About Windsor

Mackenzie Hall (Former Essex County Courthouse)

Photo: cmh2315fl via Flickr.

 

Welcome.

Windsor is a 125-year-old culturally rich, community-oriented city couched in comfortable suburbs and fertile countryside. The 16th largest census metropolitan area in the country, Windsor is quaint enough to promise hassle-free commutes and low-key living but large enough to offer access to a bounty of modern urban amenities.

While you'd never mistake Windsor itself for one of the continent's largest cities, more than five million people live within an hour's drive.

Widely recognized as one of Canada's most affordable cities, Windsor is a safe, mid-sized waterfront community with immediate access to a major American population centre. Essentially, Windsorites enjoy the advantages of living in a major North American metropolis without sacrificing the comparatively quiet comforts of a significantly smaller city.

Specifically, living and working here presents a unique opportunity to experience the fascinating post-industrial transformation Detroit, a city that is famously becoming one of the greatest, most challenging, and most intriguing urban laboratories in the world. Indeed, the Detroit skyline backdrops much of the activity in Windsor's city centre.

Canada's southernmost city, Windsor offers sun-soaked summers and livable, temperate winters. Residents and visitors alike enjoy our remarkable riverfront, dotted with public artwork and laced with meandering trails and accessible parkland.

Away from campus, you'll enjoy amenities like Canada's largest internationally branded casino resort and entertainment complex, a well-regarded art gallery and symphony orchestra, and an excellent multicultural dining scene.

What's more, the easily accessible Windsor train station and airport and the close-by Detroit Metropolitan Airport make domestic and international travel very convenient.

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Real Estate

The Windsor-Essex property market is affordable, livable, and appreciating.

Owning a home is dramatically more affordable here than in most other Canadian cities with universities. According to a national survey published in fall 2017, Windsor is the single most affordable city in Canada on a cost-per-square-foot basis. Only three cities in the country boast a lower price-to-family income ratio, and none of them can match Windsor’s climate, location, or access to the amenities of a major metropolitan area.

Windsor and Essex County’s residential real estate stock grants you and your family the opportunity to live the way you choose. Between them, the city and county offer everything from new-build suburban homes with spacious acreage to postindustrial urban lofts, century-old heritage homes on leafy streets, and modern waterfront condominiums with panoramic views of the Detroit skyline.

Lately, Windsor’s is also a red-hot market. While the average residential home purchase price in Windsor-Essex is still under $255,000 (as of October 2018), it increased more than 16 percent over the previous 12 months. Windsor is also one of Canada’s highest performing cities for real estate investment returns.

To sample the market for yourself, check out the MLS listings or this Canadian City Interactive Comparison Tool.

To gain a better understanding of how Windsor-Essex lives, consult the Windsor-Essex County Property Search, a service of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors.

Windsor's Historic Neighbourhoods

The City of Windsor as we know it today is an amalgam of five historic towns: Riverside, Ford City, Walkerville, Windsor, and Sandwich. Owing to this history, several regions of the city proper continue to maintain distinct personalities and aesthetics. We recommend consulting the websites of Windsor’s several Business Improvement Associations to learn more about some of the most vibrant areas of the city:

Further reading:

Essex County

Besides Windsor, Essex County is home to several smaller towns, quaint suburbs, and bedroom communities. While Windsor’s 217,000 residents (2016) make it by far the most populous community in the region, a further 181,000 live in the neighbouring municipalities that comprise the rest of Essex County. Many University of Windsor staff and faculty members choose to make their home and raise their families in these areas.

The following Essex County communities are listed in ascending order of approximate distance to the University:

Location and Travel

Canada’s southernmost city, Windsor sits at approximately the same latitude as Barcelona, Bordeaux, and northern California. Essex County is bounded on three sides by large bodies of water: Lake Erie, the Detroit River, and Lake St. Clair. As such, it encompasses several true waterfront communities.

Despite its ostensibly isolated location, Windsor is only about three and a half hours from Toronto via the 401 and 403 highways.

