Pear trees blooming in the heritage courtyard adjacent to the Pitt-Ferry Building bring to mind the Jesuit farmers who were the area’s first European settlers, says Craig Goodman, principal with CS&P Architects who designed the project.
Home to the University’s social work program and the Centre for Executive and Professional Education, the building includes a historic façade enclosing an outdoor courtyard, which now shelters the pear trees.
The pear enjoys a long association with Windsor, back to 1749, Goodman says, pointing to the Jesuit pear tree growing on the grounds of the Maison François Baby House museum, located across Pitt Street from the Pitt-Ferry site.
Nine Chanticleer Pear trees fill the courtyard at the University of Windsor's School of Creative Arts in homage to the Jesuit pear trees that once flourished in this region.
This variety was brought to the region by missionaries in the early 18th century and became an established feature of the local landscape.
“We couldn’t plant Jesuit pears, evidently they make quite a mess, but we did go with Chanticleer pear trees to symbolize that relationship to the heritage,” says Goodman, adding that his team worked with landscapers Bezaire & Associates.
“There are subtle touches like the positioning of the trees to resemble an orchard, which pays homage to the Jesuit settlements in the 18th century.”
Records indicated that Charles Chauvin planted the original 12 trees, which he carried from France, to represent recognition of the 12 Apostles of Christ.
The Heritage Courtyard is home to an orchard of nine Chanticleer Pear trees, with a bountiful undergrowth of Bruce’s White Phlox to reinforce the white blossom theme. Ferry Street is reaching the height of fragrance this week.