Rochester, NY

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    According to the 2000 census, Rochester's population was around 250,000, and the Metro population was 1,079,000.


    Situated on the Genesee River from the southern edge of Monroe County to the river's mouth on Lake Ontario, the city of Rochester and its metropolitan area sit on a beautiful glacial plain a scant 90 miles across the lake from Toronto, ON. The main features, geographically speaking, are:

Lake Ontario

  • One of the Great Lakes, Ontario is famous for being part of one of the worlds vital commercial waterways, part of a system of lakes, rivers and canals connecting the great US and Canadian cities of the interior (Toronto, Rochester, Buffalo, Chicago, Windsor, Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo and Milwaukee to name a few) to the Atlantic Ocean and the rest of the world.

Genesee River

  • Its source buried in the Allegheny foothills of Pennsylvania, the Genesee enters Rochester and drops through a series of gorges and falls called the Genesee Escarpment to reach its terminus in the aforementioned lake at a place called Ontario Beach. It was on the Genesee and particularly the area around High Falls that Rochester was born as an industrial 18th century grist mill and Seneca Indian crossroads.

Finger Lakes

  • Long, thin tendrils of water which lie in the valleys to the south of Rochester, the Finger Lakes are famous for their recreational and vinticultural (wine) attractions. Among other wineries in the area, some of the most well known are: Canandaigua Brands (including the following labels: Widmer, Taylor, Manischewitz, Paul Masson Brandy, Inglenook, Dunnewood and Arbor Mist), Dr. Konstatin Frank's, and Casa Larga.

Kettles, Drums, Bowls

  • Unusual geological formations resulting from a rapid recession of polar ice at the end of the last ice age, these give Rochester a distinctively 'hilly' look and feel.


The Flour City

  • Our first nickname, deriving from the many mills which sprang up along the Genesee.

The Flower City

  • At first a bastardization of 'Flour', it has come to represent the enormous horticultural contributions of Rochester, whose Ellwanger-Barry nurseries rank with the best in the world. Many Frederick Law Olmsted parks are in the area, and the largest city festival is a celebration of Rochester's symbol, the Lilac Festival.

The World's Image Centre

  • A result of Rochester being the birthplaces of and corporate headquarters of Xerox, Kodak, Bausch and Lomb, Western Union and countless tel-com companies.

Soccertown, USA

  • Rochester is home to one of the most rabidly followed soccer (read: English Football) teams in North America, the Raging Rhinos. The city is besotted with the team in a manner quite disproportionate to its size, regularly outdrawing such big name soccer teams as the NY/NJ Metrostars and the Chicago Fire. Winners of 3 A-League Championships and one US Open Cup victory (The US Open Cup is the top prize for N. American Soccer), the Rhinos regularly defeat MLS teams as well as their A-League opponents, and plans for a soccer-specific stadium and MLS membership are in the works.


As mentioned above, Rochester is a center of international commerce. Among the companies which call Rochester home:

  • Xerox
  • Kodak
  • Bausch and Lomb
  • French's (mustards, relishes, etc..)
  • Ellwanger-Barry Nurseries
  • Global Crossing Communications/Frontier Communications
  • Western Union (note: headquarters no longer in Rochester)
  • Hickey-Freeman Clothiers
  • High Falls Brewing Co. (Michael Shea's, JW Dundees Honey Brown, Genny 12-Horse)
  • Paychex
  • Gordon S Black Corp.
  • The Sutherland Group
  • Valeo USA
  • Gannett News Service


Rochester has seen many of its sons and daughters ascend to fame and fortune. A brief list would include:

  • John Lithgow (Actor)
  • Cab Calloway (Musician)
  • Gap, Chuck Mangione (Musicians)
  • Rudy Boesch (Survivor)
  • Josh Brolin (Actor)
  • Taye Diggs (Actor)
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Actor)
  • George Eastman (Founder of Eastman Kodak)
  • Robert Forster (Actor)
  • Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone)
  • Frederick Douglass (Abolisionist)
  • Susan B Anthony (Suffragist)
  • Lauren Holly (Actress)
  • Mimi Kennedy (Actress)
  • Cheyna (WWF Wrestler)


