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  #281  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2012, 10:54 PM
Jacob Jacob is offline
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Originally Posted by RoseCityFreePress View Post
Its sad but true. I would LOVE a metro or LRT but this is a old city (people and mentality wise) in order to get something like this done Windsor would need to be able to start attracting the young professional. Much like K-W or Toronto. Its sad to say but older people are set in their ways and Windsor has a very larger boomer population that isn't key on public transit or participation in it. This idea is a very real possibility in the future but it has to start with a culture change in this city. That means brining the city back from the edge and attracting young people here. sadly, were marketing Windsor as a great retirement centre. This can only hinder us long term.
One of the problems is, many young people view this city as dirty and run down. There are actually a lot of students moving downtown in the next few years. the new aquatic complex will also attract people downtown and if the new market is built, even more. Of course, with more people downtow comes a desire fore retail and with retail comes even more people. I feel like if more people found out how convenient transit is, (or can be) that there would be many that choose to use it. Especially students and people who simply do not want to pay for insurance and gas.

When people move to a new city, they tend to prefer to live near transit, should they ever need it, especially if they are coming from a place like Toronto, Calgary, New york, Tokyo, etc... So when a new rapid transit line (save for BRT) opens, a greater demand for residential space will be experienced around that area. It is also great for moving tourists that either didn't bring their car or that simply want to ride the train (weee!).

So i really think that not only would a light metro get a lot of usage in Windsor, but that it would do wonderful things for the city when it comes to new private investments. Especially if it is grade separated, moving people around quickly.

...But I do agree that Windsor's mentality around the car needs to change; it's like a god to some people around here, especially the older people. Maybe with the all but total loss of the auto industry and Windsor's (attempted) transition into green industries, we will see more people that understand how wasteful private cars are. a single 40ft bus can replace 60 cars.
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  #282  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2012, 3:38 AM
cbyrne2014 cbyrne2014 is offline
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Hmm, I think anyone suggesting that kind of land area is leading people down the garden path.

I just measured out the campus Toronto General Hospital and it occupies roughly 8 acres.

While Sunnybrook, which must (I think) the the largest hospital complex in the province, or darn close....occupies about 22 acres ( a big chunk of which is surface parking)

So I think 20 acres would be plenty; and 10 would probably do fine for a Windsor facility with the proviso that parking would be underground or in a garage/parkade.
Victoria Hospital in London is the largest hospital campus in Canada and sits on 225 acres of hospital lands.

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2.../18936906.html
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  #283  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2012, 4:01 AM
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Victoria Hospital in London is the largest hospital campus in Canada and sits on 225 acres of hospital lands.

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2.../18936906.html
Interesting link, thanks!

Having then looked at the site on Google, however, I make the observation that the vast majority of the land is not currently in use, its grass/forest etc.

The area on which the buildings actually sit occupies maybe 40 acres. (tough to calculate exactly)


Regardless I don't think any Windsor hospital would be that large initially or even with maximal projected growth on a 30-year basis.


Whatever the various political and administrative figures may or may not be saying, You can have a phenomenal medical facility on 20 acres, 30 if you insist on sprawling the parking.
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  #284  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2012, 1:10 AM
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I have spent some time in the last week talking to people i know about what they think of Transit Windsor. About half said they had never been on a Transit Windsor bus, about a quarter said they only use it to get to school or special event (e.g. redbull air races, fireworks, etc.) and only a quarter said they have ever used a regular service bus.

So i asked the people that have not used a regular service bus why they do not use it. The usual answer i get is, "I don't know how." Other answers are, "i don't need to," "It isn't convenient," and "it doesn't run late enough." Some people didn't even realize Windsor had a city bus service; this was quite startling to say the least.

Those that do use it regularly were not shy to voice their complaints. Every single person i talked to said the buses are late too often. Several complained about the buses being full, especially around 3:00 and on the 5,6,7,1C and 1A (i haven't talked to people on the other end of the city, mostly just SW.) Some people even said the outside of the buses is ugly and boring (does this actually matter?)

