Amherstburg

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Amherstburg
Town
Sandwich St. at Richmond St
Sandwich St. at Richmond St
Official seal of Amherstburg
Seal
AmherstburgOntLocation.PNG
Coordinates: 42°06′N 83°05′W / 42.100°N 83.083°W / 42.100; -83.083Coordinates: 42°06′N 83°05′W / 42.100°N 83.083°W / 42.100; -83.083
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Essex
Government
 • Mayor Wayne Hurst
 • MP Jeff Watson (CONS)
 • MPP Taras Natyshak (NDP)
Area[1][2]
 • Land 185.68 km2 (71.69 sq mi)
 • Urban 15.57 km2 (6.01 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1][2]
 • Town 21,556
 • Density 116.1/km2 (301/sq mi)
 • Urban 13,330
 • Urban density 855.9/km2 (2,217/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal Code N9V
Area code(s) 519 and 226
Website www.amherstburg.ca
Dalhousie St. between Murray and Richmond Sts.

Amherstburg (2011 population 21,556; UA population 13,330) is a Canadian town near the mouth of the Detroit River in Essex County, Ontario. It is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan. It is part of the Windsor census metropolitan area.

History[edit]

Across the Detroit River from the United States, the town was permanently established as a British military fort in 1796. Fort Malden was occupied as a garrison. The town was developed by Loyalists, who were granted land in Ontario after the British lost the American Revolutionary War. Many of the houses are built in the French style of a century ago giving the town a very old fashioned appearance

During the days of the Underground Railroad before the American Civil War, fugitive African-American slaves often crossed the river to escape to freedom. They entered Canada at the town.

By 1869, the town of Amherstburg in the Township of Maiden County Essex had a population of 2,500. Fort Malden was converted into a Lunatic Asylum; This was a Port of Entry Money Order office and Post Office savings bank.[3]

Amherstburg was incorporated as a town in 1878.

Education[edit]

Schools in Amherstburg include: General Amherst High School, Amherstburg Public Elementary School, Anderdon Public Elementary School, St. Bernard Catholic Elementary School, Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School, Ecole St. Jean Baptiste Catholic French Elementary School, St Joseph Catholic Elementary School and Malden Central Public School.

The local public high school in Amherstburg is General Amherst High School, named after Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst. Although General Amherst High School is located within the town, some youth residents choose to attend Sandwich Secondary School or St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic Secondary School, located near the neighborhood of River Canard. French students in Amherstburg may also attend Ecole Secondaire E.J. Lajeunesse, located in Windsor, Ontario.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Amherstburg is home to several tourist attractions, including Fort Malden and the North American Black Historical Museum. An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected in Amherstburg by the province to commemorate Bellevue House's role in Ontario's heritage. Bellevue House (c. 1816-19) was the home of Catherine Reynold, a landscape painter and her brother Robert Reynolds.[4] Additional tourist activities include the Park House Museum and the charming King's Navy Yard Park, both of which are located in the heart of old Amherstburg.

An art and history fan would appreciate the charming Gibson Gallery. The Gallery building is a former Michigan Central Railroad Station (c. 1896) which has been fully restored to its original beauty. The gallery operates year-round, featuring exhibits by local artists, the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Windsor, traveling exhibits from Ontario museums and galleries and student art/photography exhibits. A restored Essex Terminal railway caboose is now a railway museum that represents the nostalgia of Amherstburg's railroad history.[5]

The restored Gordon House is another appreciated attraction of Amherstburg. It was built in 1798 overlooking the Detroit River, and houses a Marine exhibit.[6]

For the outdoors enthusiast, Holiday Beach Conservation Area is one of the best fall birding sites in North America. The 546-acre (2.21 km2) nature reserve contains over 2,000 feet (610 m) of beaches, picnic areas, a 2-kilometre (6,600 ft) trail along the edge of Big Creek Marsh. Holiday Beach is considered North America's premiere spot to view the fall migration of raptors (birds of prey). A 'Festival of Hawks' event takes place in September.

Economy[edit]

Amherstburg focuses on the agriculture industry, and has become known for several wineries in the area. Amherstburg Farmers' Market is open every Saturday, from 8:30am to 3:30pm. The Farmer's Market is located at the Malden Community and Cultural Center, 7860 County Road 20 at the end of Howard Avenue on County Rd 20.

Amherstburg has a high proportion of retirement residences.

Members of the Amherstburg industrial community include Diageo, a local whiskey distillery that produces the legendary Crown Royal Canadian whiskey, Windsor Mold's Precision Plastics, one of Ontario's largest full-service suppliers of industrial plastics and thermoplastic, and Honeywell Performance Materials and Technology. Marathon Oil has a coke storage site near the river.

