Garry Dugal Park Improvements at the Heart of Ford City Renewal

The revitalization of one of Windsor’s most historic neighbourhoods continued this week as Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Ward 5 Councillor Ed Sleiman announced the completion of major upgrades to Garry Dugal Park.

A combination of ward funds from Councillor Sleiman and contributions from the City’s capital and operating budgets added to nearly $400,000 being invested to enhance and modernize many of the recreation facilities at the 44-year-old park at the heart of Ford City.

The 2021 Garry Dugal Park improvements include the following:

  • Addition of two shade sails over a large concrete pad to expand the sheltered meeting and activities space for community groups
  • Refurbishment of the gazebo, including new paint, additional LED lighting and an upgraded new electrical panel to give community groups access to more power outlets for cookers and sound systems
  • Three new picnic tables, one under the gazebo and two under the shade sails
  • New fencing installed to separate the soccer pitch from the shaded sitting area
  • Relocation of 150 commemorative bricks, now placed near the gazebo.

Additional recent upgrades, completed in 2018, 2019 and 2020, included the following:

  • Installation of a large, modern, fully-accessible play structure with rubber surface
  • Installation of new, fully accessible swing set
  • Renovated surfaces on basketball and tennis courts
  • Two new accessible benches
  • New wave-like bicycle rack
  • Removal of an old BMX hill to expand the green space and better connect the east and west ends of the park

These improvements reflect City Council’s commitment to providing safe, inclusive and welcoming outdoor recreation amenities that provide new opportunities for engagement and encourage residents to stay healthy and active.

The City of Windsors capital budget earmarks $1.6 billion over the next decade, including $170 million in 2021, to improve public infrastructure. Among the $170 million is $17.5 million allocated toward upgrading Windsor’s parks and recreation facilities as council fulfills its vision of maintaining a high quality of life for all residents by delivering recreation services effectively and efficiently across the community.

The 4.9-acre Garry Dugal Park is located at 1247 Drouillard Road and named after community champion Garry Dugal, a long-time Ford City resident known for his devotion to cleaning up the park on his daily dog walks. After Dugal died in 2012, Councillor Sleiman put forward a motion to rename the park in Dugal’s memory in hopes that others would be inspired by his legacy and follow his example.

Quotes:

“These improvements are part of a broader regeneration kick started by strategic policies of council to make Ford City a more welcoming and attractive neighbourhood where residents and visitors can feel safe and have a sense of belonging. From investing in better parks and streetscaping to offering tax incentives and grants that attract new investments, I am proud of all the actions council has taken to transform this distinct neighbourhood.” – Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

“Public spaces like Garry Dugal Park are essential to creating healthy, vibrant communities. Certainly that is what we have built in Ford City. This park is very important to our residents, families and neighbourhood. The incremental upgrades we have made to the park have come together to make it one of Windsor’s best-kept secrets. I am honoured to contribute to the development of this special outdoor space that continues to be the hub of so many positive events that make our community stronger.” – Ward 5 Councillor Ed Sleiman

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