|Town of Amherstburg|
Sandwich St. at Richmond St
|• Mayor||Aldo DiCarlo|
|• MP||Tracey Ramsey (NDP)|
|• MPP||Taras Natyshak (NDP)|
|• Land||185.68 km2 (71.69 sq mi)|
|• Urban||15.57 km2 (6.01 sq mi)|
|• Town (lower-tier)||21,556|
|• Density||116.1/km2 (301/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||855.9/km2 (2,217/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||519 and 226|
Amherstburg (2011 population 21,556; UA population 13,330) is a town near the mouth of the Detroit River in Essex County, Ontario, Canada. In 1796, Fort Malden was established here, becoming the heart of the settlement. It has been designated as a National Historic Site.
The city is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan, facing Wyandotte, Grosse Ile Township, Brownstown Charter Township, and Gibraltar, Michigan. It is part of the Windsor census metropolitan area.
Across the Detroit River from what developed as the state of Michigan in the United States, the town was permanently established in 1796 as a British military fort. Fort Malden was occupied as a garrison. The town was developed by Loyalists who were granted land by the Crown in Ontario after the British lost the American Revolutionary War. They built many of their houses in the French style of a century before, giving the new town a historic character.
During the days of the Underground Railroad before the American Civil War, fugitive African-American slaves often crossed the river to escape to freedom in Canada, after slavery was abolished there. Detroit abolitionists William Lambert and George DeBaptiste were key and DeBaptiste owned a lake steamboat which was used to offload fugitives in town while docked ostensibly to load lumber They used Fort Malden as an entry point.
By 1869, the town of Amherstburg in the Township of Malden County Essex had a population of 2,500. Fort Malden was adapted for use as a Lunatic Asylum. Its main building was later used as a Port of Entry Money Order office and Post Office savings bank. Amherstburg was incorporated as a town in 1878.
Schools in Amherstburg include: General Amherst High School, Amherstburg Public Elementary School, Anderdon Public Elementary School, Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School, École St-Jean-Baptiste Catholic French Elementary School, St Joseph Catholic Elementary School, Malden Central Public School and St Peter's ACHS College 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-speaking students in Amherstburg may also attend École Secondaire E.J. Lajeunesse, located in Windsor, Ontario.
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 Reynolds, a landscape painter and her brother Robert Reynolds. 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.
The Gibson Gallery is located in 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 operated as a railway museum. The restored Gordon House is another historic attraction of Amherstburg. Built as a residence in 1798 overlooking the Detroit River, it now houses a Marine exhibit.
The 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 a premiere spot to view the fall migration of raptors (birds of prey). A 'Festival of Hawks' event takes place in September.
Texas Road is a street popularly associated with paranormal sightings and ghostly experiences. This stretch of road passes through a gully and it has been rumored that a man once murdered another there. Since this time people have reported strange disturbances such as car ignitions failing and paranormal light shows.
Amherstburg is a city of trade for regional agriculture. It has also 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 and second homes.
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
The production at the Honeywell plant of hydrofluoric acid (HF) was suspended in October 2013 in favour of a plant in Geismar, Louisiana. The Honeywell plant is used in the production of fuels, refrigerants and other materials. 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, in 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. 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.
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. 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. The site has been since April 2012 the subject of remediation work, supervised by CH2M Hill.
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.
Between Amherstburg and Windsor (the nearest local metropolis), there is 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.
Amherstburg Ferry Company operates private ferry service to Bob-Lo Island community. The ferry service once operated MS Windmill Point, a car ferry acquired in 1960s after the Ogdensburg–Prescott Ferry service closed following the opening of the Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge.
