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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 1:34 AM
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The western cities do have higher crime rates, but they're still nothing compared to US cities. I've been out in Regina and Winnipeg late at night and never had problems. A lot of the violence is within the Aboriginal communities.
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 10:56 AM
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The western cities do have higher crime rates, but they're still nothing compared to US cities. I've been out in Regina and Winnipeg late at night and never had problems. A lot of the violence is within the Aboriginal communities.
Living next to Detroit I know all about the crime in U.S. cities, it's just craziness watching Detroit news sometimes.

Side note: I often think it's funny when we have snow in the winter you'll hear on the radio that almost 90% of the schools in Detroit are closed because of the snow while everything in Windsor is still open oO, hehe.
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2011, 4:07 PM
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It's amazing that Windsor and Detroit share so much in common, but are completely different at the same time. To me, Detroit is as much my home town as Windsor is, I would never live there though. I'm married to an American, but we love living here.
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2011, 9:03 PM
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I've lived in Winnipeg and there's really only one 'scary' part of town where most of the murders happen. I wouldn't consider it a dangerous city but it has social problems you don't find in Ontario cities.

haha yeah, schools in Windsor NEVER close due to snow even if a foot of it has fallen overnight...it's like a running joke. I think they closed once in 1992 but that was the last time.

I agree that in the early 1990s it was different...but these days I think Windsor, London, and Hamilton are all coming closer together in terms of a 'stigma'. They are all mid-sized cities in the same boat with similar problems and similar economies.

Windsor counted on the auto industry for so long that I don't think city leaders cared much about what the city looked like because they didn't care so much about attracting new investment. But in the last 10 years or so, tens of millions of dollars have been spent just on aesthetics and streetscaping alone - and it's really improved the impression for both tourists and residents. There's a lot more planned for the next 5 years too.
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2011, 5:56 PM
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I agree, the city has changed so much in the last 10 years, and especially the last 5 years. All of the landscaping upgrades like Dougall and along the expressway, the riverfront park developement, and major road improvements have brought Windsor out of the industrial, blue collar past, and into smarter and more prosperous era where Windsorites are proud of how their city looks and runs.
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  #26  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2011, 4:45 PM
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The area is overshadowed by the GTA, quite simply. Not close enough to absorb outflow, but too close to engender independence. Londoner's can travel to TO (or Detroit/Michigan cities like Frankenmuth/Port Huron) for shopping, entertainment, museums (have you been to London Museum? what a lousy pile of crap) and restaurants, thus putting downward pressure on these industries. The banks and insurance co's have been bought out, with a concomitant erasure of headquarters jobs and replacement with backoffice jobs. Visionless mayors like AM de Cicco-Best (and her drunk husband). The thousands of Western students go right back to Toronto upon graduation.
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  #27  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2011, 5:57 PM
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The area is overshadowed by the GTA, quite simply. Not close enough to absorb outflow, but too close to engender independence. Londoner's can travel to TO (or Detroit/Michigan cities like Frankenmuth/Port Huron) for shopping, entertainment, museums (have you been to London Museum? what a lousy pile of crap) and restaurants, thus putting downward pressure on these industries. The banks and insurance co's have been bought out, with a concomitant erasure of headquarters jobs and replacement with backoffice jobs. Visionless mayors like AM de Cicco-Best (and her drunk husband). The thousands of Western students go right back to Toronto upon graduation.
I am a bit jealous you guys got Jim Yanchula after he abruptly left Windsor. Is he working out at all?

I think one of the things that Windsor has working both against it and for it is we're right next to the States and a large city at that (even though it's a prime example of urban decay).

Examples would be

Windsor has no good mexican restaurants, why would we when there's Mexican Town in Detroit! Everyone says this, but what if I don't want to cross into another country just to go have a decent mexican meal?

Windsor doesn't have ammenity X (pool, stadium etc. whatever) - What difference does it make because Detroit has all of that!

See, it's a weird place to live, this city. For the most part we feel forgotten with respects to the rest of the country or province down here.

Is it funny that Stephen Colbert referenced Windsor twice on his show? I remember once he called Detroit the worst place to live in America and then followed it up with 'coincidentally it's directly across from the worst place to live in Canada as well'.

It's like Detroit and Windsor feel largely left alone to wallow in our own economic misery with only eachother to lean on. Detroit is trying to do some positive things and I give them credit, but there's A LOT of work to be done there.

In Windsor we're seeing a recovery but the city's at a point where it feels like we've lost our identity, the welcome signs still say 'Automotive Capital of Canada' but we all know that's not true and hasn't been for some time.

Our local economy right now is being propped up with the surge of green energy in Ontario with smaller start ups taking advantage of the areas skilled work force and/or hunger for ANY employment but what if the Tories squash the green energy deals? The city still hasn't established a new identity yet and if the green energy sector takes a hit I'm not sure what position Windsor will be in.

