Councillor ‘livid’ over Sandwich Towne vandalism

A Black history mural is seen defaced in west Windsor on April 30, 2021. Photo by Fabio Costante/Facebook.

The Windsor City Councillor for the west-end says he won’t rest until he gets to the bottom of whoever vandalized historic murals in Old Sandwich Towne.

Ward 2 Councillor Fabio Costante reported the “tagging” of the murals on his Facebook page Friday.

“I¬†was made aware late [Thursday] night from a good friend that there was tagging done to both of our Black history murals in Paterson Park and our French mural, currently in storage, at the parkette across the street,” wrote Costante in the post.

Someone had placed blue paint on the face of the image of Howard Watkins, the first Black constable with Windsor police, and one of Canada’s first Black detectives. In the other instance, someone wrote “Hi Gramma” on the plywood where the French mural is usually displayed.

Costante said he immediately began trying to get the vandalism fixed.

“As soon as I woke up this AM I headed down to see for myself,” wrote Costante. “I immediately got in touch with our Parks Department and they tried several solutions to wipe out the graffiti but none worked without compromising them. I am now in the process of connecting them with the artists who originally did the murals to not only fix the graffiti, but to touch up other parts and correct the spelling of Watkins.”

Watkins’ name is misspelled on his mural, but it appeared to have been a production error.

Costante has urged residents to speak up if they noticed anything unusual in the area. Anyone with information is asked to call Windsor police at (519) 255-6700, or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers.

The vandalism comes weeks after a plaque honouring Mary and Henry Bibb, Canada’s first Black journalists, was stolen from its namesake park nearby. Heritage Canada announced it would pay to replace the plaque.


A "tagged" mural is shown in west Windsor, April 30, 2021. Photo by Fabio Costante/Facebook.

A “tagged” mural is shown in west Windsor, April 30, 2021. Photo by Fabio Costante/Facebook.