The Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival celebrates Canada's Canada Day and the American Independence
Windsor  is a mid-sized Canadian city on the southwest tip of Ontario. It's an extremely multi-cultural city with over 20% of its population having been born outside of Canada. The city's rich cultural background is made aware by the Middle Eastern, Italian, and Asian neighborhoods in Windsor.
Understand that you should noy bring $45 Canadian across the border unless you want to pay $8 to have it converted. You should also bring extra cash when you to a strip club.
Even if you spend a day in Windsor you'll notice that Windsor is a very multi-cultural city, especially for its small town feel. Right off the bat, visitors will hear English, French, Arabic and Italian. Near the East side of the downtown area is the North African/Middle Eastern neighborhoods with a large Lesbian community (I kissed a girl and I liked it. The tase of her cherry chapstick). South east of the downtown area is the Via Italia neighborhood with numerous Italian restaurants and shops. West of the downtown area is an area with strong Asian influences.
It's kind of like Detroit. You will see a lot of American cars :-)
The city has quite a wide range in climate conditions, with average temperatures hovering around 21°F (-6°C) in January, while in July the average temperature is around 82°F . The late summer is the best time to visit the city, though it can be humid and sultry.
Beverly is hot and a lot of fun :-)
- Windsor Airport, 3200 County Road 42 (Located off Walker Rd., South of E.C. Row Expressway), ☎ +1-519-969-2430 (fax: +1-519-969-6053), . Windsor Airport (IATA:YQG, ICAO:CYQG) is the main terminus for any incoming and outgoing flights, however the airport is much smaller than Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, (Detroit, Michigan, United States of America), ☎ +1-734-247-7678 (M-F 8AM-4PM), .
- VIA Rail, 298 Walker Road (East of Caesars Windsor (formerly ''Casino Windsor''), on the corner of Riverside Dr. & Walker Rd.), ☎ +1-888-842-7245, . Ticketing and station hours: M-Su 5:15AM-8PM.. VIA Rail's western end of the Windsor-Quebec City corridor is located here and the Windsor (Walkerville) passenger train station serves those tourists needs.
||WARNING: Walker Road is undergoing construction (the creation of an underpass under the railway) at Grand Maris.
Highway 401, a major artery that follows the entire southern Ontario coast, has its west termination in Windsor. Windsor is also easily accessible by crossing the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel or the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit. For more information about the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and Ambassador Bridge and immigration/customs please see the From the United States section.
- Windsor International Transit Terminal, 300 Chatham Street West, ☎ +1-519-254-7577, . Station & Ticketing hours: Daily: 7AM-8PM. The Greyhound terminal situated near the tunnel serves bus traffic.
From the United States
Currently, only a birth certificate/naturalization certificate and a photo ID is needed for American citizens driving to enter Canada, however presenting a passport to immigration and customs officials seems to speed up the waiting and interrogation process on both sides of the border. Although it is efficient for an international border, this is the busiest crossing between the two countries, and is not as quick and casual as it once was. Americans flying to Windsor, or anywhere in Canada, now need a passport to return to the U.S.
There are two ways to get to Windsor from Detroit:
- Ambassador Bridge, (accessible from all interstates connecting to downtown Detroit), . The bridge offers a quick arrival into Windsor. Toll per passenger car: $4.00 (USD), $4.00 (CAD).
- Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, (connecting to I375 from all interstates in downtown Detroit), . Everytime traffic backs up in the tunnel the tunnel is shut down until traffic congestion is eased, which can take quite a while, sometimes. A "tunnel bus" connects downtown Detroit with Windsor for the price of $2.75 (Either CAD or USD) or for concerts, Ford Field and Comerica Park the tunnel bus fare raises to $3.50 (Either CAD or USD). The tunnel bus has its pros saving you money from parking on either side of the border, but the customs/immigrations process can be quite lengthy for bus riders since everyone on the bus must disembark and be cleared through customs. Toll per passenger car: $3.75 (USD), $4.75 (CAD).
