And once the weather broke…

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After the nasty blast of freezing air and heavy snow that befell us recently, it was great to see blue sky and good weather today. It was time to go on a tear.

I have never been to Windsor before: the furthest west I had ever gone in Southwest Ontario was to Kingsville, and that was almost 30 years ago! Today, I was determined to break through the psychological barrier, and, as a result, the above picture was taken on the Detroit River looking over to the Renaissance Center at 1pm. This was at the park around Riverside Drive and Ouellette Avenue.

Windsor is not a pretty place. The downtown is in even worse condition than Sudbury’s, and I thought that had been bad! Still, when I went westwards along Riverside under the Ambassador Bridge, it turns into Sandwich Street, and that neighbourhood is rather attractive. It must be due to the University of Windsor, which is right next to the Bridge. There’s even evidence still that streetcars once ran along that stretch, which I thought was fascinating.

I proceeded down to Lasalle, then over to Malden Road and back up to Highway 3. Afterwards, it was over to Kingsville, then to Leamington, and then up to the 401 and back home. All of the area is obviously dedicated to market gardening, with some very huge greenhouses being constructed there now.

It’s quite obvious that Essex County was first settled by the French. There’s lots of place names that are of French origin, and Google Earth reveals that the land along the Detroit River is arranged in the same manner (in narrow strips) as along the Saint Lawrence River, when the farmland is still present.

Detroit’s influence is quite obvious here. The strongest radio signals are from that side of the river, and they can be picked up to the east as far as Elgin County before breaking up. The nicest one I picked up was WRCJ at 90.9, which is the classical/jazz public radio station whose license is held by the Detroit Public Schools. It’s nice to know that did not go up in smoke when the city declared bankruptcy not that long ago. I found out afterwards that they have a great app for Android, and I’m listening to their night-time jazz program now.

Maybe next time, I’ll dare to cross the border, but I’ll wait until the exchange rate swings back to a more realistic level!

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