Skip to main content

'Made in Windsor' survey launches to find solutions to issues in the downtown core

The City of Windsor is engaging with stakeholders and the public to create a vibrant, safer, and inclusive downtown core that attracts more residents and businesses while addressing pressing issues like safety, homelessness, and addiction.

A new online survey was launched Wednesday seeking “Made in Windsor” solutions to revitalize the downtown core and will be available until Oct. 18.

“We've encountered growing challenges leading to a perception that our downtown isn't as safe as it should be,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “These concerns demand our immediate attention and the complexity of these issues requires us to work collectively one step at a time, day by day.”

Dilkens said Windsor is experiencing unprecedented growth and development, believing the city’s core deserves the same, suggesting the prospect of revitalizing downtown is attainable.

“I firmly believe in the strength of our community, our resilience and our commitment to finding a ‘Made in Windsor’ solution that will lead to a vibrant, safer and more inclusive downtown,” said Dilkens. “We see the issue and it's a perception issue and it's an issue that involves mental health and addiction that is playing out on a daily basis that may not be criminal in nature, but certainly leads people to be concerned for their safety.”

He explained, “We don't have every answer, and that's why this has got to be a made in Windsor solution. We're getting the advice and the input and the feedback from the residents, [hearing] from the residents and the business owners and not just downtown but citywide because we all have an idea of how we can make things better.”

Dilkens admitted that many of the solutions require funding assistance from upper levels of government, while encouraging people to put forward their ideas regardless of where funding would come from.

“The municipality does not have the property tax base nor are we constitutionally responsible to solve these problems and fund them. We’re the level of government that receives the least amount of tax dollars,” Dilkens explained.

“So if you're unsure and you want to fill out a survey, put the idea down anyway. It's easier for us to say we've captured your idea, we've considered it and here's why we can't do it,” Dilkens continued. “There's strength in numbers if there's enough people saying the same thing. It empowers myself and all of us to have conversations with the premier, with the minister of health, with all the people who control the purse strings to say, ‘Here's what the community wants. Here's what they've advocated for’, which is why I'm here.”

Officials noted the input will play a pivotal role in guiding StrategyCorp's experts in formulating a comprehensive strategy for downtown Windsor, adding the Downtown Windsor Revitalization Survey represents just one facet of the consultations.

In addition to the survey, input will be actively pursued through consultations with focus groups and meaningful engagement with stakeholders and support agencies. By collaborating with the community and experts, the goal is to gain a full understanding of the current challenges.

“This is the most important thing we need to do downtown over anything else and everything else will follow if we can do this correctly,” exclaimed Ward 3 Coun. Renaldo Agostino. “I know this is [going to] get done because the people want this done. The politicians want this done and the city wants this done,” Agostino said “It's an exciting day for downtown Windsor.”

Agostino told CTV News, “I've been to other cities, I've seen other solutions. There are places turning things around. We only have to look over at across the river and see downtown Detroit 20 years ago, 10 years ago. If I told you that that was [going to] happen, you would have bet your house against it. Right? So the inspiration is there. The vision is there. We know we can do this. We just all have to work together and get it done.”

The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA) is optimistic concerning the survey outcome.

“The thing that caught me on what the mayor said was a renewed focus on the businesses and the building owners and the residents of downtown and not at the expense of those that are suffering,” said DWBIA Chair Chris MacLeod. “Not to allow that to continue to control the fate of the downtown.”

MacLeod said, “If we're expecting that the outcome is going to solve mental illness or drug addiction, it's not. That's not within the auspices of the city to fix. But I'm very hopeful and very excited that we're going to come up with solutions that are going to move the needle downtown and I'm super excited to see a focus on the downtown.” Top Stories

PM pans Poilievre for 'pulling stunts' by threatening to delay MPs' holidays with House tactics

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is threatening to delay MPs' holidays by throwing up thousands of procedural motions seeking to block Liberal legislation until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs off his carbon tax. It's a move Government House Leader Karina Gould was quick to condemn, warning the Official Opposition leader's 'temper tantrum' tactics will impact Canadians.

Stay Connected