Browse Exhibits (10 total)

The Historic Downtown: Discovering the Heart of Windsor

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Windsor, Ontario is home to many districts, each with its own unique and important history. In the heart of all these communities lies the historic downtown, which serves as a centre of not only tourism and city life, but is also rich with history. As a border city, Windsor’s historic downtown has lots to offer not only for the local connoisseur, but for the traveling tourist. Whether you’re here to stay or just passing through, Windsor’s historic downtown has many different attractions designed to meet the interests and wants of everyone.

Our tour begins with our most iconic landmark; the Detroit River. This waterfront serves as a connection between Canada and the United States, but also as a source of heritage and beauty. Watching over her is Locomotive 5588, otherwise known as The Spirit of Windsor. The train gives us an insight as to the history of transportation that is located in Windsor, and also illustrates the hard work and determination of a community. The house of Francois Baby, now Windsor's Community Museum, was once the home of a prominent family that helped develop the city of Windsor. The house and family were involved in both the War of 1812 and the Rebellion of 1837-1838, and continues to influence the city. Moreover, Windsor’s Capitol Theatre showcases the night life and entertainment district of a thriving theatre community. From movies to military, The Windsor Armouries showcases Windsor’s proud military history, which spans back to the war of 1812. Finally, Windsor’s Greyhound Bus station was able to accommodate transportation for all of Windsor and Essex County, while providing an international route to Detroit. This building reflected the factory town aesthetic that both Windsor and Detroit have to offer; cementing Windsor on the map as the Automotive Capital of Canada.

This walking tour of historic downtown is not only meant to showcase all that Windsor has to offer, but also to introduce a traveler to the diverse and important history that downtown Windsor has written. The fact that Windsor is established as a factory town might not come off as appealing, but digging under the surface, one can reveal a distinct and plentiful bounty of history. It is a history that is full of exciting anecdotes. It becomes clear that the historic downtown has much to offer, and this tour provides a voice for our heritage.

Take the tour

Old Sandwich Town


Old Sandwich Town was established in 1797. It is one of the longest standing neighborhoods in the Windsor Essex County area. Today, Sandwich town contains a variety of heritage buildings and local businesses that keep the area  alive and well frequented. 



Riverside is a neighbourhood on the eastern edge of Windsor. It is best defined by the waterfront, Riverside Drive, which runs parallel to the Detroit River.


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Named after Lord Amherst, who fought in the Seven Years' War, Amherstburg was founded in 1796 as a town to accompany Fort Malden. The municipality and population has dedicated itself to preserving the town's rich history. The heart of Amherstburg is based around its historical roots honoring heritage sites and buildings such as the Bellevue House and Fort Malden. Over the centuries, Amherstburg has also grown to encompass a large portion of what was once a Huron Reserve and has close ties to several small islands in the Detroit River. Perhaps the most interesting part of the King's NavyYard history is how short lived the actually was, while still creating a history of it's own. 

The walking tour of Amherstburg follows the progression of Amherstburg as a city. It begins with the Wyandotte Indian Cemetery, the last vestiges of the Anderdon Township reserve. Fort Malden and King's Navy Yard are the second and third destinations their development were the origins for the founding of Amherstburg as a British village. Next, the Bellevue House's ties to the regions experiences in The War of 1812. Finally, Boblo Island's development reflects the modernization of Amherstburg.

Ford City - Workers & Worship

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Under the slogan “Workers & Worship” the walking tour of Ford City pays tribute to the strong relationship between the Ford Motor Company and the town's community who developed deep religious ties to the area by erecting their various parish churches. The tour guides the viewer through the area's most historic locations/buildings of the past and present. 

When one visits Ford City today they get the sense that the area has seen better days and this is relatively true. Ford City was originally occupied by the Native Wyandotte tribe, but French settlers moved in by the mid-18th century. The French would continue to make up the majority of Ford Citiy's population well into the early 20th century. The Ford Motor Company's decision to move production to the area had massive implications and led the area to becoming an industrial hub. Eastern European immigrants flocked to the area for the many job oppurtunities Ford City possesed and soon became the predominant population in the community. Ford City became a village in 1913 and then due to significant growth a town in 1915. Throughtout the 1920s the community continued to grow and paved roads and schools were constructed. Ford City seemed destined for greatness.

However, Ford City was eventually affected by the Great Depression and due to the hard times in 1929 it was amalgamated with Windsor. It took on the name East Windsor and in 1935 it became part of Windsor proper to attempt to quell the financial hardship it was facing. All this was in vain however, and when Ford announced the construction of an assembly plant in Oakville it spelt doom for the area. In 1954 Ford officially moved its final assembly operations to Oakville and layoffs and plant changes were common. The Ford City area was impacted significantly as people moved to the suburbs and small businesses were replaced by bars and strip clubs. 

