A Thunder Bay south core businesswoman wants people to walk her neighbourhood — an area of the city that's seen its fair share of struggles.

Shelby Ch'ng wants to make the area a better place to visit, work and live, so she's organized a "peace walk” for Friday night with an aim to bring people together and build respect.

“This is my town, this is my city, these are my people and it hurts to see people so divided,” she said.

 Ch'ng owns a bridal boutique on Victoria Avenue.

Shelby Ch'ng

Peace walk organizer Shelby Ch'ng says tonight's event will be held "in the name of peace and respect. Respect for people who work in the community and live in the community." (Supplied)

After she opened her business about a year ago, she heard many comments from people about the area, such as, "Why would you want to open a business there? There are those kinds of people there.”

The recent burning of the James Street bridge brought an outpouring of racism across the city, she observed.

"It was very hurtful and it isn't too far from what we're experiencing in the downtown south core,” Ch’ng said.

"I posted on the Mayor's facebook page and I said, ‘Hey does anyone want to do a peace walk ...who's with me?’ and I had a huge response."

The Downtown Fort William Peace Walk takes place at 5:30-6 p.m. and will start at city hall.