Members of the public are invited to attend an open house on June 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Vale Health & Wellness Centre, to explore redevelopment concepts for Port Colborne’s waterfront.

In the spring of 2021, City staff began reviewing possibilities for the future of 11 King St., a multi-property area of land at the south end of West St. Since that time, staff have been working to better understand the existing conditions in the area, demolish vacated structures, and identify key features that will improve public access to the waterfront. The plan to construct a waterfront centre was introduced in 2021 to promote redevelopment in the area and create a new hub for community cultural programming.

“Having an incredible area like this sit idle won’t do anything to move the needle,” says Bill Steele, Mayor of the City of Port Colborne. “If we want to see Port Colborne’s waterfront be transformed into a beacon for residents and visitors, we need to connect with the community to collect thoughts and ideas on the best ways to move forward. This open house is an awesome step toward engaging the community on the first phase of this project, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

An update report and presentation to Council on February 14, 2023 recommended prioritizing six guiding principles – remediation, green infrastructure, active transportation, placemaking, connectivity, and tourism – as part of this first phase. The focus of the open house will be to gather input on conceptual scenarios that integrate the guiding principles and set the stage for the construction of a waterfront centre in phase two. Representatives from the firm J.P. Thomson Architects will join staff from the city’s Economic Development & Tourism Services division in presenting the scenarios and welcoming feedback.

“We decided that the best approach to take with this open house is to make it friendly and approachable,” said Gary Long, Manager of Strategic Initiatives at the City of Port Colborne. “We want the community to feel like they can walk in, chat with the architects, share their opinions with staff, and learn more about what we’re all trying to achieve. The revitalization of Port Colborne’s waterfront will continue to be a collaborative process. The more voices we hear, the better the project’s outcomes will be.”

RSVPs are not required for the open house on June 14. Members of the public will find the redevelopment concepts on display in the Golden Puck Room at the Vale Health & Wellness Centre, 550 Elizabeth Street, Port Colborne.

Additional opportunities for residents to provide feedback on the waterfront redevelopment will be available in the coming weeks and months, including an online engagement opportunity. In the meantime, those who aren’t able to attend the open house in person are encouraged to view the concepts online and complete a feedback questionnaire.