Jackson Park – 1953

An interesting photo taken from the 1954 Windsor Centennial Program showing a aerial view of Jackson Park. Seeing as the program was published in 1954, I am assuming that the photo was a stock one taken at least the year before in 1953. Looks like there was some kind of fair going on in the area where the Lancaster used to be…

My favourite part of the photo is the intersection of Ouellette and Tecumseh, before Ouellette was expanded. Ouellette continues as driveway into Jackson park. The north east corner was home to a a gas station, and on the south west corner…

Is the famous Mario’s. The building however was originally known as the Driving Park Hotel. I’m not sure if any part has survived into the building that’s there today, or if it’s a rebuild on the site. Also, this looks a little farther from the corner than the building today, however I’m sure that Ouellette was widened when it was expanded…


28 Comments on Jackson Park – 1953

  1. Yes Urbanrat is correct. They used to have it there annually until it became too risky for the firefighters to put it on (insurance wise).

  2. What I noticed is the gas station & homes in the bottom left corner of the pic. But I can’t picture in my mind whats there now ? I’m guessing some sort of apartment bldg.

  3. The larger house next Mario’s was the Colonial House,a bar/restaurant. it had a large covered front porch. I think it was called Bo Fieldings in the early 30’s and 40’s.

  4. Yes, the Colonial House burned out in the ’70s and subsequently torn down. The medical imaging center that is there now is not a rebuild – it is the original Mario’s building (what is left of it + renos).

  5. The East side of the building was a pretty lucrative diner called Genteman Jim’s. Packed with business people and students. The House structure on the west side was actually a bar well into the seventies before it was torn down. As we all knoe the place has morphed a few times over the years. Remember the old railwway car on the site?

  6. Its to bad the picture was not a wider shot to show the grandstand on the west side. In the fifties during the summer the Sat.night dance from the Shrine Club moved there. Sadly the grandstand burned down.

  7. This is indeed a very curious photo. My father owned a hardware store which was located in a block of stores just west of the Colonial Hotel. I had lunch with him in Mario’s and it was always a busy place. The carnival in the background could be the Fireman’s Field-day or perhaps the Emancpation Day celebrations. The shadows from the trees in the empty park suggest it is mid afternoon.
    Where are all the people??
    Tecumseh Road at Ouellette and I count a total of three cars. Where is everybody?

  8. I worked with a fellow who was a Morse telegraph operator (at CN Telegraphs at 364 Ouellette Ave.), and he was assigned to the ball park grandstand in 1953 to transmit (with a little portable telegraph key and sounder) via a land line provided by Bell Telephone Company of Canada (as it was known then). He worked alongside a reporter for Canadian Press news agency who gave him play-by-play of the game which was received in Toronto for distribution to newspapers and radio stations across Canada (depending on the interest of that particular league at that time).
    Sadly, he was an alcoholic and although bald, did not wear head protection, and was exposed to the typical Windsor heat and humidity, and suffered a stroke. He was totally disabled and unable to return to work.

  9. very nice!

    some smaller things i notice are that there are at least two residences further down ouellette behind Mario’s. there’s an awful lot of boxcars on the ETR line in the back ground, and tecumseh is a boulavard. am i wrong, or did Windsor st. extend up to the end of the track feild make a left and connect to McDougal? then maybe was blocked when ouellette was expanded and reverted into a parking lot/service drive. and at the corner of dufferin and tecumseh…..is that a stable???
    need that time machine!

    WANNICK – yes, at the corner of ouellette and tecumseh is marine city apartments..15 stories is think. then at duffin and tecumseh another apartment…maybe 7 or 8 stories.

    Andrew or John – i know they were long gone by then, but where did the Ouellette streetcar have it’s loop at this end? i lost my streetcar map and now i can’t remember. i have an old picture that shows a tear drop shaped “loop” surrounded by poles, in the spot where the gated entrance is. or did it hang a left and that’s why tecumseh is a boulavard?

