Tonawanda’s 26 Unique Spots Featured on New Walking Tour

Please click the link below to subscribe to a FREE PDF version of each print edition of the Niagara Reporter



By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

The history of the Tonawanda’s runs deep and now people will be able to learn more about both Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. City officials announced the kick off The Heritage Tour of the Tonawanda’s. 26 unique spots are featured in the walking tour, and people will be able to see and hear what the history is at each location.

“At each location you will be able to listen to an online narrative of each location describing the history of that particular site, many of the locations will afford you the opportunity to get out an explore,” said Cathy Oddo, Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce.

The project was funded thanks to a grant from the William G Mayne Community Enhancement Program. From the Gateway Harbor to Webster Street people can learn about what’s old and what’s new in the area.

“Everyone contributed, from deciding on the sites to gathering the historical facts, then working with the cities for the construction and installation of the signs, even with the smallest details everyone helped out,” said Everlyn Zupo, Chamber of Commerce.

Actors dressed as the founding fathers helped to kick off the ribbon cutting ceremony on the Webster Street bridge. Before the ceremony they got in a canoe and rode across the canal.



“This kind of a tour you are going to learn so much, even if we have lived here all of our lives, just these 26 points on this brochure, I have learned more myself, even though I have lived in both cities all of my life,” said Mayor Art Pappas.

In the early 1800’s people first began arriving to what is now known as the Tonawanda’s. Over the years it has experienced many changes and historical leaders says it’s important for people to learn about what many people now call the Western Gateway to the Erie Canal.

“We were the lumber capital of the world, the music capital of the world. We have the Rivera Theater, which to my knowledge has the only theater organ in the United States. So wonderful things have happened here. There is many things in North Tonawanda that many people forget about because they are here every single day,” said Joe Muridura, Local Historian.

Some of the stops along the tour include Old Tonawanda High School, St Francis Chapel and Long Homestead to name a few.

Highlighting the best of both Tonawanda and North Tonawanda and giving people a rare look into the history behind some unique places.

“Dating back to when our 2 cities were founded our histories get intertwined and to this day both me and Mayor Pappas are friends, we like to work together for the better of both of our communities,” said Mayor Rick Davis, Tonawanda.

Following the ribbon cutting and kick off the walking tour a reception was held at Webster’s Bistro.

For more information about the walking tour and directions for the online narrative you can log onto




0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
.wpzoom (color:black;}