Windsor

Windsor council moves forward with elements of Walkerville districting plan

The City of Windsor is moving forward with the next phase of a decade-long plan to enhance the historic Walkerville neighbourhood.

New black traffic light poles and arms were approved to be put along Wyandotte Street East in Walkerville

A statue of Hiram Walker is seen at the new parkette at the corner of Devonshire Road and Riverside Drive in Windsor, Ont. (Kerri Breen/CBC)

The City of Windsor is moving forward with the next steps in a decade-long plan to enhance the historic Walkerville neighbourhood.

On Monday, councillors voted to accept the Walkerville theming and districting plan and move ahead with putting out requests for proposals to build for several projects.

"It will always help us if people outside the area know the history of Walkerville, the contributions that Hiram Walker made to our community, so we think it would significantly impact the area in a positive way," said Mike Brkovich, owner of Walkerville Brewery.

Walkerville Brewery owner Mike Brkovich says the new districting plan for his area will benefit businesses. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

The projects include designing a new pedestrian-friendly "flex street" at Argyle Road and Assumption Street that will connect with the Canadian Club historic offices and create a Walkerville Distillery District.

City seeking private investment

The project is expected to cost between $10.7 million and $14.3 million, and the city is pursuing private investment for some elements. 

"That's how we foresee most of the investment happening," said city planner Thom Hunt at the council meeting on Monday. "I think a lot of the development that you can see, save for the Hiram Walker statue, will be driven by private development applications specifically."

City administration received the green light to seek proposals to design a "Historic Town of Walkerville" gateway arch. Council also approved up to $400,000 to install black poles and arms for traffic signals along Wyandotte Street.

Those steps are part of a broader project to create a tourist destination and capitalize on the history of the area, which was built up by whisky distiller and industrialist Hiram Walker.

Signs up in Walkerville denoting it as a historic area of Windsor. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

One part of the project that is complete is a new parkette, including a statue of Hiram Walker at Devonshire Road and Riverside Drive that was unveiled earlier this summer.

Coun. Gary Kaschak noted he had heard from residents about large trucks travelling down that section of Wyandotte Street.

He asked to amend the motion to accept the report to include deeming the portion of the street in the newly created district a no-truck route. That amendment was accepted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacob Barker

Videojournalist

Jacob Barker is a videojournalist for CBC Windsor.

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