Welcome to Erie Street
About the BIA
Via Italia is the official business improvement association (BIA), as designated by the City of Windsor. Through its dedication to promote the Italian culture on Erie Street, the Via Italia BIA exists to properly represent the interests of all its members as they relate to vitality of the arts, restaurants, and shops located in the Via Italia community.
Via Italia is a vibrant community centered on its heritage and continued love for the arts. Erie Street is the hub of the community that plays host to the culture of Italian tradition through the numerous restaurants and cafes, fashion and specialty shops, grocery stores, sporting events, bicycle races and other enterprises and activities.
Although many of the original storefronts are replaced with new shops, they still carry the same traditions as in the past. The heart and soul of Windsor’s Via Italia remains its church home: St. Angela Merici, which is now in its seventh decade of service to its parishioners, its neighbourhood and the community in general.
Experiencing the flavor that Erie Street infuses in each shop and restaurant makes anyone feel like they are walking down a bustling street in Italy. It is busy, friendly and animated. It is Italian in spirit and in joy and in hospitality.
The rich history of Erie Street dates back to the early 1900’s when Col. Ernest Wigle was Windsor’s Mayor. His vision for the community was to accentuate the culture and heritage of the street where so many lived and worked. The Mayor wanted to inspire investors to venture outside of the downtown core.
The main attraction of Erie Street was that it served as the main link between east and west in what was then mid-south Windsor. Col. Wigle created excitement in the small but quaint neighbourhood and because of his efforts to bring attention to the area, a park at the corner of Erie and McDougall was named after him.
The community formed clubs and associations that centered on art and history. The Via Italia community was thriving. Erie Street became a spot where many experienced the love for their community and served as a destination for many to explore.