Some complained about some of the older buses that are still used (smell bad, high exhaust, ugly, jerky, uncomfortable.) Many people that use the buses to get across the city say it takes far too long, and a missed connection means they may not get to where they are going on time, if at all. Some people must take a cab home if they take the bus to work because the buses do not run late enough for people that work evenings or are out late.

When I brought up the idea of a train, most people seem to be interested in it. I guess there is a sort of feeling you get towards a train that a bus can not produce, however nice the bus is.

I am going to continue to ask people about transit and possibly submit my findings to someone at Transit Windsor in the future, maybe fire off an email to Eddie Francis to ask him to help out poor old Sandwich, Windsor and Amherstburg rail.

As for keeping students in Windsor after graduation, Windsor needs jobs that these students want. That means improving our terrible healthcare and likely building a new medical centre.

Bringing more people to the core: we have plenty of restaurants already, but we don't have much in the way of entertainment besides some local theatre companies and the casino. What would be good is a mainstream movie theatre downtown, not a tiny two screen, but a regular sized 12 screen movie theatre. A new local band venue like the blind dog that burnt down would be nice. Maybe a skate park or rollerskating arena would also be a good idea. Another idea would be "a really big thing" something tall and iconic that grabs people's attention, like a landmark tower perhaps.

Also, the west side of downtown would be a great place for a new condominium or two, and maybe another hotel, (especially if my dream rail were built, lol) Maybe one will pop up sooner than later, it would be nice to see the skyline grow again for the first time in years (though, i guess you can see the aquatic centre from Detroit.)

Looking over the plans for the aquatic centre and the University buildings, i begin to wonder, WHERE WILL EVERYONE PARK? It is already difficult to find a place to park in the core, what will we do when the students move in a the aquatic centre is open? that small lot next to it won't be enough. What if the city charged something like $15 for the day at the garage on Pellisier and then had a circulator bus that brought people around and back?

Any more ideas to get people to use transit or bring people downtown? Sorry if i've become annoying, I get bored sometimes, there's not much happening right now in the way of major projects (besides the W.E. PKWY)
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  #285  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2012, 3:03 PM
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There is a huge ten story parking garage right next to the Aquatic Centre that is never full, always lots of spots left. It's also less than a block away from the University campus going into the old Star building. Downtown has more parking than many people think.
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  #286  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2012, 4:27 PM
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Originally Posted by north 42 View Post


There is a huge ten story parking garage right next to the Aquatic Centre that is never full, always lots of spots left. It's also less than a block away from the University campus going into the old Star building. Downtown has more parking than many people think.
I agree north 42! I've been going downtown for 15 years and my wife works downtown, we also frequent downtown for lunch, dinner, walks etc. and I see the garages more than half empty and yet people always say there's no parking. I think the truth is people want ample free parking and I would agree there is little of that, but what can you do? It's a downtown!
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  #287  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2012, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Symz View Post
I agree north 42! I've been going downtown for 15 years and my wife works downtown, we also frequent downtown for lunch, dinner, walks etc. and I see the garages more than half empty and yet people always say there's no parking. I think the truth is people want ample free parking and I would agree there is little of that, but what can you do? It's a downtown!
Hmmm... I usually find the garage next to the transit depot to be quite full, but I don't go down there often, so I guess you have a point. Eventually though, we may find ourselves low space if we keep building things.
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  #288  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2012, 5:21 PM
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I'm curious as to how long people reading the Windsor threads think it will take our battered city to recover and actually build it's next tower?

I read an article last year that said a residential tower has not been built in the core in 35 years. Our skyline is a great skyline for 1990. I would say 1980, but we do have the Chrysler stump building and the casino which look post-80's.
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  #289  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2012, 10:23 PM
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I'm curious as to how long people reading the Windsor threads think it will take our battered city to recover and actually build it's next tower?

