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Old December 11th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #21
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These are good times for downtown St. Catharines and downtown Niagara Falls. This is a huge project for St. Catharines and I'm looking forward to seeing new life downtown. I'd love to see some condos go up, a new sports facility, and an outdoor ice skating rink at Montebello park.

As for Niagara Falls, the grassroots stuff has been the best way to go. From the small galleries and cafes to the new live theatres created, only bigger and better things are around the corner. Kudos to the people who have invested so much time and money!
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Old March 31st, 2009, 12:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
Another condo planned for Port


Another condominium development is being proposed for Port Dalhousie's heritage district.

Developer Norman Rockwell presented his plans for a 50-unit waterfront condo building to members of the Port Dalhousie Legion on Sunday, with the promise that the legion will always have a home on site.

"I have been working with the legion for over a year now to come up with a plan to keep them in their building," Rockwell said in an interview on Tuesday. "I have presented a plan to build a new facility for them."

But Rockwell's "extremely preliminary" plans for The Landings at The Legion also include 50 condo units to be marketed to veterans and seniors, to be built above the new legion building.

The condo units are small ones and the total height of the building will be six or seven storeys -- "in the area" of the 21-metre height of the nearby Lincoln Fabrics building, Rockwell said. His project won't be "anywhere near the height" of the controversial 17-storey Port Place development that was the subject of a recent Ontario Municipal Board hearing and is awaiting a decision.

"Height will be a minor issue," Rockwell promised, saying he didn't expect his plans to cause a problem for either the Port Dalhousie Heritage District Advisory Committee or citizens' group PROUD (Port Realizing Our Unique Distinction). "This would be in their genre of appropriate development," he said.

But PROUD spokesman Carlos Garcia said anything taller than the 11 metres permitted by Port's heritage guidelines is too tall.

"We support development that is consistent with the heritage guidelines," Garcia said.

"The violation of the heritage guidelines and the zoning bylaw would be a major concern," Garcia said.

He said PROUD had warned the Port Place proposal would set a dangerous precedent.

"We always said Port will be a forest of towers and citizens will lose their heritage and their precious beach," he said. "If one tower goes, we will have many towers. That's what we always said."

Garcia said PROUD would also be opposed to demolition of the legion's existing heritage building.

According to Port Dalhousie's Heritage Resource Inventory, published by the City of St. Catharines in 1998, the original L-shaped building that is now obscured by additions and renovations was built in 1870.

It was originally a lock maintenance facility, and was later used to store rowing sculls for the Henley Rowing Club.

"We would certainly forcefully oppose demolition," Garcia said, "although many of our members are legion members and they would want appropriate development if it fits."

Branch 350 president Bill Mutch wouldn't comment on Rockwell's proposal or even confirm there was a proposal, saying he is bound by the legion's confidentiality rules. The branch's building is actually owned by the Royal Canadian Legion's Dominion Command and any development proposal would have to be approved by provincial and national legion officials, Mutch said.

Such a request would first require a notice of motion being mailed to all branch members at least 10 days in advance of any meeting being held at which a decision could be made, Mutch said.

The branch has about 650 members, but only 35 are needed for quorum, and a decision would require a two-thirds majority.

Mutch said the Port Dalhousie Legion's problems with its building foundation are "common knowledge" but the legion itself is on stable financial footing.

He said members (which include veterans, their family members and anyone who wants to be an affiliate member) pay $50 a year for membership, although nearly half of that is forwarded to provincial and national bodies. The bulk of the local branch's revenue is from hall rentals, its Friday fish fries, and sales of food and drink in the canteen, he said.

Rockwell, who is a legion member, said he was approached by "a number of members some time ago," and understands there were other developers who also submitted proposals.

St. Catharines' heritage planner Kevin Blozowski said the legion is in the heritage district, and the current zoning on the property permits only the legion building. Any other development would require rezoning and an Official Plan amendment, Blozowski said.

Rockwell said the remnant of the original legion building is barely visible, while his proposal is meant to preserve the heritage of Canada's veterans and their significant contributions to the county.

