A Way Forward for Central Fire Hall
News from the Welland Heritage Committee in Niagara, Ontario
Posted June 15th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Welland City Council can seize an opportunity to preserve its historic Central Fire Station and stimulate Welland’s downtown economy.
The Welland Heritage committee is urging Council to convert the 1920 fire hall to a fire museum and learning centre as part of local Canada 150th celebrations.
Welland Heritage sees a way to do it at no cost to the city.
The city could provide the first two floors to the Welland Merrittsville Fire Brigade Historical Society. It would operate a seasonal (May to October) museum with volunteers and fill it with a collection of classic fire equipment dating back to 1876. The museum and the brigade’s events (open houses, shows, parades, fire safety demonstrations) will draw local, regional and international visitors ranging from veteran firefighters to fascinated youngsters.
Heritage Welland says the station’s large third floor could be leased for office space at current commercial rates to cover the building’s operating (heat, light, water, maintenance) costs.
To upgrade the now unused structure for accessibility and other requirements, Welland Heritage says federal, provincial, and foundation grants are available. They also suggest monetary and in-kind corporate donations as well as crowd source fundraising and local fundraising.
The city is already promoting Central Fire Station as a tourist attraction in its brochures. By upgrading and making it operational, it would become a stronger addition to current downtown attractions: Welland Farmers Market, the lighted Main Street Bridge, Welland Recreational Canal, Welland Museum, Courthouse, Welland Civic Centre and Merritt Island.
“Welland is currently experiencing a resurgence in civic pride. The Bridge project with lighting was a catalyst, the City Hall TV system complements this direction and this Fire Hall project could further cement Welland as a destination location for business, partnership opportunities and economic growth,” says Heritage Welland.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to save a building with national architectural and heritage significance.”
For more information and/or to show your support, please attend the presentation by Heritage Welland to Welland City Council at its meeting next Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 7 p.m
For more information on the Welland Heritage Committee and this issue, click on the following link – https://www.facebook.com/wellandcentralfirehall
Central Fire Hall is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and also listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places – here is the link to that listing – http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=15310&pid=0
NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.
Visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.
“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders