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—  City  —
City of Windsor
Windsor skyline


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The City of Roses, The Automotive Capital of Canada
Motto: The river and the land sustain us.
Location in the County of Essex, in the Province of Ontario
Coordinates: 42°16′32″N 82°57′20″W / 42.27556°N 82.95556°W / 42.27556; -82.95556Coordinates: 42°16′32″N 82°57′20″W / 42.27556°N 82.95556°W / 42.27556; -82.95556
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Essex*
Settled 1749
Incorporated 1854
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Eddie Francis
 - Governing body Windsor City Council
 - CAO John Skorobohacz
 - MPs Joe Comartin (NDP)
Brian Masse (NDP)
 - MPPs Dwight Duncan (LIB)
Sandra Pupatello (LIB)
 - City 46.6 sq mi (120.6 km2)
 - Metro 394.7 sq mi (1,022.5 km2)
Elevation 622 ft (190 m)
Population (2006)
 - City 216,473
 Density 4,474.7/sq mi (1,727.7/km2)
 Metro 323,342
 - Metro Density 779.8/sq mi (301.1/km2)
  (Ranked 20th most populous in Canada) Source: Stats Canada
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span N8P to N8T, N8W to N9G
Area code(s) (519), (226)
Website City of Windsor
Separated municipality of Essex County.

Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and is located in Southwestern Ontario at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. It is within Essex County, although administratively separated from the county government. Windsor is located south of Detroit, is separated from that city by the Detroit River, and has views of the Detroit skyline. Windsor is known as The City of Roses and residents are known as Windsorites.



See also: Neighbourhoods of Windsor, Ontario.
Mackenzie Hall

Prior to European exploration and settlement, the Windsor area was inhabited by the First Nations and Native American people. Windsor was first settled in 1749 as a French agricultural settlement, making it the oldest continually inhabited settlement in Canada west of Montreal. The area was first named Petite Côte ("Little Coast" - as opposed to the longer coastline on the Detroit side of the river), and later became known as La Côte de Misère ("Poverty Coast") because of the sandy soils near LaSalle. Windsor's French heritage is reflected in many French street names such as Ouellette, Pelissier, François, Pierre, Langlois, Marentette, and Lauzon. There is a significant French-speaking minority in Windsor and the surrounding area, particularly in the Lakeshore, Tecumseh and LaSalle areas. The current street system of Windsor (a grid with elongated blocks) reflects the French method of agricultural land division where the farms were long and narrow, fronting along the river. Today, the north-south street name often indicates the name of the family that at one time farmed the land. The street system of outlying areas is consistent with the British system for granting land concessions.

In 1794, after the American Revolution, the settlement of Sandwich was founded. It was later renamed to Windsor, after the town in Berkshire, England. The Sandwich neighbourhood on Windsor's west side is home to some of the oldest buildings in the city including Mackenzie Hall, originally built as the Essex County Courthouse in 1855. Today, this building functions as a community centre. The oldest building in the city is the Duff-Baby House built in 1792. It is owned by Ontario Heritage Trust and houses government offices. The François Baby House in downtown Windsor was built in 1812 and houses Windsor's Community Museum, dedicated to local history.

The City of Windsor was the site of the Battle of Windsor during the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837, and was also a part of the Patriot War, later that year.

Windsor was established as a village in 1854 (the same year the village was connected to the rest of Canada by the Grand Trunk Railway/Canadian National Railway), then became a town in 1858, and ultimately gained city status in 1892.

A fire consumed much of Windsor's downtown core on October 12, 1871, destroying over 100 buildings.[1]

On October 25, 1960, a massive gas explosion destroyed the building housing the Metropolitan Store on Ouellette Avenue. Ten people were killed and at least one hundred injured.[2] The 45th anniversary of the event was commemorated by the Windsor Star on October 25, 2005 and later re-enacted on History Television's Disasters of the Century.

The Windsor Star Centennial Edition in 1992 covered the city's past, its success as a railway centre, and its contributions to World War I and World War II. It also recalled the naming controversy in 1892 when the town of Windsor aimed to become a city. The most popular names listed in the naming controversy were "South Detroit", "The Ferry" (from the ferries that linked Windsor to Detroit), Windsor, and Richmond (the runner-up in popularity). Windsor was chosen to promote the heritage of new English settlers in the city and to recognize Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England. However, Richmond was a popular name used until the Second World War, mainly by the local post office.

