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October 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

Welcome Ward 7 Councillor Jeewen Gill

The City of Windsor congratulates Jeewen Gill on being the newly elected councillor for Ward 7. Councillor Gill was officially sworn in on October 9, 2020. Welcome to City Hall!

Windsor Fire Prevention “Week” becomes “Month”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens presented a plaque of appreciation to the men and women of Windsor Fire & Rescue Services today for their on-going efforts as frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our fire fighters are used to facing danger in the execution of their duties,” said Mayor Dilkens. “But COVID-19 is a different kind of danger and stressor, and we truly appreciate how our fire department continues to keep our community safe.”

The plaque presentation also helped kick off Fire Prevention Month. See video of the media conference.

“We decided that, with the challenges of COVID-19, the usual Fire Prevention Week wasn’t enough,” said Fire Chief Stephen Laforet. “Instead we have a month of education activities aimed at spreading the important word about fire safety.”

This year’s theme is “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires in Windsor. Online activities have been organized into three sections: schools, adults, and children with age appropriate activities for all. Sparky the Fire Dog is also issuing his own weekly fun challenges to everyone.

Check out the Windsor Fire website at windsorfire.com for an ongoing list of activities.​

City Investing over $45 Million to Improve Cabana Road

The City of Windsor is making a significant investment in Cabana Road, making improvements both east and west to enhance the corridor for passenger vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

As the only continuous east-west arterial roadway in South Windsor, the reconstruction of Cabana Road was identified as a priority in both the Windsor Area Long-Range Transportation Study and the Bicycle Use Master Plan. Long championed by Mayor Drew Dilkens, City Council approved a budget of $46 million for multi-phase improvements to the Cabana/Division Corridor. 

Phase 1 of the project involved Cabana Road East from west of Provincial Road to Howard Avenue. Phase 2 concentrated on Cabana Road from Howard Avenue to Dougall Avenue. 

Today, Mayor Drew Dilkens and City Engineer Mark Winterton provided public updates on the progress to date and what happens next in Phases 3 and 4, which will see work from Dougall Avenue to Highway #3 that is similar to the work completed in phases 1 and 2. By 2025, Cabana Road will be widened to four traffic lanes, featuring more than 6 kilometres of bicycle lanes and sidewalks in each direction, from St. Clair College to the Windsor International Airport.

Improvements to date include the following:

  • Road widening to four lanes with buffered bike lanes
  • New sidewalks on both sides
  • New streetlight poles on south side
  • Driveway/boulevard restoration
  • Water main upgrades
  • New storm sewer installation
  • Sanitary sewer rehabilitation
  • Drainage improvements which incrementally decreases the risk of basement flooding.

“Connecting St. Clair College in the west, with the airport in the east, with retail, residential in between, Cabana Road is now a major thoroughfare for our entire community,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “I’m proud that our Council has prioritized continued investment for expanding infrastructure, which creates vibrant, healthy communities.”

All businesses in the affected area will remain open with access from the roadway.

For more information on construction and detours, contact 311 or see the City of Windsor construction and detours database and map at citywindsor.ca.

Council Returns to Virtual Format

As a proactive measure against a potential 2nd COVID wave, City Council meetings will return to a virtual format for the Monday, October 19, 2020 Council meeting. For more information, including how to register as a delegation: http://ow.ly/yQhf50BRiBM

City Sandbag Station Closes

Flood Risk Recedes along Waterfront

Water levels along Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Little River have receded to a safer level, and residential demand for sandbags has abated, leading the City of Windsor to close the sandbag station.

This has been an exceptional year for flood mitigation and preparations, which became complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic response. As a result of the public health emergency, the City of Windsor took additional precautions to support at-risk residential properties this spring. In addition to the annual sandbag depot, the City provided additional services, including home-delivery of sandbags to help those residents who were isolating due to the pandemic. The City also took special care to communicate directly with target residents through individual letters as well as information brochures.

Important infrastructure upgrades are currently underway to expand capacity of our underground network of storm sewers, in part due to federal funding. Windsor’s 90-million-dollar Phase 1 Disaster Mitigation & Adaptation Fund project is currently in progress, while an active application is currently being evaluated by the federal government that would fund an additional 80 million dollars in local improvements.

“Over the course of this year, we’ve provided approximately 30,000 sandbags to property owners as a precaution against overland flooding,” said Operations Executive Director Dwayne Dawson. “With water levels now down and winter on the way, the more immediate threat has passed, so we’re redeploying our resources elsewhere until needed again.”

“It’s easy to forget that, just a few months ago, our community faced the prospect of a natural disaster on top of the pandemic,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “In late spring, our team at city hall was monitoring water levels at the same time as we were COVID-19 case counts. While we never faced major flooding this year, the risk remained high throughout the late winter and spring—that’s why continuing to invest per the Sewer Master Plan is a major priority.”

Property owners with sandbag barriers should leave them in place until spring water level predictions are better known, as the barriers will continue to protect against heavy wind and wave activity.  The water level, while lower, remains above normal levels, so caution is still advised.

For more information on City services, contact 311 or visit www.citywindsor.ca.