Thinking of paying us a visit? Passing through on your way to Niagara Falls or NYC, and want to make a day of it? Here are a few of the more popular things to do:

  • Lilac Festival: The premiere festival held annually in mid-May, the Lilac Festival takes place at Highland Park and celebrates Rochester's place as a horticultural mecca. Also, as with other festivals, a fine time to sample Rochester's culinary specialties, such as White Hots, Garbage Plates, Funnel Cakes and Artichoke French.
  • Park Ave Festival: Held on trendy, hip Park Avenue and surrounding streets, the festival is notable primarily for its street vendors and Mardi Gras-type atmosphere. (Sidewalk tournaments of Beiruit/Beer Pong are not uncommon)
  • Corn Hill Festival: See Park Ave festival entry above, and stress the neighborhood's gorgeous architecture.
  • Maplewood Rose Festival: Maplewood's Rose Gardens bloom to life in mid-June.
  • Eastman Theatre: The University of Rochester's Eastman School of music is housed in a beautiful downtown concert hall, where you can catch great classical, jazz and eclectic music almost every night of the week. The Eastman School consistently ranks at the top of Music Education Institutions nationawide, eclipsing some notable places like Juliard and Berklee in Boston.
  • George Eastman House and Museum of Film: The worlds largest and most complete museum devoted to film, both moving and still, housed in the gracious mansion of Kodak founder George Eastman.
  • Rhinos Game: See Soccertown, USA entry above.
  • Wegmans Supermarket (believe me, you want to see this): 'Super-Wegmans' is a supermarket of epic proportions, boasting (among other things) a full-time Belgian Patissiere, Japanese Sushi Chefs, and a 5* restaurant. 3195 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY 14618 (716) 586-6680 The Wegmans superstore in Pittsford is located about a mile south of I-590, next to Pittsford Plaza. Open 24 hours
  • Jazz and Folk buskers downtown: Products of aforementioned Music School
  • Bar and Nightlife districts: St Paul, High Falls, Park Ave, Monroe Ave, Alexander St, Chevy Place, Gregory St, Liberty Pole.
  • Genesee Brewery
  • Wine Route
  • The Great Great House of Guitars. Its owners have not been proven to NOT be aliens, but it is the greatest music store in the world, and is a favorite among most famous musicians.
  • Nearby: Buffalo Bills/Sabres; Toronto Maple Leafs/Blue Jays/Raptors games, Niagara Falls, Adirondack Mts, Montreal, 1000 Islands, Toronto in general.

Here is some additional statistical and otherwise useful data, courtesy of


  • Rochester is uniquely centered within the heart of the Northeast Region, providing an economic bridge to Washington, New
    York, Toronto, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, Baltimore and Montreal. Within a 400-mile radius that includes twelve
    Northeastern states and the two most populous Canadian provinces, Rochester reaches out to more than eighty million
    people-that is over one-third of the total U.S. population.


  • Date Founded: 1803
  • Date Incorporated as a Village: 1814
  • Date Incorporated as a City: 1834
  • Population: 249,773 (2000 U.S. Census)
  • Location: On Lake Ontario, bisected by the Genesee River
  • Area: 36.44 square miles
  • Streets (combined length): 537 miles
  • Water Mains (combined length): 585 miles
  • Sources of Water Supply: Canadice Lake, Hemlock Lake, Lake Ontario
  • Number of Bridges: 8 pedestrian; 44 vehicular
  • Number of Libraries: 11
  • Number of Police Stations: 7
  • Number of Fire Stations: 16 with an ISO Fire Protection rating of CLASS 2
  • Average Snowfall: 95.0 inches (30 Year Annual Average)
  • Mean Temperature (July): 71.3 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mean Temperature (February): 23.6 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Recreation and other Facilities: 13 full time recreation centers, 1 full time center for older adults, 6 part time programs
    for older adults, 14 part time recreation programs, 19 swimming programs, 3 artificial ice rinks, 66 softball/baseball fields,
    47 tennis courts, 5 football fields, 7 soccer fields, 43 basketball courts (outdoor)
  • Number of Parks, Malls, and Green Areas: 3,112

This entry is by no means definitive. additional resources are, of course, available through any search engine.

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