WATCH - Documentary shining unflattering light on Niagara Falls
A short documentary making the rounds on social media, shining an unflattering light on Niagara Falls.
"As Niagara Falls" showcases the stark difference between the tourist areas of the Falls and the rundown living areas that exist within the city.
The 4 minute film features footage from Clifton Hill in contrast with various rundown and vandalized buildings including the former St. Ann's Elementary School.
It also slams local government for not investing outside of the tourism industry.
One person says "mayor after mayor keeps saying he is actually going to do something, but all they do is put money in the tourism industry because it's the only thing that makes the town relevant"
The Mayday Pictures film is done by Ryerson students, one of them a local Niagara Falls man.
Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati has issued a statement following the release of the film:
Thank you for all of your outpouring of thoughts, comments, support and rallying for our community in light of the recent video that was shared on social media that depicted our City in a less than ideal light.
We, like many of you, were saddened to see our beautiful City depicted in this poor light. It is not that we are not aware of the places and spaces that need some care and t.l.c. It is not either that we don’t care. In fact, it is the opposite. We have established Community Improvement Programs for property owners and businesses in struggling areas to provide incentives to uplift their properties. We have included revitalization as one of our Strategic Priorities of this term of Council. We work diligently on some of the main projects – that we believe wholeheartedly, no, that we know will help strengthen our community and lift us up. These projects are, to name only a few, are, the GO Train connection to Toronto which has been announced, a new 7000 entertainment theatre, as well as adding a university campus to our downtown core. Even, amongst all of our tireless efforts, and our determination to get these project done, there are still naysayers. We still are challenged by people who don’t want to see these projects succeed for one reason or another. And then—a video like this circulates. It highlights why we need to work even harder on the things that are important. We are not blind to the challenges in our community—but we are working on them. We are working on them and look forward to seeing those areas rise right up, along with the rest of our community when some of these initiatives take flight and add piece after piece of value and worth to our community.
We are proud of the amazing things that are happening in Niagara Falls. I implore you to have a look at another video.. my recent State of the City Address https://www.niagarafalls.ca/…/76-brilliant-city-niagara-fal… during which I talk about not only some of the incredible things happening in Niagara Falls, but our vision for continued future revitalization. We are upgrading our City with 10 new parks this year and 10 parks next year, adding a South End Dog Park, an indoor track at the Gale Centre, trails, outdoor exercise equipment, e-car charging stations and are on the way to creating a new market in our Main and Ferry core; widespread upgrading hasn’t happened like this for years. This is the time, not to place blame or to look down on our community and point out the blemishes, of which there certainly are some, but it is a time to stand together and rise up.
One of the most heartbreaking parts was that the video seemed to deflate or abash tourism, an industry which not only supports thousands of families in our community and throughout the entire Region, but that has matured and grown over the years. We are not the seasonal, single-dimensional tourism stop on a map that perhaps people think we once were. We are diverse. We have grown and our industry now supports many spin-off businesses, further residential growth and contributes back to our community in major ways. Our tourism industry is rich with opportunities. It has provided experience and support to people across all sectors. How many of you can’t say that you’ve been a part of our tourism industry in one way or another over time? It is as much a part of us as we are proponents of it.
At the end of the day, we are a community .. and we stand together. I stand beside many of you who took the time today to write a kind word, or share comments and be a part of the bigger conversation. I invite you help add some balance to the discussion and to share a good picture, or a video of something you love about our City. Do it here, you can do it on our let’s talk engagement site https://letstalk.niagarafalls.ca/ or right where you are, on your phone/ on twitter/ on Instagram or just show a friend. Here’s me. Standing beside the beauty of our City—not up against it. I hope you’ll share your pictures and stand beside your City too.
Let’s spread the good. Let’s continue to work where work needs to be done. We’re in this side by side.