Today there is hope in Ford City. The community although no longer made up of a majority of Eastern Europeans, is still strong and is more diverse. The amount of churches and halls located in Ford City attest to this. Their is a communal garden and many community members take pride in it. Businesses are moving back into the area and murals and paintings give Ford City an excellent vibe. A renaissance spirit now thrives throughout the community. It is fair to wonder if Ford City will ever recapture the glory of its former years, but no one can say it was for the communties lack of trying.


Nursing Across the Windsor-Detroit Borderland


The Windsor-Detroit borderland provides economic and social opportunities to the residents on both sides of the Canada-US international border. With respect to the favourable exchange rate for Canadian residents, the international border does not impede cross-border commuting for employment opportunities in the United States. 

The nursing sector has received great attention in the news media for the migration of Windsor nurses to Detroit for full-time employment opportunities. While the academic literature has slowly tackled the research, limited data remains a restriction in the way of understanding the cross-border migration of employees in the nursing field that, in turn, impacts the local Windsor economy through local spending. The collection of information is intended to address the gap in the academic literature and shine a light on the phenomenon that arguably characterizes the daily migration flow across the Windsor-Detroit international crossing.

The cities of Windsor and Detroit are comparable in terms of demographics, but the visual map (see Mapping the Migration of Windsor Nurses Commuting to Detroit, Illustrating the Data) depicts a trend in Windsor nurses migrating to Detroit for employment opportunities. In the Windsor case, Canadian nurses receive accreditation in Canada, only to commute across the international border for work. The Canadian education system is heavily subsidized by the government and, so, Detroit is found at the full advantage of an arguable ‘brain drain’ whereby accredited Canadian nurses unable to find employment in Windsor provide professional services in Detroit. Hence, the website outlines various sources to provide a centralized hub of information geared towards highlighting this trend in the flight of Canadian accredited nurses from Windsor to Detroit for full-time employment.

A Shared Musical Journey: CKLW in Windsor and Detroit


     This project aims to show how there was no border between culture, race, and music style in the Windsor-Detroit border region. CKLW was an immensely popular and important radio station based in Windsor, Ontario and serving the greater area. CKLW and music director Rosalie Trombley helped launch the career of many (famous) Detroit and Canadian artists as well as other American and international artists. Not only did this radio station launch the careers of many artists, it helped to create a cohesiveness between two different countries and different cultures. It truly was a shared radio station between Detroit and Windsor with advertisements, news, weather aimed at both demographics. The station was a pioneer in many ways including sound engineering, music type, hiring women for "men's jobs", and news style. There are conflicting numbers but most often CKLW was believed to have reached 35 states and 6 provinces. One DJ recieved a call from New Zealand listener claiming to have tuned into the station for a few minutes.

     Clearly beloved, there are many fan pages dedicated to CKLW and a documentary created. It is an important example of the shared history between Detroit and Windsor. Sadly for many, the limitations posed on the music station by the CRTC contributed to the demise of this popular station.

     “The station provided the soundtrack to the days of postwar industrial prosperity, through the rising social unrest and racial tension, leading up to the explosion of the most violent of all the race riots in the US during the disastrous summer of 1967, and the shockwaves and renaissance efforts that followed,” (Radio Revolution, 2004).

Exploring the Growth of Arab Food Culture in Windsor & Dearborn


"Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat."

- Guy Fieri - 

This is a unique project where two political scientists and two historians team up to explore the pathways that the Arab cuisine have taken in Canada and the United States of America. Focusing specifically on the cities of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and Dearborn, Michigan, USA, which make up the borderlands between the Canadian and American nation lines, we are excited to track the emergence and the continuing popularity of the Arab cuisine. We hope that through the lens of Arab food, we can learn more about the experience of the Arabs that have immigrated into these regions, be it one hundred years ago or one month ago.  

Motor City Transforms North America



The Automotive Industry, has played a key role in North American economic development. Over the past century, we have seen tremendous growth resulting in limitless automotive cabilities. The cooperation between Canada's, and the United States' borders has been essential in this development. Ford Motor Company, Chrysler and GM have been pivotol in building the relationship between business, trade and commerce. Canada and the US, specifically Windsor- detorit, are coined as the 'Motor City.' These two cities were essential in the development of trade accross borders. Initally a car production woudl consist of metal going into one end of a factory, and a car coming out the other, but today the industry has become so much more diverse, based on economies of scale, and outsourcing of parts.  In this website we will look at the evolution of the automotive industry and the economic factors that surround it. Through case studies, we will seek to explain the impact of the automotive indurstry on workers, and the future of comapnies like Ford, GM and Chrysler.


"If you’ve ever driven a car, you have one man to thank for the miracle that is the automobile – and that’s Henry Ford."