I read an article last year that said a residential tower has not been built in the core in 35 years. Our skyline is a great skyline for 1990. I would say 1980, but we do have the Chrysler stump building and the casino which look post-80's.
Probably not anytime too soon. The only place I could see a new tower being built in the core is one of the open lots along riverside; all of these lots are owned by Farhi Holdings.
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  #290  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2012, 11:34 PM
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I'm sure it will be at least a couple years before we see any proposals for a downtown residential tower, but I'm cautiously optimistic that we will see one sooner rather than later. I think that with all the changes coming to downtown and a slowly improving economy, it will become a more attractive option for some.
I'm sure that there is a demand for a new, high end condo tower in the core, as currently, there are no options available, just older buildings. The perfect spot for this is obviously Farhi's plot next to the Art Gallery, it has an amazing view and is far enough away from the strip and all the noise on the weekends.
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  #291  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2012, 3:37 AM
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Ever looked at 1Riverside dr. from above? Maybe from inside the building or from another building? I wonder if perhaps the parking garage attached to One Riverside Drive could be made to look a bit nicer from above. If structurally, it could handle it, i would plop a tower right on top of it, preferably 30+ floors, maybe getting rid of a sore spot Windsorites have had over the utter failure of the DaimlerChrysler tower a decade ago. It's in a great spot and just seems like a lot of wasted space on what was arguably Windsor's last historically significant downtown block. what a waste...

I found some old Star articles from last year, one of the city councillors proposed building a streetcar from Jane AVE. to the Via rail station. I am very glad this never happened, that would have been a big mess and a lot of wasted money as it would have had no usage. A successful rapid transit line would need to go to Tecumseh Mall or Devonshire mall from/via downtown, would need to be fast (Windsor is a big sprawl) and be off the street. A lot of development would likely follow this. Maybe certain businesses can pay to name stations or have them attached to their building?

Also, I noticed that there is no grocery store downtown, not even a local grocer for fruit and such. Maybe there should be some incentive for someone to open one, bringing more people to the core and serve the ones already there.

And Eddie should contact Farhi, i don't like how he is just sitting on the most valuable land in Windsor. Farhi stated back in 2010,

Quote:
"We are basically moving forward with our plan to develop the unique part of the city," Farhi said Monday. "This is part of a much larger plan and purchase.

"I don't come to Windsor to build a coffee shop. I come there to build and transform this great city that was hit so hard by the economic meltdown. I hope my vision for this part of town will be sooner rather than later."
The site, (http://www.fhc.ca/newsstories/bothsides/index.html) also said,

Quote:
Farhi said he would like to see fruition of the city's canal plan or construction of a marina in that area, but hinted that of greater importance would be expansion by either St. Clair College or the University of Windsor into the city's core.
So i am thinking, perhaps he is planning a student's residence?

I also found this image on his website:



Though, i don't know how old it is or if he is actually planning on proposing this? maybe someone already did? either way, the building is quite ugly. Anything going in that area needs to be glass, modern architecture, to match the aquatic centre and everything else built in the last 20 years.

I can dream, right?
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  #292  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2012, 2:10 PM
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There is a Food Basics right on the corner of Goyeau and Elliot, though it may fall just outside of the " official " downtown borders, I still consider it to be DT, it's only two blocks from Ouellette and Wyandotte St. I live DT and it takes me 5 minutes to walk there. I would really appreciate a higher end grocery store in the core though, that would be great, something like a Whole Foods, or even a Remark.
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  #293  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2012, 2:22 PM
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The Price Chopper @ Wyandotte & Crawford is set to close, it was announced last week. This is another blow to the western side of the city.

About 1 Riverside Dr. you can't just 'plop' a tower on top of the existing garage. A tower has to have proper footings and foundations and since there aren't any there on the western portion of that block where the garage is located it'll never happen.

I think with the addition of the University and the ever expanding presence of St. Clair College at some point we may see some mixed use mid density developments possibly. Something like some additional student housing, maybe some sort of brownstone row housing. Windsor's core needs more developments as well as the condo towers to help boost residential density in the core.

Ofcourse the city needs to reduce the mill rates on commercial taxes in the core to spur development. It was quoted in a recent article by the new owners of The Squirrel Cage that the property taxes they're paying on their $100,000 building on Maiden Lane are equivalent to the tax rates they were paying on a property valued at over $700,000 in Yorkville. So something is out of whack.

