The Oldest Operating Businesses in Windsor

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The Oldest Operating Businesses in Windsor

Almost every community is home to businesses that have been around forever and Windsor is no exception. Whether it’s excellent customer service, individuality, or dedication to helping Windsor thrive as a community, the following businesses have proven that they could stand the test of time.

Diane Shoes

Location: 1329 Ottawa St.

Since 1891, Diane Shoes has helped the countless soles of Windsor-Essex find the right fit. Under the name Weingardens – the owner’s last name – until 1926, Diane offered high-end footwear and was, for a time, one of four sister shops. During the early 2000s, the company underwent some product adjustments to accommodate shifting fashion trends. Since then it has focused on being a casual shoe store with dressy options and accessories. Thanks to its resilience and adaptability, Diane Shoes is sure to be around for a long time still.

The Dominion House

Location: 3140 Sandwich St.

As Windsor’s oldest, continuously run tavern, there’s a lot to appreciate about the Dominion House.

Built in the 1840s and made into a bar in 1869, the Dominion House was a local favourtie from the start. Unfortunately, the original building was destroyed in a fire in 1879, though it was rebuilt shortly after.  Thankfully, this structure has remained in-tact for over a century and has all kinds of historical knickknacks like prohibition-era tunnels.

Today, guests can enjoy the DH’s great food, drinks, and open mic nights.

Ford Motor Company

Location: 1000 Henry Ford Centre Dr. (Engine Plant)

Windsor wouldn’t be Windsor without its automotive history. It just so happened that the Ford Motor Company was the first of the Big Three to set up shop in the area, in 1904.

Founded by Gordon McGregor with the help of investors, the company was originally known as the Walkerville Wagon Works. McGregor saw gold in Ford’s inventions and knew the world couldn’t afford to go without them. And look where they are now!

Although Ford has undergone several changes over the years it still remains a strong force in Windsor, employing hundreds of people.

Blak’s Bakery

Location: 1022 Langlois Ave.

When Packzi Day rolls around, Blak’s Bakery is swarming with hungry customers. But this wouldn’t be the case if Blak’s didn’t gain the loyalty of Windsor-Essex baked good enthusiasts over the century of its existence. Yup, this local bakery opened in 1918 and has been serving up family bread, cake, and pastry recipes that truly can’t be matched. Part of their success lies in the use of an original brick hearth oven.

As a restaurant and store supplier, you might have already tasted the wonderful treats Blak’s has baked up. If not, we highly recommend stopping by!

Hiram Walker and Sons

Location: 2072 Riverside Dr. E.

Hiram Walker is one of the most renowned companies in Windsor-Essex.

Its illustrious history began in 1858, when grain merchant Hiram Walker opened the distillery and mill in the Walkerville area. He managed the company until his death in 1899. His son Edward succeeded him until he sold the company in 1926.

Today, Hiram Walker is an affiliate of Pernod Ricard and still provides Canada with some of the finest whisky on the market.





1 Comment

  1. Judy56 says:

    Very interesting – I did not know about Blak’s or Diane Shoes.

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