Sandwich, Ford City and Walkerville were separate legal entities (towns) in their own right until 1935. They are now historic neighbourhoods of Windsor. Ford City was officially incorporated as a village in 1912 then became a town in 1915, and a city in 1929. Walkerville was incorporated as a town in 1890. Sandwich was established in 1817 as a town with no municipal status. It was incorporated as a town in 1858 (the same year as neighbouring Windsor). These three towns were each annexed by Windsor in 1935. The nearby villages of Ojibway and Riverside were incorporated in 1913 and 1921 respectively. Both were annexed by Windsor in 1966.[3]


See also: Weather Records in Windsor, Ontario.

Windsor has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa) with four distinct seasons. The mean annual temperature is 9.5°C (49°F), amongst the warmest in Canada primarily due to its hot summers. Some locations in British Columbia have a slightly higher mean annual temperature due to milder winter conditions. The coldest month is January and the warmest month is July. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Windsor was −29.1 °C (−20 °F) and the warmest was 40.2 °C (104.4 °F).[4]

Summers are hot, humid and the annual average rain is 94 cm (37 inches). Winters are generally cold with occasional mild periods. Windsor is not located in the lake effect snowbelts and snow cover is intermittent throughout the winter; nevertheless, there are typically several major snowfall events each winter. Summers are warm and humid, and thunderstorms are common. Windsor has the highest number of days per year with lightning, haze, and daily maximum temperatures over 30 °C (86 °F) of cities in Canada. Precipitation is generally well-distributed throughout the year.


The strongest and deadliest tornado to touch down in Windsor was a category F4 in 1946. Windsor was the only Canadian city to experience a tornado during the Super Outbreak of 1974, an F3 which killed nine people at the Windsor Curling Club. The city was grazed in 1997 by the Southeast Michigan Tornado Outbreak with one tornado (an F1) forming east of the city. Tornadoes have been recorded crossing the Detroit River (in 1946 and 1997), and waterspouts are regularly seen over Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie especially in autumn.

On April 25, 2009 an F0 tornado briefly touched down in the city's east end causing minor damage to nearby buildings, most notably a CUPE union hall.[5]

Climate data for Windsor
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.8
Average high °C (°F) -0.9
Average low °C (°F) -8.1
Record low °C (°F) -29.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 57.6
Rainfall mm (inches) 28.7
Snowfall cm (inches) 35.0
Avg. rainy days 5.7 5.6 9.4 12.2 11.8 11.0 10.2 10.0 10.9 10.5 10.6 7.9 115.8
Avg. snowy days 12.5 9.1 6.7 2.3 .03 0 0 0 0 .33 3.8 10.2 44.96
Avg. precipitation days 15.1 12.3 13.9 13.3 11.8 11.0 10.2 10.0 10.9 10.5 12.8 14.9 146.7
Source: Environment Canada[6] 2009-13-08

Air Pollution

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has denounced pollution in Windsor: "A lot of the industries in Detroit, the air emissions make their way to Windsor. Windsor has high cancer rates, particularly thyroid cancer. Many other respiratory illnesses that are associated with pollution are more prevalent here than elsewhere in Canada as Windsor is downwind from several strong polluters."[7] This position is largely unsubstantiated. According to data from Cancer Care Ontario, the government-funded agency that provides cancer treatment, Windsor's overall cancer rates are similar to the provincial rate, although there are variations depending on the type of cancer.[citation needed]

The Weather Network has designated Windsor as "the smog capital of Canada."[8] and Windsor's Citizens Environment Alliance holds a yearly art event entitled Smogfest to raise awareness of air quality issues.