"The whole purpose is remembrance of veterans. The lives that have been lost, the service they have given," Rockwell said.

"This is to keep their service and their spirit alive, the remembrance of what they have done. This is more important than the remains of a building."
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=1439892
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Old June 25th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #23
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I found this on the St. Catharines' city website, detailing their visions for Downtown:

Downtown Master Plan

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Old July 15th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Heritage under attack across Ontario: foundation


Every heritage district in Ontario is at risk because of the Port Dalhousie tower, the Heritage Canada Foundation says.

February’s Ontario Municipal Board decision to approve the 17-storey condo, hotel, theatre and shopping complex in the heart of Port’s commercial core threatens more than 90 other heritage districts across the province, the Ottawa-based non-profit organization says.

Heritage Canada has been compiling an annual “Top Ten” list of endangered places for about five years, Carolyn Quinn, the foundation’s director of communications, said.

This year’s list includes nine specific sites across the country, and concludes with the entire province of Ontario.

The commentary that accompanies the list says the provincial Ministry of Culture “has made a mockery” of its pledge to respect communities’ heritage objectives.

Part of the problem was the ministry’s “conspicuous” absence from the high-profile OMB case, the report said.

As a result, the tower was approved and “sets a dangerous precedent for heritage districts across the country: if a 20-storey tower is appropriate in a district of mostly one to three-storey structures, why bother to designate a Heritage Conservation District at all?”

Quinn said the list is meant as an “awareness tool” to be used by local heritage advocates.

“We are hoping we are providing them with a tool that they can use as an advocacy tool to strengthen their message,” Quinn said.

She said the Port Dalhousie precedent made this year’s endangered list because it started out as a good news story in 2003 when the heritage district was officially created, but it quickly turned bad.

“Barely a year had gone by and development pressures were threatening the integrity of the village,” she said.

Citizen’s group spokesman Carlos Garcia said he hopes Queen’s Park politicians pay attention to the list.

“Let’s hope our provincial representatives are listening to the province-wide and country-wide concerns,” he wrote in a message to PROUD (Port Realizing Our Unique Distinction) supporters.

The provincial government “can overrule the OMB if it wants to,” Garcia said. Even if it’s too late to save Port Dalhousie, “other heritage districts are vulnerable because of (hearing chair Susan) Campbell’s decision,” he said. “We need the heritage minister (Aileen Carroll) to take notice that the OMB is not paying attention to the heritage act.

“We still totally disagree with the decision but our longer term concern is the rest of the province and the rest of Port Dalhousie. When the next tower is proposed we’ll have another tower that the OMB says doesn’t violate the guidelines.”

But Dan Raseta, a partner in Port Dalhousie Vitalization Corp., the company that is behind the Port Place proposal, rejected the idea his development is a threat.

“The OMB found the development was consistent with the heritage guidelines for the district,” he said. The ruling “should in no way be seen as a threat generally to heritage conservation districts.”

St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley said he’s not surprised Heritage Canada is worried about the OMB decision.

“I think the concerns that Heritage Canada expresses are to be expected, that is a role they play,” Bradley said.

“They are to be commended. Being watchdogs, it’s very understandable they would be expressing concerns about the decision by the OMB.”

Bradley would not say if he had an opinion about the decision, and said his role is to relay his constituents’ concerns to his cabinet colleagues, the ministers of heritage and of municipal affairs.

“Whenever I have information of this kind, I communicate to them to let them know what people in our community are saying. I always communicate to them any concerns expressed by consituents on these issues, or by city council.”
Quote:
Heritage Canada’s Top Ten Endangered Places List


1. The David Dunlap Observatory and Park, Richmond Hill, Ont.

2. Pantages Theatre, Vancouver, B.C.

3. Bellevue House, Amherstburg, Ont.

4. Franciscan Sisters Missionary Chapel, Quebec City, Que.

5. Moncton High School, Moncton, N.B.

6. Dominion Exhibition Display Building, Brandon, Man.

7. Grenville Canal, Quebec.

8. St. Mary’s Community School, Saskatoon, Sask.

9. Crowsnest Pass Mining Complexes and Coleman’s Historic District, Alberta.

10. Heritage Conservation Districts in Ontario
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=1647556
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Old September 12th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #25
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Brock University set to begin work on research centre

From the Daily Commercial News...

http://www.dcnonl.com/article/id35234

September 9, 2009

Brock University set to begin work on research centre

PATRICIA WILLIAMS

staff writer

Brock University is poised to break ground this month on the $109 million Niagara Health and Bioscience Research Complex, a facility intended to play a key role in advancing Canada’s science and technology infrastructure.

