The ground is now officially broken at the site of the new Windsor City Hall.

The new building will be right next door to the old city hall, where the days there are now numbered.

Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens, a few city councillors and other building officials smiled for the cameras as they put the shovels to the ground.

"It's not too often you get to build a new city hall," says Dilkens.

Minor work has been taking place for more than a year on the $43-million project that will see a new building by May 2018. The old city hall demolished shortly after.

"We are on time and on budget. In fact we are under budget," says project administrator Wadah Al-Yassiri.

The first two floors of the five-storey building of the new city hall will be for public access, including new council chambers, which will all be connected by an atrium at the front of the building.

A new city hall square will also be created.

"Gives us an opportunity to redesign the plaza to create a more interesting feature in front of the city hall and make it a more lively place at the end of the day," says Dilkens.

Al-Yassiri  says the feel for the new city hall and the 400 city hall will have that campus feel, which will be connected with a canopy that links the downtown from the west to the east through the new city hall to the 400 city hall.