Dilkens Has Vision For Streetcar By The Waterfront

Windsor's mayor wants to add new life to a piece of the city's history.

Windsor was the first city in Canada to have an electric streetcar back in 1886 and one of those cars is being housed in a warehouse on University Ave.

Mayor Drew Dilkens would like the city to take ownership of it and work on a plan to restore it. Dilkens says ultimately, he would love to have it located along Windsor's riverfront near the Ambassador Bridge to potentially sell ice cream and food.

Dilkens says once it's restored, he would love for people to have access to it.

"One of the ideas I propose was having it in the riverfront park perhaps close to the Ambassador Bridge, at the end of the trail system that would offer ice cream or some other food products, a nice amenity to have in that area of the park, we don't have any food service," says Dilkens.


Streetcar housed in a University Ave warehouse (Photo by Mayor Drew Dilkens)

He feels the vehicle should be on display.

"We were the first city in Canada to have an electric streetcar back 1886 and I'm proud of that history," says Dilkens. "We are a transportation town and that was really one of the earliest forms of transportation in the city of Windsor. We had streetcars here before the City of Toronto had them."

Dilkens feels the idea is worth having the discussion.

"This is really a one-time opportunity, there are only three of 220 cars that operated in the city of Windsor and three of those cars remain," says Dilkens. "One is Kennebunk Port, Maine, there is a real rough version in Milton and there is this car here."

Dilkens thinks the cost to refurbish the vehicle would be about $500,000. A plan will be going to city council in the next month or so.