Niagara Falls Exchange (NFX) - Cultural Hub & Market

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
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 - November 2, 2022

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The project is really shaping up. As you can see from the following photos.

    The Market Hall is starting to get some finishing touches. With the lights, blinds, walls, fixtures and much more coming into place lately.

    The landscaping on the Main Street side is coming into shape. The concrete has been poured, the pavers have been put in place out in Historic Drummondville Square. The Sylvia Place side is starting to come into shape, with prep work for the concrete has started and the foundation work set in place.

    With regards to art - check out the Mural by Dillon Douglas that has been applied (okay - 3/4 done) to the Market building.

    Market Hall interior
    Historic Drummondville Square
    Dillon Douglas Mural "Birth of Tomorrow"


    Pictures courtesy of Garritano Brothers Limited
  • The Studios

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    One of the cornerstones of this facility was the development of Artist Studios to provide affordable space for creatives to come together.

    As we keep on getting closer to our opening, we will be rolling out more information about the rental possibilities of this space. If you haven't already. You should check out on our newly launched website.

    The website has details on costs and the application process. We will also be hosting an info session shortly, so please follow Niagara Falls Culture social media for details.

    Here are a few pictures of the studios taken today.

    West studios
    West studios
    Connecting hallway. This will have clean up stations and tables for tenants to utilize.
    East Studios

    The studios will offer competitive rates for artists and makers to create visual arts. It will be high-quality space conducive to artists' needs in terms of ceiling heights, lighting, ventilation, freight elevator, finishing areas, some tools, fume hood, washing station and disposal area.

    Artists will have 24 hour/7 days a week access to these spaces to provide the flexibility that is required. All spaces will have power accessible to the artists and wifi set up on the site


    East studios
  • Great new video showing process

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The City recently created this great little video showing Signature Signs installing the X on the Main Street side of the project. Thought you might want to have a look as it also shows how far along the project is.

    We are starting to talk about moving in and hosting events on site. We have also met with some great community organizers who are starting to look at this as their new home. When they confirm, we will let you know.

    Plus, you might want to check out our new virtual home

    We also have our good friend Dougie Hayz creating some short videos to get you all excited.


    And while we are sharing videos. We just completed our annual Night of Art and is a great example of what great things are to come. Here is the video of that night as well.


  • Main Street Digital Art Announced

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    A jury from the cultural community of Niagara Falls has decided upon the proposed work, “The Birth of The Artist“ by Dillon Douglas as the selection for the City of Niagara Falls Main Street Digital Art Mural.

    The winning proposal was selected from 30 submissions. The selection was based on the response to the competition’s goal and themes, appropriateness and artistic excellence. It will be 32m wide x 3.4m high and installed on the exterior of the upcoming Exchange Market Hall building. Public art helps strengthen the city’s visual identity, stimulates the economy, and enhances tourism and community pride.

    We wanted to create something supremely vibrant, modern and complex. We didn't want to create just a mural. We wanted to create a manifesto—one of inclusivity, artistic dynamism and freedom. Things that the Niagara Falls Exchange will embody. The mural is about metamorphosis: the artist changes, mutates, evolves--putting themselves on the line, leaping off a ramp into the sky, like the daredevil. It's a story about struggle, possibility and evolution. Near the end of the mural, we also wanted to include a music machine and a tractor to acknowledge the multi-functional nature of the Exchange as a cultural hub and farmer's market--that it's truly a place of community and inclusivity. The two hands that frame the piece hold us together, hold the mural together, hold the community together. We are all part of this story, regardless of our particular identity.” Dillon Douglas


    The work will be installed at the Exchange after completion of the construction on the property. Currently, the Exchange is on target for Opening early in 2023

    Dillon Douglas is a self-taught visual artist from Canada working in a variety of different mediums (oil, acrylic, pastel, spray paint and digital). He has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Theory and Criticism. In 2022, he was the recipient of the Allister Young Arts & Culture Endowment Fund. He is an iridescent member of the Niagara art community and seeks to make the area a cultural force to be reckoned with.


  • Construction Update - August 25, 2022

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The project continues to move along this summer. The Construction team is moving quickly on exterior and interior work. The hardscaping on the building is starting to happen, as the form work has started on the Main Street side of the building and some grading has started on the East side of the building (Sylvia Place side).

    In the coming weeks we also will have some of the signage go up - watch our social media for that. As well, with have drywall going up in the Market Building and Studio building and it it starting to come into shape.

    We are looking at early 2023 to show off everything to the public.

    Main Street Courtyard being prepared View of the Market Hall from Sylvia Place.
    Walls in the Market Hall going in Studios area being prepared with insulation
  • Wilma Morrison Mural Unveiled

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    A jury from the cultural community of Niagara Falls has decided upon the proposed work, “Progress” by Jacob Headley as the selection for the City of Niagara Falls Wilma Morrison Digital Art.

    The winning proposal was selected from 15 submissions. The selection was based on the response to the competition’s goal and themes, appropriateness and artistic excellence. It will be 4m wide x 3.4m high and installed on the exterior of the upcoming Exchange Studio building, in the Wilma Morrison Courtyard. Public art helps strengthen the city’s visual identity, stimulates the economy, and enhances tourism and community pride.

