How a painted Ford City crosswalk tells a story about Windsor's past and present
Julie Hall designed and painted the crosswalk on the west side of Drouillard Road
A new, hand-painted crosswalk in Ford City is a nod to the area's industrial history and current revitalization.
The crosswalk, installed through the Ford City BIA, can be found on the west side of Drouillard Road, crossing Whelpton Street.
Artist Julie Hall designed and painted the piece earlier this week.
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Speaking with CBC Radio's Windsor Morning on Thursday, Hall described it as an informal grid that features a palette of muted and vintage-inspired colours.
"Each panel has a black graphic on top that recognizes some of the plant species that I was inspired by for this piece," she said.
Those species, she said, are the ones she spotted while checking out the site of the original Ford Canada facility on Riverside Drive East, which was demolished in 1970.
She sees a connection between those plants sprouting up in a former industrial space and the community of Ford City.
"I think...the first plants to sort of populate an area are brave, right? They're the first ones in there, and it's a story to me of resilience, co-existence, remediation or recuperation, and it also acknowledges our industrial legacy and our natural history as well."
Along with creating visual interest, Hall said she wanted the crosswalk to make pedestrians feel welcome, and the area to feel walkable.
According to the BIA, it's the first hand-painted crosswalk in the city.
Ford City BIA Chair Shane Potvin said the piece brings vibrance to an area that already has a good showing of public art.
"I think this just adds another layer to that," he said.
The piece got positive reviews from those who spoke with CBC News in the area on Thursday.
"I think it's wonderful. I think it really livens up the corner," said Sandra Prince.
"I've never seen something like that before but it's really nice and [I] hope to see a lot more of it," said Brett Prince.
With files from Darrin Di Carlo and Windsor Morning