Investing in the Restoration of the Historic Welland Central Fire Hall

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The Government of Canada is proud to contribute to the Central Station Education Initiative 

WELLAND, ON, May 19, 2021 /CNW/ – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced an investment of $500,000 over three years for the Central Station Education Initiative to support the restoration of the historical Central Fire Hall in Welland. Minister Guilbeault was joined by Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament (Niagara Centre).

The preservation and repurposing of the fire station in the heart of downtown Welland will provide the community with a gathering place to learn about history and arts. The station will provide information about the history of firefighting and other services in the Niagara Region, preserving memories of the past for future generations. It will also serve as a place where groups and individuals interested in the arts, culture and history can come together.

The initiative will include renovating the designated historic Central Fire Hall and making it into a multi-purpose community centre, which will include original fixtures and artifacts from 1920. The restored fire hall will also 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 co-working space for businesses, artists and artisans

The Central Station Education Initiative is composed entirely of volunteers who will oversee the renovations in consultation with the City and manage the site after the project is complete. Local architectural historians, architects and construction companies that specialize in the restoration of heritage buildings will be involved throughout the process.

This investment is provided through the Legacy Fund component of the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program, which provides funding for community-initiated capital projects, intended for community use.

Quotes

“Our government is proud to support the Central Station Education Initiative with its project to restore the historic Central Fire Hall. This initiative will revive Welland’s rich local heritage while celebrating the history of firefighting, as well as the fire hall’s role in the community over the years.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“It’s one thing to say you want to preserve heritage buildings; it’s quite another to develop a plan to pay for that preservation and to make an older building viable to the wider community. The Central Station Education Initiative deserves all of our thanks for caring about the history of Welland and making sure we continue to enjoy the use of our 100-year-old fire hall by ensuring this architecturally significant building will continue to be a landmark in the downtown core. I’m very pleased our government has been given the opportunity to play a role in its preservation. Welland is richer because of its continued existence.”

—Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament (Niagara Centre)

“On behalf of Central Station Education Initiative, I would like to thank 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. I would also like to sincerely thank our current and prior Board members for all their dedication and hard work over the last five years and for their continued commitment to this project. In addition, I would like to thank all our volunteers, partners and donors, and everyone in this community who has supported this initiative to revitalize our 100-year-old Fire Hall, one of Welland’s most significant heritage sites, and preserve the irreplaceable history of Welland’s and Canada’s firefighters contained within it.”

—Nora A. Reid, President, Central Station Education Initiative

Quick Facts

The Central Station Education Initiative is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to preserve and to educate about the material and cultural history of the fire, police, paramedic and other emergency services in the Niagara Region.

Central Fire Hall, one of the most uniquely designed fire stations in North America, was built in the Edwardian Classical style. Drawing from classical models, the architect re-purposed a Roman basilica plan to ingeniously house the various functions of firefighting in the early 20th century.  Central Fire Hall is one of only three significant major heritage structures surviving in downtown Welland.

In 2020, the Central Fire Hall marked the 100th anniversary of its opening, which took place on December 17, 1920.

The Legacy Fund component of the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program provides funding for capital projects intended for community use.

The Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program supports activities for the general public that celebrate local historical heritage as well as local artists and artisans. The program increases opportunities for local artists, artisans, heritage performers or specialists and cultural carriers to be involved in their community through festivals, events and projects.

Associated Links

Legacy Fund – Building Communities through Arts and Heritage

Central Station Education Initiative

SOURCE Canadian Heritage