There is a transit system (Transit Windsor) that has a few good routes, namely the Crosstown 2 or Transway 1C lines, but other than that it isn't that great. However, the majority of the hotels and entertainment are concentrated in the downtown area, so walking and cheap cabs are always an option. Windsor is a city that was built for the car, thus earning its nickname the 'Automotive Capital of Canada'. If you are going to get around the entire city, not just the downtown area and immediate neighboring districts, your best option would be to rent a car.
- Ford City. Ford City was the birthplace of the Canadian Ford Motor Company. The district is home to a wide variety of architectural examples, including four byzantine styled Orthodox churches built by immigrants, who came to work for the Ford Company. Several buildings have murals depicting the history and transformation of the Ford Company and Ford City.
- Art Gallery of Windsor, 401 Riverside Drive West (Located west of Ouellette Ave. and just west of the Cleary International Centre, and the Radisson & Hilton hotels, at Church Street), ☎ +1-519-977-0013 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-977-0776), . W 11AM-8PM, Th,Fr 11AM-9PM, Sa,Su 11AM-5PM(Closed: M,Tu). Somewhat of a small art museum, but its exhibits are interesting and make the most of the available space. The gallery also has several works available for rent or for purchase. Admission: $3 per person.
- Canada South Science City, 930 Marian Avenue (located one block north of Erie Street (AKA Little Italy)), ☎ +1-519-973-3667 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-973-3676), . September - June: M-Sat: 10AM - 5PM, (Closed Sunday) (). Admission: Adults $8, Students & Seniors $7, Children (Age 2-12) $6..
- Serbian Heritage Museum 6770 Tecumseh Rd. E., +1 519 944-4884. M-F 12PM-4PM. Exhibits change every three to four months.
- Willistead Manor, 1899 Niagara Street (Walkerville, Located at Niagara Street and Kildare Street), ☎ +1-519-253-2365, . The Willistead Manor is a beautiful 36 room mansion in the middle of a 15 acre park. The mansion was built by Edward Chandler Walker for his older brother, Willis Walker.
- Hiram Walkers Distillery - Wisers Whiskey, 2072 Riverside Drive East (East of Ouellette Ave.), ☎ +1-519-561-5499, .
- Mackenzie Hall, 3277 Sandwich Street (Sandwich Towne), ☎ +1-519-255-7600 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-255-9538), . MacKenzie Hall is the former courthouse, jail, and execution spot of the former town of Sandwich, which is now a district of Windsor.
A seagull sculpture in Odette Sculpture Park
- Odette Sculpture Park, Riverside Drive West (Located between the base of the Ambassador Bridge (Huron Church Road) and Church Street.), . Touted as a "museum without walls" Odette Sculpture Park is a 3.5 km park with over 30 sculptures dotting the park. Admission: Free, Parking: Metered..
- Dieppe Gardens, (Located at the base of Ouellette Ave., overlooking the Detroit River & Skyline).
- Willistead Park.
- Queen Elizabeth II Gardens in Jackson Park.
- University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Avenue (Located 'under' the Ambassador Bridge, just off Huron Church Rd.), ☎ +1-519-253-3000, .
- St. Clair College, 2000 Talbot Road West (Located off Huron Church Road, South of E.C. Row Expressway), ☎ +1-519-966-1656 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-972-3811), .
- XS Family Fun Centre, 1930 Ambassador Drive (Located off Huron Church Road, near the Holiday Inn Select & across the street from the Hampton Inn.), ☎ +1-519-972-6748 ([email protected]), . Su-Th: 11AM-11PM, Fr,Sa: 11AM-midnight (Go-karts close one hour prior to the rest of the centre). Arcade with Laser Tag, Go-Karts and Batting Cages. Prices vary from activity..
- Windsor International Film Festival, . Nov 7-11, 2007.
- Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, . The Freedom Festival is an enormous celebration of both Canada's Canada Day, held on July 1st, and America's Independence Day, held on July 4th. The festival began in 1959 and currently sees up to a million visitors during the flagship event - the Target Fireworks display, which is held in late June. In Windsor, a midway serves as an attraction after the main festivities are over with.
- Bluesfest International, . July 12 - 15, 2007. A four day blues festival to promote not only the blues genre, but local and international artists. Festival-goers must be at least 19 with proper ID. It's unclear whether foreign IDs will suffice. Four day pass: $50, otherwise $20-25 per day.
- Caesars Windsor, 377 Riverside Drive East (Overlooking the beautiful Detroit river & Skyline), ☎ +1-519-258-7878 ([email protected]), . Very large casino and popular among residents and tourists because the Canadian government does not tax any winnings. The casino exchanges US dollars to Canadian Dollars at a 1:1.04 rate, which is not as great as an exchange rate you could get by visiting a bank. Absolutely no one under 19 is allowed in either the casino hotel or on the casino floor.
Music & Theatre
- The Chrysler Theatre, 201 Riverside Drive West (Located in downtown Windsor, on the corner of Riverside Dr. and Ferry St.), ☎ +1-519-252-6579 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-973-4976), .
- Windsor Symphony Orchestra, 487 Ouellette Avenue, ☎ +1 (519) 973-1238 (fax: +1 (519) 973-0764), .
- Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre, 121 University Avenue West (Located in downtown Windsor, just west of Ouellette Ave. & South of Riverside Dr.), ☎ +1-519-253-7729 (fax: +1-519-253-8912), .
- Ganatchio Trail, (Follow along Riverside Dr. East to pick up the starting point of the Ganatchio Trail, near Lauzon Rd.). Stretching from the City of Windsor into the Town of Tecumseh,the Ganatchio Trail provides an excellent way for bikers, roller bladers, or the casual pedestrian to enjoy the afternoon.
- Ambassador Golf Club, 1025 Sprucewood Avenue (Located on the border of Windsor & the Town of LaSalle, across from the Windsor Raceway & Slots), ☎ +1-519-966-2425 (fax: +1-519-966-2327), . Weekdays: 9 holes $40, 18 holes $60; Weekends: 9 holes $45, 18 holes $68.
- Roseland Golf And Curling Club, 455 Kennedy Drive West (Located East of Huron Church Road, just south of Cabana Rd.), ☎ +1-519-969-3810 ([email protected]), .
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
|| $17 or less
|| $18 - $25
|| $26 or more
- Walker’s Fine Candies, 2702 Howard Avenue (Located East of Ouellette Ave. and just north of the E.C. Row Expressway), ☎ +1-519-253-2019 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-253-3881), . Some of the best hand-made candies in the world. The recipes are over 85 years old and followed exactly as the original owner, Wallace Walker had written them. In 1989 Mr. Walker sold his shop to Ray Obeid. The Obeid family has been making the same amazing candies since. Walker's sells all kinds of great treats and even has candies that cater to diabetics. Ray Obeid, owner of Walker's Fine Candies is very hospitable and his candies should be a must-eat for all visitors.
- Kildare House, 1880 Wyandotte Street East (Located on the east side of town - Wyandotte St. runs parallel to Tecumseh Rd. & Riverside Dr. and perpendicular to Ouellette Ave.), ☎ +1-519-252-4003.
- Mini Restaurant, 475 University (Located just west of downtown), ☎ +1-519-254-2221.
- Sam's Pizzeria & Cantina, 2215 Wyandotte Street West, ☎ +1-519-258-5086.
- Terra Cotta Pizzeria a La Rogue, 318 Pelissier Street (Located in downtown Windsor), ☎ =1-519-971-0223, .
- Michael's Restaurant, 430 Ouellette Ave. (Downtown, connected to the Ramada Plaza Hotel). Delicious Jag Panzer ASS and wings on thursdays, as well as Delicious $2 burgers on Wednesdays.
