Again, part of the challenge is to get tourists to explore this part of the city. I'm sure the downtown BIA is not getting much help on that from the established tourist areas who would like to keep all the people in their own part of town. Another thing that occurs to me is that there should be additional mid-rise housing built to increase the local population so that these businesses can be sustained through the "off season".!
I think the best solution to bring people from 'The Strip' to Downtown, NF (ps, tourists refer to The Strip as 'Downtown', so to rebrand the REAL Downtown as an Arts District probably wouldn't be too confusing to Tourists at all) is to connect the two areas with an LRT along that trail (which used to be Rail).
I made my own GoogleMap of my idea:
This LRT is 100% necessary, especially if NF & GO Transit are serious about getting the GT&HA into the Falls... From GO Train, to LRT to The Strip via Downtown Niagara Falls' "Arts District"