Wyandotte Town Centre BIA reveals plans for 'Windsor's World Marketplace'

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Windsor Star/Dylan Kristy




The Wyandotte Town Centre Business Improvement Association is hoping to rebrand its district as “Windsor’s World Marketplace.” 

The BIA released renderings on Thursday showcasing a drastically re-imaged streetscape featuring multi-coloured fabric canopies stretching across Wyandotte Street East, improved lighting, seating areas and flower planters. 

“We already have a very vibrant and multicultural area and so we wanted to highlight that,” said Tamara Kowalska, chair of the Wyandotte Town Centre Business Improvement Association.

“There are a lot of wonderful steps happening already in our BIA and we just want to make that more visible.”

The BIA held a competition in 2013 looking for a streetscaping design that highlights the city’s multicultural makeup. 

The winner of the competition and the resulting proposed plan was created by Windsor’s Architecttura Inc. 

Broken into several phases, Kowalska said the first phase would include the festive elements such as canopies and improved lighting. 

“Phase 1 is really just setting up some of those features that we think are going to make a splash and send a message that things are starting,” she said.

Since the BIA encompasses such a large area, Kowalska said the canopies will stretch across certain blocks between McDougall and Gladstone avenues. 

She said the BIA is prepared to cover a portion of the estimated $1.5 million for Phase 1, but will look to city council for about $1 million. 

“Approaching the city to become a partner is really instrumental in our success of implementing Phase 1 in a timely manner,” she said. 

“Our membership is prepared to make a monetary contribution and many of our members have already invested thousands of dollars into their storefronts.”

Both Ward 3 Coun. Rino Bortolin and Ward 4 Coun. Chris Holt have included Phase 1 as a top priority in their enhanced capital budget requests.

Councillors were invited to put forward their top spending priorities for their ward which will be debated and voted as part of the $10-million enhanced capital budget on Jan. 23.

The WTCBIA and Architecttura Inc. said they will attend the city’s budget deliberations in hopes of answering any questions council may have about the proposed plan. 

“Moving ahead with the WTC plan is critical in revitalizing the core and connecting downtown to Walkerville,” Bortolin said in a news release.

“This investment by the BIA and the city will not only benefit the businesses along Wyandotte Street, but also positively impact the residential neighbourhoods along that corridor.”

Holt said he is “thrilled to play a role in this vibrant and diverse neighbourhood.”

“There are few communities in Canada that can match Wyandotte Town Centre’s multicultural vibe,” he said.

“It will forever be known as Windsor’s World Marketplace.”