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windsor-settee

Windsor, Ontario

Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and lies at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. Windsor is located south of Detroit, is separated from that city by the Detroit River, and has views of the Detroit skyline. The region marks the only north-bound border crossing from Canada into mainland United States. The current mayor of Windsor is Eddie Francis. It is nicknamed the Rose City and residents of Windsor are known as Windsorites.

History

See also: Neighbourhoods of Windsor, Ontario.

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), 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, Francois, Pierre, Langlois, Marentette and Lauzon. There is a significant French speaking minority in Windsor and the surrounding areas. Many of them are in the Lakeshore, Tecumseh and LaSalle areas. The current street system of Windsor (grid with elongated blocks) may reflect the French method of agricultural land division where the farms were long and narrow, fronting along the river; it is also 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 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 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.

What's in a name? The Windsor Star Centennial Edition in 1992 covered the city's past, its heyday 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 wanted 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), Richmond (the runner-up in popularity), and Windsor (which won out over the others). Windsor was chosen over the others because of its English name (to promote the heritage of many English settlers in the city), and so that it would be named after Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England. However, Richmond was a popular name used until the Second World War, mainly by the local Post Office.

Amalgamations Sandwich, Ford City and Walkerville were separate legal entities (towns) in their own right until roughly 1935. They are now historic neighbourhoods of Windsor. Ford City was officially incorporated as a village in 1912. It became a town in 1915, and became a city in 1929. It only lasted a few years, as it was amalgamated into Windsor in 1935, along with several other nearby villages. Walkerville was incorporated as a town in 1890, and was merged into Windsor with Sandwich and Ford City in 1935. Sandwich was established in 1817 as a town with no municipal status. It was incorporated as a town in 1858 (the same time as neighbouring Windsor was incorporated as a town). It lasted until 1935. The nearby village of Ojibway was incorporated as a town in 1913, and was annexed by the City of Windsor in 1966, at the same time as the town of Riverside. Riverside was incorporated in 1921, and was merged into Windsor in 1966.

Economy

Windsor's economy is primarily based on manufacturing, tourism, education and government services.

Windsor is one of Canada's major automobile manufacturing centres and is often referred to as the Automotive Capital of Canada. The city is home to the headquarters of Chrysler Canada. Automotive industries include the Chrysler mini-van assembly plant, a Ford Motor Company engine plant, a General Motors transmission plant (scheduled to close in June, 2010), along with a number of smaller tool and die and automotive parts manufacturers.

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

There is also a significant local pharmaceutical industry with companies such as Accucaps, Pharmaphil, Jamieson Laboratories and Gelcell.

Windsor has a well-established local 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 1996. The city also boasts an extensive riverfront parks system and fine restaurants such as on Erie Street in Windsor's Little Italy which are also destination for many Americans. Additionally, the Lake Erie North Shore Wine Region in Essex County is bringing further tourism and employment growth to the region.

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 for the University of Western Ontario which opened in September, 2008 at the University of Windsor is expected to further enhance both the region's economy and the status of the university.

Other notable employers are Sutherland Global Services, VistaPrint and Green Shield Canada which are reflective of the Windsor region's diversifying economy.

Windsor is also home to the Great Lakes Regional office of the International Joint Commission, which is housed in the Bank of Commerce Building, a 14-storey tall bank tower occupied by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Windsor is also home to prominent software companies, such as Netmon, ROBOdrs, System 3 POS, and VisionWorks Solutions.

Demographics

Selected Ethnic
Origins, 2001
Ethnic origin Population
French 75,780
English 62,210
Irish 42,645
Scottish 38,545
Italian 30,730
German 24,580
Polish 11,545
Visible minorities 39,325
multiple responses included
In the 2006 Canadian census, the city had a population of 218,473 and its official metropolitan area (consisting of Windsor, Tecumseh, Amherstburg, LaSalle and Lakeshore) had a population of 323,342. In March 2007, Statistics Canada released the latest census information and metropolitan Windsor's population had grown 7.3% since 2001.

