Summer in the City: Mid-20th Century


Ouellette Avenue, looking north towards Detroit near Park Street, early 1960s. (courtesy Tim Baxter)

* Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty

So go downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown…

Are you pining for the good ole days when the streets of downtown Windsor were alive with people bustling between all those wonderful department stores, jewelry shops, fur boutiques and movie houses? Well, you can still go back to those heady days by rifling through the pages of our latest book, “500 Ways You Know You’re From Windsor”.

In the featured photo above, you can see once familiar landmarks including Birks Jewellers, the George Wilkinson ad and a billboard welcoming U.S. travellers to our city as they exited from the Detroit/Windsor tunnel.

“I recall going downtown on the Eire bus for seven cents and hanging around in Smith’s and the Metropolitan Store,” said local radio personality Wayne Stevens. “It was a maturing thing to go by yourself those Saturdays to the Palace or Vanity to see a movie, a cartoon and then another movie – all for a quarter!”

In 1954, Windsor celebrated its 100th anniversary. This giant cake stood on Ouellette Avenue south of Park Street above the Tourist Information Centre. (courtesy Andrew Foot)

Above is another photo featured in the book. I wonder what happened to that cake? (Hey, I just noticed that the guy in the foreground looks like my dad!)

We sold out of the second edition of this book in early 2017, which brought us to 10,000 sold – a double best seller in Canada! Woot! Woot! We recently financed our third print run (we’ve financed almost all our local history books ourselves) so if you are looking for copies, they can be found at Chapters, Devonshire Mall, Coles Books in Tecumseh Mall, Indigo Book in Lakeshore, Juniper Books (Ottawa Street between Kildare and Argyle), Biblioasis (Wyandotte E. at Gladstone) and other locations. For our full retail list, check our website: walkerville.com

You can also purchase directly from us! We’d be happy to sign them for you.
Call us at 519-255-9527 to set up a time to come by our publishing house (it’s literally a house 🙂 in Walkerville or email sales@walkerville.com

* words from “Downtown” by Petula Clark

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About Elaine Weeks

How history was taught in my day: memorize lots of boring dates and facts, watch corny old black & white history films. There was one bright spot, however. Grade 9 history at Walkerville Collegiate with Miss Falls (Georgina) when she taught a section on local history and took us on a field trip to explore some of Windsor's built heritage. Due to a series of peculiar events, celebrating local history became part of my business. My company, Walkerville Publishing Inc., (partner is Chris Edwards) launched "The Walkerville Times" in 1999 and we produced 61 issues - the last in 2016. In 2004, we began producing local history books; that year we released "Best of The Times Magazine". Our current titles include 5000 Ways You Know You're From Detroit, 500 Ways You Know You're From Windsor, Walkerville - Whisky Town Extraordinaire, and Windsor Then - A Pictorial Essay of Windsor's Glorious Past. I also wrote a novel, Time Trespasser, that blends time travel with local history. I am working on a sequel. I am a writer, editor, blogger, photographer, mother, wife, sister, activist, traveller, gardener, knitter, glass is nearly full person.
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