Hotels in Windsor, Canada
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Windsor, Canada: The Country's Southernmost City
Windsor, Ontario is largely known at Canada's southernmost city and one that is right on the border into United States. Just across the Ambassador Bridge sits Detroit, Michigan and the 4.2 million people that reside in its metropolitan area. Sitting across the border from such a major centre provides those who live in Windsor with all of the conveniences that come along with living in a major city, while avoiding many of the problems.
While staying in Windsor, it is possible to cross the border into Detroit for the day to do some shopping or catch a sporting event, while returning to one of the hotels on the much quieter and safer Canadian side of the border afterwards.
One of Canada's Largest Casinos
Perhaps the main draw in city is Caesars Windsor, a major casino that is owned by the government of Ontario and operated by the world famous Caesars Entertainment. This casino is one of the largest in Canada, with 9,290 metres of gaming space and a 5,000 seat theatre. It also features the same Roman theme that other Caesars properties have made famous, which makes for a Vegas-like atmosphere on a much smaller scale.
Since its opening in 1998, the casino has been popular with cross-border travellers who are looking to strike it rich and take advantage of the American dollar's inflated value in Windsor and the rest of Canada. There are plenty of hotels in the area surrounding the casino, including one that is attached to it, making it easy for those visiting Ontario to spend the night after hitting the tables.
The Freedom Festival
Every summer, an event called the International Freedom Festival comes to the area. This is joint venture between Windsor and Detroit that marks Canada Day on July 1st and Independence Day on July 4th. The festival last two weeks starting in late June and attracts about 3.5 million people to both sides of the border annually. In recent years, the festival has split into two separately organised events, although there is consultation between the two sides and locals view the events as being one in the same.
The highlight of the festival is a fireworks display. This display takes place on the Monday that is closest to the two holidays and is enjoyed by people on both sides of the border. In Windsor, a carnival is held in conjunction with the festival, complete with rides and events that last for the entire week. Hotels on the Ontario side tend to fill up quickly during this time, especially those that are close to the Detroit River.
Plenty of History
Due to its location, Windsor has been home to countless historic events since it was first settled in 1749. In 1812, a war took place between what is now Canada and the United States, which at the time was a very young country, and Windsor was at the forefront of many of the battles. François Bâby House is a National Historic Site of Canada that was strategically used by both American and British forces during the war and now houses Windsor's Community Museum.
In addition, the city acted as a major port for slaves escaping the United States during slavery via the Underground Railroad. Today, a monument depicting the Underground Railroad can be found in the city and the Sandwich First Baptist Church, which was established by those who escaped the United States via the Underground Railroad, still stands in Windsor.
During American Prohibition, Windsor was once again an important strategic location for those wishing to smuggle alcohol into the United States. This made the city a hotbed for criminals during that time. The Rum Runners Tour is popular with visitors, as it allows them to see what happened in Ontario and other provinces during the 1920s and pulls back the curtain on the city's role during American Prohibition. It concludes with a tour of the Hiram Walker distillery, which a short taxi ride from downtown and some of Windsor's nicest hotels.
Arts and Entertainment
There is a thriving art scene in Windsor, starting with Windsor Sculpture Park. This park features 35 sculptures that have been created by world famous artists and is reason enough to visit the riverfront area. The park is quite large, spanning between Assumption Park and Centennial Park, so visitors can spend an entire afternoon wandering through the area and looking at the sculptures. Views of the Detroit skyline can be enjoyed from this park, as well.
The Art Gallery of Windsor is also along the riverfront and is home to one of Canada's most significant collections of local art. The gallery has been mandated as a public art space, so it is made up entirely of Canadian artwork, with a focus being put on showing the work of local and regional artists.
The Windsor Symphony Orchestra is a notable local product that plays at the historic Capitol Theatre, which is just blocks from the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the waterfront. There are plenty of restaurants and hotels in this part of Windsor, making it a popular place to stay when visiting. The Capitol Theatre was the city's first movie theatre, dating back to 1920, and has hosted countless events in the years since.