Windsor attracts many immigrants from around the world. Over 20% of its residents are foreign-born - the fourth-highest proportion for a Canadian city.

According to the 2001 census, the Windsor metropolitan area had a population that was 49.3% male and 50.7% female. Children under five accounted for approximately 6.3% of the resident population of metro Windsor, compared to 5.8% in Ontario and 5.6% for Canada overall. Persons of retirement age (65 and over for males and female) accounted for 14.1% of the resident population in metro Windsor compared with 12.9% for Canada overall. The average age in metro Windsor is 36.0 years compared to 37.6 years for Canada. The population density of metro Windsor is 1728 people per square kilometer compared with an average of 12.6 for Ontario.

Religion In 2001, there were 160,525 Roman Catholics (52.63 percent), 72,950 Protestants (23.92 percent), 10,825 Orthodox Christians (3.54 percent), 10,745 Muslims (3.52%), and 8,600 other Christians (2.82%). No other religions totaled more than 1 percent of the total population. A total of 33,730 residents (11.06 percent) identified themselves as atheist, agnostic, or did not respond, a low proportion for a large city in Ontario.

Government

The city'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 the party's local representation in the respective legislatures. The Liberal Party of Canada also has a strong electoral history in the city. Canada's twenty-first 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.) practised 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 in the 1980s. Other public monuments to Liberal Cabinet Ministers include a bust of Herb Gray at the foot of Ouellette Avenue near Dieppe Park. Gray was an MP from 1962 through 2003, winning thirteen consecutive elections from the same riding which made him the longest serving MP in Canadian history.

Current representation

Currently, Windsor's Mayor is Eddie Francis, a Lebanese-Canadian who was the city's youngest-ever 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, and mayor, and an appointed Chief Administrative Officer. The city is divided into five wards, with two councillors per ward. They are: Ward 1 (South Windsor), 2 (West Side), 3 (Downtown), 4 (East Windsor), and 5 (Far East Side). The mayor serves as the city's chief executive officer, as well as its ceremonial head. Day-to-day operations of the government are carried out by the Chief Administrative Officer.

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 (representing 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 Members of Parliament Brian Masse (Windsor West) and Joe Comartin (Windsor—Tecumseh).

Climate

See also: Weather Records in Windsor, Ontario.
Windsor has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfb) with four distinct seasons. The yearly average temperature is 10 °C (50°F), the coldest month being January with an average daily maximum temperature of 0°C (32°F), and the warmest month being July with an average daily maximum temperature of 27°C (81°F). The coldest temperature ever recorded in Windsor is -29.1°C (-20°F) and the warmest was 40.2°C (104°F).

Winters are fairly cold, with an average of 126 cm (48 inches) of snowfall annually. Located away from the lake effect snowbelts, Windsor receives less snow than most cities in the Great Lakes region , and the snow cover is at best intermittent throughout the winter; nevertheless, there are typically several major snowfall events each winter. Summers are warm and humid, and thunderstorms are common. Windsor is Canada's leader in days with lightning, haze, humidity, and daily maximum temperatures over 30°C (86°F). Overall, summers in Windsor are some of the warmest in Canada (there are some cities in British Columbia's Interior that have a higher average maximum July temperature, but have lower minimum temperatures). Windsor's average annual precipitation is 861 mm (34 inches) and is relatively well-distributed throughout the year, although winter is the driest season.

Tornadoes

The strongest and deadliest tornado to touch down in Windsor was an 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. Windsor was grazed in 1997 by the Southeast Michigan Tornado Outbreak, with one tornado (an F1) forming east of the city causing some local street flooding. The waters of Lake Erie, The Detroit River, and Lake St. Clair act as a slight natural deterrent to tornadoes but also add humidity and instability to the warm summer air thus fuelling strong thunderstorms. Tornadoes have been recorded crossing the Detroit River (in 1946 and in 1997), and waterspouts are regularly seen over Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie in autumn.

