Windsor’s Strip – 1970

From the Windsor Star – June 13, 1970

    It’s not exactly the Vegas Strip or even Toronto’s Yonge St. strip – but it has the makings.

    The area is about four miles of Tecumseh Rd. between Walker Rd. and Lauzon Rd. It has the flashing neon signs, the hangouts, the straight open road ideal for dragsters and motorcyclists.

    It loses the authentic strip effect only because of its length which leaves the blinking, swirling, neon signs in isolated groups of three or four.

    But it’s at these points – restaurants, doughnut shops, take-out counters, car washes, drive-in restaurants – that gangs of you people converge. Some on foot, others in convertibles or roadsters and some on motorcycles.

    Many of the restaurants have uniformed, off-duty policemen on hand in case trouble breaks out. The police are hired through the police commission.

    Detectives patrol the area regularly and often drop in to a doughnut shop for a coffee, doughnut and friendly chat with the staff.

19 Comments on Windsor’s Strip – 1970

  1. I love this line “Detectives patrol the area regularly and often drop in to a doughnut shop for a coffee, doughnut and friendly chat with the staff.”

    -the more things change, the more they stay the same. : )

  2. Central and Tecumseh (Northwest corner) also at Lauzon and Tecumseh (actually just west of Lauzon where the picwick plaza is)

  3. There was a Red Barn on Tec. Rd. E roughly where the Pizza Hut is just east of Lauzon Parkway. Later it was a Mr. Sub before it was torn down.

  4. The Red Barn was on the northwest corner of Tecumseh and Central. The Red Barn closed and the building was occupied a Mr. Submarine franchise for a few years. The “Barn” building was torn down and replaced by a 7-11 store. That is now gone and today a new development is going on that corner.

  5. The Red barn was at the n/e corner of Central where the 711 was. Burgers were 15c but you could buy weed out the back door which helped in closing their doors. After it was torn down, it was a christmas tree lot for years. Across the street behind the shell at Magnum was the A&W. Across from the Big Boy at Ellrose was the first Scott’s Chicken Villa in the little building between the dentist and Monty’s. When Scott’s opened, they sent out a flyer for a 3 pc meal for $1.35. The food was good then. At Bernard where Reaume Sports is was H Salt Fish & Chips. It was the Canadian version of Arthur Treacher’s, Treacher being the sidekick of Mike Douglas. It was the best fish & chips until they stopped changing the oil. The original sign has been converted for Reaume’s. Between George and Tourangeau was the Golden Mile bowling alley, now the Golden Mile Plaza. You coul bowl 3 games and rent shoes for 50cents. They had a balcony if you just wanted to watch. There was a takeout on the George side and a barber shop added to the Tourangeau side where, when you got a haircut, all you heard was every ball and every pin hit. I see McGaffey Drugs is back in their original spot. When Jack opened, all he had was a water chilled Coke cooler. Across the street was the Do Drop Inn where the furniture store is and where you got the best potatoe wedges out of the back door in the alley. Where Giant Tiger is was a full size Loblaws managed by a Mr. Anderson until the plug was pulled. It turned into a Shoprite store which was like a Consumer’s Distributing until it burnt down and was rebuilt as Bargain Harald’s. The original Canadian Tire was at the s/e corner of Aubin where the city office was. CT then moved to the entire strip portion of Central Mall before Mr Sculley moved to Rivard. Thanks Duncan for sparking the memories.

  6. Can someone tell me the name of the bowling alley where the Croation Club is? It had 5 pin on one side and 10 pin on the other. It was run by a super nice european lady. I spotted 5 pin for her a few times. While on memory lane, there was an SW&A depot at Hickory where the MacDonalds is. A couple of blocks over was the Embassy Hotel at Alexis. Where Taco Bell is was a Sunoco and behind was a fishery with worker homes. The owners house is still there. The KFC at Bernard was a White Rose gass station owned by Bob Gammon who raced at Checker Flag. The original CIBC was on the s/w side at Pillette before building new at the n/e corner. The old one was Lichee Gardens for years before Hilda moved to Seminole. (never had a bad meal there). A1 furniture was at Norman and a Beaver gas station was at the car lot at Princess. A block over was the famous Hi Ho. After Jefferson, Tecumseh was 2 lane concrete to Lesperance. It was all farmland. The empty silo was there and is still in front of the Scotia bank. There was a ” Future sight of Ford Motor co.” that sat in the field where Rose city Ford sits. This sign was for Essex Eng. And Essex Aluminum. When Eastown plaza was built, the east end began to grow, especially with N&D and Woolco and the Beer Store. Windsor plating was polluting Little River and I always thought it was the smell of cinnamon baking at N&D. Further back where Home Depot is was Tecumseh Metal Products and at the s/e corner of Jefferson was Centrispray, now Venture, who put the first scrubbers on the stacks at Ford foundry. A few blocks west was the infamous Canada Tavern.

  7. Mark R, all I can say is WOW!

    Thanks for sharing your memories of this strip.

    The area doesn’t really seem to have an “identity” now, kinda like my section of Tecumseh Rd through South Walkerville, yet there are lots of great places to shop and eat but no one notices as it is today treated as a thoroughfare not a destination. We still stop in at The Leaf but miss the old “diner” style Maple Leaf, though the menu hasn’t changed too much. I had no idea there was a Consumers Distributing in that stretch.

  8. Yeah, I thought the n/e corner at Central was always the Firestone?

    I remember when the Red Barn on Tecumseh east of Lauzon Parkway was a Mr. Sub. Maybe it’s because I was a kid but the inside seemed huge for what was a simple sandwich shop. I also remember when the area to the west was farm land owned by the St. Louis(?) family and the Windsor Police precinct was next to the McDonalds.

  9. On the Southwest corner of E Twelve Mile Rd and Dequindre Rd there is and old Red Barn building, re-purposed of course, still in use. You can see the distinctive roof.

  10. The Papa Peppino’s sign at the top of the page jogs my memory. I remember having a good view of it looking west from my aunt’s house in the 2000 block of Westminster. Good work by Mark R. to remember so many things accurately. We lived on Chandler in the 60’s, and I recall very clearly, the Red Barn at Tecumseh/Central, and the A&W on Central, behind the Shell station. There was a Peerless Ice Cream store somewhere along the south side of Tecumseh Rd., and I’m a little vague on the precise location, but I seem to think it was in the Leonard/Tourangeau/George area. I remember my mother parking on a side street, and walking from there to Peerless. She always parked facing the side of a building with “Don’s Meat Market” painted on it, and in my young mind, I thought she was getting the ice cream at Don’s. This was mid to late 60’s (the days when, weather permitting, you could actually leave your kids in the car, and nothing happened) I also remember a little gravel loop off the south side of Tecumseh Rd., just east of Jefferson where the SW&A bus would turn around and head back west, then the loop disappeared when Dingwall Ford (now Rose City) went up. Across the road was Ajax Lumber, which I believe was still in operation up to a few years ago.

  11. John L., I think being able to leave kids in the car might have had more to do with people feeling safer, and leaving the windows down. And probably just quick trips. And it was more than a few years ago that Ajax Lumber, became The Floor Store. It has to be at least 15 years, I thinking. Probably more.

  12. Ajax Lumber downsized, and the floor store took over the front building, and a lumber transfer company took over the yard east of CN rail tracks.
    Ajax moved into smaller store on west side of CN tracks, and lasted there for quite a few years. I think they lasted to at least 2006, and celebrated their 50th anniversary then.

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