The city needs to find a more permanent home for the downtown farmer's market. The market once was a big deal downtown long before the old building was torn down for the casino expansion, since then they've been homeless left scrounging for spaces to use each season. It needs to be a permanent fixture again.

I posted the Farhi render about a year ago and it is a horrendous looking building, let's hope he doesn't build anything like that but let's also hope he does something with the 3 prime riverfront properties he owns in this city.

I am not holding my breath, Farhi has been known to just sit on properties.
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  #294  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2012, 2:20 AM
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Google seems to have updated it's map imagery of downtown Windsor. The images appear to be from spring or summer 2011. The casino now appears finished, the Docherty hole is filled and the new TD building is visible, but the new aquatic centre is still a parking lot.
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  #295  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2012, 3:17 AM
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I think the city should consider developing this field:
https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...8&z=17&iwloc=A

It is a very large empty spot in Roseland, one of the nicest neighbourhoods in the city. Traffic here would be low because there wouldn't be a through street and there are two drug stores, a Q's convenience, gym, several banks, and food stores within walking distance. I understand the housing market in Windsor isn't so good right now but I am quite certain that this area could develop given the character of the neighbourhood. Maybe they could even try to get a low rise apartment building in by the plaza to help with south Windsor's incredibly low density?
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  #296  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2012, 4:02 AM
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I think the city should consider developing this field:
https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...8&z=17&iwloc=A

It is a very large empty spot in Roseland, one of the nicest neighbourhoods in the city. Traffic here would be low because there wouldn't be a through street and there are two drug stores, a Q's convenience, gym, several banks, and food stores within walking distance. I understand the housing market in Windsor isn't so good right now but I am quite certain that this area could develop given the character of the neighbourhood. Maybe they could even try to get a low rise apartment building in by the plaza to help with south Windsor's incredibly low density?
More importantly the city needs to focus of developing the downtown. There are too many empty lots downtown and that's where the city needs to focus it's intensification efforts.
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  #297  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2012, 4:11 AM
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I agree, but not many people want to live downtown. At least not with what is available, maybe if there were better housing options, there may be more interest. At this time however, no one wants to build anything downtown.

If there were to be anything happening in the core residential wise, it would likely be along riverside drive and along park street where everything is within walking distance.
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  #298  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2012, 9:42 AM
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I agree, but not many people want to live downtown. At least not with what is available, maybe if there were better housing options, there may be more interest. At this time however, no one wants to build anything downtown.

If there were to be anything happening in the core residential wise, it would likely be along riverside drive and along park street where everything is within walking distance.
I'm sure something will pop up there over time. There must be a reason as to why it hasn't yet though, possibly the city wants to keep that as open space? If anything happens there it'll most likely be low density residential to stay in character with the neighbourhood. Since it is abutting the rear of some Dougall commercial properties I see at best medium density residential.

I think the city is focusing more on either downtown, filling in newer portions of riverside east, or turning attention to the newly annexed lands south of the airport.
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  #299  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2012, 3:52 PM
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I think the city is focusing more on either downtown, filling in newer portions of riverside east, or turning attention to the newly annexed lands south of the airport.
I really hope they don't try to develope Sandwich South just yet. There are far too many smaller areas in well established neighbourhoods that needs to be developed first. There is space just north of the one I mentioned along Howard Ave. though, I'm not sure if the people who's homes are along that road own that land, but a few hundred houses could be put in the empty space on either side. Also, there is some space right near devonshire mall, just to the southeast that should be used. And there used to be a Home Depot there that has sat vacant for several years now, surprising for being in one of the best locations in the city. It would be a great spot for a grocery store, preferably a FreshCo.
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  #300  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2012, 6:45 PM
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Mayor Eddie Francis is expected to announce the arrival of a new company to the city. Details are vague at this time, the announcement comes sometimes around 2:30 today.

source: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2012/11...ny-to-windsor/

Quote:
Mayor Eddie Francis is expected to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. today about a new employer in the city.

A press release on the news conference says Francis will welcome a new company to Windsor and that the Mayor and company officials will be at the press conference.

The Star will cover the press conference. Check back for details.
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