Ann Arbor (home to the University of Michigan) and Toledo are each about 45 minutes away by car. Several other noteworthy American cities, including Chicago, Grand Rapids, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis, are also within a comfortable driving distance.

Air travel out of Windsor is incredibly convenient relative to most similarly sized cities. Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), one of the largest hubs in the American Midwest, is about 30 kilometres from the border. Windsor International Airport (YQG) is a small but efficient portal located relatively close to the city centre.

Customs, Immigration, and Travel Information

 

CrossingMadeEasy.com (Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island)

Provides up-to-date information about prodecures, travel documentation, and allowances when crossing the Canada/U.S. border.

Canada Border Services Agency

Outside Canada
EN - 204.983.3500 or 506.636.5064
FR - 204.983.3700 or 506.636.5067
Within Canada
EN - 1.800.461.9999
FR - 1.800.959.2036

Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

555 Goyeau St., Windsor, ON
519.258.7424 | dwtunnel.com
The only underwater vehicular tunnel in the world that crosses an international border, the Tunnel travels 1.5 kilometres over 20 metres below the surface of the Detroit River. It connects Windsor and Detroit's downtowns.

Windsor International Airport (YQG)

3200 County Rd. 42, Windsor, ON
519.969.2430 | yqg.ca
Windsor International Airport services Air Canada Jazz, WestJet, Porter, and other carriers to accommodate vacation, business, and convention travellers to and from Windsor and Essex County. YQG is an easily accessible, convenient airport offering regular flights to Toronto and direct routes to destinations in Canada, the United States, and abroad.

 

VIA Rail Windsor Rail Station

298 Walker Rd., Windsor, ON
1.888.842.7245 | viarail.ca
In the Quebec City-Windsor corridor, VIA Rail provides intercity passengers with fast, convenient, and affordable service, downtown-to-downtown between Canada’s largest business centres. More than 429 corridor trains run per week, carrying 80 percent of VIA’s total ridership. VIA Rail operates four trains daily between Windsor and Toronto.

 

Transit Windsor

3700 North Service Rd. E.
Windsor, ON | 519.255.6100 x6630
Transit Windsor operates public transit service for the City of Windsor, as well as direct service to downtown Detroit via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

 

Ontario Travel Information Centre

110 Park St. E., Windsor, ON
519.973.1338 | TF: 1.800.Ontario

 

Climate

Windsor enjoys the warmest climate of any city in Ontario. Essex County’s peninsular geography ensures the region experiences milder winters and cooler summers than would otherwise be the case. Green thumbs particularly appreciate Windsor’s abundant plant growth and gardening-friendly conditions. Windsor has the longest growing season in Ontario: approximately 170 to 190 days of growth with a final spring frost date of April 25 and a first fall frost date of October 20. Gardens and trees thrive here in equal measure.

Windsor winters tend to be short and mild relative to the rest of the country. The average December – February daily high temperature is slightly lower than 2˚C (36˚F). While this climate won’t preclude you from partaking in any typical Canadian winter activities you enjoy, it will allow you do so just a little more comfortably. Notably, Windsor only experiences snow depths of greater than 1cm approximately 53 days a year, which compares favourably to 65 days in Toronto and 88 in Calgary.

In the summer, Windsorites experience an average June-August high temperature of about 27˚C (80˚F).

Diversity

Home to representatives of more than 100 distinct cultures, Windsor is Canada’s fourth most diverse city, outpaced only by Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Windsor boasts residents from virtually every part of the world, many of whom contribute to the region’s thriving culinary scene and circuit of cultural festivals. You can expect the city’s rich cultural mix to colour your day-to-day life.

Outdoor Living

Windsor-Essex offers no shortage of opportunity active-living individuals with a penchant for the outdoors. For most of the year, it’s an exceptional location for kayaking, canoeing, and other water sports. Swimmers have several outdoor options in the summer, and cyclists and runners rave about the mostly flat terrain year-round. Over 390 species of migratory birds have been spotted in Essex County, making it one of North America’s top birding destinations.

