2009 – The Year In Review

Sadly, 2009 goes into the books as another banner year for demolitions.


1918 – 2009. To be replaced with the new Engineering Building at the University of Windsor.


c. 1920 – 2009. Replaced by a Shoppers Drug Mart.


1965 – 2009. Vacant lot, possible reuse as a parking lot.


1956 – 2009. To be rebuilt as the Dr. David Suzuki School.


1920’s – 2009. Now a parking lot.


1920’s – 2009. Community Park. Although could have been reused for park facilities.


1940’s – 2009. Future parking lot.


Both houses c. 1900 – 2009. Parking lot.


c. 1918 – 2009. Parking Lot.


c. 1920 – 2009. Expanded school yard.


1890 – 2009. Vacant property, along with entire city block.


1920 – 2009. Vacant lot. Future parking.


Blue Bell Motel

Huron Church House

Cousineau Road House

Malden Road House

Feelgood’s Bar


Ferguson Glass

Dayus Roofing Complex

Bedroom Depot

Despite all the demolitions above, this place at 501 Erie, which was ordered to be demolished by August 1, 2008 still stands. Welcome to Windsor.

Hopefully 2010 is kinder, with a little less demolition. Hard to believe there was anything left to knock down in ’09.


Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. No drinking and driving, call yourself a cab, it’s not worth it…

See you here tomorrow for a little news on what to expect in 2010 on IM.

Misspelled Signs


Google is your friend, or even a dictionary.

Now, I know that my spelling isn’t always spot on… But at least I didn’t spell the website name wrong 😉

Did you mean? I think you did…


As a side note, this will be it for a few days. I’m going to enjoy my time off this week, and the next post will be the New Year’s Eve year in review post…

Proposed Waterfront Stage [UPDATED]

**New copies of the pictures have been uploaded, with the exception of the first four, since they’re not critical to the post, IMO. (Plus it’s Christmas Eve…)

The first slide is an overview of the plaza, with the points of entry…

Another overview, with the proposed new stage at the foot of McDougall.

A scale overview of the new stage along with the new access from McDougall to the plaza.

A cut away view of the same view, as you can see there will be space for dressing rooms, loading docks, etc… a far cry from “The Onion” which is half of the old entrance to the temporary Casino, that was located where the Art Gallery is today.

A bird’s eye view of the ramp from McDougall to the plaza, along with the new sound stage.

A street level view. Looks like the materials may be concrete with a bit of colour added in on the back of the stage with some wood cladding.

A 3D model looking east from the back of the stage, you can see the ramp to street level, as well as the loading docks.

A 3D view looking west from the front of the stage.

An artist’s conception of the stage

An artist’s view looking towards the west near street level.

While I’m not generally a giant fan of modern architecture, this is actually a very nice concept. Whereas some times, buildings look idiotic because they don’t fit in with their neighbours, in this case there are no other buildings for it clash with.

There has been some federal stimulus money given towards the project, and it will get rid of the joke of a stage that’s currently there, and it will also remove the blue buildings along the waterfront that are left over from the days of the Northern Belle Casino.

All in all I think it’s a decent design, and I really like how they’ll tie McDougall Street into the waterfront, and create a better pedestrian access point. Those wooden stairs that are there now are a disgrace, as is the onion.

This will be a great addition to the waterfront, and might just be the piece of the puzzle that transforms the Festival Plaza space into to something that Windsor can actually be proud of.

I just hope that the design doesn’t get scaled back and the project gets the typical Windsor cheapening.


Also, this will be the last post this week, Check back here Monday the 28th following the holiday weekend, for a new post. I hope everyone out there has a safe a happy holiday weekend, whatever you happen to celebrate or believe in.

See you Monday.


1650 Howard Avenue

Today home to a church or two, this buff brick beauty on Howard Ave just north of Tecumseh Rd., was built around 1938 as a Coca-Cola Bottling Plant.

The building was designed by the Toronto Architectural Firm of Chapman & Oxley. Some of their more notable works include the Princess Gate at the CNE in downtown Toronto as well as the original wing of the Royal Ontario Museum.

