Downtown Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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Programs and Services

The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA) exists to serve member businesses within the boundaries of its district, roughly from Riverside Drive to the north, Bruce Avenue to West, MacDougall Avenue to the east, narrowing down to Giles Blvd to the south.

All DWBIA membership programs and services spring from the association’s two core mandates:
  • To improve, beautify and maintain public lands and buildings within the   DWBIA district, beyond that which is provided for by the municipality at  large; and
  • To promote the area within the DWBIA boundary as a business and shopping area.
To serve our membership, and meet our objectives for downtown Windsor, we offer a wide variety of programs and services in the areas of:
  • Marketing, advertisement and promotion;
  • Education and advocacy;
  • Communications and information; 
  • Strategy and planning;
  • Business recruitment;
  • Environmental concerns, safety and cleanliness.
Through its leadership in advocacy, infrastructure, development and promotion, the DWBIA works to ensure that downtown Windsor is the preferred place to work, visit and live. It exists to effectively represent the interests of all its member sectors – Restaurant/Club, Gaming, Hotel, Retail, Professional, and Property Owner/Developer – as they relate to the economic, political and social vitality of the downtown business district.

While serving our membership, we focus on:

Developing strategies and tactics designed to attract business investment;
Ways to improve, beautify and maintain lands and buildings within the  downtown area, beyond the level of maintenance provided by the municipality;
Market downtown Windsor as a place for business investment, as well as a preferred destination for retail and hospitality services;

To meet these mandates, the DWBIA is active in the areas of marketing, business recruitment, residential enrichment, streetscape improvement, seasonal decorations, parkland beautification, event sponsorship and the promotion of cultural enrichment and music events.

  • Improved perceptions of downtown Windsor as a safe place to work, live, shop and visit;
  • Increased population in the downtown area;
  • Increased business investment;
  • Increased retail investment as a percentage of the total;
  • Increased arts and culture investment and activity;
  • Co-operative and effective working relationships with other stakeholders.


Market Research
The DWBIA conducts research to understand who our area customers are and strives to create effective opportunities to retain and expand the customer base.

The DWBIA advocates on behalf of its constituents with government, other businesses, and agencies.  It facilitates dialogue and activity among key stakeholders, including the City's various departments, member businesses, other government agencies, the arts and culture community and the general public.

Strategy Development
The DWBIA works with other Windsor stakeholders, primarily City Council and Administration, to develop strategies to improve the image of downtown Windsor as a safe and secure place to live, invest and visit.

Co-operative Advertising/Marketing Opportunities
Join your fellow DWBIA members to maximize your advertising/ marketing dollars through co-operative ventures. The DWBIA is investigating several models for co-operative advertising, on behalf of its membership. If you are interested in this or any other co-operative advertising or marketing model, please contact the DWBIA office.

Downtown Windsor BIA Offices
Our storefront office is fully staffed, and displays brochures, pamphlets, newsletters and magazines of interest to those needing information about downtown Windsor. The DWBIA Office offers an inviting, accessible place to showcase everything downtown businesses have to offer. We encourage our member businesses to drop off brochures at 419 Pelissier Street. For further information, please call 519-252-5723.


Façade Improvement Grant Program
Offers downtown member businesses an opportunity to share the cost of façade improvements to their businesses. This program is currently available only to merchants who have been awarded the DWBIA's commercial rent subsidy program. The DWBIA program offers up to 50% reimbursement to businesses whose storefront improvements meet the Downtown Windsor Storefront Façade Guideline Manual.

Business Recruitment Program
The DWBIA works with property owners to ensure that available downtown space is occupied, and that an optimum business and service mix is achieved and maintained. We pursue every opportunity to revitalize downtown Windsor by encouraging the relocation of strong, successful business to our downtown.

Free WiFi
The DWBIA has implemented an experimental free wireless Internet connection program in certain districts of the downtown core.

Downtown Farmer's Market
The Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization that connects residents of Windsor and surrounding areas to the farmers of Essex County by providing residents with local, fresh and in-season food in an accessible setting. We aim to raise the profile of local food producers and entrepreneurs by giving them a venue in which to sell their goods, while educating the public about the rich agricultural diversity that exists in Essex County.  Through partnerships we work to build a stronger sense of community, restore the positive image of downtown and bring vitality back to our city. For more information please, click here

E-Blast News
Once a week, the DWBIA releases an interactive electronic newsletter featuring upcoming events in the downtown core. To subscribe, click here.

Downtown Windsor Streetscape Initiative
This program is a partnership between the DWBIA and the City of Windsor to invest in the beautification and enhancement of Ouellette Avenue. Phases IV and V of the Pelissier Avenue and Maiden Lane streetscape projects will be completed in the fall of 2010. Enhancements include customer-friendly lighting, signage, street furniture, planters, banners and sidewalk treatment.

Signage Program
The DWBIA is actively pursuing a way-finding signage partnership with the city, which will enable us to direct visitors, residents, and potential business owners with greater precision by means of improved way-finding signage

Decorative Lighting Program
The DWBIA installations of decorative lighting create a positive, inviting atmosphere for potential visitors and shoppers; seasonal decorations create a unique and pleasant environment for customers and staff of all businesses – retail and non-retail – through the use of decorations that are appropriate to the season and holiday.

Events Promotion
The DWBIA assists member businesses and other organizations in creating an inviting and vital atmosphere in downtown Windsor by sponsoring and/or producing events in the downtown area, including the Red Bull Air Races.

Downtown Parking Token Program
This program is popular with downtown businesses wishing to give their patrons a 50% saving on curbside parking and City of Windsor Parking garages.  Businesses can purchase up to four rolls of parking tokens each month, at a cost of $5.00 per roll (a $10 value).

Clean and Safe Program
The DWBIA works diligently to ensure a clean, safe, attractive pedestrian environment, and to encourage our businesses, residents and visitors to respect our downtown environment.  To that end, Essex County Maintenance is on contract five days a week to sweep clean and power wash the downtown sidewalks. Our partnership with St. Leonard's Society of Windsor has led to a gum removal program to steam away gum from our sidewalks.


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