Never before seen footage and shots from Niagara!

The photos have been locked away for over 40 years; an enormous project to make Niagara Falls more stunningly attractive was underway in 1969 when U.S. engineers from both the army and civil sectors, diverted the flow of the American falls for months to "correct" the american's cascade falls.

The twin landmarks (triplets if you consider that the Bridal Falls is actually separate) are some of the world's more powerful waterfalls. It took a massive damn to stop the flow as the Americans put together plans to remove debris that collected at the base of the American falls. The U.S.Army Corp of Engineers strategically bolted faults in the rocks to delay the inevitable erosion of the falls. They planed on removing hundreds of thousands of tons of rock from the base of the falls, a plan later abandoned due to the sheer size and cost of the project.  

So if you haven't seen it by now, your family probably doesn't love you. (I'm just saying everyone has that one relative on facebook that always spreads the cheezy vids around and... augh n/m) Welland has been put on the map recently with, of all things, the Seaway Mall on national broadcast. Yup, you read that right. "Seaway" "Mall" "National" "Television" ("Purple Monkey Dishwasher")

It's not every day we get to see Welland on TV, even on local news stations this town hardly makes a wave. It's not to say that it's a boring place, it's just that most of us go elsewhere to make news... So you could imagine how surprised many of us were to see Jeff Hutcheson, from Canada AM, interviewing people in the food-court Wednesday. What brings Mr. Morningshow to the halls of a mall known for...ummm...well they have this one store that sells...wait they moved that one...isn't there a Sam's record...no, no that's gone... Ohh! They have an Arby's! I love Arby's. What were we talking about? 
Pieter van Hiel/Staff Photo: Niagara This Week
Oh right! Jeff Hutcheson interviewing Stephanie Tritchew, a soloist in Niagara's chorus group, Chorus Niagara (bet that took a few meeting to nail down!) The singer was in shock and awe, broadcast to the nation talking about the recent "flash mob" style caroling that stunned the unsuspecting patrons of this shopping centers eatery some time ago. 

The event was staged by Jennifer Blakeley of Alphabet Photography who said. "“I’m a big fan of flash mobs. This year for Christmas, we wanted something special for our customers. Our photography ships all over the world,” completely unprovoked (but who doesn't love a good self-plug). The stunt took 8 weeks of planing and setting up and took to the internet in a viral way. It wasn't Jennifer added “After it was produced, we mailed it out. I have about 20,000 people on our newsletter list and about 17,000 Facebook fans. We mailed it out to them the night it went online, and that’s how it really started. Right there, that’s 30,000 or 40,000 people,”

Ahh, those hot summer days hang out on the banks of the Welland Canal. Beating the heat by sheltering from the blazing sun under a perched willow tree and wading into the cool refreshing waters. (Not to mention concealing your wine coolers and beer in inconspicuous bottles and cups...)

You can almost feel the humidity in your every breath but it's alright because the water is just right... Well, it's December now and those days are gone! Long gone in fact, but that doesn't mean the canal is off limits :)

This weekend, December 11th to be precise (that's Saturday if your too lazy to click on your calendar), we take a plunge for charity. That's right, it's time for a swim! At 11am the group of mildly insane philanthropists will be wading, shivering, and cringe their way into the frigid temperatures of the Welland Canal and all for a good cause.  

So come out on Saturday and encourage the polarbear wannabes. Just remember to bring a can or non-perishable food item for the Hope Center. (Also if you plan to dip, registration is 10 bucks and it gets you a raise the roof toque).

There will definitely be a blog and video up about it sometime early next week. There's even a good chance I take the plunge in a suit (It's all up to you guys what happens so leave a comment on what you think would be the funniest way to dive)

Check out more detail on the Tribune's site.

Hope to see you guys there,
Cheers to mild insanity (though this time mild is not going to describe the lunacy OR the temperature...I'm going to be begging for "mild" when I get in there!)



Y'kno, I wish the lighting was off...but that's the real colour...

So it's been decided (against my will) that I am to adorn this lovely (really kinda scary) sport jacket and tailored trouser ensemble (suit made from couch-weaving fabric) for the swim! I really hope you guys like this video because I'm going to lose all respect for myself (I don't have any respect for me, that's why I'm on the internet) and I won't be able to live this moment down (there's a good chance after these waters that it takes my testicles a week to reappear! :S) So with this being said, I hope you all remember to donate generously this holiday season. Particularly to needy food banks. Because without them, I wouldn't be the only one freezing my gonads off this winter. (And without your donations of food and clothing, the less-fortunate might have to wear really tacky suits like this one!)

So cheers to those making a difference, and the support from our community!


P.S. All funds raised go towards the Hope Centre and Salvation Army. Visit the hope center's website at http://www.thehopecentre.net/

St.Catharines's mayor, Brian McMullan, was on site today at the ceremonial "ground breaking" (more of a Fence-knocking-over) for the new Performing Arts Center to be built next year on St.Paul street.

As mentioned in the previous entry to the blog, the new performing arts center will be built on the corner of Carlisle and St.Paul streets. The new complex will be yet another addition to St.Paul, while attempts to jazz up downtown are being executed from all corners.

St.Catharines City Mayor and Guests topple the first bricks.

First the city began demo of buildings to extend the bus-depot, then they converted the streets to two-way to increase accessibility and flow through the downtown core; This new project is on a long list of rehabilitation efforts that we will see implements in the near future. It's about time we start treating St.Catharines as a city on the rise. For too long conservatives have kept the city in a perpetual cycle of ghost-town efforts.

Buildings being marked as historic, when in fact they are just simply old. This trend seems to be in reverse as we see, now, more and more efforts to prove that St.Catharines is not just a town with history, but a town with a future!