I know a lot of other people in the province are pissed about the heavy subsidization associated with this new green energy and I can understand that, and I can understand it's easy for someone in Toronto or London to say 'we're paying how much money for 900 jobs or however many jobs? It feels totally different right now in Windsor though, we need this green energy stuff to keep going.

Sorry if it's a lot of reading, my brain just felt compelled to barf all of that out.
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2011, 9:37 PM
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Windsor is very different from the rest of southwestern Ontario, as we are actually part of the Greater Detroit Area, just in a different country. We are far enough away from the GTA to enjoy any of it's growth overflow, which hurts our growth, but being so close to the Detroit area gives us almost all of the amenities that the GTA has. Still, we do have some things in common with other Southwestern cities like London, Sarnia, KW and Hamilton, one being very proud of being Canadian, not American. I really hope that all of the area transitions to a smarter, knowledge based economy, and let the past be the past.
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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2011, 10:30 PM
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I find we're not proud enough to be Canadian. There are too few Canadian flags flying in this city. Take a stroll downtown and see how many buildings have empty flag poles atop of them.
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 12:29 AM
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I find that when told that we in Windsor aren't Canadian enough because we are so dominated by Detroit media and culture, we tend to become very patriotic and offended. I love being Canadian and would never become american, although my I'm married to an American from Detroit. We as a people will never be as flag waiving patriotic as Americans, as they tend to take it too far for our Canadian sensabilities.
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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2011, 8:05 PM
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Has anyone heard anything about the condo/hotel developement in downtown Chatham lately? I just read that now there's gonna be two 12 floor buildings going up, with office, condo and hotel space. The original plan was just for a 9 floor condo/hotel.
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 7:05 PM
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I read about that development in Chatham a while back but haven't heard anything about it lately.

Quote:
In Windsor we're seeing a recovery but the city's at a point where it feels like we've lost our identity, the welcome signs still say 'Automotive Capital of Canada' but we all know that's not true and hasn't been for some time.
Apparently they are now looking at replacing all of the welcome signs. I'm ok with seeing the "automotive capital" disappear, it's time to move forward to a more balanced economy.
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 9:06 PM
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Good, we should drop the Rose City label while we're at it. Most of the city's rose gardens were ripped out because of the cost to keep them up was way too much.
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 9:16 PM
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Let's make up some new ones.

'Windsor, the home of Zalev's'

Windsor, the place to be, just not downtown more like Devonshire Mall or Walmart on a Saturday night, unless you drink, then downtown.

Windsor, home of a mostly empty casino.

Windsor, we'll build that bridge some day!

And if you're heading towards Detroit
Windsor, last stop before it gets even worse!

Haha, good fun.

We have a long road ahead of us.
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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2011, 7:19 PM
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I always thought Windsor's marketing should either be:

"Canada's Sin City"

(that label when Detroit held the Superbowl gave the City so much free marketing)

or

"The safe part of Detroit"

****

Seriously as a Torontonian, whose been to Windsor before, my impression was of a very good community, but that didn't have a clear sense of what it wanted to be.

I think being next to Detroit, a City where many don't feel safe during the day, never mind after dark.....

It really is obvious (to me) that Windsor should be Detroit's safe, playground.

Family friendly waterfront parks, a downtown Cinema, etc.

Then nightime, the drinking destination for American college kids; the club district, the casino, the romantic date hotspot, fine dining + a riverfront walk (in safety)

But the community would have to want that, and convince the province to support both the marketing and some of the relevant investments.

Action Plan:

-Drop legal drinking age to 18 (same as Quebec and Manitoba)
-Last Call to 3am
-Attract major downtown Cinema
-Get more Detroiters Passports (run commericals to promote it, and have the Cdn gov't wave pay the fee for a limited time)
- Get VIA to start at least one of its daily train runs in Detroit (ridiculous to need VIA to cross the border, but would be seen as much upscale than a bus and better alternative to long waits at the bridge/tunnel.
- Get a top hotel chain to make Windsor the home of their Detroit-area hotel.

Just a thought....
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  #36  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2011, 9:52 PM
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^^^ We are just now getting our downtown back from the drunken throngs of American kids, so making it more desireable to them would destroy everything we have done in the last decade. Our DT was destroyed by thousands of drunken and destructive kids from across the border, shops and restaurants moved out as well as many offices. All that was left was a bunch of kiddie bars and not much else except empty store fronts and broken windows.

Now the city's DT is finally seeing more shops and restaurants opening back up, as well as a new aquatic centre and DT campuses for St Clair college and the University of Windsor. We can't risk having more kids coming over and dominating again.

Windsor's new vision should be a city that is affordable, clean, safe, fun and dynamic. We need to keep our young people here and continue to encourage retirees to come and settle here. We have a new cluster of high-tech companies that are growing and a fast growing winery business in the county that currently has 16 wineries with more in the works. We can change and grow and become a place that is very livable, fun and progressive. We aren't the blue collar town we used to be, and that's a great thing. We have a way to go, but at least we have already started the metamorphasis.
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  #37  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2011, 5:32 PM
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We are just now getting our downtown back from the drunken throngs of American kids, so making it more desireable to them would destroy everything we have done in the last decade. Our DT was destroyed by thousands of drunken and destructive kids from across the border, shops and restaurants moved out as well as many offices. All that was left was a bunch of kiddie bars and not much else except empty store fronts and broken windows.

