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6 November 2019

About 30 residents attended an informational "open house" at City Hall on Monday, 28 October 2019, for the 34- and 7-storey condo towers shown above, proposed by Markham-based Times Group Development for River Road between Philip and John Streets. Niagara This Week headlined its story on the event, "Residents 'dead set' against condo tower plan next to Niagara River Gorge":

Marya Buckingham had a blunt message for the developers planning to erect a highrise condo tower on River Road, next to the Niagara River gorge.

“Go back to the drawing board and find something that fits the neighbourhood,” she told them at a public open house at city hall recently, at which tempers frequently flared. “Do something that can be really outstanding … rather than picking up a piece of Toronto and dropping it on River Road.”

Click here for the full story, with photos, on the newspaper's website.

Click here for full information on the proposed development.

In the first week of November, mature trees have been cut on the site of the proposed development, and demolition of the four existing houses has begun. Click here for description and photos on the SaveRiver Road Facebook page.

What happens next? City Council meeting, 6:00 PM, 12 November 2019, an opportunity for all interested residents to inform Council of their views.

28 OCT AND 12 NOV 2019

15 October 2019

Times Group is forging ahead with its application to build 34- and 7-storey condo towers on River Road between Philip and John Streets. It will host an informational "open house" in City Hall (Lower Level) at 5:00 PM on Monday, 28 October 2019. City Council will then host a public meeting in City Hall (Council Chambers) and vote on the application at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, 12 November 2019. Residents can voice their opinions on both occasions.

Click here for the official notice of these events from the Planning Department, City of Niagara Falls.

For more information, click here.


29 September 2019

Times Group, the new Markham-based owner of the development site on River Road between Philip and John Streets, has released its proposal to build there a 32-storey condo tower, plus three levels of underground parking. The company proposes a total of 384 dwelling units in this and a 6-storey building. At 110 m, the tower would be tied with the Fallsview Casino Resort for the fourth tallest structure in Niagara Falls. Only the Skylon, the Hilton, and the Embassy Suites would be taller. The proposal would require disregard of the Official Plan and drastic rezoning. Currently, a building of 4 to 7 storeys with 119 dwelling units is permitted on the larger part of the property, single- and two-family homes on the remainder. The proposal is expected to come before City Council by the end of November. For further details of the proposal and the background to it, click here.

15 September 2019

At its September meeting, Niagara Falls City Council received a petition from 34 residents asking the city to enforce By-law 2015-51, which limits Niagara Grandview Manor to 12 rooms at one location, 5359 River Road, and which restricts the serving of food to guests lodged there. Rejecting this request, Council voted down a motion by Councillor Wayne Campbell, seconded by Councillor Lori Lococo, to enforce the by-law. The owner, John Pinter, will continue to be allowed to accommodate guests in any and all of the five additional properties he owns or leases in the neighbourhood, and to serve food to all these guests in what he calls his "restaurant" at 5359 River Road. Council voted to require him, however, to submit a rezoning application by the end of September 2019. For more on the story and links to relevant documents, click HERE.


1 September 2019

Ken Todd, the Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Niagara Falls, circulated a long email on 27 August defending the city's exemption of
Niagara Grandview Manor from by-law enforcement. In 2015, the city passed a special by-law allowing an inn of up to 12 rooms at the corner of Eastwood and River Road. The owner, John Pinter, subsequently expanded the commercial enterprise to at least five additional properties, all zoned residential, in effect creating a multi-building motel and restaurant. For the past 27 months, neighbours have complained in vain to the city, pleading for enforcement of the relevant by-laws. Ken Westhues has asked to address Council for this purpose on 10 September. Mr. Todd argues this would be premature, since Mr. Pinter is actively working with the city for new by-laws that would make his business legal. Click here for more on the story, including the full text of Mr. Todd's email.



Niagara Falls City Council has approved an 8-unit condo development for 5193 River Road, construction of which is expected to begin in fall 2019. The existing mid-century modern bungalow is to be demolished, and replaced by the dazzling glass and steel structure shown below. The developer is a respected local physician, Kamal Mattar. The name of the project is Makan, Arabic for place. Click here for the website. Opinion in the neighbourhood is divided. The project is undeniably attractive and serves the provincial planning priority on residential intensification. On the other hand, the architecture clashes with that of the century homes that predominate on River Road, and the driveway opens onto an already busy thoroughfare.

Summer 2019

New owners Jai and Kannan Krishna have completed a thorough renovation of the Arts and Crafts home at 5381 River Road, which has been a B&B for decades. The previous name was Glen Mohr. Under its new name, as shown at left, Serene Niagara Inn, it is winning rave reviews from guests. See interior photos on its Facebook page.

Summer 2019

Top-to-bottom renovations are nearing completion on one of the city's first apartment buildings, a four-plex at 4465 Philip Street (shown below). The building dates from the 1920s, just like the slightly larger one across the street. Michael Bonk and Pascale Courchesne, the couple who have undertaken this project, are veterans of heritage restoration. They brought the Munro House, 5 Ormond Street in Thorold, back to the grandeur of its original construction in 1865, and operated the large home successfully for years as a B&B. Click here for a story in the Niagara Falls Review about the Thorold project.

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