    “I have chosen to portray Wilma’s portrait as the main focal point of the rendering as this is ultimately a tribute to her and her amazing life and family. When learning about Wilma, she was clearly someone who was deeply loved and respected by those around her. Wilma was, among many things: a mentor, a teacher, a historian. It became very apparent she had a deep passion for the preservation of black history within the Niagara region. This piece is a portrayal of not only Wilma herself but also the history, of which, she was so passionate to help preserve. Wilma was of the opinion that if we do not know where we come from, it will be hard to know where we are going.” Jacob Headley


  • Construction Update - July 27, 2022

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    As you can see from the photos below. The construction project hit another milestone.

    The construction team started to started on the hardscaping work on the Main Street side of the building. This is the Main Street Square where the Nicholas Crombach "Flock" structure will go, be the entrance to the Studios, Cafe and so much more.

    This work will then swing over to the east side of the building and start forming the Sylvia Place side of the building where the parking and outdoor market space will be. We can't wait to see how this becomes the next transformation of the space and provide us great visuals on how it will a vibrant part of the facility.

  • Looking for creative types to also feed us!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The RFP from the City of Niagara Falls has been released. We are looking for someone with a passion for food & drink and a passion to be part of the creative community. If that is you, have a look at the request we have for a cafe operator to be a part of the team.

    All the details are here!

    Images are estimates, not exact renderings.


  • Public Art @ the Exchange announced

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    A jury from the Niagara Falls Public Art Advisory Task Force has selected the proposed work “Flock,” by Nicholas Crombach, as the winner of the City of Niagara Falls Public Art Competition.

    The winning proposal was selected from 16 submissions and five shortlisted designs. The selection was based on the response to the competition’s goal and themes, appropriateness for the site, artistic excellence and technical feasibility, and over 350 comments from the public.

    The proposed design is described by the artist, “Flock commemorates the inherent beauty found in spaces and events which bring people together, while at the same time reflecting the natural environment and reminding viewers of our collective duty to protect it. As such, it reflects Niagara Falls itself as a destination which enables vibrant intermingling of cultures and communities, in combination with stunning natural wonders and critical ecosystems.”

    About Nicholas Crombach, and the proposed work "Flock"

    • Nicholas Crombach is an award-winning visual artist based in Toronto, Canada, who majored in Sculpture & Installation, at OCAD University, Toronto.
    • “Flock” consists of a cast aluminum sculpture depicting three migratory songbirds frozen in flight. Rendered at a larger than life scale, and positioned to create a roughly pyramidal shape, these unique yet unified birds represent three of the many diverse bird species who migrate to and from the Niagara Region each year.
    • The artwork will be integrated into the existing landscape design.
    • The work will be installed at the Exchange after completion of the construction on the property. Currently, the Exchange is on target for completion in November 2022.
    • The all-inclusive budget of $90,000 will include all costs directly associated with the artwork.

    Public art helps strengthen the city’s visual identity, stimulates the economy, and enhances tourism and community pride.

    Comments from our Public Art Let's Talk postings on the proposals, include the following about "Flock":

    • I find this piece to be imaginative and engaging. This boldly sculpted trio of birds in varying poses has a wonderful fluidity and great movement. It engages the viewer from every angle. I love the concept of the migratory birds to the area reflecting the the countless human visitors to the area.
    • Absolutely beautiful. I love the elegance and flow and the link to nature. Depicting migratory birds of the Niagara region in a public installation is not only original but also provides a teaching opportunity and helps to promote an appreciation of the Niagara region's international recognition as a "Globally Significant Important Bird Area".
    • These are not just “cute” birds. They are muscular and strong. The eye takes you all around it. It is not gimmicky. It is a great sculpture.
    • The gracefulness of all the curves offsets the angles surrounding it and reminds us that nature and green space are important.
    • It is “dynamic”. It has “movement”. The lines are gentle on the eyes. The negative and positive shapes are of interest to the eye.
    • Beautiful, I love the idea of a piece such as this in our new space, this design is engaging I feel one will feel compelled to take it in its entirety. I love the movement this piece depicts.

    When assessing "Flock" the adjudication committee also added: :

    • Impressive scale that works well for the site
    • The maquette showcased the talent and skill of the artist and it would be an ideal work within the location
    • The use of three different indigenous birds provide some insight into the natural world but also the use of the space where people 'flock' to the market and all other things that will happen in this new complex
    • Very pleasant and endearing
    • Elegant




  • Construction Update - June 15, 2022

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Okay, so it has been a while. Our last report talked about the Public Art commission on the Main Street side of the building. That will be announced, very, very shortly - keep an eye out for that announcement.

    The construction continues. Thought I would keep this update brief. But from previous posts, you can see that insulation has started to go onto the buildings. As well, the skylights have been installed on most of the buildings as well.

    These wonderful north facing skylight will provide great natural light in both buildings. The Market Hall skylights are equipped with blinds, for those uses of the space that require a darker environment during daylight hours.

    View of Studio Building from Main Street View of Market Hall from Sylvia Place
    View of the Market Hall from the north Market Hall
    View of the Wilma Morrison Courtyard Birds eye view of the construction site
    Photos Courtesy of Garritano Bros. Limited


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