The ‘CITY STEPS’ vision is to provide access to Windsor’s waterfront with a cost-effective means to complete the Civic Esplanade by connecting the Detroit River to City Hall Square. Historically Windsor was a linear arrangement of narrow farm lots owned by families such as the Goyeau’s, Ouellette’s, and Dougall’s going deep inland from the river. The Civic Esplanade can work in a similar historic fashion reaching inland once the river connection is made. This direction is significant today since we have a critical mass of people requiring to cross Riverside Drive going to events at the adjacent Festival Plaza. This connection would give the current Civic Esplanade its full meaning and usefulness.
This vision would have a wide 60-foot crosswalk on Riverside Drive with stop lights and a road surface made up of colorful accent paving telling motorists that this is a pedestrian zone. Flags and landscaping would be added to visually show that this is a special place on the Drive. A grand wide staircase would then cascade down to the waterfront level that would become a gathering location to view the river, see performances, and have exceptional crowd access for the throngs of people going to weekend events at Festival Plaza. This major access to the river would become the iconic ‘CITY STEPS’. They would be made of gentle terraces with seating areas on the sides while being curved back into the green landscaped hill of Riverside Drive. This location on Windsor’s front porch conveniently has handicapped accessible ramps already built close by.
Windsor’s ‘CITY STEPS’ would become a focal point for the community where impromptu theatre groups and buskers would perform similar to the Spanish Steps in Rome, the grand steps of the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Capitol Hill Steps in Washington, and the Museum Steps in Philadelphia that Rocky ran up which is the most dominant tourist attraction in that city. The ‘CITY STEPS’ would provide treasured memories for visitors and residents alike, forever providing a positive image of Windsor in its surroundings. Going further with this concept, the future could bring a series of water fountains in the river for summer nights of colorful light shows to celebrate the great City of Windsor.