Windsor

Giant Canadian flag gets approval

In a unanimous decision, city council approved plans to install an 18-metre wide Canadian flag along Windsor's riverfront in Dieppe Park.
Mike Beale and Peter Hrastovec, with the support of a number of veterans, present to Windsor council Tuesday evening. (John Van Dusen/CBC News)

Windsor will get its giant Canadian flag.

In a unanimous decision, city council approved plans to install an 18-metre wide Canadian flag along Windsor's riverfront in Dieppe Park.

The city agreed to set aside $25,000 for the project at Tuesday's council meeting.

An additional $300,000 will come through fundraising for the pole and maintenance costs.

Michael Beale is one of the organizers for the Great Canadian Flag Project. He hopes to have the flag flying in time for Canada Day.

"It's going to be ... it's hard to describe it," he said. "A beautiful, beautiful Canadian flag stretched out against a blue sky in a gentle breeze and really, that sound that you hear on the end of that flag, that's the sound of freedom.

"And we're looking forward to hearing that snap."

But first he will have to raise the money. Beale said he plans to meet with "major donors" in the next two weeks.

Ward 10 Coun. Paul Borrelli said the flag, which would sit at the corner of Ouellette Avenue and Riverside Drive, would stake a claim in Windsor as the gateway to Canada.

"It shows you that we're at the start of Canada, we're not at the end of Canada, we're at the beginning of Canada and that, in my opinion is very important as well as the national identity which we finally have with this flag," he said.

Idea pitched 35 years ago

The idea for a flag along the waterfront was originally pitched by Tom McDade.

He proposed the idea in 1979 but it never gained traction. His daughter, Karen was at council last night and see her father's dream come true.

"We're so happy, I feel very honoured to honour my father's legacy," she said.

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