The Paris Wincey Mills Co.

By Lorie Steiner I t’s a bleak, cold January day.Outside. But it’s warm and toasty in historic downtown Paris,Ontario. I’mwriting this onsite at the Paris WinceyMills Co. indoor market hall–seated at a long, pine table in the open common area, surrounded by the buzz of coffee chatter, tantalizing aromas of lunch sizzling on the grill, jazzy piped-in music, volumes of spring flowers, and everywhere laughter, and movement, and positivity.This is what downtown heritage revitalization is all about. Resurrecting a gathering place that the entire community can profit from and enjoy. Hashtag #History Idyllic Paris,Ontario was named for its gypsum beds, the major component in plaster of Paris and a key contributor to the town’s early growth. But it was the textile Downtown Heritage Revival: The Paris Wincey Mills Co. EXECUTIVE VIEW Not your run-of-the-mill restoration industry that emerged in the late 1800s as the major employer and economic driver.The mills were an integral part of life in Paris,many company executives playing prominent roles in town affairs. During the Great Depres- sion in the 1930s, the WinceyMills and Penman’s mills operated at full capacity day and night, producing, among other necessities, socks, underwear and Canadian military uniforms. In 1934,when times were most dire, WinceyMills increased their workers’wages. Unheard of in that era. In case you’re wondering,“Wincey” is not a proper