A 2001 Article in the Environmental Health Prospectives journal stated that the rates of mortality, morbidity as hospitalizations, and congenital anomalies in the Windsor Area of Concern ranked among the highest of the 17 Areas of Concern on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes for selected end points that might be related to pollution.[9]

In the summer of 2003, Transit Windsor provided free transit on smog advisory days. The pilot project was extremely successful and drew interest from across the country and Europe. Ridership increased nearly 50% on those days. In addition to local media coverage, stories on the project were featured on The Weather Network, CBC NewsWorld, in newspapers and on radio stations across the nation.[10] Despite the success, the pilot project was discontinued as the budget for the program was quickly expended.


Windsor's Riverside Drive and Riverfront Bike Trail from Dieppe Gardens.

Windsor's Department of Parks and Recreation[11] maintains 3,000 acres (12 km2) of green space, 180 parks, 40 miles (64 km) of trails, 22 miles (35 km) of sidewalk, 60 parking lots, vacant lands, natural areas and forest cover within the city of Windsor. The largest park is Mic Mac Park, which can accommodate many different activities including baseball, soccer, biking, and sledding. Windsor has numerous bike trails, the largest being the Ganatchio Trail on the far east side of the city. In recent years, city council has pushed for the addition of bicycle lanes on city streets to provide links throughout the existing trail network.

The Windsor trail network is linked to the LaSalle Trail in the west end, and will eventually be linked to the Chrysler Canada Greenway (part of the Trans Canada Trail). The current greenway is a 42 km former railway corridor that has been converted into a multi-use recreational trail, underground utility corridor and natural green space. The corridor begins south of Oldcastle and continues south through McGregor, Harrow, Kingsville, and Ruthven. The Greenway is a fine trail for hiking, biking, running, birding, cross country skiing and in some areas, horseback riding. It connects natural areas, rich agricultural lands, historically and architecturally significant structures, and award winning wineries. A separate 5 km landscaped traverses the riverfront between downtown and the Ambassador Bridge. Part of this trail winds through Odette Sculpture Park, displaying various modern and post-modern sculptures from artists in Essex County. Families of elephants (see picture), penguins, horses, and many other themed sculptures are found in the park.


The Chrysler Minivan Assembly Plant

Windsor's economy is primarily based on manufacturing, tourism, education, and government services. It is one of Canada's major automobile manufacturing centres and is often referred to as the Automotive Capital of Canada. However, plant closures and significant job losses in recent years have significantly impacted Windsor's manufacturing industry. The city is home to the headquarters of Chrysler Canada. Automotive factories include the Chrysler minivan assembly plant, a Ford Motor Company engine plant, a General Motors transmission plant (scheduled to close in June, 2010), and a number of smaller tool and die and automotive parts manufacturers.

Windsor has a well-established tourism industry. Caesars Windsor (formerly Casino Windsor) ranks as one of the largest local employers and has been a major draw for U.S. visitors since its opening in 1994. The city also boasts an extensive riverfront parks system and fine restaurants such as those on Erie Street in Windsor's Little Italy, another popular tourist destination. Additionally, the Lake Erie North Shore Wine Region in Essex County has enhanced tourism in the region. Caesars is also the largest casino in Canada.

Small and independent business is impacted by larger industries.

Windsor is the headquarters of Hiram Walker & Sons Limited, now owned by Pernod Ricard. Its historic distillery was founded by Hiram Walker in 1858 in what was then Walkerville, Ontario.

Both the University of Windsor and St. Clair College are significant local employers and have enjoyed substantial growth and expansion in recent years. The recent addition of a full-program satellite medical school of the University of Western Ontario which opened in 2008 at the University of Windsor is further enhancing the region's economy and the status of the university.

The city's diversifying economy is also represented by companies involved in pharmaceuticals, insurance, internet and software. Windsor is also home to the Windsor Salt Mine and the Great Lakes Regional office of the International Joint Commission.