  10. Aaron, Tecumseh was a Boulevard until the late 50’s I believe, when traffic congestion caused their removal. If you look in certain places, you can still see the outline of the islands in the cracks in the concrete, especially around Kildare…

    Also the map I have, shows the streetcar making a slight turn west (so it would have hung a right in this picture) along Tecumseh. I’m sure Bernie or John can add more insight. Don’t forget before 1930 Jackson park, wasn’t a park, it was a horse racing track…

  11. Great photos, although they show only that half of the park east of the Ouellette driveway. I recall the park extending west as far as Dougall, at its south end. Much later, the cenotaph which had been at the corner of Ouellette and Goyeau (?) was moved to just in front of the gates.

  12. Speaking of Tecumseh Road around Kildare, when will the city ever get around to making the road in that area halfway decent for driving?

    Andrew – I’ve seen the cracks and elevations in the pavement, and yes, you can see where the boulevard island once was…50 years later.

  13. Well Joe, let me see, it’s 1954, no thru road, no overpass, well no kidding. In 1954 development on Howard and Dougall south of the CPR tracks was minor. Tecumseh Road was the southernmost east-west thoroughfare in the city (good heavens…no E.C. Rowe!!). Just a little bit east (out of the photo) was a busy Chrysler truck plant. It seems just a bit odd that there are no people walking the sidewalks, or in the park or at the carnaval, that I can see.

  14. Jackson Park looked better in the 50’s than it does today. Eddie Francis and the morons down at City Hall pretty much ruined the park when they took down the Lancaster and plowed over the rose garden around it.

  15. thanks Andrew. i think on the back of “reflections of windsor” there is a picture of a traffic jam just east of hall with the scottish club on the left. cars are all on top of the muddy boulevard. what did they do…just pave over the curbs?? lol. i have an old shot where kennedy had just been finished and you can see the ghost of the track. didn’t seem like it had enough room without cutting into tecumseh AND mcdougal. hope you don’t mind…i’ll send you the pic i was talking about earlier and maybe you can tell if it’s a streetcar loop i’m seeing.
    George – i wouldn’t put blame on the city for the lanc. taking down the Lancaster was the best thing that ever happened to that plane. only another couple years and it would have been unsafe to keep up anyhow and more then likely scrapped. the wingspars (two beams running parallel holding up the wings) were sliced into and then welded into the bracing of the pedestal when it was raised. Over the years the wings gradually started to sag.one time we found 200lbs of bird crap in an engines oil pan, which isn’t good for aircraft aluminium. also when it was sandblasted in preparation for a new paint job, we found like 8 – 10 different layers of laytex outdoor house paint on it!!!!! (source: used to do restoration work on it) i could go on and on about why it’s a good thing it’s down. Don’t get me wrong, i loved having it up there but i feel the spitfire and hurricane are more suited for the park. the spitfire is even painted in Windsor squadron colours and has the markings of a real pilot. here’s a little blurb about him:

    This Spitfire is a replica painted to match WW2, double ace pilot
    Bert Houles Spitfire: AN-A JG184 (cdn 4817).

    GROUP CAPTAIN ALBERT ULRICH “BERT” HOULE, D.F.C. and Bar, C.D., of Massey, Ontario, flew with Nos. 213, 145 and 417 Squadrons. His score of enemy aircraft was 11 destroyed, 1 probable and 7 others damaged.
    He commanded the crack City of Windsor Squadron which fought in Malta, the Middle East, Britain. He was best known for getting two Germans in 15 seconds. He “squirted” at one, went underneath it, saw another,”squirted” him too. He wore the D.F.C.


    jeeeez Aaron……sorry everyone. off topic story but i thought it would be nice since maybe everyone doesn’t know that those arn’t just generic WW2 paint jobs up there. I’m not sure if the hurricane is painted for a local boy but it is painted for a real person: F/O Nisbitt.

    alright…i’m done.

  16. Richard M., you are correct. It’s been 40 years since I lived in Windsor, and obviously my memory is a little clouded. The cenotaph was right at the corner of Giles and Ouelette, on the east side.

