“Strengthen the Core” Update: City Hires Dedicated By-law Officer for Downtown Core


In May 2024, City Council unanimously approved the Strengthen the Core: Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan (STC) to address safety and security; improve cleanliness through improvements and activations; and attract new investments, businesses, residents and visitors to the city’s core. The plan’s second initial action item, High Standards, highlighted the need for improved enforcement of property standards, and called for the hiring of a dedicated By-law Property Standards Enforcement Lead in the downtown core and surrounding area as a key component of the plan.

This vital position is now filled. Nicole Brush, By-law Property Standards Enforcement Lead for the Downtown Core, has worked at the City of Windsor since 2015. She brings seven years of valuable experience as a by-law officer to this new role. In her time with Building By-law, Ms. Brush has demonstrated the leadership and expertise required to address some of downtown’s most challenging property files.

Through her new role, and in alignment with the STC revitalization plan, Ms. Brush will prioritize properties within the downtown core as well as high-traffic business zones, and will review them for by-law infractions. Where a building or property is deemed to be non-compliant with City by-laws, owners will be given a reasonable timeline to bring their property into compliance. In cases where an Order to Repair must be issued, owners will have 30 days to comply. Efforts will be closely monitored, with escalation to Provincial Offences Court if necessary to enforce Orders. This position will also focus on canvasing the surrounding downtown area to address by-law concerns as needed.

The City’s Building Department receives an average of over 3,000 service requests per year. For 2023, 120 of those involved the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Area (BIA). Specific to the City’s BIAs, Ward 3 and the downtown accounts for 17% of all building-related service requests. Across all nine City BIAs, the Downtown Windsor BIA accounts for 52% of all service requests.

The by-law enforcement process begins with education and voluntary adherence. Complying with Council approved by-laws is in the best interest of all citizens, and it helps to prevent health risks; ensure public safety; protect property values; and create and sustain vibrant and welcoming neighbourhoods for all businesses, residents, and visitors. The City of Windsor currently employs eight regular full-time by-law officers, including this new role; and two temporary part-time by-law officers, specifically designated for the Residential Rental By-law pilot project.


 “Our Strengthen the Core: Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan is about building a resilient, vibrant, and thriving downtown that attracts investments and people to an exciting hub in the heart of the city. ‘High Standards’ is our second action item because Council and all project stakeholders recognize both the challenges and the incredible opportunities that come from breathing new life into problematic properties in the core. This dedicated by-law officer is crucial to ensuring that we can immediately address the high volume of infractions so that we can remove barriers and ensure that we are able to leverage this time of incredible growth in our community. Combined with other housing and investment initiatives underway at this time, we are Building Windsor’s Future by focusing on creating the downtown we all deserve.” - Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens 

“I am thrilled that the downtown core will now have dedicated by-law enforcement to ensure high property standards are maintained and vacant buildings are ready to be filled. This will provide immediate support for the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association and area residents. First, we want to work with those business owners who have possible infractions to bring their properties into compliance right away. After that, those who will not cooperate or are unavailable or unresponsive will get the by-law smackdown everyone has been asking for. This is part of how we Strengthen the Core!” - Councillor Renaldo Agostino, Ward 3

“Establishing a dedicated by-law officer in the downtown core is an essential aspect of the Strengthen the Core initiative. Enforcing by-laws is critical to ensuring safety, preserving the integrity of buildings, safeguarding property values, and nurturing a dynamic community. Providing consistent and impartial enforcement is key to creating an environment where businesses thrive, residents feel secure, and visitors are attracted to the area.” - Jelena Payne, Commissioner, Economic Development

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