Visible Minority Population as of the 2006 Census.
Ethnic Origin, 2001[12]
Ethnic Origin Percentage
Canadian 28.1%
French 21.2%
English 18.5%
Irish 13.1%
Scottish 12.1%
Italian 9.7%
German 7.1%
Polish 4.0%
multiple responses included

In 2006, the population of Windsor was 216,473 and that of the Windsor metropolitan area (consisting of Windsor, Tecumseh, Amherstburg, LaSalle and Lakeshore) was 323,342.[13] This represents a growth of 3.5% in the city population since 2001 and a growth of 5.0% in the metropolitan area population since 2001.[14]

Windsor attracts many immigrants from around the world. Over 20% of the population is foreign-born; this is the fourth-highest proportion for a Canadian city. Visible minorities make up 21.0% of the population, making it the most diverse city in Ontario outside of the Greater Toronto Area.[15][16]

From the 2001 Canadian census, Windsor's population was 48.9% male and 51.1% female. Children under five accounted for 6.3% of the city population compared to 5.6% for Canada. Persons of retirement age (65 years and over) accounted for 14.1% of the population in Windsor compared to 13.0% for Canada. The median age in Windsor is 36.0 years compared to 37.6 years for Canada.[17]

Religion, 2001[18]
Religion Percentage
Catholic 48.3%
Protestant 23.9%
No religion 12.1%
Muslim 4.8%
Orthodox 4.3%


Windsor City Hall.

Windsor's history as an industrial centre has given the New Democrats (a party partially founded, governed and supported by labour unions), a dedicated voting base. During federal and provincial elections, Windsorites have maintained its local representation in the respective legislatures. The Liberal Party of Canada also has a strong electoral history in the city. Canada's 21st Prime Minister Paul Martin was born in Windsor. His father Paul Martin (Sr.), a federal cabinet minister in several portfolios through the Liberal governments of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, was first elected to the House of Commons from a Windsor riding in the 1930s. Martin (Sr.) practiced law in the city and the federal building on Ouellette Avenue is named after him. Eugene Whelan was a Liberal cabinet minister and one-time Liberal party leadership candidate elected from Essex County from the 1960s to the early 1980s, as well as Mark MacGuigan of Windsor-Walkerville riding, who also served as External Affairs, and later Justice minister in the early 1980s. Herb Gray represented Windsor as an MP from 1962 through 2003, winning thirteen consecutive elections making him the longest serving MP in Canadian history.[19] A bust of Herb Gray is located at the foot of Ouellette Avenue near Dieppe Park in downtown Windsor.

Current representation

The current mayor of Windsor is Eddie Francis, a Lebanese-Canadian who was the city's youngest mayor when he was first elected at age 29 in 2003. Windsor is governed under the Council-Manager form of local government and includes the elected City Council, mayor, and an appointed Chief Administrative Officer. The city is divided into five wards, with two councillors representing each ward. They are: Ward 1 (South Windsor), 2 (West Windsor), 3 (Central Windsor), 4 (East Windsor), and 5 (Far East Windsor). The mayor serves as the chief executive officer of the city and functions as its ceremonial head. Day-to-day operations of the government are carried out by the Chief Administrative Officer. In August 2009, Windsor City Council approved a 10-ward electoral system for the 2010 civic election. Under the new plan, voters will elect one Councillor in each of the ten new wards. The new election map will double the number of wards that have existed along unchanged boundaries for 30 years.[20]

At the provincial and federal levels, Windsor is divided into two ridings: Windsor West and Windsor—Tecumseh. The city is currently represented in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario by two Liberal MPPs: Sandra Pupatello (Windsor West), and Dwight Duncan (Windsor—Tecumseh).

Federally, Windsor West was a longtime Liberal stronghold under Herb Gray, while Windsor—Tecumseh has traditionally been a Liberal-NDP swing riding. Both ridings are currently represented in the federal Parliament by NDP MPs: Brian Masse (Windsor West) and Joe Comartin (Windsor—Tecumseh).

New City Wards

Ward 1 : South(west) Windsor including Roseland, Ojibway Park and Windsor Raceway

Ward 2 : West Windsor including University District and Old Sandwich Towne

Ward 3 : Central Windsor including City Centre, Via Italia, and South Central

Ward 4 : Walkerville and South Walkerville

Ward 5 : East Windsor and Ford City including western Fountainbleau

Ward 6 : Old Riverside including Little River Acres (The Villages) and Pilette Village

Ward 7 : Forest Glade and East Riverside

Ward 8 : eastern Fountainbleau including Roseville Gardens; East Windsor

Ward 9 : South Windsor including Devonshire Heights, Windsor Airport and Old Sandwich South