  17. I went to Kennedy 54-59. There are some things you may not know. On Tecumseh, just east of Goyeau is a long low bldg that is H-shaped and was the Air Force Club. It was one of the WW2 barracks from the air port. The rest of the block was empty. When it was sold, they moved onto Marentette into what is now RCL 143.
    What I don’t see here is the Boer War Memorial that now sits in the Sunken Gardens. It sat on Ouellette Ave south of Tecumseh with a turn around in front. I have pictures of it there.
    I think this picture is earlier than 53. I have no recollection of houses on Ouellette behind Mario’s. That was park in the 50s. And there were houses all along McDougall in the 50s, no empty lots. Fireman’s Field day was Labour Day weekend and the following week. We could sometimes talk the ride operators into giving us rides at lunch. Aug 1 wknd was the Emancipation parade and BBQ in the park. The ribs were memorable. The grandstand burned around 55-56 because we used to sit in there out of the weather and smoke. No we didn’t burn it. The Colonial House was where some of the KCI staff had a liquid lunch and some of the sr boys who would have been 19 would be in there with the teacher. Hmm. We all knew. I’m sure the principal didn’t. lol Good times

  18. Sorry, plus there were no blvds on Tecumseh when I attended KCI. That’s one main reason I think this picture is earlier than 53.

  19. Also, in the mid-50s, there was apond in the centre of the Sunken Gardens, still is today, I think. Haven’t been there in a bit. I don’t see it in this picture.

  20. If nineteen year old Kennedy students where drinking in the same bar with teachers, I wish we had teachers who tuenwd a blind eye to under age drinking.
    In the fifties the age to legaly drinkk and vote was Twenty One, not 19. The Province experimented with eighteen year old legal drinking but put it up to nineteen, probably in the seventies.Not clear exactly when the ages changed but it was into sities, I know becaues I was over twenty one when it changed.

  21. Yes, the boys drinking were underage. Didn’t seem to matter to that teacher. Actually he was a darn good teacher, and I say that in all honesty, because I was his pet. lol. And it was only one or two. These guys were there for a 6th year trying to upgrade marks to get into university. They all did. And ironically became teachers. As did a very large percentage of my graduating class. The KCI teachers were outstanding and motivated a large bunch to be teachers, A number of students went on to be principals and a few were superintendents.

  22. There’s a great story about Jackson Park and when Queen Elizabeth visited Windsor in the early 50s. A railroad spur was constructed into the park, just for her and the entourage. She arrived at night and in the morning stepped out of the special car, gazed up Oullette Avenue and marveled audibly at what a beautiful city Windsor was. Of course, she was looking at the Detroit skyline. I wonder if anybody corrected her.
    Marios was the only place in Windsor to get that newfangled ‘pizza’ – I remember my older brother bringing some home after a dance at Walkerville Collegiate in the late 40s.

  23. I well remember the Tecumseh Ouellette corner. Marios Pizza (as opposed to Mario’s downtown which was where Bentley’s was until recently – a fin restaurant). I remember after Friday night games and Stardust Dances at KCI Mario’s pizza would be mobbed. Iron control reigned under “Mary” the manager and aided by hired off duty police ( Dave Montague deceased 2009 for one). We all parked “dad’s car” on the Ouellette Avenue extension and traffic circle and the cops made regular patrols to make sure no-on was “making out” or drinking… Next door the hotel was the Colonial often referred to by local elders as the “Bucket of Blood”.

    Yes there were boulevards on Tecumseh Rd and at least west of Ouellette they existed until I believe 1957. Miss Thompson , the sister of Gordie Thompson, the owner of Thompson Hardware used to drive a horse and buggy to work and let the horse graze tethered on the boulevard in the late 40’s and early 50,s. The Thopmsons lived near us in the 1200 block of Dougall>

    As far as the Cenotaph was concerned it was originally located on Giles Boulevard at Ouellette Avenue and then later moved to its present location in front of city hall in the 1960’s.. The “cenotaph” referred to above was in fact the Boer War Memorial which was located at the south end of the Ouellette turning circle. When Ouelltte Avenue was extended the circle disappeared and the memorial was moved to the southern edge of the sunken gardens where it remains till this day ( it originally had been on Oellette Avenue where the present day main Post Office is now located I believe)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.