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 13 wineries and the Canadian Club distillery.
- 1 Pelee Island, a place of peace and relaxation.
- 2 Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point in Canada.
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.
- 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.
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).
- Art Gallery of Windsor.
- Colasanti's Tropical Gardens.
- Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum, Co-An Park, 11071 11th Concession, McGregor, ☏ . Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show, John Deere brand tractors and equipment, also includes a flea market, craft and food vendors, and a bake sale. Three-day event held the second weekend in August.
- Serbian Heritage Museum, 6770 Tecumseh Rd. E, Windsor, ☏ . M-F noon-4PM. Exhibits change every three to four months.
- Willistead Manor.
- Canadian Club Whisky Center, 2072 Riverside Drive East. Guided tours of Hiram Walker's 1894 Whisky Palace.
- Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary. Turn right at Wilkinson Road across from the old Leamington Arena.
- Kingsville Historical Park, ☏ .
- Point Pelee National Park of Canada One of Canada's smallest national parks, attracts approximately 300 000 visitors each year.
Wineries and tours
- Aleksander Estate Winery, 1542 County Rd 34, Ruthven, ☏ .
- Colio Estate Wines Inc. (Harrow, off Walker Road), ☏ (Winery), (Tours), fax: .
- Erie Shore Winery, 410 County Road 50 West, Harrow, ☏ . M-F 1PM-6PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM.
- Mastronardi Estate Winery, 1193 Concession 3, ☏ .
- Pelee Island Winery, 455 Seacliff Drive, Kingsville (County Road #20), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Tours noon, 2PM and 4PM daily (adults $5, seniors $4)
- Sanson Estate Winery, 9238 Walker Road, McGregor, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM.
- 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.