Walk­ing tour to high­light Cen­tre Street area’s past

The Niagara Falls Review - - Front Page - RAY SPI­TERI The Ni­a­gara Falls Re­view

Break­fast ce­re­als, ice skates and chalk boards.

You once could find all three in the Cen­tre Street area of Ni­a­gara Falls.

And while a ce­real plant re­mains in the once bustling in­dus­trial dis­trict of the city, much else has changed.

And that will be the sub­ject of the next free walk­ing tour hosted by city his­to­rian Sher­man Zavitz. On Sun­day, May 27, in­ter­ested par­tic­i­pants can ex­plore Cen­tre Street and ad­ja­cent ar­eas with Zavitz.

“At one time there were a num­ber of in­dus­tries in that area — they’re all gone ex­cept, of course, what is now the Post ce­real plant,” he said.

Zavitz said the orig­i­nal name of the plant was Cana­dian Shred­ded Wheat Co. Later, in the 1920s, it was pur­chased by Nabisco.

“Many peo­ple think of it, still, as Nabisco, but it’s not. It’s now owned by Post ce­re­als and, of course, they make more than Shred­ded Wheat there, but that’s the most fa­mous ce­real, I sup­pose, be­cause it was the first. That goes back to 1904, so that’s 114 years that in­dus­try has been there, on the same site.”

He said par­tic­i­pants will be able to take a lit­tle look in­side the plant, but not a tour of the build­ing.

“We will be able to go in­side the

plant … and one of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the com­pany will be there to an­swer ques­tions.”

Zavitz said the walk­ing tour will also de­tail other in­dus­tries that were once in the area, in­clud­ing a 1909 build­ing that is now be­ing used for an­other pur­pose.

“Then we’ll be talk­ing about some of the busi­nesses that were once there be­cause this was the cen­tre (of the city),” he said.

“There was the north end, the south end and the cen­tre.”

Zavitz said the north end busi­ness dis­trict was the Queen Street and Bridge Street ar­eas, the south end was Main and Ferry, and the cen­tre area, which was es­sen­tially Cen­tre Street.

“It was cen­tred, or roughly half­way be­tween the north end and the south end busi­ness dis­trict.

“You had quite a lot of busi­nesses there at one time, which were pri­mar­ily there to serve the res­i­dents of the area.”

He said the tour will also look back at the old school once in the area, as well as the for­mer Ni­a­gara Falls Me­mo­rial Arena.

The tour, which is part of a se­ries of walk­ing tours hosted by Zavitz, will start at 1:30 p.m. and last about 90 min­utes.

Peo­ple in­ter­ested in the tour must reg­is­ter prior to May 25. The max­i­mum num­ber of par­tic­i­pants for the tour is 100.

To reg­is­ter, email mban­ner­man@ni­a­garafalls.ca or find the reg­is­tra­tion page at ni­a­garafalls.ca, and for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion call 905-358-5082. Fur­ther de­tails of the event, such as a meet­ing place for the tour, will be given at the time of reg­is­tra­tion.


City of Ni­a­gara Falls his­to­rian Sher­man Zavitz will lead a walk­ing tour of the Cen­tre Street area of Ni­a­gara Falls May 27.

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