I love that sculpture garden. Windsor’s waterfront stands in contrast to its neighbour to the north (yes — the USA is indeed north — a geographical oddity of southwest Ontario). While Detroit’s waterfront is a dystopic wasteland, Windsor recovered its waterfront, turning it into a long beautiful park. The sculpture garden is one of its best features. Among my favourites are the works on UofW visual arts prof, and artist extraordinaire, Joe DeAngelis.
Michael, you are the ultimate “Windsor booster”. I’m not sure I share the depth of your passion for (or knowledge of) this place, but it is starting to grow on me in spots. That said, the downtown core is sadly in need of some tender loving care, comparable to what was done with the riverfront.
Not a “booster,” I’m just aware of its nicer aspects. Windsor has a bad rap because of its industrial base, and its boom and bust economy, and all the ill effects so associated. But Windsor has hidden treasures. For example, it is the northern tip of the great Carolinian ecosystem, and so it has flora and fauna not seen anywhere else north of the Niagara escarpment. It is home to really cool reptiles like the elusive Massasauga rattlesnake, and various species of moles, and all sorts of birds like blue herons, and raptors like hawks, and the Turkey vulture, and one of the weirdest creatures of all — the possum – North America’s only marsupial. It is home to one of the rarest ecosystems on earth — a beautiful oak savanna (I’m not kidding — go see it) you can find that in the Tall Grass Prairie provincial park, off Malden road. In that park biologists say there are some of the rarest species of insects and plants in Canada. In the autumn, some of the best produce in Canada is grown in Essex country — including all kinds of fruit. Believe me, you must eat the peaches and try the “hot buttered corn.” It’s so yummy you can eat it raw. And besides all this, Statistics Canada says it’s the 4th most ethnically diverse city in Canada, which partly explains the awesomely authentic international cuisine. Windsorites are spoiled by the excellent Korean, Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese, Indian, Lebanese, Greek, and Italian food. (There’s also every name-brand fast food resto you can think of, if that’s what turns your crank.) This is Windsor too. I could go on. Windsorites have always lived with boom and bust. With unemployment, and labour unrest, and decaying neighbourhoods, and crazy quick-fix development schemes, and the destruction of architectural heritage in the name of progress. But there is beauty there too. Isn’t there always beauty? You just have to look for it. In Windsor it’s not hard to find.