Earlier this month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul made an announcement on the Buffalo waterfront about some new construction and improvements that are coming to the Queens City of the Great Lakes.

Among the things that were discussed was the new Waterfront Activity Center that is built inside of the old DL&W Trainshed (Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad) that is just off of Canalside in downtown Buffalo.

The more than $80 million that's being invested in that huge building along Lake Erie and the Buffalo River will help breathe more life into Canalside, which is something that just about all Buffalonians welcome. Phase 1 of the project is already underway with Phases 2 and 3 set to be done by the end of 2024.

While that announcement made big news, one of the things that slipped into the background was an additional set of investments at Canalside in what's known as The Bell Slip and the Gateway Building. The roughly $20 million that's being allocated for these projects would help revitalize an industry that used to once be booming in Buffalo and has since trailed off.

The Cruise Industry

There is a new radical idea to connect the Port of Buffalo to the existing Great Lake cruise industry.

I remember I was at a meeting of the Great Lakes Governors and Canadian Premieres up in Quebec and there was a person who ran a very profitable cruise ship line and he showed on a map, all the places he was coming through, and they came through from the North Atlantic. They came through Lake Ontario. They stopped in Toronto. They came to the Erie Canal. Oh, not that. Yeah, not the Erie Canal, the Welland Canal - I don't even want to say that because we know the history - and then it goes on to Erie, Pennsylvania is their next stop. I said, "News flash. There's a place called Buffalo." And I have a feeling that people find a lot more to do, and I love Erie, Pennsylvania, but there's a lot more to do here, but we have to have the amenities.
-Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York

Does this mean that Buffalo is due to become the next great, and best, cruise destination in North America?

It's not that far-fetched. At one time Buffalo was a key location for those traveling from the Atlantic Ocean to the central United States. Maybe it's about time for pleasure travel through the 716 to return.

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