Being funded by three levels of government, the complex will create a space for leading researchers in advanced human health, bioscience and biotechnology and entrepreneurs to work collaboratively to bring innovations to market.

“The Niagara Health and Bioscience Research Complex will strengthen Brock’s capacity to partner with our surrounding communities to revitalize Niagara’s economy,” said university president Jack Lightstone.

“This facility will forge new economic partnerships between research and industry that will foster a new economic cluster in advanced health studies and bio-manufacturing in Niagara.”

Designed by architectsAlliance, the 142,000-square-foot facility will be located at Brock’s St. Catharines campus. The project is being undertaken by a team that includes construction manager EllisDon, electrical and mechanical consultants Crossey Engineering Ltd. and structural and LEED consultants Halsall Associates.

Project managers are MHPM Project Managers Inc. LEED certification will be sought.

The first phase of the project is to be completed by March 31, 2011.

The complex will house a variety of specialized laboratories, research facilities and office space.

It will be home to almost 400 students, visiting and current faculty, scientists and researchers — including six Canada Research Chairs and an industry-led business incubator.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #26
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Royal Henley Retirement Residence, on Ontario Street, in mid-September:

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Old November 19th, 2009, 10:39 PM   #27
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Sounds interesting...

http://www.dailycommercialnews.com/c...region=ontario
CONDO BUILDING, HOTEL, THEATRE, RETAIL Proj: 1311077-15
St Catharines, Niagara Reg ON PREPARING PLANS
Port Dalhousie Port Place, bounded by Lakeport Rd, Lock St and Lakeside Park, L2N
$65,000,000 est
Start: April, 2010
Note: Owner is seeking final Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) approvals. Approvals are expected to be in place early 2010. Working drawings are underway and will be completed sequentially through 2010. Owner has reviewed construction phasing for the project, and anticipates construction of the entire site will begin Spring/Summer, 2010. It is undetermined if the Owner will issue tender for General Contractors or will build the project themselves and issue tenders for Sub trades. Tender and construction schedules will be finalized early 2010. Arch expects demolition of existing buildings, excavation and site work January, 2010. Further update January, 2010.
BA Consulting Group Ltd is the traffic Consultant for the project. Larden Muniak is the Code Consultant for the project. Jain & Assoc Ltd is the LEED Consultant for the project. Architects are working in joint-venture.
Project: proposed redevelopment of the harbourfront to include construction of an 80 unit, 100,000 sq ft, 17 storey condominium building, a 70 suite, 60, 000 sq ft boutique hotel, a 415 seat theatre, 35,000 sq ft of restaurant and retail space with a culinary centre, commercial office space and an underground parking garage. The project will also include redevelopment of the existing marina and construction of a public square.
Scope: 240,000 square feet; 17 storeys; 6 structures; 130 units; 2 hectares
Development: New
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Old November 30th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #28
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AQUATIC CENTRE

http://www.dailycommercialnews.com/c...region=ontario

St Catharines, Niagara Reg ON TENDERS DUE
Municipal Aquatic Centre, intersection of Carlton St & Niagara St, Lester B Pearson Pk, L2R Thu Dec 17, 2009 14:00
P08-163 $19,510,000 est
Start: May, 2010 Complete: May, 2011
Note: PREQUALIFICATIONS will be received by Owner. Documents may be obtained from Owner.
Pre-Qualification of General, Mechanical and Electrical Contractors. More info can be obtained at owner's website: http://www.stcatharines.ca/forbusine...ortunities.asp For inq contact Barbara Cornelius at 905 688-5601 ext 1451, fax: 905 688-0821, email: [email protected]
Project: structural steel frame, wood structural frame, fuel fired heating system, Construction of the Municipal Aquatic Centre. The proposed facility will have a floor area of approx 4,822 m2. It will be comprisedof an aquatic centre, changerooms, program rooms and a library.
Scope: 51,900 square feet; 1 storey
Development: New
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 07:37 PM   #29
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It looks like the condo tower in Port Dalhousie is still moving forward.

