'Open Streets 2017' Gets A Boost

Windsor's 'Open Streets' will be making a return in 2017 thanks to the Canada 150 grant program.

A dozen local events are getting funding totalling more than $200,000.

The city's two 'Open Streets' events last year drew thousands of people to the eight kilometre route along Sandwich Street, University Ave West, Wyandotte Street and Drouillard Road.

Councillor, Rino Bortolin, says he'd like to see four dates in 2017.

"Ideally it would be something that we can expand upon because the response was overwhelmingly positive. There's families, kids, people on bikes, walking, running. So you really get this huge sense of community. Basically, the street is open, go ahead and enjoy it if you want."

He says the simplicity of the event is what made it so popular.

"There's no fireworks. There's no parade. There's no holiday you're celebrating. It's just a Sunday afternoon strolling through the city. You really just are out there, and so it's just this big social event. Everybody is out there. Everybody is in a good mood. You're looking at the city. You're looking at the street in a different way."

Bortolin says residents want to see more dates with expanded hours.

"The only complaint that I heard over and over is that it should be longer. We ended up closing is down at 1 o'clock, I believe, and I think more people would have loved to have seen it go until about three or four. So it really was something great, just a great sense of community."

The 'Open Streets' event is getting $55,000 in funding.

The 2017 edition of the Windsor International Film Festival is getting $10,000 as well.