Pros and Cons of Living in Windsor, Ontario

There are hundreds of cities across Canada, each unique in their culture, landscape, and atmosphere, and each with their pros and cons. Living in a city isn’t always the first choice for a lot of people, but for every part of a city-life that someone may not enjoy, you can be sure to find ten other parts that can be a benefit to you. So, if you are contemplating if a city is going to be the best option for you, in particular the city of Windsor, Ontario, then read on as we explore in-depth the pros and cons you can expect to come across living there.

Pros of Living in Windsor, Ontario

1. The Best of Both Worlds

If you live in the center of Windsor, you can drive to Detroit in less than ten minutes. The closeness of such a city means that in Windsor you get to experience both the culture of Canada and America. There is a great influence from the US in the area, with American sports and food being popular on the Canadian side. This is a great advantage as you end up feeling part of two places equally, and you get twice the amount of choice with everything. You can pick and choose which parts of either country you like and can have it all.

Being only a short drive (or bus ride) away from Detroit means you also get the experience of two cities being right next to each other. Pop over into Detroit and visit their museums, their restaurants, watch their music concerts and visit their sports grounds whenever you want a change to the city stuff you can find in Windsor. Overall, it is definitely a positive to live not only so close to another metropolis but to a whole different country.

2. Easy Travel

Windsor has its own airport (Windsor International Airport), and wherever you are in the city, you a never more than a short drive away from access to a whole heap of destinations. Since the airport is on the smaller sid most of the flights are domestic ones covering other parts of Ontario and Quebec, however, during the high season, the destination list is expanded to include routes to Calgary, Florida (USA), and part of the Caribbean.

If you want to be able to travel further afield and have more choice then you are in luck once again, as 25 miles across the border is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport which will open your options up to hundreds of destinations all over North America and the rest of the world. You can leave your home in Windsor and be sitting in an airport bar sipping a cocktail in only a couple of hours.

Additionally, if you don’t want to travel over the border, there are shuttle buses from Windsor that can take you to airports in London, Hamilton, or Toronto. You are absolutely surrounded by options when it comes to flights, and for anyone who loves to travel, it really couldn’t be easier or more convenient living in this city.

3. Good entertainment options for a small city

Windsor is full of things to do, sure, most of it may be aimed at tourists but there is nothing from stopping you enjoying every part of this city as the tourists do. Some examples of the things to do include; visiting Little Italy, Caesars Windsor (casino and night club hotspot), the Art Gallery of Windsor, Ojibway Park, the Adventure Bay Water Park, the Capitol Theatre (a building that hosts dance performances, live music, and orchestras), Coventry Gardens, Windsor Light Music Theatre, the Hiram Walker Distillery. Of course, the city does not have a ton of things to do like cities like Toronto but at least has a few good options.

There is also a large amount of diversity in the city meaning you can experience food and take part in events from cultures around the world that you might otherwise never get to take part in.

Every summer there are always a number of festivals that pop up around the city, most notably the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival which takes place over several days at the end of June and celebrates both Canada Day (July 1st) and the fourth of July. This joint party has become one of the biggest events of the year, and the firework display that closes the festival is talked about all year round. Windsor is a lively and fun city and you will never be far from something to do or see, this is certainly not a place where you can feel bored.

4. Affordable Cost of Living

Living in a city doesn’t automatically mean that your life will instantly become overwhelmingly expensive. As far as cities go, Windsor is on the cheaper side, and definitely a place where you can get by even on a standard salary. In fact, it ranks fairly low on the Cost of Living Index, and as of 2020 has an index number of 63.44, which compared to the city of Toronto, for example, that has a cost of living index of 72.14, the difference is quite big. Overall, the cost of living is much more affordable than most other cities in Canada and includes all expenses such as rent, utilities, food, and transport. You can see a detailed break down of the cost of living in Windsor here – https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Windsor

Cons of Living in Windsor, Ontario

1. The Job Market

Of course, having a job or being able to find a job can be the deciding factor for many people when they are looking to move. Well, the job market in Windsor isn’t the best but it isn’t all bad news.

First, let’s start with the not so good news – the unemployment rate in the city is the highest in the province and consistently one of the highest in the country, despite the city constantly working on creating more job opportunities, they just can’t keep up with the number of people who are looking for a job. You see, the province of Ontario as a whole is seen as a great place of opportunity when it comes to looking for work, and while that isn’t completely false, too many people have the same idea to move there and find work which then results in too many people and not enough jobs. So, the positive reputation of the province has actually resulted in its struggle to provide enough jobs or those who are wanting them. This isn’t to say you won’t find a job, there are jobs available, and the city does work hard to fix this problem every year, but just don’t expect to find your dream job straight away. If you are happy to take any job because you want to work and need to pay the bills, then you will find it a lot easier to have employment.

Now for the better news – being so close to the border means that the job market opens up to you a significant amount. You can look for jobs not only in Windsor but also in Detroit or other parts of Michigan. You are not tied down to looking only in your area, there is a whole other job market across the bridge that you can tap into and effectively gives you twice the amount of opportunity to find the job you are hoping for.

2. The Weather

For the most part, the weather in Windsor is pretty standard, and nowhere near as extreme as in a lot of Canada. The winters are cold, and the summers are hot, you will get to experience Spring and Autumn as separate seasons, and in general, the weather is far more normal and predictable here than in other places. However, there is one catch; the tornadoes. The city of Windsor is hit by more tornadoes than any other part of the country, in fact, the area between Windsor and Barrie is referred to as Tornado Alley.

Most of the tornadoes are fairly tame and become something for people to talk about rather than worry about, but every now and then Windsor is hit by a tornado big enough to do some serious damage. Along with the tornadoes, the bad weather that accompanies them can also lead to flooding that has been known to spread out throughout the whole city. It is strange that a place with weather that is normally very run of the mill can experience phenomena so destructive, but it is definitely something to keep in mind even if the events are not too frequent.

Conclusion

Like all cities, Windsor has its ups and downs, but Windsor is definitely the kind of place that even people who are not sure about cities will fall in love with. The city vibes combined with the diverse and upbeat community spirit makes it easy for anyone to settle into and feel at home straight away. Even during those times where you need to be as far away from the city as possible, you are only ever a short drive from an airport, and a few hours away from the beach of your choice. Windsor has so much to offer and is waiting to welcome anyone who is thinking of living there!

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Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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