Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today announced that broomball and pond hockey are coming to the Ice at Canalside presented by BlueCross and BlueShield of Western New York. Off duty members of Buffalo’s police and fire departments put the Ice to the test with some spirited demonstration games this morning.
“Winter is something we embrace in Buffalo and I’m proud to celebrate that with the new activities like skating, ice bikes, curling and now broomball and pond hockey at The Ice at Canalside,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This state-run attraction, thanks to Governor Cuomo, is an asset to our waterfront and one in which we can all be proud.”
“Governor Cuomo has tasked us with giving the people of Buffalo a world-class waterfront that residents and visitors can enjoy 12 months out of the year,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “With the addition of skating on our waterfront, we are well on our way to delivering. We are pleased with the popularity of the Rinks at Canalside and are excited about continuing to improve Buffalo’s waterfront.”
Leagues will begin on January 19 for pond hockey and January 21 for broomball. Interested individuals can email [email protected]for more information and to sign up for ice time.
The Ice at Canalside has far exceeded all expectations for use and enjoyment by the public. Crowds flocking to this unique attraction have been skating, riding ice bikes, and curling while they listen to music through the state-of-the-art sound system. In addition to the more than 20,000 ticketed customers who have been on the ice since its December 18 grand opening, there have been thousands more people who have been enjoying rink side food, buying crafts, walking on the towpaths and soaking in the overall ambience of the site (see pictures hereand here).
The revitalization of Buffalo’s waterfront is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s dynamic plan to transform the Western New York economy. The South Aud Block when complete will consist of nearly one acre of developable space, including the Explore & More Children’s Museum, a restaurant, as well as potentially consisting of mixed-use apartments and retail space.
The rink will open at noon for public skating on Thursday, January 8 and Friday, January 9.
Admission, Rentals, etc.
- 13 & older: $5
- 6 to 12: $3
- 5 and under: Free
Skate Rental: $3
**Make sure to show your BlueCross BlueShield card for a healthy discount**
- $1 off admission
- $1 off skate rental
First Friday’s at The Ice presented by First Niagara
- Occurs February 6 and March 6
- Free admission and rentals for the first 200 people, limited number of free skates available
- After 6:30 p.m. guests get $1 off admission and skate rental
- Individual Pass: $20
- Family of Four Pass: $75
- $10 per half hour rental
- $15 per person, 4-10 people per sheet
- 1 hour sheet rental includes ice prep and instructor
Skate Sharpening: $4
Locker rental: $3
The “Ice at Canalside” is located at the corners of Main and Marine Streets in downtown Buffalo. Visitors can take the NFTA Metro Rail to the Erie Canal Harbor Station stop or parking is available in adjacent parking ramps and lots. Additional information on the ice schedule, curling reservations, and other activities can be found at www.canalsidebuffalo.com.
History of Canals
At the height of the Canal Era Days (1830-1865), the Grand Canal put Buffalo on the map as the terminus of the canal system and “portal to the west,” becoming a centerpiece for world commerce in the 19th century both for legitimate and “illegitimate” businesses alike. The site was a main thoroughfare with waterfront industries and housing, as well as brothels, beer halls and saloons.
Thousands arrived at the Immigrant Steps hoping for a better life in Buffalo. These steps have been recreated, as have the historic Lloyd and Commercial Streets in the canal district, along with the Swartz and Whipple Truss Bridges and towpaths that provided walkways for commerce.
Buffalo Memorial Auditorium also stood on the site for many decades – starting in 1940. “The Aud” was home to the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Many skaters have made a point of having their picture taken by the emblem that marks the spot that use to be center ice. (see picture here)
Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River. Canalside earns its name from its storied past, when the Erie Canal Harbor was built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Until five years ago, the land was barren and inaccessible, but the area has been reclaimed by the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and developed with millions of dollars in public and private investment. With more than 1,000 yearly events and nearly 1 million annual visitors, Canalside is fast becoming the go-to place for in- and out-of-towners of all ages to learn, play and relax. For more information, visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com.
About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two non-voting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor.
As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor that is attracting critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.