Fabio Costante Windsor

Our West End is a blog dedicated for residents to share information regarding neighbourhood issues and developments with the primary intention of making West Windsor a better place to live, work and play. If you would like to post or share anything related to the west-end, please email Fabio Costante at fabiocostante@gmail.com.

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Please note that any opinions expressed are those of the author/resident and not of any organization, unless expressly stated.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Askin Parking Enforcement

Dear Residents:

This evening I attended a neighbourhood meeting that primarily dealt with the enforcement of bylaws particularly to do with permit parking and parking on front lawns.  Gary Langill hosted the meeting where approximately 20 residents from Askin and surrounding neighbourhoods by the University attended.

Two concrete deliverables came out of the meeting: 1) Residents will begin to report illegal permit parking regularly to induce a complaint-driven enforcement; and 2) A meeting will be assembled with City Administration to discuss further bylaw enforcement strategies going forward.

I want to congratulate Gary and the residents of Askin and surrounding area for mobilizing around this issue.  They are a great example of what other neighbourhoods in our west-end can become when you work together as a team for the betterment of your street, your neighbourhood, and your west-end.

Fabio Costante

Sandwich Towne Named No. 1 Across Canada

Dear Residents:

Could you imagine if the title of this blog were to be true? That Sandwich Towne could be Named No. 1 Across Canada? Well I am here to tell you this can happen, and Walkerville's recent recognition sets a precedent for us to aspire towards.

Recently, the Walkerville community has been named one of the best old house neighbourhoods in Canada by "This Old House" Magazine. See the article here: Walkerville named No. 1 across Canada. I am very happy that Walkerville has been recognized nationally but upon reading the article and after hearing what a local resident who lives in the west-end had to say tonight regarding this notoriety, I said to myself: We too can be one of the best old house neighbourhoods in Canada!

Walkerville was recognized for its unique and historic homes, along with its geographic landscape, making it a walkable community; that is, everything is within walking distance. Sound familiar? To me it sounds a bit like Sandwich Towne and the west-end in general. So then I questioned why we were not considered a vibrant community like Walkerville and I came to two conclusions: 1) Our geographic location put us at a disadvantage; and 2) We lack organization.

To the first issue, our geographic location has made the west-end and Sandwich Towne a peculiar place in the City of Windsor. Two massive corporations -- The Bridge Company and The University of Windsor -- have both negatively impacted our community. You can argue that the University has helped in some areas (i.e. providing a student market to our small businesses, etc.) but its expansion has had dire implications on the adjacent neighbourhoods in the west-end and has opened up a floodgate of issues related to bylaw enforcement particularly to do with student parking, crime, and irresponsible landlords not caring for their properties. As to the Bridge Company, well, we all know the impact it has had on Sandwich Towne -- over 100 houses boarded up. And not just any house, but homes designated as heritage property that at one time made Sandwich Towne the envy of the City. Houses very similar to those recognized in Walkerville.

The second issue -- our lack of organization -- has always been a challenge in the west-end. That is what we are aspiring to do with Our West End and it is what we need to do if we are ever to realize any changes we seek. Walkerville has a neighbourhood watch and a residents association. We used to have plenty of the former and a homeowners association of our own. Not anymore. This must change. This has to change.

I believe that if we can organize better, we can apply more pressure on our various levels of government and eventually see substantial changes in the west-end. Not only is Walkerville organized, but it has many affluent residents who individually hold some clout in the City. We do not. Thus, we must be more organized and we must come together in numbers far greater than any other community in the City. We can do this. I know we can because I've seen it happen in smaller factions across the west-end. I just got back form a neighbourhood meeting (see the post that will follow re: Askin Parking Enforcement) that further proves this. And I further believe that if we learn to organize well, that we can tackle our first issue and finally live up to the true potential of the west-end.

Years from now, we will be judged by how we were able to come together as a community and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time. Years from now, we too can be named No. 1 Across Canada.

Now let's get to work!

Fabio Costante

Friday, February 24, 2012

Holy Name masses to end in July

Holy Name masses to end in July

B&E - 1000 Block of Curry

Hi Fabio, you might want to share this with your readers. On Feb. 7th while my 3 kids slept and my husband and I were gone to work 6:00am someone came into our house and rob us. It happened between 6:00am amd 7:00am when I called to wake my son up for School. My fault for not locking the door behind us. Just to let your readers know to lock it up even if you have people in the house. I'm just glad no one was hurt. 1000 block of Curry.

