The long awaited news was announced in June of 2016, that a very desirable waterfront area of Lincoln was about to undergo some long overdue changes. The area of Prudhommes (Prudhommes Landing) which spans "over 50 hectares in size and bounded by Lake Ontario on the north, the QEW on the south, Jordan Road on the east and Victoria Avenue on the west", was announced as SOLD.
This announcement was yet another exciting article of news reinforcing the transformation of Niagara into a world class region.
According to the St. Catharines Standard, Prudhommes was home to one of the biggest recreational complexes in Ontario, attracting approx. 7000 guests per day during summer months beginning circa 1949.
In the 70’s and after numerous fires at the site, Prudhommes was up for sale and being slated for another recreational- commercial type complex, which never had materialized.
In 1981, the Prudhomme Group owned by the Ken Fowler Enterprise undertook a $3 million expansion to develop what many of us might remember as Wet N Wild waterpark. The park closed in 2002 and sat abandoned for almost 15 years.
The Future of Prudhommes
When Wet N Wild waterpark closed in 2002, it sat abandoned along side an adjacent hotel. For years after, local area and Niagara Residents were wondering what future plans were for this area. A couple months following the sale of the property in summer 2016, urban designer Ken Greenberg and the project stakeholders rolled out their plans for the future of the site.
In his plans, Ken Greenberg displayed his vision for Prudhommes by making reference to European waterfront communities and as well as a site in the Muskoka Region. In these references below, you will see terms, "sustainable" "heritage attractions" "biodiversity" "condominiums" and "renewable energy" have been noted throughout. Terms such as these leave me to believe that Greenberg is alluding to NOT a run of the mill residential development.
When will this new development take place?
It is to be expected that development of this land could still take a while to come to fruition. A project of this scope requires a lot of investigation and approvals from different authorities, namely the Conservation Authority, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Shoreline Protection etc. However, once official plans are set and development is underway, the impact upon the surrounding communities and land is sure to be a positive one. The vision of the planner is to integrate all that Niagara has to offer from its strong agri-tourism, natural heritage, its beautiful waterfronts, multiple wineries, and arts and culture( just to name a few).
For now we are left guessing exactly what form this NEW Prudhommes will take. Surely Niagara and local residents will have a lot to look forward to in the next coming months and years!
St. Catharines Standard
Town of Lincoln
Abandoned Waterpark and Hotel Photos: Christine Garus