Canada Helps Central Fire Station Project With Major Heritage Grant

05.20.2021 01:02 PM By service

NEWS RELEASE

The Government of Canada, through a $500,000 grant, will assist in the revitalization of Welland’s Central Fire Station.


The Canadian Heritage Legacy grant, spread over three years, will help cover the costs of architects, engineers and specialists as well as costs for restorations.


A volunteer not-for-profit group, the Central Station Education Initiative (CSEI) leases the Central fire Station from the City of Welland.

The project involves renovating the designated historic site in downtown Welland. It will reopen as a multi-use community centre, which will include original fixtures and artifacts from 1920, when the classic fire station opened.


The restored fire hall will house a heritage display illustrating the building’s history, a hall of honour for first responders, rentable office space for not-for-profit cultural groups and artists and an innovative coworking space for businesses, artists and artisans, the Heritage Department said.


“The heritage display and restored fire hall will increase access to local heritage in the community,” the ministry said. “It will celebrate and raise awareness about the local history of firefighting, as well as the fire hall’s role in the community over the years.”

Canadian Heritage’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Legacy Fund provides funding for community-initiated capital projects intended for community use on significant anniversaries.


This grant to the Central Station Education Initiative commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Central Fire Station’s opening on December 17, 1920. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, altered a planned celebration.


It has been said that “the greenest building is the one still standing”. CSEI recognizes that the most significant artifact is the 100-year-old building itself, the only historic fire hall in the Niagara Region intact with its original interior fixtures.


The group continues to raise funds to preserve and update the three-storey firehall and convert it to a multi-use community centre with a “time capsule” heritage display on the first floor using the original fixtures and artifacts as well as other donated or loaned items.


The upper storeys, formerly offices, firefighter’s sleeping quarters and meeting/recreation room will be rented to community groups with the exception of one firefighter’s bedroom for display. The rental income will help to make the historical preservation project self-sustaining.


In addition, this project will stimulate tourism and enhance existing downtown features such as the recreational canal (former Welland Canal), farmers market, retail businesses and restaurants, City Hall, the Welland Museum, and the area’s parks and multi-use trails.


CSEI president Nora Reid expressed thanks to the Government of Canada and Canadian Heritage for their generous support of this project that will have historical, environmental, cultural and economic benefits to the City of Welland. The Legacy Grant, along with a grant of $100,000 over the next two years from the City of Welland, means that the not-for-profit group now has half of the $1.2 million needed to complete the project.


If the general public would like to help CSEI complete this project, donations can be made through our website, www.centralfirehall.ca, Facebook at www.facebook.com/wellandcentralfirehall, by cheque to Central Station Education Initiative, P.O. Box 432, Welland ON L3B 5R2 or by e-transfer to wellandcentralfirehall@gmail.com.


To get involved in transforming this beautiful building as a volunteer please leave a message on our Facebook page and a Board member will call you to let you know how you can help.


This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada.