The Metro: Celebrating Detroit’s relationship with Windsor on Canada Day

In honor of Canada Day, we were joined by several guests to discuss the history of the land as well as to celebrate the relationship between Detroit and Windsor.

A view of the Windsor, Ontario skyline.

A view of the Windsor, Ontario skyline.

July 1 marks Canada Day, and in honor of our northern neighbor’s national holiday, we had a Canada-packed episode of The Metro to discuss the history of the land as well as to celebrate the relationship between Detroit and Windsor .

Windsor is the auto capital of Canada and one of our largest trading partners, but we share a deeper connection than some may know. Canada’s southernmost city played a key role in several historical events like the Underground Railroad and Prohibition, serving as a key border crossing between the U.S. and Canada. 

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Lorene Bridgen-Lennie, assistant curator of the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, joined the show to discuss the legacies of Black Canadians and the allies who have fostered strong communities surrounding Windsor.  

“When freedom seekers were arriving in Canada,  it existed in a much different form than we think of it today,” Bridgen-Lennie said. “Back then it was kind of creating the foundation where you were teaching newcomers to this land, how to be activists.”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens also joined the show to share some insight about the relationship between Detroit and Windsor and his appreciation for the Motor City.

“Whenever we can get a spotlight on Detroit, it allows us to shine a spotlight on Windsor, and vice versa.” Dilkens said. “But there’s lots of reasons to celebrate Canada. And there’s lots of reasons to celebrate Detroit.”

Dilkens also shared some of the attractions Windsor has to offer, including their casinos, breweries and historical monuments. Windsor is also the home of Canadian Club Whiskey and the Hiram Walker & Sons Limited distillery  — one of the largest distilleries in North America. 

“It’s really a great place to come for a day trip or spend a weekend and, you know, shop and get more for your money in Canada.”

With the Gordie Howe International bridge near completion, there will soon be another link between the two countries to help enhance trade and travel. Craig Pearson, managing editor of the Windsor Star, joined the show to discuss Canadians’ reactions to the project.

Use the media player above to hear the full interviews with Bridgen-Lennie, Dilkens and Pearson.

More Canada Day headlines from The Metro on July 1, 2024:

  • Rukshini Ponniah-Goulin, executive director of the Downtown Mission in Windsor, and Downtown Windsor City Councillor Renaldo Agostino joined the show to talk about the work being done to grow downtown Windsor
  • Lionel Kernerman, manager of Destination Development at Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, joined the show to talk more about Windsor/Essex history and the region’s connection to Detroit.

Listen to The Metro weekdays from 11 a.m. to noon ET on 101.9 FM and streaming on-demand.

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