Transit Windsor Preparing for Front Door Boarding

Fare Collection to Resume on October 19

Front door boarding by Transit Windsor passengers will resume on Monday, October 19, after nearly seven months of rear-only boarding due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protective barriers are being installed on all Transit Windsor busses to ensure employee safety while maintaining sightlines and visibility for drivers. Passengers will be asked to follow a one-way flow, boarding through the front of the vehicle and exiting through the rear doors. Exceptions will be made enabling customers with mobility issues to exit through the front of the bus.

Effective Monday, October 19, fare collection will also resume. Riders are encouraged to re-load Transit Windsor Smart Cards at either the Windsor International Transit Terminal (300 Chatham Street West) or Transit Centre (3700 North Service Road East) in the weeks ahead.

Following the best advice of public health experts, the mandatory mask policy will remain in effect indefinitely and capacity limitations will continue to allow for social distancing on board. Transit Windsor will continue to operate on an enhanced Saturday service schedule, Monday through Saturday until ridership figures indicate additional service is required. Sunday service will continue on the Sunday schedule. Transit Windsor continuously monitors capacity on busses and high-frequency routes to add additional vehicles when required.

“I’m pleased that we are able to now balance the risks associated with COVID-19 with running Transit Windsor service across the City of Windsor,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Municipalities across the country have taken significant losses, operating transit services without collecting fares for more than 6 months. We are counting on the Province of Ontario and Federal Government to help support Transit Windsor in the months ahead. In the meantime, we are restarting fare collection and continuing to offer services across our City and into the County.”

Transit Windsor’s website has been updated to include current schedule and policies.

Transit Windsor leadership has been participating in province-wide working groups and forums designed to implement industry-wide standards to support a return to front door boarding.

Over the course of the past several months, ridership numbers have remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels. Current ridership during September has been reduced by about 60% as compared to 2019.

In August, the Province of Ontario announced $6.3 million  for Transit Windsor to help recover costs associated with pandemic operations and announced an application-based second round of public transit funding. Applications are due later this year and could provide additional funds to Transit Windsor for operational requirements associated with the public health emergency. 

Fall and Winter Recreation Services Update

In preparation for the fall and winter, and to create opportunities for physical fitness and healthy living, the City of Windsor is re-opening a number of community centres that had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additional adult and youth programing will also proceed, subject to registrations and public health guidelines.

Reopening Centres and Services:
  • Windsor Water World, Adie Knox Herman Recreation Complex and Gino and Liz Marcus Community Complex to reopen for after-school programs ages 6 to 18;
  • If there is sufficient demand, and adhering to provincial guidelines, beginning Monday, October 19, 2020, the WFCU Centre and Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex will open for programs such as Thai Chi, Yoga, Karate and Preschool Activities. Registrations will begin on Monday, October 5, 2020, by visiting the City’s recreation website, www.activewindsor.ca.

After Windsor-Essex entered Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s re-opening framework, programing had been re-opened at select facilities, consistent with public health guidelines. Average attendance and recreation program participation remains substantially lower than pre-pandemic seasons.

Ice rentals are available at WFCU Centre and Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex, with 5 ice pads in total. Current usage is 80% of the time during peak hours and about 15% during off-peak times. The Windsor International Aquatic & Training Centre Presented by WFCU Credit Union offers reserved fitness lanes only and is operating between 37-52% capacity. The WFCU Centre pool is operating both reserved fitness lane rentals and offering aquafit classes, with lane rentals operating between 24-80% capacity and aquafit between 7-20% capacity.

“We know that physical fitness and mental health go hand in hand. As we prepare for cooler temperatures and a potential second wave of COVID-19, maintaining active, healthy lifestyles will become even more important,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “We’re restarting some programming and re-opening some recreation centres to create the spaces Windsor residents need to stay active and healthy.”

City administration will continue to monitor registrations and feedback from residents to determine if additional service level changes will be required in the months ahead.

The City of Windsor is committed to following all public health safety and protective measures and has an enhanced cleaning protocol in place for all municipal facilities.

For more information on City of Windsor services, contact 311 or visit www.citywindsor.ca. For more on recreation program registrations, visit www.activewindsor.ca.

Peche Island Shoreline Protection

The City of Windsor is partnering with the Essex Region Conservation Authority to protect the shoreline of Peche Island. Roughly 20 percent of the island has been lost to erosion by best estimate since record keeping began. Mayor Dilkens and his council colleagues are committed to preserving this natural gem in the Detroit River.

Museum Windsor - What is this?

Pictured are rugose coral fossils from the Middle Devonian Period (approximately 400 million years ago).

During this period, the Windsor-Essex region was covered in a warm tropical sea with many unusual plants and animals living in this underwater world (including marine life that is now extinct). These creatures can be found today, preserved as fossils.

2014.12.2-4 Gift Courtesy of University of Windsor Earth and Environmental Sciences Department.

The City of Windsor conducts surveys as a means of soliciting ideas and opinions from residents so we can better serve the community as a whole.  Check back often to see if a new survey is ready for your input.




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Check out the latest Activity Guide online at activewindsor.ca or visit one of our many Customer Care Centres to pick up a copy. Register for adult, parent & tot, pre-school, and youth classes today!
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