Bike lanes on the E.C. Row? Dance battles at city council? It's all fake news

A website called "What's Up Windsor?" bills itself as the city's answer to satirical news sites such as The Onion and The Beaverton.

"What's Up Windsor?" bills itself as the city's answer to The Onion

A screenshot of the What's Up Windsor homepage on July 17, 2017. (CBC)

The City of Windsor is looking to hire a seamstress with an especially long ladder to repair the giant Canadian flag flying downtown.

Staff have already received a four-foot-long needle and some industrial-strength thread, but now they're in need of a skilled hand to wield it — not being scared of heights is a big part of the job description.

The headline is sure to grab readers, but the story may leave some scratching their heads and wondering why something about it seems fishy.

That's exactly the point of What's Up Windsor?, the brainchild of Andrew Ferguson, a former stand-up comedian and radio writer who now works in the insurance industry, something he calls "horribly, horribly boring."

"I was always a big fan of The Onion and The Beaverton — the satire news sites," Ferguson explained, "I thought, 'Windsor doesn't have one of those."

Andrew Ferguson, a former stand-up comedian and radio writer launched What's Up Windsor, a satirical news website. (Sinan Sbahi/CBC)

Figuring he was too old to get back into stand-up, Ferguson, 51, started looking for another way to flex his funny bone and settled on the website, which launched in June 2016. New stories are generally published on a weekly basis.

Inspired by the comments section

Ferguson's stories are inspired by real news, and the reaction he sees to them on the comments section of local media outlets.

"They could raise our taxes around here, and nobody would care," Ferguson said. "But you talk about a bike lane and everybody loses their minds. It's funny what Windsor people will pick and choose to fight their battles over."

The antics of various politicians are another rich source of inspiration for Ferguson.