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

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

  • 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

  • Construction update & upcoming lecture - April 8, 2021

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    It seems like every two weeks we let you know that more walls are going up and foundation work. Well, still kinda what is happening. However, you can see from the photos provided, there is a bit more going on. The shape of the building is really coming into view. One can see the ductwork being set in the walls and floor of the Market Hall. You can see the basement floor being set in the Studio building and you can see all the work going into making this great building.




    Bottom two images are courtesy of Garritano Bros. Ltd.


    Also - check out the programming by the Museum staff

    History & Archeology @ the eXchange
    May 6th @ 7pm

    The City of Niagara Falls is adding a new addition to the landscape on Main Street. Located along original portage route, the property once housed a hotel and a theatre. Evidence of both have been uncovered during the construction of this new facility. Join us as we have a discussion with Doug Todd of Archeological Services Inc. as we unearth the history of the new eXchange property and material that was found there.

    Click on the link to Register: https://niagarafalls.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DjFEDBTqRpmW84hX0pMPVw

  • Construction Update - March 24, 2021

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    The weather has been spectacular for this construction project.

    The work has been progressing very steadily over the past couple of weeks. We are quite literally laying the foundation for the project. Every day you can see that they have moved a little bit further with the project. It isn't huge leaps and bounds, but steady progress. From the photos I am sharing today. You can see that they are finishing off the foundational walls to the South building. They are also continuing to add waterproofing to the foundation. They have also started to lay the ductwork for the heating of the Market building.
    Over the coming few weeks, they will continue to work around the site foundations, will continue waterproofing and weeping tiles. They will start to add underground plumbing into the South building and they will start to back fill into the foundations. It is slow and steady work, but if you look at it over time, you can see how the project is moving.

    Take a look at the photos taken day by the Garritano team.

    Images Courtesy Garritano Bros. Ltd


  • New video and foundational work continues

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    There is a great new time lapsed video to show the work to date put together by the Communications team at the City of Niagara Falls.


    The Construction team continues to make great progress on the side. Most of foundation work is complete. When you see the photos, you see the Market Building complete. There is still some work on the Studio building (building closest to Main Street) to be done. But from the photos, you can see the large basement is nearly closed in. With this great weather, they will continue to move forward with the walls. They are adding waterproofing, weeping tile and some of the exterior plumbing.

    It continues to move forward and start to be a new reality. Unfortunately it won't be ready for the 2021 Market season (was never supposed to be) but as we get closer to great local produce, we can start imaging the possibilities on this property.



    Photos courtesy Garritano Bros. Ltd.


  • 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.

Page last updated: 02 Nov 2022, 04:02 PM