A museum of walls, and a museum without walls.
Windsor takes its art seriously and uniquely. It’s impossible to walk around downtown or along the riverside without one’s eye being caught by a mural, a sculpture, or memorial to someone who touched this city in some way.
Many buildings got a fresh coat of imagination in 2013 through a partnership with Windsor and Free 4 All Walls that gathered 30 local and international artists including Daniel Bombardier, who told the Windsor Star at the time, “I find blank spaces dead and boring. These murals show that the city is alive.”
At the edge of downtown is a five-kilometre riverside walk I got to know well during my stays in Windsor. This is the museum without walls: 31 sculptures ranging from a giant hand to a crazily realistic elephant to awkward little penguins that Canada geese step gingerly around. There are dozens more sculptures around town, hidden in laneways and planted in the middle of parks. I photographed a few, but you can see them all (and better lit) by clicking here.
As if all that were not enough, there is more art to be had. Every green space and courtyard seems to boast a memorial to war veterans, a sculpture commemorating Windsor’s rich history or a monument urging peace and a brighter future.
Windsor is known for its auto industry and whiskey and the Detroit skyline, but its deep connection with its artists cannot be ignored.