Amherstburg is home to the following competitive sports teams:
- Amherstburg Admirals Jr. C Hockey
- Amherstburg Stars Minor Hockey
- Amherstburg Cardinals Baseball
- Amherstburg Timberwolves Football
- General Amherst High School Bulldogs (various Men's and Women's sports teams)
In the first week of every August, Amherstburg holds a heritage festival, consisting of activities at several locations around town. At Fort Malden, re-enactors depict eras ranging from the Roman Empire to the Second World War, establishing camps and performing 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)
- Spring Wine N' Hop (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/Ice Cream Festival (July 1)
- Mardi Gras Street Party (July)
- Gone Crazy Car Show (July)
- Ribfest (July)
- Woofa Roo Pet Festival (August)
- Shores of Erie International Wine Festival (September)
- Cancer Walk-a-thon (October)
- Pumpkinville (October)
- Christmas Parade (Late November)
- River Lights (November and December)
- Amherstburg Christmas Pub Crawl (December)
|Climate data for Amherstburg (1981−2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.0
|Average high °C (°F)||0.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−28
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66.2
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||40.0
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||26.2
|Average 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|
|Average 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|
|Average 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|
|Canada census – Amherstburg community profile|
|Population:||21,556 (-0.9% from 2006)||21,748 (6.9% from 2001)||20,339 (5.5% from 1996)|
|Land area:||185.68 km2 (71.69 sq mi)||185.65 km2 (71.68 sq mi)||185.67 km2 (71.69 sq mi)|
|Population density:||116.1/km2 (301/sq mi)||117.1/km2 (303/sq mi)||109.5/km2 (284/sq mi)|
|Median age:||42.2 (M: 41.6, F: 42.8)||38.6 (M: 38.1, F: 39.1)||36.6 (M: 35.8, F: 37.2)|
|Total private dwellings:||8600||8346||7667|
|Median household income:||$73,653||$65,594|
|References: 2011 2006 2001|
- 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|
|Visible minority group
|Visible minority, n.i.e.||15||0.1%|
|Multiple visible minority||15||0.1%|
|Total visible minority population||725||3.4%|
|Multiple Aboriginal identity||0||0%|
|Total Aboriginal population||410||1.9%|
- Sally Ainse - Oneida diplomat and fur trader
- Shelton Brooks - songwriter/composer
- Seth Bullock - Wild West sheriff, hardware store owner and U.S. Marshal (popularized in the TV series Deadwood)
- Robert T. Burton - Early Mormon leader and Utah pioneer, born in Amherstburg
- Norman H. Hackett - Actor, born in Amherstburg
- Malcolm Knight - Economist and financier
- Richard Peddie - Former President and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment
- Kevin Westgarth - Stanley Cup Champion and current Calgary Flame
- Eugene Whelan - Born in Anderdon Township, politician, Minister of Agriculture
- "Amherstburg census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Amherstburg (Population Centre) census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Tobin, Jacqueline L. From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad. Anchor, 2008. p200-209
- The Province of Ontario Gazetteer and Directory. H. McEvoy, Editor and Compiler, Toronto : Robertson & Cook, Publishers, 1869
- ""Bellevue" 1816". OntarioPlaques.com. September 2004. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
- "The Gibson Gallery". WorldWeb.com. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
- "Amherstburg Historic Sites & Interpretive Centres". WorldWeb.com. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
- Colombo, John Robert (May 1, 1999). Mysteries of Ontario (1st ed.). Ontario: Dundurn. ISBN 0888822057.
- cbc.ca: "Honeywell suspends Amherstburg operations, lays off 75," 21 Oct 2013
- windsorstar.ca: "Honeywell suspends operations in Amherstburg," 21 Oct 2013 Archived May 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- areadevelopment.com: "Honeywell Plans $208 Million Expansion At Its Four Louisiana Production Plants," 15 Jul 2013
- rivertowntimes.com: "Honeywell suspending HF production, laying off 75 employees" 23 Oct 2013
- canada.com: "Amherstburg arsenic levels shrinking, residents told" 21 Feb 2008[permanent dead link]
- Daily Commercial News: "Amherstburg, Ontario chemical plant set to come down piece by piece," 26 Apr 2012 Archived May 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Remediation of Amherstburg’s former General Chemical plant on schedule" 29 Apr 2013 Archived May 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Amherstburg". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
- "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
- Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census
- , Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
- , Aboriginal Population Profile from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
- Town of Amherstburg Official Website
- Black Historical Museum Official Website
- Gibson Gallery Official Website
- Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce Official Website
- Shop Amherstburg web directory (Chamber of Commerce initiative)
||Wyandotte / Detroit River||LaSalle||Tecumseh|
|Grosse Ile Township / Detroit River||Essex|
|Brownstown Charter Township / Detroit River||Lake Erie