WINDSOR, ONT. -- Over 3,600 Windsor residents participated in five telephone town hall meetings over two weeks.

City officials say 3,647 residents participated in the meetings hosted by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and all members of Windsor city council.

“We launched this as a result of the pandemic, but it helped us reach a much broader audience than the typical ward meeting,” said Dilkens. “While we tend to get a few hundred participating in all ward meetings during a good year, over 3,600 this year is an amazing level of engagement. We probably hit a few individuals that would otherwise not have attended an in-person meeting, regardless of the current public health crisis.”

The annual ward meetings were re-imagined with support from Hamilton-based Prime Contact Group.

Windsorites with a landline were automatically dialled, while mobile-only ward residents were required to pre-register to be able to participate in the virtual sessions.

Dilkens and each of Windsor’s 10 council members were able to provide brief updates regarding neighbourhood-specific projects and activities. Residents were able to ask dozens of questions, and interactive surveys helped gather valuable information.

City officials say public interaction and constituent feedback gathered during these town hall sessions will help inform upcoming municipal decisions by elected officials, while also helping to prioritize resident concerns heading into important 2021 municipal budget deliberations.

All recordings from the October 2020 virtual ward meetings are available on the City of Windsor’s YouTube channel, and a summary of the survey results from each ward meeting is also available.