Future Canalside Plans Revealed

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Buffalo, NY - Although the unofficial end of summer is almost here, the fun at Canalside will continue.

Empire State Development's Sam Hoyt says Canalside will be alive and well even after Labor Day weekend. He says that you can expect to see the replica canals open and ice skating, hockey, broomball and curling come to the old Aud block around Thanksgiving.

"We're going to try to keep this whole waterfront area active year-round. That's what we promised the people," says Hoyt.

The state runs Canalside, so public money has funded a lot of this development, but Hoyt says that has helped attract private investment like Harborcenter.

"I'll tell you, it's tough to keep pace with Harborcenter, isn't it? The way they move so quickly. The Explore and More Museum is absolutely planned for the old Aud block site. It probably will not be complete until 2016," says Hoyt.

Planners are still coming up with the museum's design and are fundraising. Hoyt says restaurants and stores will follow its opening in 2016.

And, all of this makes you wonder: where will everyone park? Hoyt has a plan.

"We think there's ample parking down here. We want to make sure that we're working with the parking lot operators so that they're not gouging our customers. To the extent that we can take control of some of the surface lots that are available, we're looking into that," he says.

The skating rink area opening this fall will also include warming huts and a winter beer garden.

Canalside is also getting ready for what's being called the biggest Bills pep rally in history next Friday. Admission is free.

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