Found in Essex County, Windsor is an urban centre in Southern Ontario with a population of over 217,000 people. The city is the 23th largest in Canada by population and has an area of a little over 146 sq. km.
The area was originally inhabited by indigenous people such as the Iroquois First Nations, Potawatomi, Odawa, and Huron. The French arrived in the early 18th century, and farmers settled in the area. Today, street names remind of French settlement – Lauzon, Pierre, Francois, Pelissier, and many others. During the 19th century, the city grew to become a major port and railway hub due to its strategic location across Detroit.
It was in 1854 when the village of Windsor was incorporated, and it was proclaimed a town 4 years later. In 1892, Windsor became a city and annexed Sandwich, Walkerville, and Ford City in 1935. Today, they are historic neighborhoods. The villages of Riverside and Ojibway were founded in 1921 and 1913, respectively and were annexed in 1996.
The climate in the region is humid continental, with a mean temperature of 50 °F or 9.9 °C. Summers are warm, with maximum temperatures of 27 – 28 °C in June, July, and August. January is the coldest month of the year. Due to its proximity to coal-burning plants in the United States, pollution is a serious problem in Windsor which results in higher respiratory disease rates.
Windsor has a vibrant economy as the area has attracted manufacturers across industries over the years. Manufacturers specialize in steel and iron products, industrial equipment, food and beverages, motor vehicles, etc. The major sectors of the economy are government services, education, tourism, and manufacturing. In 2017, a number of Windsor-based businesses made it to the Profit 500 list, including Tank Traders, Jesse Garant Metrology Center, Brave Control Solutions, and Cindy’s Home & Garden. The Jesse Garant Metrology Center is a local business and a high-tech part inspection company that offers metrology, 3D scanning, radiography, and industrial CT scanning services. Brave Control Solutions specializes in automated systems and serves major companies such as Omron, Allen-Bradley, Rockwell Automation, and Siemens. Absolute Industrial Automation uses advanced software and manufacturing solutions to build work cells, straighteners, presses, and automation. The agricultural sector produces potatoes, tobacco, grain, soybeans, corn, and vegetables and fruits. The area is a major agri-producer due to the fact that it has a long growing season of more than 200 days.
In terms of ethnic origin, 24.7 percent of the population is Canadian, 20.8 percent is French, and 18 percent is English. Other groups with a notable presence include Chinese, Polish, German, Italian, Scottish, and Irish. Whites account for 72 percent of the population, which makes them the largest group, followed by Arab, Black, and South Asian. The main religious affiliations are Protestant and Catholic. Other denominations include Orthodox and Muslim. The majority of residents speak English only while 8.8 percent of residents speak French and English. Windsor is a safe place to live and in fact, 4 out of 5 of the safest communities in the country are found here. These are Lakeshore, Tecumseh, LaSalle, and Amherstburg.
The University of Windsor offers international, graduate, and undergraduate programs in different faculties, including business, engineering, nursing, education, and law. Founded back in 1857, the university has a student population of some 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Affiliated academic institutions include the Iona College, Canterbury College, and Assumption University. There are many schools in Windsor, including the Vincent Massey Secondary School, Kennedy Collegiate Institute, First Lutheran Christian Academy.
The city also offers plenty of investment opportunities because of its strategic location and educated workforce. Windsor can be easily accessed by highway, rail, and air, and Interstate 75 and Highway 401 connect the markets in the U.S. and Canada. Major cities such as Waterloo, Hamilton, London, and Toronto are at a driving distance. Detroit is only 4 km away from Windsor, and the Ambassador Bridge connects the two cities. Big U.S. cities such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago are also found at a driving distance.
The city also runs different programs to improve the economic climate, including the Heritage Preservation Incentives Programs, Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy, and Economic Revitalization Community Improvement Plan. Under the Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy, the city of Windsor is actively looking for partnerships to promote brownfield redevelopment, including old gasoline stations, landfills, fuel storage facilities, and manufacturing and industrial plants. Financial incentives are also available in the form of tax assistance and grants. Read more here about credit programs and here about loan assistance or visit Life on credit. Eligible projects and activities include infrastructure upgrades, facilities rehabilitation, environmental and feasibility studies, and others. Funding is offered under various programs, including the Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program and Feasibility Study Grant Program. Funding is also offered under the Economic Revitalization Community Improvement Plan and is available to businesses that are willing to invest across different sectors. These include renewable and alternative energy, professional services, warehousing, tourism, and manufacturing. The city offers funding under different financial incentive programs such as the Development Charges Grant Program and Business Development Grant Program. Different projects and activities are eligible, including disposal and lease of premises and land, building rehabilitation, construction, and repair.
The city offers plenty of employment opportunities in different sectors, including the healthcare industries, pharmaceutical industries, aerospace, and automotive. The information technology sector is also a fast growing sector, with more than 250 businesses operating in the Windsor-Essex Region.
The city is the home to a number of landmarks and tourist attractions such as the Windsor Sculpture Park, Peche Island, Adventure Bay Family Water Park, Ambassador Bridge, and others. The Adventure Bay Family Water Park is an aqua park that features plenty of attractions, including an activity pool, splash zone, and wave pool. The Windsor Sculpture Park features works by contemporary artists such as Ian Lazarus, Haydn Davis, Morton Katz, Stephen Cruise, and others. Visitors are offered the chance to see 31 large-scale sculptures.
Jackson Park is a beautiful park for outdoor relaxation and recreation that offers plenty of amenities for adults and children alike. Amenities include a soccer pitch, cricket pitch, baseball diamond, picnic tables, and gardens. The park also showcases the Robert Burns Memorial, South African Memorial, Copernicus Sundial, and fountains. Captain Wilson Park also features a number of amenities such as walking trails, soccer pitch, spray pad, pond, and picnic tables. Other parks in Windsor include the East Riverside Park, Coventry Gardens, and Cora Greenwood Park. Several indoor arenas are also available for skating, including The WFCU Centre and Forest Glade Arena. Found in Forest Glade Park, the latter features baseball diamonds, a skateboard park, library, tennis court, and a community centre.
Pools and community centers in the city offer over 8,000 programs and activities, including ice skating, landscape design, karate, swimming lessons, and plenty more. Sports fields and facilities are scattered throughout the city, including a stadium, soccer pitches, mountain bike trails, cross country running trails, and cricket pitches. Day camps for children are offered by the Department of Recreation & Culture. Counselors who work with children have training and experience with positive behavior management, group dynamics, and recreation.
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