A neat little building and one of the ones that I think tends to get overlooked in the city. Glad a new use was found for it, so often these types of buildings have no other use, and once they close, the bulldozers move in…

View Larger Map


Design Studio g+G Architects

This former power station at 1057 Walker Road was designed and built by the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario in 1914.

It was known as Hydro Sub Station Number 1, and was in service until 2002 or so, when it was decommissioned by EnWin.

The blueprints for the building, refer to it as the “Windsor & Walkerville Municipal Transformer Station”.

This building is one of a long line of attractive and architecturally interesting Hydro Substations.

After nearly 90 years of service in supplying power to the surrounding area (and before that, the Town of Walkerville), the building was declared as a surplus property, and luckily the property was purchased by someone with vision, and not one of the surrounding land speculators who have done nothing to improve the Walker Road corridor.

The building as yo can see has been rehabbed and re adapted for office use. The building is today home to a local architectural firm called Design Studio g+G Architects, you can check out their website here.

One of the coolest features of the building is this original cast iron spiral staircase.

A view back towards the main floor from the top of the spiral staircase.

The building contains three floors including the basement. The second floor is currently empty and you can really get a feel for building by looking at the brick, steel (from the Canadian Bridge Company in Walkerville), and poured concrete, it is truly an amazing building.

Finally this graffiti is located on the ceiling on the second floor. Keep in mind this is a good 20 feet up there… So W. Scott, if you’re out there, I hope you enjoyed your nap 32 years ago…


First Baptist Church

Back in February 2008, we took a look at the First Baptist church at the corner of Mercer & Tuscarora in downtown Windsor.

At the time, I had said that I knew little about the building’s history. A little research this year, has uncovered a bit more.

From the Evening Record, May 17, 1915:

The above is a perspective of the new First Baptist Church to be erected at Mercer and Tuscarora. The church will be constructed of rough pressed brick with the exterior of a gigantic design and will cost $12,000. In the interior will be extensive balconies for the public and choir. It is planned to lay the corner stone on May 24, at which ceremony the pastor, Rev. Chas. Wells, will preside. Leybourne & Sewell are the architects, while the general contract for the erection has been given to Lambert & Braithwaite.

Leybourne & Sewell were the successors to the firm of Leybourne & Whitney who we saw a few times earlier this year looking at several of their buildings.

Have a safe weekend everyone, we’ll see you back here Monday.


St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

Located at the corner of Park & Victoria in Downtown Windsor, St. Andrew’s was built in 1895.

Designed in the Romanesque Revival style which was all the style for the 1890’s, the building is a great example of the style of architecture. This entrance was originally open to the elements, much like a front porch.

According to Wikipedia:

The congregation dates back to 1857, and at one time, was the largest congregation by membership within the Presbyterian Church in Canada

The building bears two cornerstones. The first church was built on the corner of Park & Victoria in 1883. March 16, 1895, a fire broke out and burned that church to the ground. The present structure was erected in 1895 to replace that one.

The church took part in Doors Open back in 2004, sadly this is one of my only photos that turned out that day (sorry the old camera wasn’t the best…).

A post card of the church that was postmarked 1907. If you look, you can see the front entrance along Park Street without the windows and doors in the arches.

The building was designed by Detroit Architects Spier & Rohns. Above is a photo from the University of Michigan collection. See the full sized photo by clicking here.


Calendar Giveaway

Seeing as the holiday season is fast approaching upon us, here’s a gift from me to you.

I have one copy of the excellent 2010 Detroit Historical Calendar that I’m going to be giving away to one lucky reader.

To enter into the draw, all you have to do is leave a comment below. Make sure you include a valid e-mail address in case you win, so I have a way of contacting you.

You’ll have until Friday night at 11:59 pm to leave a comment. Only one entry per person please.

I’ll draw a winner at random from all the entries received over the weekend, and announce the winner here on Sunday.

Good luck, and if you’re not the lucky winner, and you’re interested in purchasing a copy, details on ordering can be found here: http://detroitroom.com