527-533 Chatham Street East

March 22, 2013

Last night driving towards downtown, I noticed that the decrepit old duplex at 527-533 Chatham Street East was kaput. Vanished into the landfill… 515-523 next door may be the next one to go… I’ve never understood how this area between downtown and Walkerville, right off the river has never “gentrified” for lack of a better word. Sadly the Casino’s presence has ensured that the surrounding blocks highest value lies in use as a parking lot. There’s a great example of poor urban planning…


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I looked through all my photos and surprisingly I couldn’t find a “before” picture of this house at all. It seems like I have pictures of almost every other building on the block, but somehow not this one….

Have a good weekend everyone, we’ll see you back here Monday.

13 Responses to 527-533 Chatham Street East

  1. Shawn on March 22, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I commented on this on an online news source… it’s sad. People do not take care of their properties and this happens. It’s bad enough Windsor gets rid of everything historic, but when the people start slacking?? It’s just awful all around.

  2. Jodi on March 22, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Hey Andrew, this is a little off topic but have you considered making screen captures from the Google Street View and attaching them to these posts instead of (or as well as) embedding it from Google? I don’t know how often they reshoot places, but it has occurred to me that if they did reshoot sometime in future then your record of what these places were like before would disappear.

    These blocks near the casino are becoming too desolate to walk through. On our route to downtown we pass through the Glengarry/University/Aylmer/Assumption block, where since we’ve lived here we’ve seen a retirement home, a 3-storey red brick walkup and a 100 year old brick storefront disappear. Perhaps none of them were worth keeping but an entire block left empty is a worse sort of blight.

  3. David on March 22, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I understand that these houses make no sense on this block as there’s probably a better use for that block next to a casino, but why doesn’t the city encourage moving these houses instead of knocking them down? What they should do is waive the development fees of $9,191 and even offer a property tax credit if they moved that house to another vacant lot in downtown to encourage moving them again. Janette Ave has tonnes of vacant lots and that’s where they used to move historic houses from Victoria Street instead of tearing them down like they do now. There’s no incentive to buy a vacant lot somewhere else in downtown and move houses to them anymore, just tear them all down and eventually build new when the housing market is ready for it.

  4. Shane on March 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    with all the blight and abandonment in this neighbourhood it seems this area may be a good contender for a mega-hospital location

  5. Tony on March 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Shane – good idea, I like it.

  6. Uzzy on March 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

    David, from the looks of it, that house wasn’t worth moving, and probably wouldn’t have survived. The construction was nothing special, and a dumpster was the best place for it. I just wish they would do for for salvage of these derelict properties. It always seems they just start tearing it up with all of the fixtures and everything in place.

  7. rws on March 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Any mega hospital will have a major trauma/emergency centre serving not just Windsor but also the region. Thus it will have to be located so ambulances from Tilbury, Wheatley and Amherstburg can get to it quickly. Likely sites are near the EC Row Expressway, Highway 410 or even the Herb Gray parkway but not this Chatham Street area. For the same easy access reasons St. Clair College and the new provincial jail are located where they are.

  8. Richard McIntyre on March 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I think people in Tilbury would probaly be taken to Chatham much closer than Windsor, also Leamington hospital would be closer for Wheatly, Kingsville, and surrounding area. The sites mentioned above are inconvinient to people that do not drive or own a car. If you want some type of reginal hospital put it in the center of Essex county, not convenent for anybody.
    A mega hospital should be accsesible and served by public transport in Windsor, where the largest population, and users are located.

  9. Jim on March 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I swear if the airport wasn’t where it is we wouldn’t be having this problem. By the time they fill in the city limits were going to have an airport in the smack dab centre of our city, the only way to get anywhere is to go around the airport!

  10. Dave on March 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

    The cost of vacant lots and servicing in this city is very cost prohibitive. It is yet another barrier as to why we don’t have proper infill housing in this region.

    That area has been very low income and in very poor shape since the 1950s at the latest.

    Until Windsor decides that incentives for fixing up buildings and/or restoring is good for neighbourhoods, this will continue to occur.

  11. joe amond on March 28, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Well I lived right in that area I was born on Alymer and still somewhat live on it and trust me I cry when I see all these home’s that once had families in em now being torn down because nobody took the time too keep em up too date so people can live in them.

    I lived just off Brant street and Alymer than moved too corner of University than Chatham and Alymer that last house was on Riverside that was torn down couple years ago. The one on Chatham caught on fire same time as the old Twin Pines and the Bakery across from Malic’s went up in flames, as well as Horseshoe Hotel.

  12. Alan Trinacty on April 13, 2013 at 3:45 am

    Poor urban planning is right! Shortsighted and nonexistent in fact. I really don’t understand how this land in this area is not put to better use. Instead it is relegated to being owned by a bunch of shady business types out for the quick parking lot dollar. What is up with the zoning laws in this city?

  13. Domenic Visocchi on April 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    My grandfather rented these homes to low income family’s since the 1960′s. There was a house on either side of these that burnt down long ago. Yes at one time they were great homes but reality is the neighborhood was destroyed when the casino was build. These homes were destroyed by low life tenants burnt out flooded all the electrical and copper pluming was stolen. Would you want to live there?? sit on your porch and watch 100 casino employees smoking in the lounge? or the bus transporting employees every 15 min. You people have to understand this is no longer prime living conditions, and that is why we let them fall apart. Now they are gone like 90 % of the houses on the block.

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