Further reading:

Point Pelee National Park

Essex County's national park, the southernmost in the country, hosts more than 300,000 visitors each year. Highlights include 20 kilometres of pristine Lake Erie beachfront, an 800-metre marsh boardwalk, a new five-kilometre cycling and hiking trai, and a three-story observation tower. Point Pelee is home to dozens of species of reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Perhaps most notably, thousands of butterflies descend on the Park each September during the annual Monarch Butterfly Migration.

Other Parks and Trails

Windsor boasts more than 2,400 acres of green space spread across 211 distinct parks, many of which are woven into the fabric of the city’s neighbourhoods. Most prominently, Windsor’s six kilometres of designated waterfront trails includes winding mixed-use and walking paths that offer spectacular views of the Detroit skyline. Runners, roller bladers, and cyclists are welcome.

Some noteworthy urban, suburban, and naturalized parkland trails include:

Further reading:

Food and Drink

As one of Canada's foremost agricultural regions, Essex County has cultivated an unpretentious but vibrant food culture. Currently, the region supports several farmers' markets; dozens of vineyards, breweries, and distilleries; and a network of community-supported agriculture initiatives.

Farmers' Markets

Farmers’ Market Ontario members:

  • Amherstburg Farmers’ Market
  • Belle River Farmers’ Market
  • Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market
  • Kingsville Farmers’ Market

Other regional markets:

  • Ford City Market
  • Kingsville Night Market
  • Leamington Farmers’ Market
  • Riverside Farmers’ Market
  • Willistead Night Market (Walkerville)
  • Tecumseh Night Market
  • Olde Sandwich Town Farmers’ Market

Further reading:

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Art Gallery of Windsor

"The Art Gallery of Windsor collects, conserves, interprets and presents Canadian art. It is a place to view significant works of art by local, regional and national artists; a place to see what Canadians have been making and thinking about for longer than Canada has been a country. The AGW is a valuable cultural resource for the Windsor area, providing the special service of showcasing Canadian art in a city that has the busiest border crossing between Canada and the United States."

Chimczuk Museum

"The Chimczuk Museum is a premier museum destination that houses permanent exhibits on the history of the Windsor area, the Original People’s Culture and Legacy, and the development of The City of Windsor. The site also features a state-of-the-art Children’s Gallery and Learning Space with opportunities for hands-on exploration for our young and young at heart, two galleries for travelling and temporary exhibitions, and a gift shop with fantastic souvenirs for guests of all ages."

Windsor Symphony Orchestra

"The Mission of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra is connecting people of Windsor and Essex County through the power and passion of music."

Caesars Windsor

Perhaps surprisingly, Windsor is home to a full-scale, Las Vegas-style casino. Caesars Windsor is Canada's largest internationally branded casino resort and entertainment complex. It includes a 5,000-seat Colosseum venue that regularly hosts well-known international acts.

Windsor Spitfires

The Windsor Spitfires junior hockey team competes in the Ontario Hockey League from the 6,450-capacity WFCU Centre arena in Windsor's east end. Between 2008 and 2017, the Spitfires captured a remarkable three Memorial Cup championships.

Festivals

Without even taking into account Detroit and Southeast Michigan, the Windsor-Essex region boasts a vibrant festival calendar – particularly in the warm-weather months. The region hosts more than 70 festivals and other large-scale celebratory events each year. The following are some highlights:

Disclaimer: The external resources to which this page links are highlighted for information and entertainment purposes only. While this page was curated in good faith, inclusion does not constitute an official endorsement from the University of Windsor.

For further information and assistance regarding settling in your new home, please contact the Faculty Recruitment Coordinator in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic.

Note: This site is a living document, the goal of which is to improve, in some small way, the working lives of University of Windsor faculty. We are eager to collaborate with the campus community to better this service over time. If you can identify any knowledge gaps, missing resources, or outdated or erroneous information on this site, please contact Iva Gentcheva, Senior Adminstrative Officer, without hesitation.