Ward 10: South Cameron and Remington Park communities

Culture and tourism

Art Gallery of Windsor overlooking riverfront rock gardens

Windsor tourist attractions include Caesars Windsor, a lively downtown, Little Italy, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Odette Sculpture Park,and Ojibway Park, . Windsor was a major entry point into Canada for refugees from slavery via the Underground Railroad and a major source of liquor during American Prohibition. The Capital Theatre in downtown Windsor had been a venue for feature films, plays and other attractions since 1929, until it declared bankruptcy in 2007. As of 2009 the Capital Theatre was open, showcasing various features. Windsor's nickname is the "Rose City" or the "City of Roses" and the city is noted for the several large parks and gardens found on its waterfront. The Queen Elizabeth II Sunken Garden is located at Jackson Park in the central part of the city. A World War II era Avro Lancaster was displayed on a stand in the middle of Jackson Park for over four decades but has since been removed for restoration. This park is now home to a mounted Spitfire replica and

Chrysler's Canada HQ in downtown Windsor, as seen from Dieppe Gardens along the riverfront.

a Hurricane replica.

Of the parks lining Windsor's waterfront, the largest is the 5 km (three mile) stretch overlooking the Detroit skyline. It extends from the Ambassador Bridge to the Hiram Walker Distillery. The western portion of the park contains the Odette Sculpture Park which features over 30 large-scale contemporary sculptures for public viewing, along with the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The central portion contains Dieppe Gardens, Civic Terrace and Festival Plaza, and the eastern portion is home to the Bert Weeks Memorial Gardens. Further east along the waterfront is Coventry Gardens, across from Detroit's Belle Isle. The focal point of this park is the Charles Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain which floats in the Detroit River and has a coloured light display at night. The fountain is the largest of its kind in North America and symbolizes the peaceful relationship between Canada and the United States.

2009 Red Bull Air Race as viewed from the Windsor waterfront

Each summer, Windsor co-hosts the two-week-long Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, which culminates in a gigantic fireworks display that celebrates Canada Day and US Independence Day. The fireworks display is among the world's largest and is held on the final Wednesday in June over the Detroit River between the two downtowns. Each year, the event attracts over a million spectators to both sides of the riverfront.

Following the 2008 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Detroit, Michigan, Windsor successfully put in a bid to become the first Canadian city to host the event. Red Bull touted the 2009 race in Windsor as one of the most exciting in the seven-year history of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship,[21] and on January 22, 2010, it was announced that Windsor will be a host city for the 2010 and 2011 circuits,[22] along with a select group of major international cities that includes Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Perth, Australia and New York, New York. The event attracted 200,000 fans to the Detroit River waterfront in 2009.

Windsor has often been the place where many metro Detroiters find what is forbidden in the United States. With a minimum legal drinking age of 21 in Michigan and 19 in Ontario, a number of 19 and 20-year-old Americans frequent Windsor's bars. The city also became a gaming attraction with Caesars Windsor's opening in 1994, five years before casinos opened in Detroit. In addition, one can purchase Cuban cigars, Cuban Rum, less-costly prescription drugs, Absinthe, certain imported foods, and other items not available in the United States. In addition, many same-sex couples from the United States have chosen to marry in Windsor, which is illegal in Michigan and most parts of the United States, but is legal in Canada.


Windsor Star offices on Ferry Street, in downtown.

Windsor is considered part of the Detroit television and radio market for purposes of territorial rights. Due to this fact, and its proximity to Toledo and Cleveland, radio and television broadcasters in Windsor are accorded a special status by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, exempting them from many of the Canadian content ("CanCon") requirements most broadcasters in Canada are required to follow. The CanCon requirements are sometimes blamed in part for the decline in popularity of Windsor radio station CKLW, a 50,000 watt AM radio station that in the late 1960s (prior to the advent of CanCon) had been the top-rated radio station not only in Detroit and Windsor, but also in Toledo and Cleveland.

Windsor has also been exempt from concentration of media ownership rules. Although Blackburn Radio has a rebroadcaster of its Chatham station in Windsor and is scheduled to launch a new station in 2009, all of its current commercial media outlets are owned by a single company, CTVglobemedia.