Quote:
Hogan's Alley sold


The Port Place development cleared its final hurdle with St. Catharines city council Monday night, and construction could begin some time next year, said Dan Raseta, a partner in Port Dalhousie Vitalization Corp.

At Monday night's council meeting, city councillors passed a bylaw formally agreeing to close Hogan's Alley so its sale to PDVC can be finalized and the laneway can be incorporated into the controversial development.

But if Port Place fails and the project doesn't proceed, Hogan's Alley will revert to public ownership, city solicitor Annette Poulin said.

Several people spoke against the closure.

"I am speaking on behalf of the thousands of people who know what a devastating tragedy the erection of this monster would be," said Victoria Britton, who founded the group "Stop the Port Dalhousie Tower the Fight Isn't Over" in March, shortly after the Ontario Municipal Board approved the development. "You have the ability to keep this public laneway open for this city."

Added historian Nancy Cameron: "I am opposed to the sale of Hogan's Alley because of its great historical significance within an overwhelmingly historical area of our city." Hogan's Alley was where supplies would be delivered to and from the ships, where horses were stabled, "and where prostitutes trolled," she said.

"It was part of the colour of our canal village."

And Port Dalhousie resident George Darte asked why the city didn't follow an open bidding process when it sold the land.

City administrator Colin Briggs said competing bidders could have made offers on the land when the city declared it surplus Nov. 2, but the parcel is too small to be developed in isolation, and PDVC, as the adjacent property owner, was the logical buyer.

Neither Mayor Brian McMullan or Raseta would say how much PDVC is paying for the property or when the deal will close, saying the details are considered confidential until the transaction is completed.

Several other people spoke in favour of the closure, including Vanessa Groeneveld, who was formerly a spokeswoman for PDVC but is now a co-ordinator for the Port Dalhousie Business Association.

"We support the inclusion of Hogan's Alley into Port Place," Groeneveld said. "Hogan's Alley is currently an eyesore, and a challenging path to the beach and park and pier," she said, adding the development will be good for business.

"Our businesses look forward to being given the opportunity to successfully operate all year around," she said.

The developer's preferred plan for the project will see Hogan's Alley replaced by a central plaza, to be known as Hogan's Court. Public access to the court, to the stairway and to the elevator to the beach is guaranteed at all times, Poulin said.

After the decision, PDVC lawyer Ian Andres said PDVC needs to finalize a site-plan agreement, a parking agreement and the heritage easement agreement with the city. They should be approved by city staff in a few weeks, and PDVC will then apply to the OMB for a "final order," he said. Once the final order has been handed down, PDVC will apply for a building permit, which could be approved sometime next summer.

Port Dalhousie Coun. Bruce Williamson voted against the closure.
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2200610
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Old December 16th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #30
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This article gives some information on a performing arts center being built at the Canada Hair Cloth factory at the bottom of the hill in Downtown.

Quote:
Arts centre online


Boosters of the new performing arts centre in St. Catharines can now join a virtual community, where they can read updates about the project, get the latest news, and lobby politicians.

A feature of the new website, Inspire Niagara, is a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses for local officials to "make easy access to councillors," said Jennifer Wallace, a member of the Niagara Centre for the Arts Task Force.

Wallace and Elizabeth Fritshaw, events and communication coordinator for the St. Catharines Downtown Association, unveiled the site to St. Catharines councillors at this week's city council meeting.

Visitors to the site can find out about the progress of the project, read background reports and sign up to receive the project's newsletter to be launched in early 2010, said Fritshaw.

By joining Inspire Niagara, "you can be part of the inspiration," Fritshaw said.

