Culture & Arts

The Windsor-Essex Region is Canada's most southern destination and is steeped in history. As the site of the outbreak of the War of 1812, the only war ever fought on Canadian soil, and as one of the most important stops on the Underground Railroad, it is an area rich in cultural, natural, and social history.

Located in the heart of the Great Lakes, the Windsor-Essex Region boasts stunning waterfront views along the Detroit River, the only designated International Heritage River, and along Lakes St. Clair and Erie. Rural roads lead to small towns, beautiful beaches and unique communities offering the quiet of nature, award-winning wineries, or a glimpse back in time. Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point in mainland Canada, draws bird watchers from around the globe.

There are over 15 museums and galleries in the Windsor-Essex Region, along with the prestigious Odette Sculpture Park located on Windsor's waterfront. Performing arts are showcased at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts and the newly expanded Caesars Windsor, along with many smaller venues such as the historic Mackenzie Hall.

The Arts

Art Gallery of WindsorThe Art Gallery of Windsor, the city's public art museum, has a collection of over 3,000 works of art. All works are relevant to Canada's cultural heritage, and cover the period from about 1750 through the present day. The gallery adds an average of 50 works per year to its permanent collection. Annual events such as Art in the Park and the Classic and Antique Car Show on the stately grounds of Willistead Manor, the Art Festival and Sale at historic Mackenzie Hall, and the Francois Baby House Museum attract thousands of tourists each year. Cultural and historic landmarks show a colourful history that includes the War of 1812, African-American heritage and even rum running. Our Carrousel of the Nations is a taste of foods and entertainment from around the world with over 20 ethno-cultural villages created throughout the area.

Surrounding Attractions

One of our more spectacular attractions is the towering Detroit skyline and Renaissance Center viewed from our waterfront gardens. Visitors and conventioneers alike are lured by Metro Detroit's remarkable selections and events, only one mile away: major league sports, superstar entertainment at The Fox and Fisher Theatres, Detroit Opera House, Music Hall, Palace of Auburn Hills, Grand Prix racing, Montreaux Jazz, Greektown, Detroit Zoo, Detroit Science Center, world-renowned exhibits at the Detroit Institute of Arts, plus cultural classics like The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

Cultural Diversity

In April 2006, Ontario's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration told an immigration forum that the Region was second only to Vancouver as the destination of choice for new immigrants to Canada, and that 70% of new arrivals are well-educated.

These immigrants provide the Windsor-Essex Region with a cultural diversity not seen in any other Canadian Region of its size. This diversity is reflected in local restaurants (Italian, Thai, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, etc.), festivals, celebrations and social clubs. Examples are Erie Street (Little Italy), the Carrousel of the Nations, Oktoberfest celebrations, etc.

Total Population of Windsor-Essex by Place of Birth

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census
Total Permanent Population 389,585. Permanent population does not include those people classified as "non-permanent residents" by Statistics Canada.