Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Windsor, ON

Overview: Windsor, Ontario's ninth largest city, is the little brother to across-the-river Detroit.  While a good, very blue collar, town its attractions and cultural institutions have never really developed.  Still there are plenty of reasons to visit and combine a trip with a long weekend in Detroit.  Fortunately for the CTer Transit Windsor offers a bus service between the two cities.  Just do not forget your passport!  

Places Visited:
-Market Square Farmers Market ( No great food hall here, just lots of produce and meat (including chicken feet!).  On this Saturday the market (more of a french market than a farmers market) was busy with a wide-cross section of Windsor.  Since most of the goods are meant to be cooked and consumed at home the CTer's main incentive is to enjoy Windsor like the locals.  A small flea market is at one side.  

-Windsor Wood Carving Museum ( Located at the front entrance of the Windsor Main Library the museum is basically housed in a an area the size of a large classroom (see photos).  What it does not have in size it does make up with enthusiasm for its art form.  According to its web site it is the only wood carving museum in Ontario and only one of two in Canada.  Tour should take about 20-30 minutes tops.  A paybox lot for the library is located off an alley east of the complex.  

-Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW) ( Compared to other cities of similar size (Grand Rapids, MI, Quad Cities, IA, Akron, OH) this barely registers as an art museum.  With only two small floors (Floor 2, Floor 3) it is a quick trip.  The exhibits during this visit were mostly contemporary art with some video installations.  For the $5.00 admission consider it an investment in future expansion and a nice break from the weather.  

-Canadian Club Brand Center ( While $5.00 might have been too much to visit AGW, it is definitely the right price to participate in a walking tour of the brand center, originally the Hiram Walker & Sons headquarters.  The desk person was upfront that the tour no longer included the distillery.  The tour guide was friendly, excited, and the script very open about the second owner's connections with the mob.  The tour concludes with an optional whiskey tasting led by the guide.  Definitely add this to the to-visit list.

Windsor's Community Museum (  Similar to the AGW this museum is underwhelming when compared to even small town history museums.  With one small 'gallery' (okay, a room in a history home) a visitor is treated to the short review of Windsor's history.  The museum is free, donations accepted, and is just down from the AGW for a quick one-two punch.

Odette Sculpture Park (  Located on the Detroit River and stretching from downtown west to the Ambassador Bridge this is a great walking break during good weather.  Unfortunately there is no online guide a CTer can print out to plan the walk.

OLG - Windsor Raceway ( This might not be the fanciest of slot machine halls, but really, if one is going to lose money to someone why not to the Province?  There is a cafeteria style restaurant, alcohol, and upstairs is the racetrack viewing center with off-track betting.  The biggest downsides is that the complex is located about 7 miles from downtown with limited public transit options and no table games.  

Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino (  This much more popular gaming site is located downtown in a massive complex containing two hotel towers, convention space, two auditoriums, a few dining options, and three bars.  Caesars offers both mechanical and table games.  The buffet area has a great selection, but ask about pricing before getting into the line to avoid any surprises.  Check the web site for concerts by The Oakridge Boys, Darius Rucker, George Lopez, and Craig Ferguson.  

Robert Maihofer

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1 comment:

  1. Mein computerverrückter Sohn studiert Art und zeigte mir diese Webseite Wir haben dann mal beide dort gestöbert und ich war wirklich begeistert über die grosse Auswahl von Kunstwerken. Da wir noch auf der Suche nach einem Gemälde für unseren Musikraum sind, haben wir uns dann für entschieden. Und ich denke das der französische Maler Henri Matisse mit dem Gemälde "La Dance" perfekt zu uns passt. Was für eine schöne blaue Farbe.