Founded following the American Revolution, the settlement of Sandwich is located on Windsor’s Westside and is home to some of the oldest buildings in the City. Sandwich was first inhabited by members of First Nations and was primarily an agricultural settlement following European settlement.
The oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Canada west of Montreal, Sandwich was first name Petite Cote – Little Coast – referring to the fact that the coastline on the Detroit side of the river is longer.
Sandwich played a key role during the War of 1812, and the entire region was home to the Battle of Windsor during the Upper Canada Rebellion. In 1935, the City of Windsor was incorporated and Sandwich was amalgamated into the larger entity.
The Dominion House: While the original Dominion House was burned down in 1879, the building was rebuilt and is one of the oldest remaining continuously run taverns in Windsor/Essex, and one of the oldest in all of Ontario. Having served as a inn for patrons travelling between Windsor and Amherstburg via stagecoach, the DH today -as it is referred to by residents and University students alike – serves the community of Sandwich as a ‘local watering hole’.
The Stumble Inn: Located on the corner of Mill St. and Sandwich, The Stumble is housed in a building that has seen numerous bars and restaurants throughout the times. Situated across the street from the Sandwich post office, The Stumble Inn is located directly in the core of Sandwich and offers alcoholic drinks, food and karaoke to patrons.
Rock Bottom: Situated at 3236 Sandwich St., Rock Bottom acts as a bookend on Sandwich street. The restaurant and bar is regularly attended by residents and University of Windsor students. As the building features an upstairs and downstairs bar, it is a frequent spot for large groups to congregate at in the area of Sandwich.
Mackenzie Hall: One of the most historic buildings in Windsor, Mackenzie Hall serves as a “living link between our colourful legal past and artistic present” according to the City of Windsor website. The building was initially a courthouse and gaol for the region, but today serves as a cultural centre and provides performing arts space, a theatre, art gallery, meeting space, and a ballroom for private rentals and special events. Built of limestone in a classic revival style, the facility is managed by the Recreation and Culture Department of the City of Windsor.
Duff-Baby House: Built sometime between 1792 and 1798, the Duff Baby House is aptly considered to be the oldest building in Windsor. Originally serving as a fur trade post that was built by Alexander Duff, the building was bought by James Baby and was subsequently used as the headquarters of U.S. General Harrison until the War of 1812 when it was overtaken by the British. One of the oldest and best-preserved Georgian-style houses in Ontario, the building today is owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust and serves as government offices.
Sandwich Post Office: Built in 1907 on the corner of Mill and Sandwich, the Sandwich post office is one of the oldest remaining original post offices in all of Canada. While today the post office is threatened to be closed as Canada Post has entered a 30-day consultation period with the public regarding its closure, the facility has served the community for over 100 years and is a cornerstone of the Sandwich area.
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.