One of the buildings in Windsor I haven’t featured before, but recieve many questions about is the Windsor Court Apartments located on Ouelltte Avenue at Hanna.
Designed in 1926 by the Toronto Architectural Firm of Craig & Madill. Craig & Madill were active from about 1912 through the 1950’s and this is the only example of their work in the area. Most of the work was done in the Toronto area. Among their works in Toronto was the late Varsity Stadium on Bloor Street, not far from the Royal Ontario Museum. They also designed the York Regional Hospital in Newmarket, Ontario where yours truly was brought into the world.
It is truly a grand building, and when it opened in 1927, it was a very exclusive address.
The crest with “1927” is located high above the main entrance.
The building is still in pretty good shape overall, and was the first apartment building built in Windsor with a parking garage in the basement.
The brick walls are broken up by decorative elements, and feature different brick patterns.
There is an urban legend about the building that is once house Queen Elizabeth on the 1939 tour. I have never come across any proof of this fact, and I suspect it to be a good story, but nothing more… If anyone out there has any proof of it, I would love to see it, but I won’t hold my breath….
One of the features I like is that it is shaped like a #, this was done to maximize the amount of windows in each apartment, and to allow for better airflow.
From the October 1, 1927 issue of the Border Cities Star:
This view of the Windsor Court Apartments, the Border Cities’ new 118-family residential building, show that section of the structure which fronts Ouellette Avenue. The main entrance is shown here, but there are also four side entrances, two leading from Hanna avenue, one from Dufferin place at the rear, and the other from Ouellette. The main entrance leads to a well finished foyer, close to which are a tea room – to be known as the “Windsor Room” – a cake shop, a ladies’ rest room, and the two elevators which run from the sub-basement to the top floor.
The building, equipment and grounds are valued at approximatley $750,000. The suites in the building have from two to six rooms, and the five and six room apartments are equipped with electric fireplaces.
Windsor Court Apartments were ready for occupancy today.
$750,000 in 1927 dollars is equivalent to about $4.3 million 2009 dollars.
This ad appeared in the newspaper in 1927, as the owners were selling bonds to help finance the construction. I wonder if these bonds ever matured, or if they crashed with the depression in 1929?
Again from the October 1, 1927 issue of the Border Cities Star, and ad announcing the opening of the building.
The steel work was done by the previously featured Canadian Bridge Company. This long gone local company played a huge part in the building of Windsor in the boom years.