The City of Windsor is investing in a piece of Windsor’s history and downtown vitality at the same time.
The Paul Martin Building at 185 Ouellette Avenue, a central and prominent structure in Windsor’s core is being purchased from the federal government for ten dollars.
“After years of collaboration, our federal government is pleased to announce that we are transferring the Paul Martin Building to the City of Windsor. We recognize how important this heritage building is to the downtown landscape and have worked to ensure it remains accessible to the public for generations to come. Our government looks forward to seeing how the City of Windsor transforms this historic building into a vibrant public space,” said Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.
The Paul Martin Building opened in 1932 and is named after Paul Martin Senior, a long-time MP and senator and father of former Prime Minister Paul Martin Junior. The six-storey art deco office building fronts on Ouellette Avenue with a four-storey addition (1959) on the back.
“This building is in a perfect location to continue our pursuit of attracting investment and people to our downtown core,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens (pictured, above left). “We can make immediate use of the addition on the back as a temporary site for the Central Library and have received strong interest from the private sector to purchase space in the front section.”
Plans are currently being finalized for library services to be spread over two floors of the Paul Martin addition.
“This site is in a prime location, close to bus and bicycle routes with plenty of parking available in the area, and it’s convenient for St. Clair College and University of Windsor students,” says Windsor Public Library CEO Kitty Pope. “Moving here temporarily will provide our board the time to properly research and plan for a permanent home while also bringing foot traffic to the core”.
Investment in Windsor’s downtown core has been growing, with Quicken Loans moving into the old Fish Market Building, the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation moving into the former Beer Market location and the nearby Pour House being purchased as well.
“The University and the College really got the ball rolling with their moves to the city core and with these most recent moves coupled with today’s announcement we’re excited about Windsor’s downtown,” said Mayor Dilkens.