Source:  West-end Resident 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Westside Story

Dear Residents:

I recently received an email from a west-end resident who has witnessed some troubling things in her neighbourhood as of late.  Without going into too much detail, she was feeling not so great being a relative newcomer to the area, but she said the following:

"I actually like it here.  We have some really kind neighbours, and I feel more of a sense of genuine community here than I ever did in the more affluent area we came from."

Her second sentence essentially sums up the hidden gem that is our west-end.  That despite all of the challenges we face, it is that hidden sense of community that distinguishes the west-end from any other place in our city.  Sometimes it takes an outsider new to the area to remind us how lucky we are to be living in a unique place whose history is rich, but whose future potential could be far richer if we are able to come together as a community.  

I want to further recognize how she expressly stated the "more affluent area" she came from implying that although the west-end does not have the highest income per household in the region, our sense of community far outweighs any material wealth or property value.  This is our strength and we must use this to our advantage every time we are confronted with a challenge or opportunity.  

I am grateful and proud to be a west-ender and it is people like her who remind me that our greatest asset is not our buildings or history, but us, the people.  We must never lose sight of this because it is people that form great neighbourhoods, and it will only be people (west-enders) that will make our west-end the best place to live, work and play. 

Fabio Costante 

Family Video

The old Blockbuster at the plaza on California Ave and Tecumseh has been converted into Family Video - a movie/dvd/game rental store.  I was worried that the building would be vacant for a while but fortunately the rental chain purchased it right after Blockbuster closed and just opened its doors this past week.  Looking forward to renting movies form Family Video as I did when Blockbuster was around.

Fabio Costante

Clementine Throwing

Hey Fabio,
Just wanted to let you know that this evening at around 10:15pm individuals threw clementines at my house and my neighbours.  We live on the 900 block of Askin.  Thanks!

Source:  West-end Resident

If you see kids in the area with clementines in their hands, don't assume they're going to eat them ;-) 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

St. John Catholic Elementary School Fundraiser/Reunion

Dear Residents:

St. John Catholic Elementary School - my former grade school many years ago located in the Bridgeview area - will be hosting a fundraiser at the Ciociaro Club (3475 North Talbot) on March 3, 2012.  The event will go from 6pm to 1am.  There will be a pasta dinner, cash bar, DJ by Bill Arquette and door prizes.  It will cost $25 per person or $40 per couple.  All proceeds will go to benefit the children of St. John School.

Please bring a school supply or peanut-free snack to get a ticket for the door prize draw.

For tickets and more information, please call:
Sue Frenette: 519-978-1348
Chris Leclair: 519-962-5763
Mike Birch: 519-977-5725
Gina Ball: 519-890-9691
St. Johns: 519-256-4092

Fabio Costante

Police say arson destroyed west end home

Police say arson destroyed west end home

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crime Reports

Dear Residents:

I just uploaded the link to www.crimereports.com - a great resource to visually see criminal activity that is reported to police according to geographic location.  You can find the link at the right side of the site.  This is a great resource to track criminal activity and could be used as additional information to what we already share on Our West End.

As we move forward, it is critical that we communicate any and all criminal activity to Windsor Police.  Unfortunately, a lot of crime goes unreported and this hinders Windsor Police's ability to do their job better.   The more information we share, not just amongst ourselves but with our local police, the better intelligence Windsor Police has to make decisions in preventing and reducing crime in the west-end.

Remember, Our West End is a blog dedicated for residents to share information regarding crime, neighbourhood issues, opportunities and community assets with the primary intention of making West Windsor an even better place to live, work and play.  We can only do this by working together with all parties in achieving this common vision.  

Fabio Costante 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

House Break & Enter

Hi fabio,

I came accross many posts by you in Our West End.   My house was robbed of Feb 4th, as well as three houses surrounding me only days before and I was not even aware of this.  Several days before we were robbed two young men knocked on our door and asked for someone who does not live in my house.  When i told them they had the wrong place they did not leave, or apologize but merely stood there as i closed the door.  The same night two houses around me were robbed.  3 days later my house was robbed while we were not home. Saturday Feb 4th between 12am and 2am.  I live on the 400 block of Randolph St.  

Source: West-end Resident 

Car Break-Ins

Two vehicles, one on the 2100 block of Vercheres and the second at the corner of Rankin and Vercheres, were broken into last night.

Source: West-end Resident

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Car Break-Ins

Hi Fabio.

I find the information on our west end is fantastic.  Thank you for your dedication and service.
Last night Jan 31, at Holy Name of Mary Church Parking lot,  3 Cars were broken into about 7:00 p.m.  The passenger window were broken and the inside of the cars vandalized while meetings were in progress.

It is so sad to see this type of vandalism is happening even at a church.

Thanks again.
a west ender.