Chemical plant history[edit]

The production at the Honeywell plant of hydrofluoric acid (HF) was suspended in October 2013 in favour of a plant in Geismar, Louisiana.[7][8][9] The Honeywell plant, which is used in the production of fuels, refrigerants and other materials,.[10] HF is a precursor to numerous pharmaceuticals as well as being used to produce Teflon, fluoropolymers and fluorocarbons. Because of its highly corrosive nature HF is also used to dissolve glass, glass etching and frosting, and is used in quartz purification, chemical milling, steel pickling and cleaning silicon wafers. It is produced by treating the mineral fluorite with sulfuric acid which produces hydrogen fluoride and calcium sulfate. The plant, which is located at 395 Front Rd, North, had previously suspended its operations between 1992 and 1996, so there is hope that production will resume at some future time.[8] The plant's gypsum pond had been identified in 2008 as the source of high levels of arsenic pollution in the area, which were a provincial Ministry of the Environment concern since 2006.[11]

Honeywell now owns the adjacent Brunner Mond chemical plant and soda ash settling basins site, whose former owners, General Chemical Industrial Products, had declared bankruptcy in 2005.[8][12][13] This site was used since 1920 to manufacture calcium chloride and other chemicals, which were shipped from a deep water port on the Detroit river.[12] The site has been since April 2012 the subject of remediation work, supervised by CH2M Hill.[12]

The plant was once part of Allied Chemical, which retained it when it sold the soda ash and calcium chloride operations and Amherst Quarries to General Chemical. The plant is composed of three separate parcels connected through rights of way and easements. In 1999, Allied Signal merged with the much smaller Honeywell Inc. but chose to carry on the newly expanded corporation under the Honeywell name.

Transportation[edit]

Between Amherstburg and Windsor (the nearest local metropolis) there exists no regularly scheduled bus line. Amherstburg Taxi and South Shore Taxi occasionally operate a "shared ride service" from Amherstburg to the Devonshire Mall in Windsor.

Commercial rail service is provided through Essex Terminal Railway, which operates a 35 km line to Windsor.

Small boats are welcome to call at any one of three local marinas that service Lake Erie and the Detroit River.

Sports[edit]

Amherstburg is home to the following competitive sports teams:

The Amherstburg Stars Midget "A" hockey team were winners of the 2010 and 2011 OMHA playdowns and winners of the town's first ever OHF title.

Festivals[edit]

In the first week of every August Amherstburg holds a heritage festival consisting of activities at several locations around town. At Fort Malden, for example, they hold a military time-line event where re-enactors depicting eras ranging from the Roman Empire to the Second World War establish camp and perform battle demonstrations.

Since 2006, Amherstburg has held an annual Shores of Erie Wine Festival. Each September, the four day Wine Festival features food, dancing, live entertainment, and wine tasting.

Amherstburg also celebrates Canada Day with a yearly fireworks display and day of family activities.

Art by the River (established in 1967), is an annual two-day arts and craft festival that takes place the weekend before Labour Day weekend on the grounds of the Fort Malden National Historic Site.

Other festivities include:

  • Annual Carnival (May)
  • Beef In the Burg Barbecue (June)
  • Firefighters "J Wimpy" Volleyball Tournament (June)
  • Verdi Club Festival (July)
  • Boblo International Jazz Festival (July)
  • Canada Day Celebrations (July 1)
  • Gone Crazy Car Show (July)
  • Ribfest (July)
  • Shores of Erie International Wine Festival (September)
  • Cancer Walk-a-thon (October)
  • Pumpkinville (October)
  • Christmas Parade (Late November)
  • River Lights (November thru December)
  • Amherstburg Christmas Pub Crawl (December)

Climate[edit]

Amherstburg is in a special warmer micro-climate due to its position in the Great Lakes. The city is situated on a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) according to the Köppen climate classification. The summer brings heat & humidity, sometimes cooled by the proximity of the Detroit river and Lake Erie to the South. Early spring to late summer is peak season for thunderstorms, some severe, usually bringing small to significant sized hail and strong winds. Isolated tornadoes are also possible, as they do occur in the region. The area is known for a long growing season by Canadian standards. Winter brings cool to cold conditions with rain & snow in the mix.