Now the city's DT is finally seeing more shops and restaurants opening back up, as well as a new aquatic centre and DT campuses for St Clair college and the University of Windsor. We can't risk having more kids coming over and dominating again.

Windsor's new vision should be a city that is affordable, clean, safe, fun and dynamic. We need to keep our young people here and continue to encourage retirees to come and settle here. We have a new cluster of high-tech companies that are growing and a fast growing winery business in the county that currently has 16 wineries with more in the works. We can change and grow and become a place that is very livable, fun and progressive. We aren't the blue collar town we used to be, and that's a great thing. We have a way to go, but at least we have already started the metamorphasis.
I wasn't suggesting for 1 moment that Windsor exclusively go after teen Americans looking for a beer (or 7); LOL

But you as well are talking restaurants, and a lot of their bread and butter is tourism.

To get tourism, in part, you need nightlife and excitement (along with many other features).

That doesn't mean just cheap, seedy, drinking holes.

But let's be frank, I don't know anybody who says..."let's go visit that nice retirement community"

That's not to say you go all-out college town either; there's a balance to be struck.

But you have to capitalize on natural advantages.

Canada's drinking age is one of those. Would I rather take my 19 year old out to a restaurant for his birthday, where we can toast w/wine, or where he's stuck drinking cranberry juice? LOL

Young couples have romantic dinners too.

Its just one aspect of things.

Of course, there's a need to attract middle/high income residents to the downtown, and developers have to build too; and jobs are a consideration.

But before Toronto got its bustling residential condos in the core, it had its club district, that made downtown exciting......
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  #38  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2011, 7:33 PM
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^^^

I'm all for clubs and nightlife, we have a fair amount downtown. Weekend nights are very very busy. We just need to make sure we have a good variety of entertainment DT for everybody. I live in a condo right in the middle of DT on our main street, and love it being busy. The bars we had years ago were just trashy kiddie bars, now we have really nice clubs that attract major dj's from across the globe.

It's been a struggle to get Americans to cross the border lately, which has really hurt business in this city. Americans used to make up the majority of tourists here, and business was great, then 911 happened and they all but stopped crossing the border. Windsor has always been a safe playground for US tourists, and now they're slowly starting to come back, so hopefully a new fresh DT will encourage even more to come back over and rediscover Windsor.
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  #39  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
I wasn't suggesting for 1 moment that Windsor exclusively go after teen Americans looking for a beer (or 7); LOL

But you as well are talking restaurants, and a lot of their bread and butter is tourism.

To get tourism, in part, you need nightlife and excitement (along with many other features).

That doesn't mean just cheap, seedy, drinking holes.

But let's be frank, I don't know anybody who says..."let's go visit that nice retirement community"

That's not to say you go all-out college town either; there's a balance to be struck.

But you have to capitalize on natural advantages.

Canada's drinking age is one of those. Would I rather take my 19 year old out to a restaurant for his birthday, where we can toast w/wine, or where he's stuck drinking cranberry juice? LOL

Young couples have romantic dinners too.

Its just one aspect of things.

Of course, there's a need to attract middle/high income residents to the downtown, and developers have to build too; and jobs are a consideration.

But before Toronto got its bustling residential condos in the core, it had its club district, that made downtown exciting......
Honestly, even when things were going better for Windsor and we could count on the the americans coming over it was no good for the residents because it felt like we were always catering to them.

Yes a balance has to be struck and the city has been trying to find that balance now for, well.... forever and we're not there yet.

Honestly I think the better balance is catering more to the residents and making Windsor a better city to live in for it's own people, because that's where we've been lacking because we were concentrating soo much on the americans that were coming over.

Soo much has changed since 911. The border is tighter, passports are required, the dollar is not really in the americans favour, Detroit has casinos now (where you can still smoke I might add) and now Ohio is getting casinos, yes 4 of them. So that's going to kick Caesar's in the nuts as far as out of town visitors because many were from Ohio.

Detroit is dying, just read the papers, we can't count on all that same stuff like we used to.
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  #40  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2011, 3:24 AM
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Tourism was Windsor's 2nd largest industry for quite some time (until 9/11 happened which ruined everything). We definitely don't want to go back to the days when Americans were taking over downtown every Friday and Saturday night though.

I think one of the things that needs to improve is how young Windsorites themselves perceive the city. Older people seem to recognize the good things going on there but younger ones can be resentful especially when they're forced to leave to find better jobs.

After having lived/worked in many other Canadian cities (London, Kitchener, Winnipeg, Brantford, Brandon, etc) I can say that I prefer Windsor to all of them. It's more diverse, unique, safe, quirky, etc. The thing is, I didn't realize any of that until I moved away.
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