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Canalside Observations

A couple of days ago I was walking the Canalside grounds, and came away with a couple of whimsical installations that made an impression on me. No, I’m not talking about a new building, or restaurant, or anything like that. I’m talking about a couple of other features that probably don’t get the attention that they deserve.

The first is the Roswell Park Bridge of Hope. Have you ever wondered why so many bells are hanging on the bridge that traverses the faux canal?

A couple years ago Roswell Park Institute paid tribute to “the spirit and celebration of cancer survivorship” by allowing people to purchase small bells. People were then permitted to hang the bells on the Bridge of Hope. Today, hundreds of bells can be found on the rails of the bridge, signifying the effort.

If you ever hear bells ringing at Canalside, chances are that someone has come across the bells and is rattling them. The Bridge of Hope is a wonderful tribute that adds a fun-loving aspect to Canalside, while ringing out a serious massage at the same time. 

The second inspirational feature that I love coming across whenever I visit Canalside is the Tea and Relaxing Learning Garden, which looks better than ever.

While most people head right over to the kayaks, or the beer garden, I love to walk around this very special garden. The Erie Community College (ECC) Learning Garden is made possible thanks to The Statler Foundation. I covered this garden back in 2015 (also see the story behind the garden), but since that time it’s come a long way. There are more places to sit, to observe the garden, to watch nature, and to learn about food and sustainability.

The garden contains so much valuable information about the plantings, and the care that goes into maintaining the garden. There are even some new features, such as the miniature greenhouse and a composting bin. The hand painted signs and waymarking are especially inviting.

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest impressions. I love knowing the stories behind these inspirational projects. The next time that you head down to Canalside, be sure to stop by these two very special places. You are sure to find inspiration in both.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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