Trip Planner:   USA  /  New York State  /  Buffalo  /  Canalside

Canalside, Buffalo

#4 of 100 in Things to do in Buffalo
Landmark · Tourist Spot
Canalside, formerly known as Canal Side and Erie Canal Harbor, is the recreation of the western terminus of the Erie Canal in Buffalo, New York. Canalside is situated on the Buffalo River, where the area was historically home to the Seneca people.

In the early 20th century, the predominantly Italian area known as Dante Place and Canal Street was subjected to the forces of urban renewal, and the canals were filled in and dense neighborhoods were razed. The Buffalo Skyway, Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and Niagara Thruway took its place, with parking lots interspersed.

With the completion of Marine Midland Arena (now KeyBank Center) in 1996, the Memorial Auditorium stood vacant. Empire State Development Corporation created a master plan for an Erie Canal Harbor redevelopment project in 1999, which addressed developing parcels of land underneath the Buffalo Skyway. In 2004, a new plan was created, centered around the creation of historically-aligned canals and mixed-use development.

Several delays and controversies surrounding the planning, redevelopment and construction of the district drew reaction from the public, notably the inclusion of a flagship Bass Pro Shops store in 2007 that was later scrapped. The Memorial Auditorium was demolished by July 2009, and the land it occupied was subdivided into the historically aligned parcels from the 19th century, now known as the North and South Aud Block. Since 2010, the district has seen an uptick in construction projects and touring concerts and events. Projects completed or underway in the vicinity include LECOM Harborcenter adjacent to Main Street and Explore & More Children's Museum on the South Aud Block.

A visit to Canalside represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Buffalo online holiday maker to plot your vacation.
Create an itinerary including Canalside
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Canalside reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,054 reviews
  • There are many activities available at Canalside, but we visited the Buffalo Heritage Carousel. After being in storage for 65 years, the carousel made its first appearance in Spring 2021. The...  more »
  • We love to visit here for events or just a nice sunset walk. It's a wonderful and relaxing place. A lot of boat tours board here as well.  more »
  • Lots of cool events down here all the time including concerts, boat tours, and movie nights. Kid friendly, and it has a couple food stands. It's right next to the naval park as well if you like old ships. Pretty cool! Views aren't bad either
  • Beautiful venue with a great harbor view. We were able to enjoy the area with excellent views of the different aspects of bicycle rentals, ice cream shop and boat ride opportunities. If you visit Buffalo, take advantage of the chance to see the river and Lake Erie.

Plan your trip to Buffalo

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.