The site design was donated by Alex Sampson, Fritshaw said, and the content is being written and managed by volunteers.

The site is meant to answer questions people might have about the project and to allow them to show their support, Fritshaw said.

The arts centre is part of a $101-million project that includes Brock University's new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts to be built in downtown St. Catharines.

The school will be located in the former Canada Hair Cloth building in the low level parking lot, while the centre for the arts will be located on St. Paul Street at the corner of Carlisle, with connecting links between the two.

The project includes five performances spaces, classrooms, offices, rehearsal space, studios and offices.

Fritshaw said the Inspire team is a group of people eager to see the project come to fruition.

Members are from organizations and businesses who support the arts, she said, who believe the project has the ability to nourish and showcase local talent and be a cornerstone to revitalize downtown.
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2224005
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Old February 4th, 2010, 04:22 AM   #31
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Quote:
Saving Centennial Gardens


The decaying and dangerous Centennial Gardens is finally getting its due.

After nearly two decades of neglect, city councillors Monday approved in principle a four-year, $820,000 plan to revitalize the central St. Catharines park, starting with the clearing out of undergrowth and undesirable trees that block sight-lines and make the park unsafe.

Out of six major passive parks, Centennial Gardens is ranked as being most in need of care, said Paula Berketo, the city's landscape architect.

It scored 26 out of a possible 30 points for decay, unsafe conditions, proximity to major new development and its potential to be connected to the downtown core and other trails.

"It's an absolute jewel," said Berketo at Monday night's council meeting, describing the horseshoe-shaped park that follows the path of the first and second Welland Canals through the city's core, and was once home to lavish floral displays, an outdoor amphitheatre and dreams of civic glory. A totem pole, erected in honour of Canada's centennial in 1967, remains in the park, and Climate Action Now has recently established a community garden on the Oakdale Avenue side.

But budget cuts, vandalism and a lack of maintenance have allowed the park to decay, Berketo said.

"It's like a piece of jewelry that's very valuable, but it just needs a bit of work," she said, predicting that its proximity to the proposed performing arts centre means that it could once again be home to art, theatre and musical events.

Former St. Catharines councillor Bill Dickson, who has lobbied for Centennial Gardens' renewal for years, was on hand last night to see council's decision.

"It's nice to see they are finally moving on this," Dickson said.

Merritton Coun. Jeff Burch also welcomed the improvements, saying many of them would be unnecessary if the city had simply maintained the park over the years.

Some of the tree trimming will begin this year, Berketo said, but funding for the four-year project is proposed to start in 2010.

Once the city finishes the four-year plan that is Phase One of the park's renewal, it can seek grants and other funding partners to add amenities, Berketo said.

"We have to get the park in a clean and healthy state before we can proceed any further," she said.
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2368557
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:30 AM   #32
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Could St. Catharines lose the IceDogs? Could a new arena to replace Jack Gatecliff Arena be built due to future rumors?

Quote:
Chatham rumour dogs Niagara OHL team


City officials in Chatham are denying rumours they're offering the Niagara IceDogs a new arena if the junior A team's ownership tires of waiting for a new rink in St. Catharines.

"No one from the municipality of Chatham offered that," said Don Shropshire, general manager of community development and planning services for Chatham-Kent.

"It's a rumour and it's not coming from the municipality."

Chatham's current arena situation hasn't done much to dampen those rumours.

Last year, Chatham council directed its administration to investigate the possibility of building a twin-pad arena.

Shropshire said staff are working on a report and will get back to council by the end of April.
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/Art...aspx?e=2471932
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Old March 5th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #33
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Quote:
Rumour express starts early


And so it begins, but it has started a little early.

A story reported by the QMI Agency suggesting Chatham is wooing the Niagara IceDogs is only the start of a flood of similar reports that will increase in intensity as the IceDogs approach the end of their five-year lease at Jack Gatecliff Arena and there's no concrete news on a

new spectator facility for St. Catharines.

The news doesn't do the IceDogs any favours, considering the team spent its first season and a half in St. Catharines fighting the perception the city was a stopover on the road to a more lucrative destination.