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 some of the highest cancer rates, particularly thyroid cancer rates. Many other respiratory illnesses that are associated with pollution are more prevalent here than any other place in Canada. The air quality is regularly the worst in Canada, as Windsor is downwind from several strong polluters. 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 about the same as the provincial rate, although there are variations depending on the type of cancer.

The Weather Network has designated Windsor as "the smog capital of Canada. and Windsor's Citizens Environment Alliance holds a yearly art event entitled Smogfest to raise awareness of Windsor's 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 in this relatively highly industrialized city.

During the summer of 2003, Transit Windsor provided free transit on smog action days. According to the Transit Windsor website, "The pilot project was extremely successful and drew interest from across the country and Europe from the media, industry and the general public. Transit experienced increases of up to 50 percent on smog advisory days when service was free. Hundreds of emails, phone calls and letters were received to say thanks for the service. In addition to local media coverage, feature stories were televised on The Weather Network and CBC's NewsWorld. Newspapers and radio stations across the nation also featured stories about this project. Despite the success, the pilot project was cancelled after only 4 days as the budget for the program was quickly expended.

Cityscape

Windsor's Department of Parks and Recreation 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, as well as the bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets. The largest park is Mic Mac Park, which can accommodate many different activities including baseball, soccer, biking, and playgrounds for children. Windsor has numerous bike trails that criss-cross the city, the largest being the Ganatchio Trail on Windsor's far east side. 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 LaSalle, Ontario's trail network ("LaSalle Trail") in the west end, and will eventually be linked up to the Chrysler Canada Greenway (part of the Trans Canada Trail), with a second branch to the trail via LaSalle within the next 10-15 years. The current greenway is a 42-km abandoned railway corridor that has been converted into multi-use recreational trail, underground utility corridor and a natural green space. The corridor begins south of Oldcastle, and continues south through the Towns of McGregor and Harrow. Here, it turns east and proceeds through Kingsville to Ruthven at Colasanti's Tropical Gardens. In the past several years, additional extensions have been purchased and currently, the Greenway is nearly 50 kilometres in length. The Greenway is one of Canada's most beautiful trails 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, award winning wineries and many other features that make the Windsor-Essex County Region unique. As a direct result from the city's portion of casino revenues, an upgraded 5-km landscaped trail has been filled along the riverfront with various modern and post-modern sculptures from artists in Essex County. Families of elephants (see picture), penguins and horses, among other themes intersect the trail.

Upgrades

In November 2007, the city completed the reconstruction of an aging rail overpass that at the intersection of Wyandotte Street and Drouillard Road. The overpass was built in the late 1930s. The rail bridge contains three tracks which are used by nearly a dozen VIA Rail trains per day and by the occasional Canadian National Railway train hauling goods to and from the Hiram Walker and Canadian Club distillery.

The rail bridge over Wyandotte Street East, east of Walker Road, has been demolished. It was abandoned in 1988. The underpass has been filled and Wyandotte Street is now at-grade. The reconstruction of the Walker Road and Wyandotte Street intersection is planned in the near future.

Walker Road at Grand Marais Road is closed for the long-anticipated grade-separation project with the CP rail line. It will remain closed until November 2008. The portion of Grand Marais Road west of Walker Road will be re-opened as a cul-de-sac with no access to Walker Road, while the portion east of Walker Road will meet Walker Road at a below-grade intersection. After the Walker Road grade separation project is completed, a similar project will begin on the intersection with the same rail line and Howard Avenue. The intersection with Memorial Drive will be below-grade the meet the suken roadway. This entire project is being done by the Ontario provincial Ministry of Transportation, to help with improve the city of Windsor's border crossings (as the tracks lead to the Michigan Central Tunnel into Detroit, Michigan).

Culture and tourism

Windsor tourist attractions include Caesars Windsor, a lively downtown, Little Italy, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Odette Sculpture Park, Ojibway Park, and nearby Point Pelee National 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 on March 14, 2007.

Windsor's nickname is the "Rose City" or the "City of Roses" and the city is noted for its 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 a Hurricane replica.