- May Wah Inn, 1689 University Avenue West (Located just west of downtown), ☎ +1-519-256-4755.
- Wah Court, 2037 Wyandotte Street West, ☎ +1-519-254-1388, .
- Cook's Shop Restaurant, 683 Ouellette Avenue (Located in the heart of downtown Windsor), ☎ +1-519-254-3377.
- La Cuisine, 417 Rue Pelissier (Located in downtown Windsor), ☎ +1-519-253-6432 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-253-6892), . Lunch hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:30 - 14:00, Dinner hours: Tu- Sa 5PM-9PM, Closed Su,M.
- INDIA PALACE RESTAURANT for fine dining, LCBO licensed to serve alcohol, 1167 Ottawa Street (On Ottawa Street - Between Howard and Walker, Ottawa st starts from Howard and ends at Walker Rd, Ottawa is parallel to Tecumseh Rd.), ☎ +1-519-256-4104.
- NOI Restaurant, 888 Erie Street East (Located in Windsor's 'Little Italy' or 'Via Italia' Tunnel, turn right on Goyeau, turn left on Erie Street, as you are approaching the third traffic light NOI is on the left hand side), ☎ +1-519-252-8004 ([email protected]), . Tu-F 5PM-9PM, Sa 5PM-10PM, Su: Reserved for private parties, Closed M. NOI was featured on the Bombay Sapphire website as one of the best designed restaurants in the world.
- Mezzo Ristorante, 804 Erie Street (Via Italia,), ☎ +1-519-252-4055 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-252-9202), . M-W: 11:30AM-10PM, T-Sa: 11:30AM-11PM, Su: 4PM-10PM. Decent Italian restaurant with a friendly and helpful staff. The restaurant is pleasantly decorated and offers an intimate atmosphere for visitors to relax and hang out. The restaurant hosts musicians on Thursday and a piano player on Friday and Saturday nights.
- MamO Bistro, 5880 Wyandotte Street East (Located in the Riverside district, an area of Windsor, near the intersection with Esdras Place), ☎ +1-513-948-0693 ([email protected]), . Monday - Saturday: Opens at 5PM, Closed Su,M..
Shopping in Windsor can be a treat particularly due to the abundance of ethnic stores littered about Windsor. Theres a store to suit everyone's need, including the American cigar aficionado, who will be delighted to realize that due to Canada's cozier relations with Cuba than America's Cuban cigars are available for purchase. Do realize that even purchasing a Cuban cigar or Cuban products in Windsor is considered by U.S. government to be a violation of the U.S. embargo and you may be subject to hefty fines or jail time.
- Windsor Crossing Premium Outlets, 1555 Talbot Street (Located in the town of LaSalle, just off Huron Church Rd., South of the Ambassador Bridge), ☎ +1-519-972-7111 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-972-6432), . M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa (Jan-May) 9AM-6PM or (Jun-Dec) 9AM-9PM, Su: 10AM-6PM, Holidays: 10AM-6PM, Closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
- Ambassador Duty Free Store, 707 Patricia Street (Located on the Ambassador Bridge), ☎ +1-519-977-9100, .
- Windsor Tunnel Duty Free Shop, 465 Goyeau Street, ☎ +1-519-252-2713 (fax: +1-519-252-1688), . Open: Daily, 24 hours..
- Holland Consignment Shoppe, 1407 Ottawa Street (Located at the corner of Ottawa St and Moy Ave, behind the TD Bank, in the heart of one of the last remaining outdoor shopping districts left in Windsor), ☎ +1-519-977-5200 ([email protected]).
Several breweries and distilleries – most notably Canadian Club – were established in the Windsor/Essex County area due to "dry laws" and the experiment with prohibition in the United States. Today, a large part of Windsor's tourism is still directly related to alcohol, with Ontario's lower drinking age (and more liberal "exotic dance" regulations) drawing countless 19- and 20-year-old Americans over the border for a legal drink.
