Half a million to kick start City Hall Square and Civic Esplanade project

New city hall campus concept. Aug. 28, 2019. (Photo courtesy of City of Windsor)

When Windsor City Council meets Monday, it will be asked to invest $550,000 into the first stage of a makeover for City Hall Square and the Civic Esplanade.

The over half-a-million-dollar investment is for phase one of a project to reimagine the civic space connecting Windsor City Hall to the riverfront.

Back in 2014, when city council approved plans to build a new City Hall and tear down the old one, it also discussed plans to create a new civic space in City Hall Square and south to Riverside Drive.

They imagined a multi-use space inviting to the public and those who work at the City Hall campus.

The city applied for a grant under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Community Culture and Recreation steam. Unfortunately, the provincial review committee decided not to recommend it.

Administration recommends moving ahead with the project, but in stages to mitigate the financial risk.

Phase one would consist of public consultation starting this December, hiring a team to develop conceptual designs for the Civic Esplanade and City Hall Square. A timeline provided in a report to the council suggested the plans could be ready by May 2021.

Phase 2 would entail a detailed design and construction. Tenders for the project would go out between June 2021 and February 2022. The following May, construction would start.

With construction wrapping up in December of that year, the new civic plaza could open in January 2023.

The report did not include costing for construction, saying it depended on the design chosen. Also, operating costs were not included because that would depend on the amenities.