City launches survey on Walkerville Distillery District

Historic Old Walkerville in Windsor. (photo by Mike Vlasveld)

The Walkerville Distillery Districting plan if moving forward to the second planning phase with an online survey for residents.

The survey aims to gauge residents’ opinions on 10 different projects that could establish the themed district in the Walkerville area.

“I think by going through this process with the heavy resident engagement we can build upon the success we’ve already realized. Walkerville was built over 100 years ago, it was built for a different time and that time, that physical build of a neighbourhood is still in demand right now but might require a few tweaks for the 21st century and that’s really what I’m hoping this districting idea and the input from all the residents and frankly visitors across the region,” said Ward 4 Councillor Chris Holt. “Walkerville means a lot to the people who live and work here but I also know it means a lot to the people who visit here.”

Project ideas include park links to the riverfront, alleyway projects, and flexible street design. The survey will ask residents which projects would be on the top of their priority list.

The city has committed $5 million to establish theme districts in the city. So far six different districts have been identified, however, the city is currently focusing on the Walkerville Distillery District. Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says if they spend all $5 million on establishing the Walkerville district they will consider other areas as funds become available.

“What we want at the end of the day, is to stitch together the assets in an extremely authentic part of our community where you have seen huge organic growth naturally occur,” said Dilkens.

The survey is available online until June 10, 2020.

“We won’t spend any money until we actually figure out what the plan is and we want to do it right,” said Dilkens. “Once the plan is done we’ll determine what the elements are and we’ll figure out the strategy on how to fund those different elements and then we’ll put the plan forward and hopefully the budget we have set aside will be enough to cover everything.”

The results of the survey will go to council to help establish the vision for the district moving forward.