Downtown Windsor Revitalization Offers Lesson for Jax

August 5, 2014 1 comment Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Downtown revitalization efforts aren't just for United States cities. Canadian cities have worked hard to promote vibrancy in their own urban cores as well. Today, we take a visual tour of City Centre Windsor and ponder if there are applicable lessons for Jacksonville.

Map of City Centre Windsor

Ouellette Avenue

Ouellette Avenue is the historic main commercial street in downtown Windsor. It runs north-south, perpendicular to the Detroit River, and divides the city into east and west sections.

Windsor's economy is primarily based on manufacturing, tourism, education, and government services. One Riverside Drive is the home to Chrysler's Canada Headquarters. The city is one of Canada's major automobile manufacturing centres. Automotive facilities include a Chrysler minivan assembly plant, two Ford Motor Company engine plants, and several tool and die and automotive parts manufacturers.

Chatham Street

Windsor has often been the place where many metro Detroiters find what is forbidden in the United States. With a minimum legal drinking age of 21 in Michigan and 19 in Ontario, a number of 19 and 20-year-old Americans frequent Windsor's bars. The city also became a gambling attraction with Caesars Windsor's opening in 1994, five years before casinos opened in Detroit. In addition, one can purchase Cuban cigars, Cuban rum, less-costly prescription drugs, absinthe, certain imported foods, and other items not available in the United States. In addition, many same-sex couples from the United States have chosen to marry in Windsor, which is illegal in Michigan and most parts of the United States, but is legal in Canada.,_Ontario

Caesars Windsor

Owned by the government of the province of Ontario (through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation), it is operated by Caesars Entertainment. Caesars Windsor, which attracts about six million visitors annually, opened in the late 1990s.

Riverside Drive

Riverside Drive once separated City Centre Windsor from the industrial rail-based riverfront.

In 2007, St. Clair College opened a satellite campus in downtown Windsor in the former Cleary International Centre. In April 2010, St. Clair College added to its downtown Windsor presence with the addition of its MediaPlex school. Together, they bring over one thousand students into the downtown core every day. The college also opened the TD Student Centre on the corner of Victoria Avenue and University Avenue in 2012.

Windsor is the headquarters of Hiram Walker & Sons Limited, now owned by Pernod Ricard. Its historic distillery was founded by Hiram Walker in 1858 in what was then Walkerville, Ontario, just north of City Centre Windsor. The Windsor railway station, the western terminus of Via Rail's Quebec City-Windsor Corridor, is located in the midst of the Hiram Walker Distillery. The station is served by eight Via trains daily originating in Toronto.

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