The city is also home to one campus radio station, CJAM-FM, situated on the University of Windsor campus.[23]


Dillon Hall, University of Windsor

Windsor is home to the University of Windsor, which is Canada's southernmost university. It is a research oriented, comprehensive university with a student population of over 15,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate students and over 1000 graduate students. The university is just east of the Ambassador Bridge, south of the Detroit River. Windsor is also home to St. Clair College with a student population of 6500 full-time students. Its main campus is in Windsor, and it also has campuses in Chatham and Wallaceburg. In 2007, St. Clair College opened a satellite campus in downtown Windsor in the former Cleary International Centre.

Windsor is home to two International Baccalaureate recognized schools: Assumption College School (a Catholic high school) and Académie Ste. Cécile International School (a private school). Vincent Massey Secondary School is renowned in Southern Ontario for its notable accomplishments nationally in mathematics and computer science.

St. Clair College campus on Riverside Drive.

Windsor youth attend schools in the Greater Essex County District School Board, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district des écoles catholiques du Sud-Ouest and Conseil scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest. Independent faith-based schools include Maranatha Christian Academy (JK-12), First Lutheran Christian Academy (preschool-8), and Académie Ste. Cécile International School (JK-12, including International Baccalaureate), and Windsor Adventist Elementary School. The non-denominational Lakeview Montessori School is a private school as well.

The Windsor Public Library offers education, entertainment and community history materials, programs and services. The main branch coordinates a literacy program for adults needing functional literacy upgrading.

The Canada South Science City[24] serves the Elementary School Curriculum’s Science and Technology component.


Health systems

There are two hospitals in Windsor: Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and Windsor Regional Hospital. Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital is the result of an amalgamation of Grace Hospital and Hôtel-Dieu in 1994. The merger occurred due to the Government of Ontario's province-wide policy to consolidate resources into Local Health Integrated Networks, or LHINs, which aimed to eliminate duplicate services and allocate resources more efficiently and regionally. This policy resulted in the eventual closure of many community-based and historically important hospitals across the province. Accordingly, two of Windsor's independent hospitals - Metropolitan General Hospital on Lens Ave and Windsor Western Hospital on Prince Road were joined to form Windsor Regional Hospital. The original hospital sites remain but are administratively centralized through the new collective structure.

Windsor hospitals have formal and informal agreements with Detroit area hospitals. For instance, pediatric neurosurgery is no longer performed in Windsor; The Windsor Star reported in July 2007 that Hôtel-Dieu Grace has formally instituted an agreement with Detroit's Harper Hospital to provide this specialty and surgery for the dozen patients requiring care annually. Leamington District Memorial Hospital in Leamington, Ontario serves much of Essex County and, along with the Windsor institutions, share resources with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

The Essex County Medical Society lists family doctors accepting patients.[25] Many people who do not seek a family doctor use the region's many walk-in clinics for regular medical conditions.


See also: Roads in Windsor, Ontario, and Bike trails in Windsor, Ontario.
New bus terminal opened in 2007.

Windsor is the western terminus of both Highway 401, Canada's busiest highway, and VIA Rail's Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. The city is served by Windsor Airport with regular, scheduled commuter air service by Air Canada Jazz and heavy general aviation traffic. The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is located approximately 40 km across the border in Romulus, Michigan and is the airport of choice for many Windsor residents as it has regular flights to a larger variety of destinations than Windsor Airport.[26] Windsor is also located on the St. Lawrence Seaway, and is accessible to ocean-going vessels.

Local transportation is provided by Transit Windsor, the city-owned bus company, which shares its newly constructed $8-million downtown depot with Greyhound Lines. The new depot opened in 2007.

Windsor has a municipal highway, E.C. Row Expressway, running east-west through the city. Consisting of 15.7 km (9.8 mi) of highway and nine interchanges, the expressway is the fastest way for commuters to travel across the city. E.C. Row Expressway is actually in the Guinness Book of Records as the shortest freeway that took the longest time to build as it took more than 15 years to complete. The expressway stretches from Windsor's far west end at Ojibway Parkway east to Banwell Road on the city's border with Tecumseh.