"I'd rather not see it because I don't want people to think we would even consider it," IceDogs owner Bill Burke said. "Lots of communities are always talking about it, but I just want everyone to know we're happy and we're not going anywhere."

He has no idea how the Chatham interest came to be reported by the QMI Agency, although, this reporter and others in the know could make a pretty educated guess.

"I was asked about it last week" Burke said. "The rumour has been out there for awhile and I guess it has finally come to a head."

Burke said he hasn't been approached by anyone asking if the team was interested in relocating.

"No, it's all rumours. There was ongoing interest from North Bay, but that was a long time ago and I haven't spoken to anyone recently. There's rumours of Burlington, there's rumours of Brantford and I hear the Milton IceDogs, but I haven't spoken to anyone. Any time anyone gets a new rink, people assume we're going to a new rink."

Burke agreed the longer the team gets into the lease without a new facility on the horizon, the more intense the rumours will become.

"I did mention and I do know the guy from Chatham and a lot of people are following what is going on. But it's just a matter of time before we get something worked out here."

Burke has been happy with the team's attendance this season and the team is 152 tickets sold ahead of last season. Niagara has sold out 20% of its 30 home games and one-third of the games have drawn more than 3,000 fans.

"There's a nice loyal base and it's good entertainment," Burke said. "And for the most part, the guys work so hard, it has been a fun game to be at."
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2474654
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Old March 5th, 2010, 06:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Heritage designation for canal inches closer


A supporter of a long-awaited plan to have heritage status accorded for the Welland Canal says he's confident an agreement is in sight with the federal body responsible for running the water corridor.

Bruce Timms said he expects an under-standing to be reached with St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. soon despite the body's unresolved concern that a heritage designation would constrain the canal's commercial operations.

"They've softened some," Timms, the regional councillor for St. Catharines, said on Friday. "But they still want a clear understanding of their burden."

Last November, the Seaway raised an eleventh-hour objection to the plan to accord the canal national monument status, mere months before Timms was to present a case for designation to Parks Canada.

While the Seaway supports national monument status for the first three canals, the body was concerned an increase in tourism could interfere with the fourth canal's commercial activity.

Timms said he believes the Seaway will be on board this time around.

"There will most likely be an agreement," he said. "The intention of everyone is to get a deal done."

While he wasn't as confident as Timms, the Seaway's Bruce Hodgson said Friday the Seaway remains committed to reaching an understanding.

"We've always said we've wanted to be a part of the process and our stance hasn't changed," said Hodgson, director of market development for the Seaway.

Hodgson said the Seaway is amenable to a potential compromise that would see segments of the commercial canal receive a heritage designation.

But, any such agreement would require collaborating with the five municipalities neighbouring the canal corridor on a "memorandum of agreement" that would map which parts of the canal could receive heritage status.

Timms has already succeeded in gaining support for such an agreement from the city councils in St. Catharines, Welland and Port Colborne. He said he plans to make a presentation to Thorold city council Tuesday and Wainfleet town council after that.

St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan emphasized the need for national heritage status -- and the federal funding such a designation would bring.

"The Welland Canal has the potential to become as noteworthy as the Rideau Canal,"

McMullan said. "It would be a huge boon for tourism in the region."

McMullan praised the willingness of the Seaway in working with the municipalities.

"The fact that they're willing to have a discussion is a gesture of goodwill on their part," he said.

McMullan said his staff was working to schedule a meeting between city planners and the Seaway within the next few weeks to build upon a previous conversation with Hodgson on the issue of designation.

"From my discussion, I came away with the feeling that an agreement will be reached soon."

Timms said even if the Seaway and the municipalities come to an agreement, there could still be a potential obstacle in the form of a federal election.

"If we can get Parks Canada and the Seaway on side for this fall, maybe we'll beat an election," he said.
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2472853
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #35
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Quote:
Hospital on schedule one year into build


What a difference a year makes.

Last year on April 28, 2009, excavators began digging into the site of the new health-care complex in west St. Catharines.

