Niagara Draining Shed Dreams

Plans for an amphitheatre in Ontario near the U.S. border at Niagara Falls are fading following reports that a local sewage plant could require as much as $27 million in upgrades before the site could house the shed.

Arts group Project Niagara initially pitched the amphitheatre as a $50 million summer home in Niagara-on-the-Lake for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and an annual 12-week music festival.

However, the lagoons that Project Niagara wants to build upon are currently being considered for something slightly less sweet sounding – the town’s sewage storage.

According to five options outlined in a recent regional study, the town could spend anywhere from $17 million to more than $27 million piping out the sewage or moving the facility from the lagoons altogether, the Standard of St. Catherines reported.

Still, the shed project hasn’t been canned altogether, regional water and wastewater director Betty Matthews-Malone told the paper.

“This study is really just the first step,” she said. “We’re going to be vetting a variety of options and considering the social, technical, environmental and financial aspects of them all.”

Located on the Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site – a War of 1812 landing zone – the proposed open-air shed would reportedly seat 2,400, with additional lawn seating for 7,000 to 9,000.