Wedding in Windsor
Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada. It lies at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City-Windsor Corridor, is the second largest city in Southwestern Ontario (after London), and the largest community in Essex County. Windsor is located directly south of Detroit and is separated from that city by the Detroit River. The city has spectacular views of the Detroit skyline. The Windsor-Detroit border crossing is the busiest commerical border crossing in North America. The region marks the only border crossing where entering the mainland United States from Canada involves traveling north. The current mayor of Windsor is Eddie Francis.
On the provincial and federal levels, Windsor is divided into two ridings: Windsor West and WindsorTecumseh. Windsor is currently represented in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario by two Liberal members, Member of Provincial Parliament Sandra Pupatello (Windsor West), and Dwight Duncan (representing WindsorTecumseh).
Federally, Windsor has typically voted liberal, but has recently begun to support the New Democratic Party (NDP). The two NDP members that represent Windsor in the Canadian House of Commons are Members of Parliamenmmt Brian Masse (Windsor West), and Joe Comartin (WindsorTecumseh).
Windsor has long been a Liberal strong hold on both provincial and federal levels, but recently, Windsor has swung more towards supporting the NDP (at least federally), as it is also a stronghold for trade unions.
Windsor competes with Oshawa, Ontario for the title of automotive capital of Canada, with Windsor housing the DaimlerChrysler Canadian headquarters, and Oshawa housing the General Motors Canadian Headquarters. Industries include the DaimlerChrysler mini-van assembly plant, several Ford Motor Company engine and casting plants, the General Motors transmission plant and the Hiram Walker Canadian Club plant, along with a number of smaller tool and die and parts manufacturers that supply the larger plants. Windsor is also known as a global leader in the building of molds for the plastic injection.
Windsor is the western terminus of both Ontario Highway 401, Canada's busiest highway, and of VIA Rail's Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. The city is served by Windsor Airport with regular, scheduled commuter air service and heavy general aviation traffic. The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is located across the river in Michigan. Windsor is also located on the St. Lawrence Seaway, and is accessible to ocean-going vessels.
Windsor tourist attractions include Casino Windsor, a lively downtown, Little Italy, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Odette Sculpture Park, Ojibway Park, and nearby Point Pelee National Park. Windsor was a major entry point into Canada for refugees from slavery via the Underground Railroad and a major source of liquor during American Prohibition. The Capital Theatre in downtown Windsor had been a venue for feature films, plays and other attractions since 1929, until it declared bankruptcy on March 14, 2007.
Windsor's nickname is the "Rose City" or "The City of Roses" and the city is noted for its several large parks and gardens found on its waterfront. The Queen Elizabeth II Sunken Garden is located at Jackson Park in the central part of the city. A WWII era Lancaster Bomber was displayed on a stand in the middle of Jackson Park for over four decades, but has since been removed for restoration. This park is now home to a mounted Spitfire replica and a Hurricane replica.
Windsor has also been the place where many metro Detroiters find what is forbidden in the United States. With the minimum legal drinking age at twenty-one in Michigan and nineteen in Ontario, a number of nineteen and twenty year-old Americans frequent Windsor's bars. The city also became a gaming attraction with Casino Windsor's opening in 1994, five years before casinos opened in Detroit. In addition, one can purchase Cuban cigars, less-costly prescription drugs, certain imported foods, and other items not available in the US.
The Windsor trail network is also linked to LaSalle, Ontario's trail network ("LaSalle Trail") in the west end, and will eventually be linked up to the Chrysler Canada Greenway (part of the Trans Canada Trail), with a second branch to the trail via LaSalle within the next 10-15 years. As a direct result from the city's portion of casino revenues, an upgraded landscaped trail has been filled with various modern and post-modern sculptures from artists in Essex County. Families of elephants (see picture), penguins and horses, among other themes intersect the trail.
The strongest tornado to hit Windsor was an F4 in 1946. It was also the deadliest. Windsor was also the only Canadian city to be hit by a tornado during the Super Outbreak of 1974, an F3 which killed nine people at the Windsor Curling Club. Windsor was also grazed in 1997 by the Southeast Michigan Tornado Outbreak, with one tornado (an F1) forming east of the city, and caused some local street flooding. The waters of Lake Erie, The Detroit River, and Lake St. Clair act as a slight natural deterrent to tornadoes but also add humidity and instability in the warm summer air, to fuel strong thunderstorms. Tornadoes have been recorded to cross the Detroit River (in 1946 and in 1997), and waterspouts are regularly seen over Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie in the fall and becoming very common because of the rapid weather change due to the effects of global warming.