The majority of development in Windsor stretches along the water instead of in-land. Due to this, there is a lack of east-west arteries compared to north-south arteries. Only Riverside Drive, Wyandotte Street, Tecumseh Road and the E.C. Row Expressway serve the almost 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the west end of Windsor eastward. All of these roads are burdened with east-west commuter traffic from the development in the city's east end and suburbs further east. There are eight north-south roads interchanging with the expressway: Huron Church Road, Dominion Boulevard, Dougall Avenue, Howard Avenue, Walker Road, Central Avenue, Jefferson Boulevard, and Lauzon Parkway. Traffic backups on some of these north-south roads at the E.C. Row Expressway are common, mainly at Dominion, Dougall, Howard, and Walker as the land south of the expressway and east of Walker is occupied by Windsor airport and there is little development.

Windsor's many rail crossings intersect with these north-south thoroughfares. In October 2008, the Province of Ontario completed a grade separation at Walker Road and the CP Rail line. Another grade separation is currently under construction at Howard Avenue and the CP Rail line. In both cases, the road will travel under the rail line and both will have below grade intersections with an east-west street. These plans are both parts of the "Let's Get Windsor-Essex Moving" project funded by the Province of Ontario to improve local transportation infrastructure.

Windsor is connected to Essex and Leamington via Highway 3, and is well connected to the other municipalities and communities throughout Essex County via the county road network. Nearly 17,000 vehicles travel on Highway 3 in Essex County on a daily basis. It is the main route to work for many residents of Leamington, Kingsville and Essex.

VIA rail train at Windsor train station

Windsor is linked to the United States by the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, a Canadian Pacific Railway tunnel, and the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry. The Ambassador Bridge is North America's #1 international border crossing in terms of goods volume: 27% of all trade between Canada and the United States crosses at the Ambassador Bridge.

Windsor has a bike trail network including the (Riverfront Bike Trail, Ganatchio Bike Trail, and Little River Extension). They have become a blend of parkland and transportation, as people use the trails to commute to work or across downtown on their bicycles.

The Port of Windsor is located on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, on the Detroit River. The port is the third largest Canadian Great Lakes port in terms of shipments.[27]

Ambassador Bridge and potential third crossing

The Ambassador Bridge at sunset.

A major and controversial issue is the amount of traffic to and from the Ambassador Bridge. The number of vehicles crossing the bridge has doubled since 1990. However, the total volume of traffic has been declining since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Access to the Ambassador Bridge is via two municipal roads: Huron Church Road and Wyandotte Street. A large portion of the traffic consists of tractor-trailers. There have been at times a wall of trucks up to 8 km (5.0 mi) long on Huron Church Road. This road cuts through the west end of the city and the trucks are the source of many complaints about noise, pollution and pedestrian hazards. In 2003, a single mother of three, Jacqueline Bouchard, was struck and killed by a truck at the corner of Huron Church and Girardot Avenue in front of Assumption College Catholic High School, a tragedy argued to be due to a lack of practical safety precautions.[28]

Windsor City Council hired famous traffic consultant Sam Schwartz to produce a proposal for a solution to this traffic problem. City councillors overwhelmingly endorsed the proposal and it was presented to the federal government as a "Made in Windsor" solution. Not all of the surrounding residents supported the plan. One problem with the plan is that the proposed road would cut through protected green spaces such as the Ojibway Prairie Reserve.

In 2005, the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC - a joint Canadian-American committee studying the options for expanding the border crossing) announced that its preferred option was to directly extend Highway 401 westward to a new bridge or tunnel across the Detroit River and interchange with Interstate 75 somewhere between the existing Ambassador Bridge span and Wyandotte. The exact route of this new highway connection has not yet been determined.[29]

On February 8, 2008, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation announced it was beginning to buy properties along the Huron Church/Highway 3 corridor for the future extension of Highway 401, now called the Windsor-Essex Parkway. In May 2008, a list of practical alternatives was released by DRIC. The preferred alternative was a below-grade road with surface service roads. A series of short tunnels or land bridges plus berms and walls were incorporated to mitigate noise and environmental impacts. The City of Windsor released its own alternative called Greenlink that consists of much longer tunnels and more surface green space, which the city believes is a better alternative in terms of mitigating environmental impacts on the surrounding area. On November 12, 2008, the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) report was released and City Council is currently considering its options.

