Hiram Walker & Sons distillery on Riverside Dr. in Windsor, March 22, 2017. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

A Distinct Walkerville To Take Shape

Big plans may be in the works for one of Windsor’s historic areas.

Windsor City Council approved the city’s enhanced capital budget projects for 2018 at its meeting Monday night. Two of the projects recommended involve the city’s theme districting initiative, one for 2018 and the other for 2019’s capital budget.

The initiative would create distinct neighbourhoods in the city based on common community values and themes. These include downtown, Old Sandwich Towne, Riverside, Ford City, Asian Town and Walkerville.

Mayor Drew Dilkens focused on Walkerville following the meeting Monday. He says a public meeting is coming soon so residents can look at the preliminary sketches and provide input on what they would like to see.

“We’ve had some initial preliminary concept drawings made,” says Dilkens. “I think we need to fine-tune those drawings and then bring it out to the wider community to have a public consultation on what they think that district should look like.”

Dilkens has expressed a desire to make a distillery district in Walkerville, and money is already being raised to build a life-size statue of the area’s namesake, Hiram Walker. The mayor has an idea of what to do with Walkerville, but he says he’s anxious to hear from the public about what else to place there.

“I think it’s a matter of taking a very discreet area in Walkerville, obviously the distillery, and connecting the Canadian Club Brand Centre, and of course the Wiser’s Reception Centre,” says Dilkens.

The Walkerville Brewery also figures into the vision, says Dilkens.

Over $1.4-million has been approved in this year’s enhanced capital budget toward the theme district initiative, spread out through 2022. The mayor says a total of $5.25-million is allocated for this year’s budget as well as next year’s.

The city has already begun seeking input from residents to identify defining characteristics of the Walkerville area. More information can be found at the city’s official website.