It was a joyous occasion for supporters of the $759-million facility, which includes the Walker Family Cancer Centre.

Their elation has grown with every added floor, room and building permit over the past year.

And so far, the project is on time and on budget.

On Wednesday, officials from the Niagara Health System, project manager Plenary Health Niagara and general contractor PCL Constructors led a media tour to show off the work so far.

The entrance is impressive, with a sprawling first floor revealing a space the size of two large Walmarts.

Four floors of the Fourth Ave. building are well on their way to completion. Temporary shore poles to support fresh concrete are everywhere.

The 15 tour-goers were subjected to the racket of moving cranes, extendable concrete pumps and hammers.

"This is something we've dreamed about a long time," said NHS president and CEO Debbie Sevenpifer, after deftly avoiding low-hanging beams.

"Every time I come on site, I'm amazed at the speed in which PCL and Plenary are able to make this a reality."

The scope of the 980,000-square-foot project-- and the co-ordination required to put it together -- "is quite an orchestration," she said.

So far, it's one-fifth complete, with more than half the concrete already poured.

"I think it's starting to hit home with the community," Sevenpifer said. "Especially for those patients having to drive outside Niagara for treatment, it can't come soon enough."

The new complex will include the cancer care centre, longer-term mental health beds and cardiac catheterization centres, which will be regional services but are currently unavailable in Niagara.

"We've had a tremendously successful April," said PCL general superintendent Dean Xuereb, who led the walkaround. "And in March, we've poured 15 concrete slabs in 21 days ... exactly what we'd targeted."

On this tour, a number of standout features were highlighted.

One is a sense of the natural light that will flow through many parts of a structure that's now mostly concrete, beams, panels and crushed gravel.

Other esthetic strengths are starting to show, too.

Gloria Kain, NHS chief planning and development officer, spoke of feeling a "natural flow to the building, so people aren't overwhelmed when they come in."

Wednesday also marked the delivery of the first major mechanical equipment to service the complex.

Four massive chillers were being gingerly put into position in the basement of the mechanical room. Brought in from San Antonio, Texas, the chillers will be used to cool the fluid that will air condition the hospital's lower levels.

"This is the start of the mechanical plant," Xuereb said. "From here, it'll be months and months of piping, insulation, conditioning and starting up."

In coming months, the remaining concrete structure will take a more recognizable shape and construction will begin on the building's exterior.

There are currently about 300 workers on site -- a number that will jump to 900 at the height of building activity.

The complex is slated to be completed by Nov. 26, 2012 and a four-month transition will follow. That last stage includes installing new furniture and equipment, as well as staff training.

It opens its doors to patients in spring, 2013.
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2556334
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Old May 7th, 2010, 06:54 AM   #36
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....has anyone seen pics of the new hospital complex in West St Catharines...the new Aquatic Centre...the New Performing Arts Centre, Brock School of Fine Arts, the new thirty million dollar parking garage...the list continues..

I'd also like to see the new steet system...plus apt and condo...
The city is being shortchanged by not receiving proper recognition for these and other developments
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:50 PM   #37
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Quote:
A pool for Pearson
AQUATICS CENTRE: Complex featuring library, pool could open in fall 2011


Norman Whitehead remembers Lester B. Pearson Park before it was a park.

Over 52 years living on nearby Grantham Ave., he has watched fields and orchards grow into a popular public greenspace full of soccer fields, a playground and splash pad.

Now, Whitehead is excited to see the latest crop at the busy corner of Niagara Street and Carlton: a new city pool and library branch.

"This park has evolved wonderfully over the years," he said, after politicians broke ground Tuesday on the planned $19.6-million Kiwanis Aquatics Centre and Grantham library branch.

"It's very well-used, and that can only be enhanced by the new pool and library. I'm really looking forward to seeing it."

The digging was only ceremonial Tuesday, with provincial and city politicians teaming up with library and Kiwanis Club officials to throw a little dirt around on the site of the planned 50,000-square-foot centre.

The complex will feature an eight-lane competitive pool, a recreational swimming area and a 7,000-square-foot replacement for the aging Grantham library branch.

