A new look is unfolding on a Niagara Falls street many tourists will be very familiar with.
If you’ve driven here, you might well have come in via Highway 420 and got off at Victoria Avenue - the exit that quickly takes you toward world-famous Clifton Hill, home to so many of the city’s iconic family tourist hotspots.
It’s not only the attractions that are continually upgraded to improve visitors’ stays here. The road itself, Victoria Avenue, has undergone a makeover of its own.
Gone are the narrow lanes and crowded sidewalks, and the busy intersections with so many tourists and so little room to cross. Those memories are so 1980.
The whole fresh look includes new street furniture, trees and landscaping, enhanced space on the Victoria promenade for attractions and performances, more public washrooms and accessible decorative sidewalks.
It’s all part of the way the Honeymoon Capital of Canada is continually reinventing itself, year after year.
The Victoria Centre Business Improvement Area – whose membership ranges from top-scale hotels to a magician’s theatre, multi-storey go-kart track, operators of a giant Skywheel and the restaurants and exotic museums and arcades on the Hill itself – has invested heavily in the multimillion-dollar project, along with the City of Niagara Falls
Visitors will also notice improvements to intersections, especially at the top of Clifton Hill which sees more auto and pedestrian traffic than most streets in Canada, and better LED streetlighting.
Improved underground electrical service also leads to a bolder, brighter Clifton Hill and better displays during the Winter Festival of Lights, which has already started and runs through the end of January 2019.
There’s more work, too, that you won’t notice involving improvements to infrastructure to service the street and businesses above. In total, the work is being done in five stages, mostly centred on Victoria Avenue.
Being a tourist destination is about more than just offering the thrills and excitement. It's the less visible things, like improved roads, that demonstrate this city's dedication to its tourst visitors.