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Windsor, Ontario

Windsor is linked to Detroit by both a tunnel and a bridge and is one of the busiest points of entry along the Canada US border. It is one of Canada’s busiest manufacturing centres. Despite its manufacturing image Windsor is also part of a rural region known for its lush farmland. Windsor has the mildest temperature in Ontario, and its diverse agricultural base reflects this.

In 1748 a Jesuit Mission to the Huron Indians was established on the south shore of what is today Windsor, near the foot of the present Huron Church Road and the Ambassador Bridge. From 1748 to 1760 a French agricultural settlement existed along the river. Settlement continued to grow but remained French in population, and until 1791 French civil law remained in effect. Few buildings from the period of French settlement have survived, but the street pattern of the City still reflects the French method of land division, with long narrow farms fronting the river.

The view from Windsor's dowtown towards Detroit


Great Western Railway chose Windsor as its termination point in 1854. The arrival of the railway also marked the beginning of significant industrial development in Windsor. I n 1854 the advance of the railway also sparked the foundation of one of Windsor's oldest settlements, Walkerville. In 1857, Hiram Walker established his distillery at the point east of downtown, where the Great Western Railway first met the waterfront. Walkerville is a unique example in Canada of a Victorian new town developed by private capital. Fortunately, many of the early Walkerville buildings still survive in excellent condition.

Other industries such as the car manufacturing sector have roots as far back as 1904. It was the period during and following World War I which saw the auto industry assume predominance in the City. An area known as “ Ford City” was developed around the industrial section. Many large residences were built overlooking the river at that time.

Windsor enjots close ties with its sister city Detroit. One such symbol of this is the Charlie Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain. Located in the Detroit River this floating fountainis one of the largest in Noirth Americas. The fountain is operated from mid May to mid October. Dieppe Gardens, a promenade along the river with a variety of gardens provides a nicve stroll on a summer evening.

The International Freedom Festival from late June until early July celebrates Canada Day (July 1) with Independence Day (July 4) and promotes peace, unity, freedom, and friendship between the two countries. Sports and cultural events as well concerts and dances mark this celebration of friends. Another notable event is the Bluefest International in mid July and the International Busker Festival in mid Aug which features world renowned street performers.

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