focusing on what is underneath the ground near Main Street and ensuring that the adjacent properties are safe during the project.

    This past week, the construction team added shoring to the foundations of the property and over the coming weeks, continue to move on this project. The team is looking at working on the West wing of the building and start setting the foundations for the property and start getting utility conduits onto the site.
    Work will continue as the province is allowing construction projects to move forward and the team onsite is committed to a safe workplace for the staff and subtrades on site.

  • Art added to the site already

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    In 2019 we put a call out for artists to create art to put up on the Cultural Hub project (now formally known as The Exchange) that we anticipated to be starting in 2020. With the arrival of the hoarding around the site. It was great to finally get up these fun works of art onto the property and announce the future use of the site.

    The works are 8 feet x 8 feet on Alupanel. The call out asked that the work convey visuals or representations pertaining to the upcoming facility uses: ie woodworking, farmers' market, spoken word, theatrical performances, dance, music, lectures or art / artists.

    We think these are fabulous works to put up and celebrate what is coming. The artist's are all Niagara based artists.

    They are: Danny Custodio, Daniel Figueroa , Dougy Hayz and Wendy Palermo

    Next time you are near Main & Ferry, swing by and check them out.


  • The Niagara Falls Exchange Groundbreaking

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    After several years of study and planning, the City of Niagara Falls is very excited to announce construction has commenced on the Niagara Falls Exchange!

    Check out our groundbreaking video to announce the start of this exciting project.

  • Construction Update - December 2, 2020

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    Work has definitely started on the site. Those in the neighbourhood couldn't miss the demolition work as the market building and its' foundations were removed from the site.

    The site has been in service for over 50 years as a market and this marks the start of great things coming back to Main & Ferry.

    As of today, the entire property has been cleared of the old building. The construction team will be starting with foundation and shoring work over the next two weeks and you will see more activity as supplies start arriving on the property.

    We also anticipate getting some artwork up around the perimeter and signage about the project in the coming days.

    And just a quick reminder that you can peek in on the project here with our on street video camera

  • The Exchange - construction update - November 18, 2020

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    The project is moving forward, slowly, as the construction team starts to prepare the site and ensure that all utilities in the area are abandoned. Obviously, much care is needed to ensure that the site is safe and that area residents have continued services.

    The most obviously changes recently has been the erection of the hoarding around the site. The hoarding is necessary to ensure that the site is safe and secure. Care was taken to ensure that the hoarding did not prevent anyone from accessing their properties from one of the adjacent streets.

    Lastly, the construction team has added their trailer to the site and this will be headquarters for the construction team moving forward.

    If the team can determine that all utilities are removed, the old market building will come down shortly - hopefully within the next two weeks.

    If you have questions, please contact Clark Bernat at [email protected] or 905-356-7521 x5906