What's happening with the peace fountain? Windsor council looking at three options

Peace fountain in Windsor, Ont. (Source:City of Windsor)

Windsor city council has to make some decisions regarding a popular monument.

The Charles Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain, first added to the Detroit River in 1978, is usually installed each summer near Reaume Park and Coventry Gardens, and has since served as an attraction for both visitors and residents and often serves as the backdrop for prom, graduation and wedding photos.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said on Wednesday that the Peace Fountain is one of Windsor's most popular and iconic features.

“What people see is the fountain in the water. What they don't see is all the underground piping and the mechanics behind the scenes,” he said. “That is definitely at end of life. And you can't replace these parts. It has to be completely redone.”

City officials say the peace fountain is nearing the end of its lifespan. Due to necessary repairs and a delay in parts arriving from overseas, there is a delay in getting the fountain installed for this season.

At the next city council meeting on Monday, a report from administration looks at the vision for a renewal of the peace fountain.

“We've known for many years that this needs to be replaced,” Dilkens said. “We started a process several years ago. We've had multiple community consultations to ask the community what they'd like to see. And there are options that range from $7 million for like-for-like replacement, up to $20 million, which is an enhancement of the fountain. I expect finding $20 million will be nearly impossible but I expect council will want to replace the existing fountain because residents in this community appreciate it so much.”

Three options considered and costed:

  • Like-for-like replacement
  • On-shore system of water jets that stream into the bay (where the current fountain floats)
  • An arch that goes over the bay and sprinkles water.

Dilkens said he expects council to favour the “like-for-like” option, noting it costs considerably less.

“We don't have $20 million to replace or to upgrade the fountain,” the mayor said. “But we will have to find a way to replace it.”

The report will be considered by council next week, but the final decision on budget will be next year.

Once an option is approved, then final engineering and design needs to be done for the project. Cost may change based on the final design option.

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