#OnThisDay In 2008, Canalside is formally dedicated and opened to the public. Many know it as the beautiful scenic park tucked away Downtown along the water but it was not always that way. Originally an area of the Erie Canal, it was filled in the late 1920s after its pollution and dangerous stagnant water became a disasterous risk. The Commercial Slip was also buried. That does not mean the area was without disasters, as the neighborhood was home to many explosions, fires and more.

Occupied largely by Italian immigrants, the area was known as Dante Place. It fell into disrepair around 1950 and was razed. Many began to forget the area following the construction of Marine Midland Arena, the Skyway and new affordable housing units. The area that is now the park had become overgrown and polluted with the remnants of Buffalo industrious past. Many citizens still voiced their wants to unearth the historical elements of the site.

It took over a decade to get to the amazing restoration it is at now. The Commerical Slip was completely restored as well as a suspension truss bridge. You can also visit the Lloyd Street Ruins, which are unearthed buildings from the past!

Do you remember when Canalside opened? Did you ever get to explore the former site?