Essex County, Ontario is the southernmost region of Canada with one of the longest growing seasons in the nation, unique outdoor activities and fascinating historic sites. The Lake Erie shore and Pelee Island viticulture areas offer 12 wineries as of 2020.
- 1 Essex — a good base for exploring Essex County's many wineries
- 2 Amherstburg — an agricultural sevice town with several historical sites
- 3 Leamington — the Tomato Capital of Canada, and jumping off point for Point Pelee National Park
- 4 Kingsville — see the transportation museum and the tropical gardens
- 5 Windsor — the largest city in the region, with an ethnically diverse population
- 1 Pelee Island — the southernmost inhabited place in Canada is a place of peace and relaxation for its many visit, especially migrating birds and butterflies
- 2 Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point in mainland Canada, with accessible boardwalks through the marshlands tghat are important habitats for migrating birds
Conservative Mennonites have resided in Essex County since 1786. They emigrated to Ontario (then known as Upper Canada) from the United States after the American Revolution in 1776. They came from Pennsylvania, home to Mennonite immigrants since 1683.
Essex and much of Ontario's Niagara Peninsula served as a terminus for a vast Underground Railroad which led fugitive slaves north across abolitionist states to Canada. Ohio in particular bordered both slavery in Kentucky and freedom across Lake Erie, placing its routes among the shortest and most popular paths to freedom.
Today, major industries range from agriculture (a former Heinz factory cans tomato juice in Leamington) to auto manufacturing (Chrysler operates both in Windsor and across the river in suburban Detroit). The region is one endpoint for the Windsor-Quebec corridor, one of the most populous regions in the nation.
There is a small airport in Windsor (Ontario).
- The Pelee Islander, ☏ . Daily trips to Sandusky and mainland Essex County. Service to Sandusky is limited to once daily during the summer months, and is further restricted during the spring and fall. Advance vehicle reservations.
- [dead link] The MV Jiimaan. The largest passenger ferry along the Lake Erie route to Pelee Island, to the foot of Jackson St., Sandusky, Ohio. From Leamington, Kingsville Govt. Dock, and Pelee Island.
There are inter-city and cross-border bus services to Windsor, but not to other centres in the region.
From the United States:
- Windsor-Detroit Tunnel. Take the tunnel. Between Detroit and Windsor connecting the US Interstates I-95, I-96 and I-75 to Ontario's Highway 401, it is one of the fastest routes between Ontario and the United States.
- Ambassador Bridge. The world's longest international suspension bridge.
- From the Toronto area, take Highway 401 westbound; all exits beyond Tilbury are in Essex County.
- It is possible to take a plane to Detroit from Toronto and drive from there.
- From Niagara and Buffalo, take the QEW up to Hamilton and merge onto Highway 403.
It is advisable to use cars, when possible. Public transit in Essex is non-existent except for in Windsor and Tecumseh (both have their own bus systems).
As the largest city, Windsor is the focus of the region's cultural life, with an art gallery, a science museum, a Serbian Heritage Museum, and several historic districts.
The Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum will appeal to those inte in old gas and steam-powered engines and antique tractors.
Amherstburg has several historic sites, including a War of 1812 fort, a military museum, a museum about enslaved Americans who found freedom at the end of the Underground Railroad, and an old navy yard.
Kingsville has a heritage village and transportation museum, and Colasanti's Tropical Gardens which exhibit tropical plants and animals.
- See also: Wine Regions of Ontario
Point Pelee National Park is one of Canada's smallest national parks, attracts approximately 300,000 human visitors each year, and hundreds of thousands of migrating birds of hundreds of species.
The Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary in Leamington is another good choice for birders.
Kingsville Folk Music Festival, in August, puts on world-class folk, acoustic and world music, with an emphasis on Canadian artists.
- [dead link] Capricorn Pottery, 559 County Rd. 20 West, Kingsville (2 minutes west of downtown Kingsville at County Rd. 20 west), ☏ . Capricorn Pottery, established in 1977, showcases the handcrafted stoneware and RAKU pottery works of potter Gloria Gellner. Adult and Children's pottery classes available on site. Always call ahead for daily studio hours.
- Devonshire Mall.
- Windsor Crossings Outlet Mall.