Of the parks along Windsor's waterfront, the largest is the five-kilometre (three mile) stretch overlooking the Detroit skyline. It stretches 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 actually 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.

Every 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 the American Independence Day. The fireworks display is among the world's largest and is held on the final Wednesday in June on the Detroit River between the two downtowns. Each year, the event attracts over a million spectators to both sides of the riverfront. In 2008 the fireworks will be held on Monday, June 23.

Windsor has also been the place where many metro Detroiters find what is forbidden in the United States. With the minimum legal drinking age at twenty-one in Michigan and nineteen in Ontario, a number of nineteen and twenty 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, less-costly prescription drugs, certain imported foods, and other items not available in the United States.

Media

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 number one 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.

Education

Windsor is home to the University of Windsor, which is Canada's southernmost university. It is a research oriented, comprehensive university. It has 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, a community college.

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. Hon. Vincent Massey Secondary School is renowned in Canada and North America for its notable accomplishments in mathematics.

Residents 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. There is as well, the non-denominational Lakeview Montessori School.

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.

Infrastructure

Health systems

There are two hospitals in Windsor, Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital and Windsor Regional Hospital. Hotel Dieu Grace is the result of an amalgamation of Grace Hospital and Hotel Dieu in 1994. The merger was a result of 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, Hotel 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.

Like many Ontario communities, Windsor and Essex County experience a shortage of medical doctors. Patients needing a family doctor often wait for years to get one, and thus often seek care through medical walk-in clinics. However, the Essex County Medical Society does list family doctors accepting patients. In particular fields, the shortage is more pronounced and recruitment of physicians is a constant preoccupation of the administration, as evident by Leamington District Memorial Hospital's website

Transportation

See also: Roads in Windsor, Ontario, and Bike trails in Windsor, Ontario.
Windsor is the western terminus of both Highway 401, Canada's busiest highway, and of 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 roughly 20-30 minutes 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 Windsor is also located on the St. Lawrence Seaway, and is accessible to ocean-going vessels.

Local transportation is handled by Transit Windsor, the city-owned bus company, which shares its newly-constructed $8-million downtown depot with Greyhound Lines. The new depot was opened in late June to correspond with the Summer 2007 Transit Schedule.

Windsor has completed a municipal highway, E.C. Row Expressway, running from east-west through the city. Consisting of 15.7 kilometres (10 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. It is only 16 km (11 miles) long but took more than 15 years to complete, hence the popular local saying "it's 16 kilometers long, took 16 years to build, and fell apart in 16 seconds". The expressway stretches from Windsor's far west end at Ojibway Parkway east to Banwell Road on the city's border with Tecumseh.

As Windsor's development has sprawled out along the banks of the Detroit river and Lake St Clair, the city is wider than it is deep meaning that the majority of development stretches along the water instead of in-land. Due to this trend, there is a severe lack of east-west arteries compared to north-south arteries. Only Riverside Drive (even though it is meant to be a scenic route rather than a commuter thoroughfare), Wyandotte Street, Tecumseh Road and the E.C. Row Expressway serve the almost 30 km from the west end of Windsor eastward. All of these roads are already over-burdened with east-west commuter traffic from the booming development in the city's eastern end and suburbs.

The construction of the E.C. Row Expressway split the city in half. There are eight north-south roads (and expressway interchanges) of Huron Church Road, Dominion Boulevard, Dougall Avenue, Howard Avenue, Walker Road, Central Ave, Jefferson Boulevard and Lauzon Parkway. Including three bike trails that cross E.C. Row Expressway, the total increases to 11 north-south arteries. Traffic backups on some of these north-south roads at the E.C. Row Expressway are common.

Windsor's many rail crossings intersect with these north-south thoroughfares. The Province of Ontario is currently constructing a grade separation at Walker Road and the CP Rail line. Another grade separation is currently under review at Howard Avenue and the CP Rail line. In both cases, the road will travel under the rail lines 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. There also plans to widen Banwell Road south of Tecumseh Road to the rail line just south of Intersection Road.

The city 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 on a daily basis. It is the main route to work for many residents of Leamington, Kingsville and Essex.

