THE S.S. CANADIANA PLANS AND POLICY

The following is a statement from The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc. and issued in January of 1995. It was written to answer questions raised regarding the Canadiana being awarded ISTEA funding. ~ The News refused to allow these answers to be printed but we continue to distribute it as a concise picture of what the Canadiana is and can do.

The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc.
Statement of People, Plans and Policy

From: Floyd Baker
President; The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc.
 
Lack of publicity gave many the idea the Canadiana project was defunct. ~ Then it suddenly receives $400,000.00 in tax dollars, perhaps away from better purposes? ~ We want to assure everyone that, contrary to what some may have thought, we are far from defunct nor are there many purposes that could truly be called better. ~ We herein present the facts regarding the restoration of the S. S. Canadiana.

While this tremendous effort did bottom out for awhile a few years ago, it has seen a complete turnaround. ~ A new group was formed in July of 1993 and the current board of directors consists of people with the needed ability to get the job done. ~ Well known business people, accountants, historians, educators, past government officials, legal council and the like. ~ A non-profit corporation has also been activated in Canada as our fundable presence in that country. ~ We are trying to do something worthwhile for Western New York and the Canadian Niagara Peninsula. ~ What we call our eastern Lake Erie community.

The Canadiana is a historic vessel. ~ Built in Buffalo in 1910; it is 216 feet long, 54 feet wide and three decks high. ~ The designed capacity was 3,500 passengers. ~ Pure elegance; there were brass chandeliers, leaded and stained glass windows, grand stair casings, gilded plaster work and hand painted art on the ceilings and accenting walls with mahogany all around. ~ More than a ride, with a bar, stage and enormous dance floor, the Canadiana will be unique to the entire country. ~ Film companies will come to make movies on it. ~ For a cruise, tourists will come where otherwise, they would pass on by. ~ Canadians will ride the lake to shop and attend sporting events. ~ Families will have an affordable ship they can sail on. ~ The Canadiana will symbolize the Buffalo renaissance. ~ A symbol for re-birth; a renewing of vitality and excitement for all of Western New York. ~ It will be a part of all future skyline pictures and be seen throughout this country. ~ It will promote our image and create interest in this area as sites are chosen for conventions, business and pleasure.

We will be a museum; the boat our largest artifact. ~ Watch the huge steam engine in operation as before. ~ We will tell of the Maritime Era and the major part Buffalo played in American History, sitting at the juncture of the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. ~ We will tell of steam, mechanical means and craftsmanship of another time. ~ We will exhibit our pieces of history and those of the Historical Society and other organizations. ~ We want to educate, assist other charities, increase tourism, promote jobs and economic development and give our children access to the lake to learn of its beauty and the reasons for its protection. ~ We want to provide parents and children an affordable, common ground to enjoy themselves together, something we have precious little of today. ~ Does this sound too good to be true? ~ It can be done.

We have experts saying it can be done physically and economically and city planners who say it should be done. ~ The same people who assisted in the restorations of the H.M.C.S. Segwun in Gravenhurst, ON. Canada and the Trillium in Toronto, ON. Can., are on our boards. ~ Who says it can't be done? ~ Uninformed opinions simply don't mean a thing.

The $4.2 million "cost" is merely the value of material, labor and services considered in the study and is way in excess of what we will pay. ~ We are a volunteer, charitable, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation; contributions to us are tax deductible. ~ Some of the work as been accomplished and we know much of the remaining costs will be NO cost. ~ We are working with the Ontario and Canadian governments and businesses for possible dollars or other assistance. ~ We are asking vendors on both sides of the lake for steel and other materials. ~ Many business people in Buffalo and Western New York love the Canadiana for her past and want to see her back for the future. ~ They will want to be a part of this great project. ~ Our expectations are reasonable and their assistance multiplies available dollars. ~ We are the ultimate value; actual monies paid out will likely be closer to $2.2 million than $4.2. ~ For all that this will bring, we believe kind hearts, civic pride and wisdom will help return the Canadiana and these individuals will be happy to bear a share of the "cost".

Private enterprise needs a large return, after expenses, to keep investors of 4-5 million happy. ~ This does not apply to us. ~ We will benefit the community, not investors, and we only have to meet expenses to do so. ~ We must give away profit and it will go to other charitable organizations in the area, especially those devoted to children; Cradle Beach, etc. ~ We can pay I.S.T.E.A. back. ~ In less than one month of sailing, we can return $400,000.00 to W.N.Y. ~ Crystal Beach being gone only expands our horizons. ~ An earlier study predicted 7.5 million dollars into the Buffalo and W.N.Y. economy each 3-1/2 month season and we make half a million profit. ~ We can now make a quarter million dollars in a single three day weekend to Toronto. ~ With music and food on board and people waving from shore, our two thousand voyagers will watch giant ocean vessels sliding by; they will see the world famous locks in operation. ~ All from the decks of a classic, turn-of-the-century Great Lakes steamer. ~ Top this off with two evenings and a day in the great city of Toronto. ~ It will be fascinating. ~ There is nothing like it in the entire country and people will indeed come from thousands of miles to Buffalo for the experience. ~ Just from dockside, we will have educational tours through the ship; we will be a playhouse; we will be a dinner place. ~ Many of our operations will be run by current Buffalo businesses. ~ Our income will be sufficient to pay the bills. ~ The profit we make, we will give away.

Working for the community also means working with existing business people. ~ We are very aware of the "Miss Buffalo" boats and we can co-exist. ~ We will commit to staying out of certain operations and otherwise work with (their owners), the City, County and whomever necessary to make the harbor-front thrive with activity.

A News Editorial of Oct 3 1987 favored our project for many good reasons. ~ They are just as valid now and the ability is also here. ~ We have tried in a small space to describe a tremendous multifaceted operation. ~ If we didn't answer your question, please don't assume we can't. ~ We invite watch-dogs and pro-advocates alike to learn more of our plans and all the ship can mean to this area. ~ Call (716) 833-2998 for information. ~ Thank you for your support.

Yours;

Floyd E. Baker
President; S.S.C.P.S., Inc.

Note:

Please write:
The S. S. Canadiana Preservation Society, Inc.
17 Delray Drive
Cheektowaga NY 14225-1619

or

E-mail us

Thanks for any and all assistance to "Float the Boat".
 

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