Chris is a born and raised Windsorite, growing up in South Windsor and attending Centennial Secondary School. Upon completion, Chris moved up the 401 to study Urban Design at Fanshawe College. It was during this time Chris met his first wife and was offered a job back home in Windsor at Ford Motor Company.
Chris became the fourth generation of his family to work at Ford, which started with his great-grandfather back in 1914. He started working production in 1994 and went on to start his apprenticeship in Tool and Die in 1998, just like his father did 40 years earlier. Chris is still working at Ford today.
It was while studying Urban Design at Fanshawe that Chris started learning about how our built environment affects our quality of life and cost of living in cities. About how important a high-quality urban environment is imperative for the fiscal and environmental success of a city. This reshaped Chris’ worldview and he’s never looked back.
A few years after Chris returned to Windsor, he bought a home in Walkerville, walking distance from civic and commercial amenities that would augment his family’s life. As a single father, he raised his two children, Olivia and Logan, in a neighbourhood where they could walk to school every day of their educational years. During this time Chris met his wife, Nancy, and together they enjoy being in walking distance to the best restaurants in the city as well as parks to play with their rescue dog, Milo.
Over the years, Chris became more and more involved in the cycling and environmental communities, eventually becoming a board member in organizations like Citizens Environment Alliance and the Ontario Public Interest Research Group. He went on to become a member of the city’s Cycling Committee, becoming the chairperson in 1999 and successfully maneuvering the Bicycle Use Master Plan through council in 2001. He began blogging about urbanism, growing a local following and expanding the dialogue about urban design to a weekly radio show.
In his spare time Chris enjoyed putting his metal working skills to work restoring vintage bicycles in his garage. This grew into the launch of a new bike shop specializing in urban commuter cycling. The City Cyclery eventually outgrew its alley location and moved into a freshly restored Walkerville building, earning its owners a Heritage Recognition Award for their tasteful and sympathetic restoration of the building. City Cyclery is still operating under new owners in Ford City, continuing to offer utilitarian riders great products and services. Entrepreneurship runs through Chris’ veins, and he went on to turn another hobby (home brewing) into a successful business. Chapter Two Brewing Company was started in 2017 and has established itself as a destination for craft beer lovers in an historic railroad maintenance building nestled between Walkerville and Ford City. Chris is proud of the community they have built around the brewery while breathing life into another of Windsor’s historic buildings.
Chris decided to take his advocacy to the next level and run for the empty Ward 4 seat in the 2014 municipal election, securing victory with 28 per cent of the vote against an amazing roster of fellow candidates. He was re-elected to his seat in 2018 with nearly 80 per cent of the popular vote, the highest vote count in Windsor’s history. Chris proved that filtering every vote through a community-building and environmental lens was a popular choice and has maintained this voting record throughout his eight years on council. He looks forward to proving his firm belief that the whole community of Windsor holds those same values, and launched his bid for mayor earlier this summer.
Chris’ Council Portfolio
● Environment, Transportation and Public Safety Standing Committee, Chair
● Planning, Heritage and Economic Development Standing Committee
● Executive Standing Committee
● Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, Chair
● Transit Windsor Board of Directors, Chair
● Transit Advisory Committee
● Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority
● Vision Zero Stakeholder Group, Chair
● New City Hall Steering Committee
● Development Charge Task Force
● Rail Issues Committee
● Property Standards Committee
● Windsor Business Improvement Area Advisory Committees, Chair
● Erie Street Business Improvement Area
● Ottawa Street Business Improvement Area
● Walkerville Business Improvement Area
● Wyandotte Towne Centre Business Improvement Area
For more about Chris and his vision for the City of Windsor, check out his interview on The Arms Bumanlag Project: