City Business District - Circa 1999
the Ford Motor Company's head office and assembly plant moved to
Oakville near Toronto in 1953, Ford City suffered a serious decline.
Today, little is left of the town that Ford built. Drouillard Road
earned a reputation as an eyesore with its rundown buildings and
was home to motorcycle gangs and various street toughs.
as part of a revitalization project, a plan was hatched to recapture
some of the rich history of the area. A community mural project
that depicts the boom times of the twenties, thirties & forties,
has the backing of the area business improvement association, Ford
Canada, the federal government and the City of Windsor.
artists are recording the history of the area with paint and steel:
Mark Williams, a Ford employee is the lead artist of the project
and is creating a large sculpture of Ford workers circa 1950 which
will grace the parkette at Drouillard and Whelpton; the other artists
include Donna Mayne an airbrush specialist, Steve Johnson, cartoonist
and Yong Sheng Xuan is an illustrator of children's books. They
are working on large, incredibly striking murals that will include
scenes from the Prohibition era, automotive machinery, local residents,
street scenes and quitting-time snapshots. The murals will be applied
to selected buildings in the area in the near future.
perception of crime in the area is actually a misnomer. The crime
rate is relatively low but even so, the stereotype still persists.
On the up side, office space is plentiful, rent is cheap and business
people venturing into the area are finding it very affordable to
set up shop. The East Windsor Citizen's committee is sponsoring
a summer beautification project which will see area young people
hired to help keep Drouillard Road clean and also assist some of
the older residents with yard work. Kim Crapper, the Marketing Officer
of the Ford City Business District is working to change perceptions
by encouraging the cleanup of storefronts, installation of planter
boxes and the erection of new light standards.
learn more about the murals visit The Ford City Business District
office which is located in the old bank building at 999 Drouillard
Road or, call 254-4111
City Photo Gallery.