Is the Titanic Niagara bound?

The idea of opening a museum in Niagara Falls dedicated to the doomed ocean liner and its lost souls has been discussed for a few years. Now, it looks like it may happen, possibly by mid-2019.

Earlier this year, the Niagara Falls Review reported developers are looking at a pair of sites, each about three or four acres in size in the tourism district, that could house the nearly 5,000-square-metre (55,000-square-foot) complex.

The world's most famous shipwreck happened April 15, 1912, in the icy North Atlantic waters off Newfoundland.

Supposedly unsinkable, it left the British port of Southampton five days earlier, bound for New York.

It only took a few hours to sink, though, after striking an iceberg. Of the approximately 2,200 people on board including passengers and crew, about 1,500 died. The story has been immortalized in numerous books, documentaries and movies, most notably 1997's classic Titanic, directed by Niagara Falls native James Cameron.

The wreckage was finally located 73 years later, in 1985 by a crew led by Dr. Robert Ballard.

DV3 Imagineering Inc. is leading the project. Its director, David van Velzen, said when complete the museum will include exhibits and artifacts that will give visitors a feel for how it felt to be aboard the ship that fateful night.

"This is what Niagara Falls is all about," Niagara Falls Tourism chair Wayne Thomson told the Review.

"Niagara Falls is all about building on the experience for people coming here."

A group of Niagara venture capitalists has contributed about $3 million to help bring the project, first announced a year ago, to life.

Calling it "a great idea, another exciting attraction" for the famed tourism mecca of Niagara Falls, Thomson said there will be "100 per cent support" from the tourism community and city hall.

Speaking to Global TV News, van Velzen said "we are going to put you on the ship. You will go through a boiler room, an engine room, a third-class cabin, a first-class cabin. ... We'll put you on the deck of the ship just as it hits the iceberg."

The artifacts from the Titatnic that will be displayed belong to collectors.

One of the sites being considered to house the Titanic museum is the former Niagara Falls Memorial Arena property, near the top of Clifton Hill. The other potential location hasn't been identified.

It's expected the museum will be designed to look like the massive ship itself, complete with its signature four smoke stacks.

Last modified: June 18, 2018