Tag Archives: Detroit River

Ontario: Hanging along the Windsor Riverwalk.

Recently I was passing through Windsor, Ontario, Canada and I decided to checkout a different part of their Riverwalk (riverfront) then I had seen before. The Riverwalk sits along the Detroit River with the skyline and city of Detroit opposite, not to mention a different country, the United States.

On this day I stopped at the part of the five kilometer park near Walkerville. Many scenic and romantic park benches along with two city skyline views and a bike path going in-between. What can beat sitting on a park bench in one country, looking at the beauty of another?!

Windsor Riverwalk, Detroit river, skyline

Windsor Riverwalk, Detroit river

Windsor Riverwalk, Detroit river, skyline

Windsor Riverwalk, Detroit river, skyline

Just hanging out on the open Riverfront Trail. 🙂

Windsor Riverwalk, Casino, park benches, bike path

Windsor Riverwalk, bike path, park benches

A little further down the riverwalk around Ouellette Avenue and the main drag of Windsor is Piazza Udine. You’ll find lots of greenery and gardens alongside the park benches and Riverfront Trail.

Windsor Riverwalk, gardens

Windsor Riverwalk, Detroit river, skyline

Windsor Riverwalk, gardens, Detroit river, skyline

Windsor Riverwalk, gardens

<Windsor Riverwalk, Detroit river, skyline

Windsor Riverwalk, Detroit river, skyline

It was fun-filled sunny afternoon hanging along the Windsor riverfront. You can check out my time at other parts of the Windsor riverfront in The hidden gem across the river. Windsor..

Ontario: A Canadian Club Whiskey Love Affair is Born.

Over time I’ve taken a liking to whiskey. Whether it be an Irish Whiskey at Buena Vista in San Francisco, a shot of Jamison at the local bar or grabbing a Jack and Coke or two before a flight, I enjoy the flavor, after taste and there is something relaxing about it.

I had the chance on a recent afternoon to visit a brand of whiskey with which I wasn’t that familiar, C. C. Canadian Club. I secured a free pass and toured one of the more well-known and historical makers of spirits and whiskey. Canadian Club headquarters and distillery are in Windsor (Walkerville), Ontario, Canada.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Each room we toured was full of so much history and the tour guide did a great job describing since the beginning everything that has made Canadian Club what it is today.

They were founded in 1858 by Hiram Walker. They produce whiskey for over 150 countries from all over the world, with different labels, styles of bottles, proof levels and drinks to fit the culture and rules of each. For example in Australia and New Zealand you can buy Canadian Club Dry pre-made, mixed with ginger ale or coca-cola in a four-pack.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

They had an enclosed display case with samples of the products they sell in various countries.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

The original Canadian Club bottle shown below is displayed in Hiram’s original office. Originally called Club Whiskey, it became wildly popular in the United States and started to hinder state-wide sales. As a result, as legend says, in the late 1800’s the US government forced them and all to put the country of origin on their bottles, thus Canadian Club was born. The government thought this would hurt their popularity in the states, boy were they wrong!

Around the same time the town of Walkerville was founded by Hiram Walker. It was home to the workers of the distillery. The neighborhood has since been rolled into Windsor.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Prohibition hit the United States in 1920 and for thirteen years it was illegal to manufacture, sell or consume beveraged alcohol. This wasn’t the case in Canada. In the basement is a meeting room shown below where business is conducted quietly and privately. The speakeasy they call it. Canadian Club was the largest distiller and most popular brand at that time, thus gangsters conducted business in the speakeasy regularly.

Smuggling took place on the Great Lakes and the Detroit River. Numerous techniques were used to try to get across undetected. Driving across at night in the winter for instance. People dropped bottles in the river and later tried to retrieve them. Failed attempts resulted in bottles hitting the rivers floor. There are thought to be thousands of bottles at the bottom of the Detroit River today.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

A famous smuggler, Bill McCoy helped get Canadian Club into the states. There were lot’s of counterfeiters at that time. but Bill McCoy sold the real stuff. When customers were looking for the real stuff, the term “The Real McCoy” came about.

At the end of tour, was the part me and everyone else I’m sure was looking forward to, taste testing! We got four whiskey samples from left to right:

  • Canadian Club Premium – a smooth and light taste
  • Canadian Club Classic 12 yr – full and smooth
  • Canadian Club Sherry Cask – a rich, full and rounded taste
  • Canadian Club Dock #57 – a full, rounded and fruity taste. My favorite.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

In the backyard of the facility is a beautiful garden and the aforementioned Detroit River. A wedding was going on along the shoreline with the magnificent backdrop. I noticed that Hiram’s office was on the opposite side of the building from the river. I learned this was because he wanted to focus on the task at hand and not be distracted by scenery.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Great times at Canadian Club. Soon after the tour the whiskey and I ran into each other on an Amtrak train in the Midwest.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

…and at a local establishment.

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

If you’re in southwestern Ontario or the Detroit area and you love great history and whiskey, make sure you make the trek to Canadian Club headquarters and take the tour. Watch out other makers of whiskey, I think a love affair might be starting haha. 🙂

Canadian Club Whiskey, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Any memorable distillery or brewery tours you would recommend from your travels? What’s your favorite kind of whiskey and do you like it straight or in a mixed drink?

The hidden gem across the river. Windsor.

Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Spending a lot of time in Detroit and along the Detroit River over the years of course I’ve taken a glance at what’s on the other side, usually with curiosity. What’s so special about that you ask? When I’m looking over there I’m not looking at an extension of the city or suburbs or the same state or even the same country. I’m looking at Canada, specifically Windsor, Ontario. It’s pretty amazing to think that another country sits roughly a mile or so away from where you spend a lot of your time.

I’ve crossed the Ambassador Bridge going into Windsor a lot in the past, but it was just a means to get to other destinations: Toronto, Niagara Falls and New York mainly. It was time to explore the city, specifically the riverfront, that sits right on the other side.

With taking lots of photos in mind I had a goal once there, to get a look at Detroit and the area from different vantage points along the riverfront, highlighting all the great parks and gardens Windsor has to offer, while exploring some of the city itself.
Eve's Apple - Odette Sculpture Park - Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Odette Sculpture Park and Dieppe Gardens cover the goal and then some. At Odette Sculpture Park you get the museum feel, you’re in a park, your along the water, the weather is great, what could be better? The park contains sculptures from well known artists from all over the world. My favorite sculptures were the brontosaurus dinosaur, the family of elephants, Morning Flight (birds) and Eve’s Apple.
Dieppe Gardens - Detroit shot from Windsor, Ontario, Canada

I found the best, most unique and absolutely beautiful shots of the Detroit skyline at Dieppe Gardens. Besides the annuals, perennials and other flowers and plants, this garden contains memorials honoring those lost at war. It’s just another part of the Windsor riverfront where you will see people walking, taking photos, biking or just relaxing on the grass.

Of course when I was there, I grabbed some shots of Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino which dominates the skyline and took some photos of the old Boblo Island dock. The memories. I found a great place to grab a bite to eat as well, Papa Cheney’s Whiskey Well. The chili fries are unreal and the front of the bar is open to the outside so you can see the river and Detroit skyline almost in full no matter where you sit. Amazing.

Checkout all of my Detroit skyline photos and other Windsor shots from the riverfront. It might not be another country, but you never know what hidden gems lie right by where you always spend your time. Will definitely be checking out more of downtown Windsor next time.