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December 2020

Council Minutes

For a quick overview of Council discussions and decisions from each Council meeting please check out the Council Minutes on our website.
Upcoming City Council Meetings

Experience Bright Lights Windsor – Citywide

Consistent with public health guidelines associated with the Grey “Lockdown” zone, the City of Windsor is pleased to introduce a reimagined Bright Lights Windsor for 2020 that can be enjoyed across the community in the absence of our traditional event at Jackson Park.

Until January 10, 2021, Bright Lights Windsor – Citywide​ will light up the community with signature displays in numerous City of Windsor buildings around town. 

In an effort to bring additional holiday cheer to the community, with City Council’s approval, the City of Windsor has provided $20,000 to each of the nine business improvement associations (BIAs). This investment, totalling $180,000 will be used to purchase holiday lights and displays to further light up our neighbourhoods and support local small businesses. For further details, visit Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island’s (TWEPI) holiday festival guide at

Thank you to our partners and sponsors TWEPI, Tim Hortons and the University of Windsor for their continued support of Bright Lights Windsor.

For further details, visit and check out our YouTube channel to see the lighting displays around the city.

Province Announces Pandemic Funding for Windsor

The City of Windsor has been awarded over $19 million in new funds under the Safe Restart Program to support the ongoing financial impacts to municipal operating budgets associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional $14,406,000 has been awarded in Phase 2 application-based funding to address the City of Windsor’s 2020 municipal operating pressures. Unique to the City of Windsor, losses associated with Detroit-Windsor Tunnel operations, Windsor International Airport and reduced casino revenues have contributed to the city’s fiscal pressures. Funds were awarded to 48 municipalities in Ontario based on applications that were submitted earlier this fall to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing—of those, only two (Brampton and Toronto) are receiving more than Windsor.

At the same time, all municipalities have been awarded additional funding to help offset 2021 municipal operating budget challenges. Windsor’s allocation is $5,086,000, to be used towards the City of Windsor’s 2021 operating budget pressures, with specific direction from the Province of Ontario to preserve capital projects moving forward.

With these funds confirmed, the City of Windsor will be able to factor these allocations into the planning process for the next municipal budget, set to be presented in early 2021.

Jackson Park Wildlife Tree Carving

A dying oak tree in Jackson Park has been given new life in spectacular fashion by Carver Kings, Renowned chainsaw artists. The tree's transformation is a celebration of the area's flora and fauna.

Windsor Recreation Centres to Remain Closed to January 15

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Windsor-Essex, City Council has voted to extend the temporary closure of municipal recreation centres into the New Year. Local arenas, pools and community centres were first closed to the public on November 30, after the City of Windsor moved into the Red-Control stage.

The City of Windsor and surrounding Windsor-Essex Region is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases, similar to the surge happening throughout the province of Ontario. Today, the province is reporting just under 1,900 new cases in the past 24 hours while the local health unit is reporting 443 new cases in the past six days, including a record-setting 127 new cases on December 9. 

“We need to do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally, before it overwhelms our hospitals,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Community centres and recreation programming, by their very nature, encourage gatherings and group participation, which public health officials stress we should avoid right now.”

By proactively keeping temporary closures in place, the Windsor City Council is doing all it can to reduce the risk that recreation facilities would become the site of future outbreaks.

Outdoor recreation offerings like trails, outdoor sports courts and parks, as well as skating and tobogganing (as soon as conditions allow) remain the best options for residents looking for safe and healthy activity.

Residents should consult the City of Windsor website for a full list of online service options; however, those who still choose to visit City Hall need to do so by appointment. Masks are mandatory, and hand washing stations are at all entrances when entering any City of Windsor facility.

For an ongoing list of City services impacted by COVID-19, visit

To see all of the provincial rules and regulations associated with COVID-19 visit Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.

For local data, safety tips and practices, visit the Windsor Essex County Health Unit website. 

Peche Island Shoreline Protection Update

In the Detroit River, the City of Windsor’s Peche Island has long been a refuge for endangered species. It offers pockets of calm water in the fast-flowing river and wetlands with submerged vegetation beds.

Over time, strong waves from ship traffic began eroding the island. Peche Island provides critical habitat for fish and migratory birds, but experts say more than 95 percent of Detroit River’s coastal wetlands have been lost. The Detroit River area is designated a Binational Area of Concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. It is also the only river in North America with both Canadian and American Heritage River designations.

A restoration project is underway to help protect Peche Island, by creating a series of small islands to stop erosion and provide habitat for four key species: Lake Sturgeon, Spiny Softshell Turtle, Northern Madtom and the Channel Darter. In partnership with the Essex Region Conservation Authority and with funding support from Swim Drink Fish, the Federal Government and the Provincial Government, we are able to proceed with a high priority restoration project. This Great Lakes Challenge project is the first large-scale habitat creation project on the Canadian side of the Detroit River in many years.

City Offers 15 Minutes Free Parking at Meters in Support of Take-Out

The City of Windsor is offering 15 minutes of free parking via the Passport Parking App to support our local restaurant take-out business.

Regular users of the parking app can simply enter Zone #3800 at any meter in the city. You’ll be asked for your licence plate and then will have 15 minutes of free parking to pick-up your take-out meal. Anyone new to the app will need to make an account at, then follow the same easy sign-in for 15 minutes free. The app can be used once every six hours.

The free offer will be in effect as long as Windsor remains in the Grey-Lockdown zone of the provincial public health measures in response to COVID-19.

“This summer and fall we undertook a number of pilots to support our local small businesses, including waiving fees for sidewalk cafes and helping establish curb-side parklets for extra outdoor dining spaces,” said Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Earlier this month, the City of Windsor provided $180,000 to our local BIAs to set up additional holiday light displays. Today, I’m proud that we are continuing to find ways to support small businesses in Windsor in an effort to support our hometown entrepreneurs to cope with the economic effects of this public health pandemic.” 

Information about the app can be found on City of Windsor parking meters and pay units that direct interested users to log on through their smart phone. Once there, users are able to download the Pay for Parking App and then pay for parking at the click of a button.

For more information, visit the Parking App page at

Visit for the latest information on adjusted municipal services. The Windsor Essex County Health Unit continuously provides updated information on the latest health advice and local COVID-19 data.

Museum Windsor - What is this?

Joan Edwards recalls in a December 24, 1992, Windsor Star article what Christmas was like in Windsor in the 1920s. She grew up on Pitt Street West, across the street from the François Baby House.

“The Saturday before Christmas, Mum usually went to the big farmer’s market three blocks away to buy the Christmas goose. The farmer’s market was huge. A small section of it was closed in, but most was more or less open to the four winds. I think there was a roof over all, but I’m not really sure. Farmers came with their horses and wagons. A few had big Ford trucks ... the wagons were groaning with produce –huge carrots, monstrous cabbage and potatoes.

Farmer’s wives displayed jars of pill pickles, strawberry jam, honey. Everything–lace, tatting, doll dresses.

"Then there was the poultry section. Most were alive in cages. There were chickens, hens, ducks, guinea fowl, turkey and goose. The cacophony was unbelievable. It was quite a hubbub.”

Pictured is the Windsor Market in the early 1930s. It was located on McDougall Street between Pitt Street East and Chatham Street East. P6332

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