Here at the Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative, we do core renewal.
Core renewal is place-based community development rooted in downtown Windsor, encouraging engagement, collaborating with others, and developing resident-led leadership. Windsor has all of the ingredients needed for city to be a good place to grow up and a good place to grow old – for young and old to live vibrant healthy lives; we just need to work together to get there.
For eight years the DWCC has listened to the dreams and insights of neighbours. We’ve collaborated with agencies, organizations, and government to start community gardens, community round tables, the Little Things Matter Program, community art projects, healthy kids cooking classes, Spruce Up Bruce, summer movie nights in the parks, and summer drop in sports, gardening, and kids art. We’ve partnered with the DWBIA to keep the Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market right in the heart of our city, and we’ve grown it to be a resident-led initiative that serves the whole city. And we’ve received grants from United Way and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for our neighbourhood engagement strategies and our barrier free sports. All of these efforts help to renew the core.
This past summer we had the opportunity to host Mikael Colville-Andersen and the crew of TVO’s Life-Sized City, a documentary series focused on telling the stories of engaged citizens working toward more habitable and healthy cities. Our Little Things Matter Program was highlighted in the episode, and our Community Development Coordinator Sarah Cipkar helped the crew see the work of downtown residents.
“Little Things Matter is run by the DWCC, which aims at revitalizing the City Centre. Sarah and her team believe that a giving house a new lease on life and beautifying the neighbourhood is a question of comfort and security but also one of pride.”
If you haven’t had a chance to see this episode, you can find it here.
To find out more about the Little Things Matter, reach out to email@example.com.
To donate to the Little Things Matter, head to our CanadaHelps page or send a cheque to our office at 371 Wyandotte Street W, Windsor, ON, N9A 5X3. Make the cheque out to “Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative” with the memo “Little Things Matter”.
The DWCC began as a group of neighbours learning how to engage the downtown core through hospitality and advocacy. Since then our neighbourhood engagement strategy has changed to focus on the development of a residents’ association for downtown Windsor through “block connectors”. Our monthly block connector meeting is on the first Wednesday of the month at 6pm at the downtown library.
Led by our Community Development Coordinator Sarah, our strategy for neighbourhood engagement includes neighbourhood cleanups, Jane’s Walks, events and activities in local parks (Bruce Park, Mitchell Park, Wigle Park) such as movie nights, community gardens, and helping residents to advocate for the needs of their respective streets and the downtown at large. Some examples of this advocacy are alley lights, residents giving a voice to the specifics of the city budget, coffee with a cop, and CPTED walks (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design).
Sarah Cipkar is our Community Development Coordinator. Reach out to her for all inquiries about block connectors, neighbourhood cleanups, CPTED walks, or how the DWCC is working toward a safer downtown. You can reach her at 519-790-9518 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sport 4 All is our barrier free sports programming across four priority neighbourhoods in Windsor. We have a Sport Coordinator working with Our West End Neighbourhood Renewal, downtown with the DWCC, with the Glengarry Neighbourhood Renewal – the Initiative, and with Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal. That means we have barrier free sports available all across our city, with opportunities for a variety of ages, skillsets, and interests.
Our Sport 4 All program is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation so that we can bring fun and fitness to as many people in our city as possible. Some of the barriers we overcome are financial (our programs are free), equipment (we provide all of the equipment needed to play), skill and ability (our programs are meant for people of all levels of skill and ability), and accessibility (we think through the logistical barriers that keep people from accessing sport). To see a list of all of our sport opportunities, click here.
Follow Sport 4 All on Facebook for updates and information about all of our sport opportunities.
John Thompson is our Sport Director. Reach out to him for all inquiries about Sport 4 All, or to see about booking the “Quad” for your next community event.
You can reach him at 226-280-2834 or at email@example.com. Or stop by the DWCC office at 371 Wyandotte Street W at the corner of Church and Wyandotte.
In 2014 we planted a garden in the social housing complex at Glengarry and University. It started out as a bit of exploratory creative engagement with those already working there. In 2015 the Community Housing Corporation (CHC) offered us a one bedroom apartment for us to house a live-in peer support worker.
Hughie Carpenter was our guy. His personal experiences in poverty and addictions would provide him the tools, the rapport, and the empathy needed to create a community of belonging in the Glengarry and University area. Through partnerships with Community University Partnership (CUP) and CHC, a drop-in centre and peer support office was given to us to use. Since then, the drop-in centre has become known as the Lighthouse, a safe place for residents to come, get connected, and find community.
The community garden in Glengarry has grown and it now includes a partnership with Ready-Set-Go so that kids can learn how to garden.
To reach the Lighthouse, call 1-616-929-6103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach Hughie text or call 226-246-1714.
We partner with neighbours of parks and communities to facilitate and support community gardens. We help gardeners in Bruce Park, Mitchell Park, Wigle Park, and in the Glengarry community to come together to garden.
Community gardens provide a lot of great things to our neighbourhoods in the core. They provide a meeting place for residents to get to know each other. They provide space for a local sustainable food source. They add to the quality of life for those who frequent the parks and for those who garden. And they provide more life-giving activity that brings safety and security to our parks.
“Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community. When people plant corn they are saying, let’s stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another.” -Anne Raver.
To find out more about our community gardens or to get involved, reach out to Sarah at email@example.com.