But city officials said real construction equipment should be on the site within two weeks -- and a big, splashy opening is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2011.

It's a later -- and more expensive -- opening than was originally proposed for the much-anticipated replacement of the aging West Park pool, the only city-owned indoor facility.

Council planned to build a $15-million recreational pool, but added the library branch and competitive swimming capacity to the centre, pushing the overall cost close to $20 million.

The latest version of the centre will provide "valuable services and amenities for many years to come," said St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, who said the provincial government provided $4.5 million of the cost.

Another $500,000 will come from the Kiwanis Club over 10 years.

"This is a building to which we are proud to have our name attached," said Kiwanis Club president Peter Brown.

Residents pushed successfully for the building improvements, Mayor Brian McMullan said.

"The people of St. Catharines made it clear to city council that a new aquatics centre had to be relevant for families and senior citizens and inclusive for swimmers of all abilities," he said to dozens of politicians and residents at the ceremony Tuesday.

McMullan said the new centre would boast the most accessible design of all city buildings and be a "gathering place where citizens of every age can pursue a healthy lifestyle and enrich their learning experience."

Whitehead said he was looking forward to living within walking distance of the new pool.

Margaret Unruh expects she'll spend more time at the new multi-use centre.

The mother of young swimmers Sam, 8, and Madeline, 7, usually has to make several trips to hit West Park pool, the library and a playground for the kids.

"It will be nice to have it closer to home ... and we can kind of do it all at once, all in one place," she said.
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2594327
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Old August 7th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #38
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Some news that could lead to redevelopment:

Quote:
Group will push for canals designation



Niagara Region is building a new team to push for a heritage designation for the area's historic canals.

Regional council approved the creation of a Welland Canal working group Thursday to act as "a champion" for the federal designation of a canals "corridor."

St. Catharines Regional Coun. Bruce Timms, a longtime advocate for official recognition of the area's canal history, said the new group provides "a home" within government for the wide-ranging effort.

"I think this should be a great help. Everybody wants to be on board," he said of the committee, which will feature about 10 members from council, local municipalities, heritage groups and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. "It's a very popular project and I think this is just going to increase support and give us a focus going forward."

The ultimate goal is to win a long-awaited thumbs-up from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, which makes recommendations to the minister of the environment on new federal heritage designations.

In the past, board staff have suggested the best way to earn a designation for Niagara's remnant canals is to recognize both the three older incarnations and the current, working waterway in a "heritage corridor."

That's why Timms said "job one" will be talking with the Seaway about how to craft a heritage designation that doesn't interfere with the day-to-day operations of a functioning industrial waterway.

"It's a work in progress, but I think we're closing in on ironing out those details so the Seaway can be comfortable," Timms said.

Another goal of the committee will be to "map out" exactly which sections of the old canals in each municipality deserve heritage protection.

The regional report says the group "should make every attempt to find a suitable compromise that will allow the ... minister of the environment to approve the designation prior to the bicentennial celebration (for the War of 1812) of 2012."

Timms said he's hopeful that will happen, but wouldn't guess at when the group would submit a formal proposal to the federal board.

"I'd say we're three quarters of the way there... (but) we need to get it right," he said.

All previous efforts to designate portions of the old canals have been rejected by the board.

The mission does have high-profile support, however.

Timms noted St. Catharines Tory MP Rick Dykstra has arranged several meetings with board officials and the Seaway to "facilitate" the effort.

And last week, Liberal Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff promised support for a future federal canals designation during an election-style visit to Merritton.
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/A...aspx?e=2702210
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 07:31 AM   #39
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I was in St. Catharines on Monday and noticed some work being done. The new hospital in Louth that you can see from 406 is going well. There was also a crane in the southwes partof Downtown. Anyone know what that was for?
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Old October 1st, 2010, 05:50 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
I was in St. Catharines on Monday and noticed some work being done. The new hospital in Louth that you can see from 406 is going well. There was also a crane in the southwes partof Downtown. Anyone know what that was for?
Probably the new six story parking garage in the downtown beside the MTO bldg...promise to be quit a striking design, unique features...
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