Source : WINDSOR STAR
Wyandotte Town Centre BIA announces new chair and new programs, including Bright Lights alternative
Replacing a popular part of Bright Lights Windsor is one of several new initiatives the Wyandotte Town Centre BIA has in the works to illuminate the area’s collection of diverse cultures and businesses.
Larry Horwitz, the BIA’s newly elected chairman, said the plan is to offer a substitute for the Around the World section of Bright Lights. The hope is to showcase the often overlooked area, which stretches from about McDougall Street to the cusp of Walkerville.
“It’s got so much potential and it’s probably the most neglected BIA in the city,” said Horwitz, previously vice-chair of the Wyandotte Town Centre BIA and chair of the Downtown BIA.
“It’s something that could be built up for a huge tourism attraction. There are so many possibilities to create economic generators. There are new developments going in. The area that used to be El-Mayor is going to be a large building that’s a mix of commercial and residential. There’s a lot of new shops, a lot of retail, that have gone in the area.”
Bright Lights Windsor, cancelled this year because of COVID-19, had an Around the World section celebrating the city’s diversity. There was a display in the style of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, as well as a Ramadan tree, Chinese lanterns, a large menorah and backlit flags representing various cultural communities.
The BIA will at least partially recreate that, said Horwitz.
“We’ve already created a partnership with the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County,” he said. “We’re in the process of getting it ready to be unveiled shortly.”
He said other plans include lighting up alleys to make the area safer. In the last couple of months, the BIA launched a parklet program similar to the one downtown to help businesses survive the pandemic. Businesses can receive up to $5,000 for new patios and patio extensions.
The restaurants Al-Sabeel and Mi Casita, where Horwitz held a media conference Wednesday, were among the first to take advantage of it.
Along with the Around the World display, he said the BIA is in the midst of a program to light up the whole zone.
“We put a strip of lights on the poles that go all the way up the poles that are quite attractive,” he said. “We’ve done most of them already.”
The BIA will also give businesses up to $250 to for their own holiday lights displays.
“It is an area that has so much potential and could be an economic generator and a tourism generator for the city, especially with the multicultural aspect of the area,” said Horwitz.