Sister cities

Windsor's Riverfront walk is lined with sculptures, such as this one, named "Anne", the Lady Dipper.
Tucked away behind the Hilton downtown is the Windsor Community Historical Museum.

Windsor has several sister cities in the world - dates are in parentheses:

Windsor also has a very close relationship with fellow Motor City:

Sports teams

The WFCU Centre is the current home of the Windsor Spitfires.

Windsor's sports fans tend to support the major professional sports league teams in either Detroit or Toronto, but the city itself is home to the following youth, minor league, post-secondary and professional teams. Many Windsor sports teams at the amateur level are sponsored by the AKO Fraternity.

In addition to these teams, Windsor has been lobbying for a Canadian Football League franchise. This franchise (if awarded) would play its regular-season home games in Windsor and possibly their playoff games in Pontiac, a suburb of Detroit. Former CFL commissioner Tom Wright met with Windsor mayor Eddie Francis about possible expansion to Windsor prior to Super Bowl XL (in which Windsor played a major role although the game itself was held in Detroit). Shortly thereafter, local media criticized this as an unrealistic pipe dream.

Former teams

Famous people

See also


  1. ^ "The Timeline: Fire of 1871". Settling Canada's South: How Windsor Was Made. Windsor Public Library. 2002. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  2. ^ History
  3. ^ History of Essex County
  4. ^ Environment Canada. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  5. ^ Enivronment Canada. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  6. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  7. ^ Windsor 'the most polluted city in North America': RFK Jr
  8. ^ The Weather Network - Air Quality - Air Quality - A Provincial Prospective
  9. ^ Gilbertson M, Brophy J (December 2001). "Community health profile of Windsor, Ontario, Canada: anatomy of a Great Lakes area of concern". Environ. Health Perspect. 109 Suppl 6: 827–43. doi:10.2307/3454645. PMID 11744501. PMC 1240618. 
  10. ^ Transit on Smog Days
  11. ^ "Parks and Facility Operations". City of Windsor. Retrieved January 21, 2007. 
  12. ^ Selected Ethnic Origin for Windsor, 2001. Statistics Canada. Retrieved on 17 April 2009.
  13. ^ City of Windsor. Demographics. Available online at:
  14. ^ National Post. "2001 census analysis: Highlights" Available online at:
  15. ^ Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada - Data table
  16. ^
  17. ^ Age & Sex
  18. ^ Religion for Windsor, 2001. Statistics Canada. Retrieved on 17 April 2009.
  19. ^ Parliament of Canada (website) “History of Federal Ridings since 1867”. . Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  20. ^ By-law to redivide the wards in the City of Windsor
  21. ^ Red Bull Air Race
  22. ^ Windsor locks in Red Bull air races for two years
  23. ^ CJAM 91.5 Windsor / Detroit Campus Community Radio
  24. ^ Canada South Science City
  25. ^ Essex County Medical Society (website). "Doctor's Taking Patients". . Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  26. ^
  27. ^ PORT WINDSOR - About the Port
  28. ^ Suit settled in death that led to overpass
  29. ^ Second span on west side, group urges
  30. ^ Changchun City, China website. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  31. ^ a b Coventry Twin Cities (Windsor. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  32. ^ L'Association socioculturelle Granby et ses villes jumelées. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  33. ^ Coventry#Twin_cities
  34. ^ Gunsan City Worldwide Sisterhood Cities. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  35. ^ Lublin's Partner and Friend Cities. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  36. ^ Mannheims Partnerstädte - von Bydgoszcz bis Zhenjiang. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  37. ^ City of Windsor, Our Twin Cities (Las Vueltas). Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  38. ^ Città gemellate (Windsor). Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  39. ^ Welcome To Windsor Rugby (Windsor Rogues Rugby)

External links

  • Woodford, Arthur M. (2001). This is Detroit 1701–2001. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-2914-4. 

Simple English

Windsor is a city in southern Ontario, Canada, which is across the Detroit River from the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan. Windsor was founded in 1749 by the French. It has a population of 208 000 (counted in 2001).

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