Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Projects

Canalside
Millions of dollars in both public and private investment have transformed Buffalo’s Inner Harbor into what is now known as Canalside- a mixed-use urban entertainment destination. Open to the public since May 2008, Canalside features several fully restored facets of the original Erie Canal Harbor, including the Commercial Slip, Boardwalk, and the Historic Replica Canals. A year round attraction that hosts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually, Canalside boasts thousands of events, concerts, festivals, family activities, attractions, historical & cultural programming, art, food, and tours that capitalize on and showcase the diverse resources of the Western New York region. In addition, the Historic Replica Canals are frozen in the winter months to become New York State’s largest outdoor ice skating rink!

2013 Canalside Modified General Project Plan and Related Documents

Outer Harbor
In 2014, ECHDC acquired approximately 350 acres of property owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority located on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. As per the Governor’s direction, the boat harbor and beach have become Buffalo Harbor State Park and the remaining vacant land is being activated by ECHDC. Currently, ECHDC works with the Outer Harbor Management Group (a subsidiary of Be Out Guest, Ltd.) to manage activation, events, and programming on the ECHDC owned Outer Harbor land, including Wilkeson Pointe. In addition, ECHDC is leading several improvements along the Outer Harbor. The project is being paid for through the Buffalo Billion and Buffalo Billion Phase 2  and consists of the remediation and improvement of several derelict parcels, including the Michigan Pier, and way finding signage. Improvements will focus on public access, amenities, and a bicycle park.

General Project Plan and Related Documents

Queen City Bike Ferry & Landing
The Queen City Bike Ferry connects pedestrians and bicyclists from Canalside to the Outer Harbor and back daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day for $1 per person each way. In 2015, its first year of operation, the Ferry exceeded expectations as it welcomed over 50,000 riders. During the offseason, ECHDC invested $825,000 into a revamped Ferry landing at the Outer Harbor which was designed to improve the pedestrian-bicycle trail system along the waterfront, providing a direct link to the water’s edge, rest area for riders and enhanced experience. The new landing replaced a group of existing boat docks and installed amenities to permit the expanded Queen City Bike Ferry service. Also, a paved pedestrian pathway was created, which extends from the water’s edge through a landscaped waiting area, and terminates at Fuhrmann Boulevard. Additional site amenities and aesthetic features include signage, benches, planters, & accessory structures. The Bike Ferry is operated privately, however ECHDC pays all operations costs while putting all revenue back into the operation.