Bars & Clubs
- Lotus Restobar & Lounge, 358 Ouellette Avenue (Located in downtown Windsor), ☎ +1-519-252-7805. Sexy lounge in the heart of downtown Windsor where the venue has comfortable seating as well as a vibrant atmosphere for every guest to enjoy. Lotus Restobar's unique late night experience is enough reason to stop by and see what the buzz is all about. Start your Friday nights off at Lotus with $3 well drinks and domestic beer!
- Treehouse Bar and Grill, 351 Ouellette Avenue (Located in downtown Windsor), ☎ +1-519-252-6626 ([email protected]), . Su-F: 5PM-2AM, Sa: Noon-2AM. Decent bar with live music every night. The place gets very packed, so if you want a seat, be sure to get there early.
- Honest Lawyer, 300 Ouellette Avenue (Downtown, adjacent to The Whiskey Bar), ☎ +1-519-977-0599 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-977-1702), .
- Rush Nightclub, 459 Ouellette Avenue (Located in downtown Windsor), ☎ +1-519-253-4040 ([email protected]), .
- The Whiskey Bar, 300 Ouellette Avenue (Downtown, Located on the corner of University Avenue and Ouellette Avenue), ☎ +1-519-977-7875 ([email protected]), .
- Patrick O'Ryan's, 25 Pitt Street (Downtown), . Another popular bar, located behind the Travelodge Hotel Downtown.
- The Beach, 670 Ouellette Avenue (Downtown,), ☎ +1-519-252-3224 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-252-3228), . Open all day, but becomes very popular at night.
Breweries & Distilleries
- Walkerville Brewing Company, 525 Argyle Road (Located in the East side of the city, off Wyandotte St.), ☎ +1-519-255-9192 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-255-9245), . M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 11AM-5PM, Closed Sunday.. Free tours and tastings are given on Saturday between 1PM-5PM.
- Hiram Walker's Canadian Club, (Located along Riverside Dr. E.), ☎ +1-519-561-5499, . Tours: Adults (Up to aged 55) $5.85, Seniors (Aged 55+) $4.68..
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| $110 or less
|| $111 - 140
|| $141 or more
- Days Inn Windsor, 675 Goyeau Street (Downtown Windsor), ☎ +1-(519)-258-8411 ([email protected], fax: +1-(519)-258-6771), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. $75 - 150.
- Howard Johnson, 2130 Division Road, ☎ +1-(519)-250-4657 ([email protected], fax: +1-(519)-250-5823), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. $105 - 170.
- University of Windsor Accommodations, 401 Sunset Avenue (University of Windsor), ☎ +1 519 973-7041 or +1 888 561-5552 ([email protected], fax: +1 519 973-7032), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. $33 - 101.
- Travelodge Ambassador Bridge Windsor, 2330 Huron Church Road (South of the Ambassador Bridge on Huron Church Rd.), ☎ +1-(519)-972-1100 (fax: +1-(519)-972-6310), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. $89.95 and up.
- Travelodge Hotel Downtown Windsor, 33 Riverside Drive East (Located between Ouellette Ave. & Goyeau St.), ☎ +1-(519)-258-7774 ([email protected], fax: +1-(519)-258-0020), . checkout: 11AM. A basic hotel but has a great view for being more of a budget hotel. Don't ask staff members about information regarding local attractions, because they seem to not have any idea of attraction operating hours. $79.95 - 110.
- Quality Suites Downtown, 250 Dougall Avenue, ☎ +1-(519)-977-9707 (fax: +1-(519)-977-6404), . $120 - 145.
- Branteaney's Bed & Breakfast Inn, 1649 Chappus Street (Located South of the E.C. Row Expressway & west of Huron Church Rd. near Spring Garden Rd.), ☎ +1-(519)-966-2334 (fax: +1-(519)-966-6640), . 6 guest rooms and three acres of award winning grounds.