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.

Though usually considered as part of its park system, Windsor also has a fairly extensive bike trail network. Three trails in particular have been built and extended (Riverfront Bike Trail, Ganatchio Bike Trail, and Little River Extension). These see a great deal of use by citizens in Windsor, and have become a blend of parkland and transportation, as people have begun to commute to work or across downtown on their bicycles.

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

Ambassador Bridge

A current major and controversial issue in Windsor concerns traffic to and from the Ambassador Bridge. The number of vehicles crossing the bridge has doubled since 1990, which is due partially by the September 11, 2001 attacks. The only way to access the bridge or tunnel is from three municipal roads: Huron Church Road (bridge), Wyandotte Street (bridge or tunnel), and Goyeau Street (tunnel). A large portion of the traffic is 18-wheeler trucks headed towards the United States. There have been at times a wall of trucks up to eight kilometres (five miles) 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. On 16 October 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 for communities on either side of Huron Church. This event eventually led to the construction of a pedestrian overpass in front of the high school. While in a very good state of repair in most sections, Huron Church Road had the distinction of being, not surprisingly, number 17 on a list of Canada's worst roads, due to the sheer volume of truck traffic (over 14,000 trucks per day with an additional 4,000 cars per day).

In the summer of 2003, the Windsor City Council heard many complaints from residents in Sandwich Towne Neighbourhood and the West side neighbourhoods that they proposed banning all truck traffic from city streets within the city limits. This was met with strong protests from Queen's Park (Toronto), Parliament Hill (Ottawa), and from Sarnia, Ontario, which operates the nearest bridge, the Blue Water Bridge. Sarnia's city council feared a tsunami of trucks lining up along Highway 402 and I-69/94 to cross the border, if Windsor banned them from its city streets. Windsor, Toronto, and Ottawa quickly reached an agreement that saw the province re-assume E.C. Row Expressway as provincially-controlled and maintained (albeit, secret and un-numbered) freeway, and the City of Windsor would gain $300 million from the Federal government for assistance in repairing Huron Church Road and Wyandotte Street from the constant pounding of truck wheels on the pavement.

Windsor paid world famous traffic consultant Sam Schwartz to produce a proposal for a solution to this traffic problem. The city councillors have overwhelmingly endorsed the proposal and it was presented to the federal government as the solution that the city officially approves. Unfortunately, not all of the surrounding residents support the plan the city paid for. The problem with the plan is that the proposed roadway would cut through protected green space such as Ojibway Park. The federal government wasn't expecting the city to be able to agree upon a proposal of any sort and are now pushing for short term, cheaper solutions.

On November 14, 2005, the joint Canadian-American committee studying the options for expanding the border crossing announced that its preferred option was to directly extend Highway 401 westward, using a new bridge or tunnel to cross 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.

February 8, 2008 saw surprising updates in the border crossing debate. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation had announced it was buying houses on the southwest side of Windsor, near Yawkey Bush for an extension of Highway 401. The province said they had liked the City of Windsor's "GreenLink" proposal ("sinking" Talbot Road and Huron Church Road underground, creating parkland above it, with the ramps coming out to meet the local traffic running alongside and E.C. Row Expressway, before separating and heading towards a bridge to I-75 near Zug Island). However, the bi-national government committee responsible for choosing the feeder road to the new bridge unveiled their plan on May 1, 2008 and makes little progress in terms of tailoring the plan to the more environmentally friendly and locally preferred Greenlink. See Highway 401 (Ontario)#Future_expansion_and_upgrades for more information.

Sister cities

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

Windsor's sports fans tend to support the major professional sports league teams in nearby Detroit, 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 during the run-up to Super Bowl XL, in which Windsor played a major role although the game itself was held in Detroit. Shortly thereafter, media in the Windsor Star and other local news sources criticized this as an unrealistic pipe dream.

Former teams

Famous people

Also refer to People from Windsor, Ontario

Business

Sports

Art and entertainment

Politics

Sciences

See also

References

External links

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