Canalside issues new rules for visiting waterfront in 2020

Buffalo Waterfront is open, but officials caution about social distancing

WBEN Newsroom
May 21, 2020 - 11:46 am

The Boardwalk at Canalside on May 9, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Canalside and Buffalo's Outer Harbor will be open this summer for visitors, but expect precautions to be taken if you visit either location this summer.

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, the group that operates Buffalo Waterfront, said Thursday that they will have a cleaning and sanitization schedule in place for the common areas and restrooms in both locations.

Among the changes is that restrooms will only be available for one person at a time. ECHDC also removed much of the outdoor seating and spaced remaining seats at least six feet apart.

The beach at Canalside is closed but the docks will stay open.

Clinton's Dish at Canalside and the beer garden at Wilkeson Pointe are taking takeout orders. Food trucks will still visit periodically.

Several activities will no longer be held in person along the waterfront such as fitness classes and children's program. Instead, officials said it has been moved online.

Certain activities will be available in-person at Canalside, though social distancing will be a common theme among the activites. These activities include scavenger hunts, a farmer's market, and a drive-in movie series at the Outer Harbor.

Kayak and water bike rentals will still be open, though bicycle rentals, boat tours, and some other vendors are temporarily closed. The Queen City Bike Ferry is closed for the season.


Expect new signage to be put in place to advise visitors about how to safely enjoy the waterfront.

“The Buffalo Waterfront is open for the public to enjoy, we are just asking visitors to be smart and follow social distancing rules while we work to keep our waterfront a safe and beautiful destination,” Robert Gioia, ECHDC Board Chairman, said in a statement. “The success of the upcoming summer season is entirely dependent on our ability to enjoy the waterfront in a whole new way; without crowds, concerts or even sharing food at a table. But in these difficult times we promise there will still be much to enjoy—especially the water, the wildlife and the magnificent sunsets.”

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