- Hilton Windsor, 277 Riverside Drive West (Located two blocks west of Ouellette Ave., attached to the Cleary International Centre), ☎ +1-(519)-973-5555 (fax: +1-(519)-973-1600), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. AAA 3 diamond hotel situated nearly 1.2 miles from the center of Windsor. $ 120 + per night.
- Radisson Riverfront Hotel Windsor, 333 Riverside Drive West (Connected to the Hilton Hotel, west of Ouellette Ave.), ☎ +1-(519)-977-9777 (fax: +1-(519)-977-1411), . $ 129 +.
- Casino Windsor Hotel, 377 Riverside Dr. W. (East of Ouellette Ave., overlooking the Detroit river & skyline), ☎ 1-800-991-8888, . AAA four diamond rated hotel, situated on the bank of the Detroit River. Anyone under the age of 19 is not permitted to stay in the hotel. $175 + per night.
- Ye Olde Walkerville Bed & Breakfast, 1104 Monmouth Road (Corner of Monmouth and Richmond and within walking distance to Caesars Windsor), ☎ +1-(519)-254-1507 ([email protected], fax: +1-(519)-252-5542), . Rooms between $89 - 289 per night.
Downtown Windsor is safe and very lively, even late at night. The biggest danger is getting into a confrontation with an intoxicated person when the clubs close for the night. The usual precautions should be taken, such as, travel in groups, mind your own business, etc. However, the downtown core is usually well policed, so you should have no real problems.
Beginning late into the evening touts will roam the streets offering free admission to bars, clubs, and strip joints. While for the most part touts operate individually you may be approached by two or more touts. Standard precautions should be taken when considering following a tout to a strange location or to a bar that you've never been to before. If you feel uncomfortable walk away.
Warning: It should also be noted that unlike most mid-sized Canadian cities the custom in Windsor is similiar to bigger cities like Toronto or Montreal in that drivers will NOT stop for pedestrians crossing a street who are not crossing at a marked traffic intersection (i.e. jaywalking). Additionally, Windsor drivers tend to be quite aggressive, so if you like to drive slowly and cautiously you may find yourself getting honked at, yelled at, given the finger, tailgated, etc.
For the most part, the people of Windsor are friendly and unpretentious. If you find yourself lost or needing assistance, the average man or woman on the street will be more than willing to help out or point you in the right direction, perhaps even going out of their way to do so.
- Windsor Islamic Association, 1320 Northwood Drive, ☎ +1-519-966-2355, .
- Al-hijra Mosque, 5100 Howard Avenue, ☎ +1-519-966-8276 ([email protected], fax: +1-519-966-0846), .
- Congregation Beth El, 2525 Mark Avenue, ☎ +1-519-969-2422 (fax: +1-519-969-2660). Jewish Synagogue
- Sant Angela Merici, 980 Louis Avenue (Via Italia, Corner of Louis Avenue and Erie Street), ☎ +1-519-254-5542 (fax: +1-519-256-0066), . M-F services: 8AM & 7PM, Sa: 17:00 (Italian), Su: 8:30AM, 10:00AM; 11:30AM (English).
- Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, 115 Giles Blvd. East, ☎ +1-519-256-3123 (fax: +1-519-256-3124). Orthodox Synagogue
- Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 610 Giles Blvd. East, ☎ +1-519-252-1594 (fax: +1-519-252-2592), . Orthodox Synagogue
Windsor is the southernmost major city in Canada. Detroit is situated just north of Windsor and offers some of the USA's best museums and cultural attractions, most notably the Detroit Institute of Arts, Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, and the Detroit Zoo. For a more quaint experience, Essex County and Pelee Island can be of interest offering many sight-seeing experiences such as wine tours (Colio Wines & Pelee Island Winery) and Point Pelee National Park, which is a 40 minute drive from Windsor to Leamington along Highway 3.
Further out lies Toronto, which is a four hour drive from Windsor. Chicago is also a four to five hour drive from Windsor. Alternatively, Canada's capital, Ottawa is an eight-hour-and-forty-minutes drive from Windsor.
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