Amherstburg, Ontario is a small town with a big heart. This area is home to around 22,000 people, and is ideally located along the Detroit River in Essex County. We’ve been helping families get settled here for years, and we always love introducing new residents to the aspects of this delightful town that make it so special. Whether it’s the historic streets, the community festivals, or the variety of affordable housing with plenty of space to roam, there’s something to love around every corner.
Today, we’ll share some of the reasons why our Windsor real estate agents love Amherstburg, and why we feel so strongly about helping families settle there.
1. A Rich History
The town of Amherstburg has a rich history post-colonization. The first major event in the modern history of the area was in 1784, when the British fled there after being defeated in Detroit. In 1796, the British command established a defensive post called Fort Malden at the mouth of the Detroit River, near the area they had occupied which was originally called Fredericksburg. Once the fort was established the population grew, despite the area seeing frequent action during the War of 1812.
The area would later go on to serve as a fort of a different kind, when it was established as a critical stop on the Underground Railroad. Now, the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church stands as one of the most important buildings to the abolitionist movement, where former slaves were housed, clothed, and fed before beginning their new lives as free people in Canada. In 1999, it was established as the first National Historic Site in Canada dedicated to Black history.
2. Amazing Local Attractions
In addition to being able to see the historic sites of Fort Malden and the Amherstburg Freedom Museum (where the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church still stands), families can enjoy plenty of other local attractions focused on fun as well as history.
One of the most unique attractions in the area is Boblo Island (more formally known as Bois Blanc Island), which used to house a popular amusement park. Now the infrastructure of the park has been abandoned, and developers are building a resort community made up of homes and condos with incredible views over the Detroit River. The island is still accessible, with a beach and restaurant that are open to the public.
Many local families love to make outings to the Holiday Beach Conservation Area, where there are lots of trails for biking and bird-watching, and a wide boardwalk that crosses through the wetlands.
3. Great Support for Families
Amherstburg and the surrounding area is great for families with young children. There are four school boards to choose from- Greater Essex County District School Board (Public), Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board (Catholic), Conseil Scolaire Catholique Providence (French Catholic), and Conseil Scolaire Viamonde (French Public).
Most older children in this area move on to General Amherst High School, or they can opt to attend Sandwich Secondary School in nearby LaSalle or St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic Secondary School in River Canard, both of which are only 15 minutes away.
4. Fun Festivals and Events
There are lots of festivals and community events held in Amherstburg every year. From food-focused festivals like Beef in the Burg BBQ and the Ice Cream Festival to the Canada Day festivities that takes over the Navy Yard Park and Fort Malden every year, there’s something for everyone. Even pets can get in on the fun with their very own Woof-a-Roo Pet Festival!
Amherstburg also takes pride in its gardens and green space. The town has the largest collection of azaleas and rhododendrons in southern Ontario, and regularly publicizes their blossoming with bloom alerts available via the town’s Facebook page.
5. Job Opportunities
It isn’t all just fun and games in Amherstburg. Many people move into the area looking for work, and are eager to find a local employer to ensure a manageable commute. One of the area’s top employers includes Diageo, which runs a plant bottling Crown Royal whiskey. Many people are employed in manufacturing, as well as in skilled trades like construction.
One new field that’s opening up in Essex County is the winemaking trade. The area is quickly becoming Canada’s fastest up-and-coming wine region, and people who are able to perfect the skilled craft of viniculture have more opportunities here than ever.
6. Mild Weather
The weather in Amherstburg is much milder than the rest of Canada, with the winter average hovering around -5°C. In the summer, days can get warm, but the proximity to the Detroit River and Lake Erie means that there’s always somewhere you can go to cool off. White Sands beach is the nearest beach to downtown, but the beach along Bois Blanc Island and Colchester Beach are both popular with locals.
7. A Safe Community
Two years ago, Amherstburg was ranked as the 3rd safest place in Canada by Maclean’s. This is a resounding endorsement, supported by crime statistics that have held it solidly in the top 5 for the past decade. There was even a period of 5 years between 2010-2015 where Amherstburg sat in the #1 position. People of all ages feel safe in Amherstburg, and there’s a strong feeling of civic support that leads to productive cooperation within the community itself, and with local law enforcement.
Looking for a House for Sale in Amherstburg?
Amherstburg is just one of the many towns around Essex County that we represent. The Dan Gemus Real Estate team is deeply embedded in our communities, and we love to help our neighbours buy and sell their homes. Contact us today to learn more about why we love the Amherstburg area.