Climate data for Amherstburg (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
(59)
19.0
(66.2)
24.5
(76.1)
30.0
(86)
33.0
(91.4)
36.0
(96.8)
38.0
(100.4)
37.0
(98.6)
34.0
(93.2)
28.5
(83.3)
23.0
(73.4)
18.0
(64.4)
38.0
(100.4)
Average high °C (°F) 0.5
(32.9)
2.1
(35.8)
7.1
(44.8)
14.2
(57.6)
20.5
(68.9)
26.1
(79)
28.5
(83.3)
27.4
(81.3)
23.3
(73.9)
15.9
(60.6)
8.7
(47.7)
2.3
(36.1)
14.7
(58.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.0
(26.6)
−1.8
(28.8)
2.3
(36.1)
8.9
(48)
15.0
(59)
20.8
(69.4)
23.2
(73.8)
22.3
(72.1)
18.1
(64.6)
11.3
(52.3)
5.1
(41.2)
−1.0
(30.2)
10.1
(50.2)
Average low °C (°F) −6.5
(20.3)
−5.7
(21.7)
−2.4
(27.7)
3.5
(38.3)
9.4
(48.9)
15.4
(59.7)
17.9
(64.2)
17.3
(63.1)
12.9
(55.2)
6.6
(43.9)
1.3
(34.3)
−4.2
(24.4)
5.5
(41.9)
Record low °C (°F) −28
(−18)
−22.5
(−8.5)
−20.5
(−4.9)
−8
(18)
−2.0
(28.4)
5.0
(41)
8.0
(46.4)
8.0
(46.4)
1.0
(33.8)
−5
(23)
−10.5
(13.1)
−22.5
(−8.5)
−28
(−18)
Precipitation mm (inches) 66.2
(2.606)
54.9
(2.161)
62.5
(2.461)
89.4
(3.52)
96.8
(3.811)
79.6
(3.134)
81.2
(3.197)
81.9
(3.224)
85.6
(3.37)
74.2
(2.921)
71.1
(2.799)
62.7
(2.469)
906.0
(35.669)
Rainfall mm (inches) 40.0
(1.575)
38.1
(1.5)
46.7
(1.839)
86.1
(3.39)
96.8
(3.811)
79.6
(3.134)
81.2
(3.197)
81.9
(3.224)
85.6
(3.37)
73.8
(2.906)
68.1
(2.681)
44.9
(1.768)
822.7
(32.39)
Snowfall cm (inches) 26.2
(10.31)
16.7
(6.57)
15.9
(6.26)
3.3
(1.3)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.4
(0.16)
3.0
(1.18)
17.8
(7.01)
83.3
(32.8)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 12.0 9.1 11.7 13.6 12.8 10.1 10.5 10.0 9.2 10.4 11.8 12.4 133.5
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6.6 5.5 8.8 12.8 12.8 10.1 10.5 10.0 9.2 10.4 10.7 7.8 115.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 6.6 4.6 4.1 1.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.16 1.4 5.8 24.3
Source: Environment Canada[14]

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
Year Pop.   ±%  
1841 985 —    
1871 1,936 +96.5%
1881 2,672 +38.0%
1891 2,279 −14.7%
1901 2,222 −2.5%
1911 2,560 +15.2%
1921 2,769 +8.2%
1931 2,759 −0.4%
1941 2,853 +3.4%
1951 3,638 +27.5%
1961 4,452 +22.4%
1971 5,169 +16.1%
1981 5,685 +10.0%
1991 8,921 +56.9%
1996 19,273 +116.0%
2001 20,339 +5.5%
2006 21,748 +6.9%
2011 21,556 −0.9%

Population trend:[17]

  • Population in 2006: 21,748
  • Population in 2001: 20,339
    • Amherstburg (former town): 10,822
    • Anderdon (former township): 6331
    • Malden (former township): 3186
  • Population total in 1996: 19,273
    • Amherstburg (town): 10,245
    • Anderdon (township): 5730
    • Malden (township): 3298
  • Population total in 1991: 17,577
    • Amherstburg (town): 8921
    • Anderdon (township): 5502
    • Malden (township): 3155
Visible minority and Aboriginal population (Canada 2006 Census)
Population group Population  % of total population
White 20,465 94.7%
Visible minority group
Source:[18]
South Asian 25 0.1%
Chinese 45 0.2%
Black 400 1.9%
Filipino 60 0.3%
Latin American 15 0.1%
Arab 20 0.1%
Southeast Asian 65 0.3%
West Asian 15 0.1%
Korean 10 0%
Japanese 35 0.2%
Visible minority, n.i.e. 15 0.1%
Multiple visible minority 15 0.1%
Total visible minority population 725 3.4%
Aboriginal group
Source:[19]
First Nations 225 1%
Métis 185 0.9%
Inuit 0 0%
Aboriginal, n.i.e. 10 0%
Multiple Aboriginal identity 0 0%
Total Aboriginal population 410 1.9%
Total population 21,600 100%

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Amherstburg census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Amherstburg (Population Centre) census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  3. ^ The province of Ontario gazetteer and directory. H. McEvoy Editor and Compiler, Toronto : Robertson & Cook, Publishers, 1869
  4. ^ ""Bellevue" 1816". OntarioPlaques.com. September 2004. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  5. ^ "The Gibson Gallery". WorldWeb.com. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Amherstburg Historic Sites & Interpretive Centres". WorldWeb.com. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  7. ^ cbc.ca: "Honeywell suspends Amherstburg operations, lays off 75" 21 Oct 2013
  8. ^ a b c windsorstar.ca: "Honeywell suspends operations in Amherstburg" 21 Oct 2013
  9. ^ areadevelopment.com: "Honeywell Plans $208 Million Expansion At Its Four Louisiana Production Plants" 15 Jul 2013
  10. ^ rivertowntimes.com: "Honeywell suspending HF production, laying off 75 employees" 23 Oct 2013
  11. ^ canada.com: "Amherstburg arsenic levels shrinking, residents told" 21 Feb 2008
  12. ^ a b c Daily Commercial News: "Amherstburg, Ontario chemical plant set to come down piece by piece" 26 Apr 2012
  13. ^ "Remediation of Amherstburg’s former General Chemical plant on schedule" 29 Apr 2013
  14. ^ "Amherstburg". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved April 9, 2014. 
  15. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  16. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  17. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
  18. ^ [1], Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  19. ^ [2], Aboriginal Population Profile from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision

External links[edit]