The twin cities - the City of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda - are in separate counties, but they are joined by bridges, a Canal Fest and a harbor on the Erie Canal.
In January, the two cities will apply jointly for a state Canal Corporation grant to improve harbor tourism. The statewide competitive grants range from $250,000 to $1.5 million.
City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis said this is a first for the two cities and the application aims to make the cities "one cohesive unit" sharing similar lighting, public art and other improvements.
"There's a canal that separates us, but really our downtowns are extensions of each other," said Davis.
North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas agreed, noting both cities need upgrades to docks and facilities.