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$25-million loan to the Niagara Parks Commission to create one-of-a-kind, made-in-Ontario attraction

The Ontario government is supporting the Niagara Region’s vital tourism sector by providing a $25-million loan to the Niagara Parks Commission to redevelop the historic Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station into a one-of-a-kind, made-in-Ontario attraction.

Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, was in Niagara Falls to announce the province’s support for the project, which will transform the 1905 heritage building into a thriving tourist attraction, offering visitors an educational experience about Ontario’s power generating history, and a unique new perspective on the Falls through a new viewing platform.

The minister was joined by Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls, Sandie Bellows, Chair of Niagara Parks Commission, Joel Noden, Chair of Niagara Falls Tourism and Rebecca Mackenzie, President and CEO of Culinary Tourism Alliance, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially welcome people back to the Niagara Region as part of Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

“This has been a very challenging time for the tourism sector, but today the Niagara Region will begin to reopen its world-class attractions and start down the road to recovery,” said Minister MacLeod. “I am proud that our government is supporting the new Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station project. It will be another terrific reason for people to come and visit one of the most attractive destinations in Ontario.”

The first phase of the redevelopment of the Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station is scheduled for completion in July 2021, just in time for Niagara Region to welcome athletes, coaches and families from across Canada for the 2021 Canada Summer Games next August. The Ontario government loan will be repaid over 10 years, with the first payment expected in January 2024 after the attraction is fully operational and generating revenue.

The government recently announced $1 million in tourism support for Niagara Region through a new $13-million funding partnership between Destination Ontario and Destination Canada. This funding will help to deliver locally driven marketing programs to bolster the local tourism economy. As part of this partnership, the Culinary Tourism Alliance – a not-for-profit food tourism development organization – will receive $100,000.

“As our government moves forward with the safe and gradual reopening of the province, we are encouraging people to travel safely and rediscover the spectacular tourist attractions that Ontario has to offer,” said Minister MacLeod.

In April 2020, Ontario released sector-specific safety guidelines for the tourism and hospitality sectors to help businesses operate and reopen safely in this current environment. The guidelines include enhanced hygiene procedures, physical distancing measures and screening of both workers and guests for health issues. These guidelines can be viewed at www.ontario.ca/covidsafety.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is supporting the 2021 Canada Games by committing to a cost-shared investment of $29 million with the federal government for the construction of new sport facilities.
  • The Niagara Parks Commission is a provincial agency with a mandate to preserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of the Niagara River corridor. On June 16, the agency released further details on the phased reopening plan of its facilities.
  • Niagara attracts more than 13 million tourists every year.
  • Niagara’s $2.4 billion tourism industry contributes over 40,000 jobs to the region annually.