Windsor

Site of $750K renovated streetcar to be debated by Windsor council tonight

The first council meeting in the new Windsor city hall happens Monday, and one of the items up for debate will be choosing a location for the historic streetcar now being restored — at a cost of $750,000.

This will be the first council meeting held in Windsor's new city hall

City council voted to restore an original Windsor streetcar. The 15 metre long vehicle weighs about 11,000 kilograms. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

The first council meeting in the new Windsor city hall happens Monday, and one of the items up for debate will be choosing a location for the historic streetcar now being restored — at a cost of $750,000.

Cathy Masterson, manager of cultural affairs, said council and the public agree it should go somewhere on the riverfront.

So staff looked at several specific sites, and they're recommending a place in the sculpture park, not far from the Ambassador Bridge.

"There is already washrooms in place, which certainly would need to be enhanced, but that means there's running water and electricity into that end of the park," said Masterson.

"There's a new grove of Carolinian trees that we've just planted which are really interesting. Little bits and pieces here that we can tie in together into a nice package to really make it a beautiful space for our community."

The 99-year-old streetcar still had its number 351 faintly seen on the side. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Masterson said council will also make other decisions about how the streetcar will be displayed.

"There's some really interesting sheds, pavilion-type pieces that are over some street cars in other communities, to glassed-in sort of greenhouse-looking things with foldable doors, so really once council gives us direction, then we're able to pull together the features that would make this really something interesting," she said. 

The streetcar is being completely overhauled at RM Restorations in Chatham-Kent, and is expected to be put on display in the next two years. 

The trolley, as seen here, resided in the former streetcar shed on University Avenue West, before it was donated to the city. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Streetcar 351

Streetcar number 351 once carried passengers on Windsor's streets. It was donated to the city last year, and in return, the city issued a tax receipt for $100,000.

The trolley was built in Trenton, N.J. in 1919 and ran for a while on Staten Island, N.Y. before it was purchased by the City of Windsor in 1926.

City staff held an open house in January to hear from the public about how the streetcar should be used. Initial ideas included selling concessions from the old trolley. 

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