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Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island, ON Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 19
Total Sleeping Rooms 890
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 304
Committable Meeting Rooms* 9
Largest Exhibit Space 40,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 25,918 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate CAD $175
Average Daily Meal Cost CAD $130
Average Weekly Car Rental CAD $325
*Maximum for a single hotel

Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island, ON Meeting Planning Overview

Located on a peninsula bordered by Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, the lively city of Windsor, ON, is located just across the border from Detroit; surprisingly, it sits south of many of its U.S. neighbors. Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island feature everything from quaint waterfront villages to a cosmopolitan downtown. Full of arts, culture, heritage attractions and a variety of outdoor recreation, Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island is known as one of the best party spots in southern Ontario, making meeting venues appealing for all.

Windsor's border location makes it extremely accessible. While Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) is the closest international airport and has more flights, Downtown Windsor is also just minutes from Windsor International Airport, the only Ontario transshipment port for cargo. Windsor International provides connecting service to domestic, U.S. and international destinations, as well as daily service between Windsor and nearby Pelee Island. The Transit Windsor bus system provides direct access to Windsor International Airport and even cross-border service to Detroit. The bus system also provides direct access to two of the city's largest and most popular meeting and event facilities, Caesars Windsor and the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts.

Caesars Windsor is Canada's largest internationally branded casino and entertainment venue, as well as the region's most popular attraction. Located in downtown Windsor, the facility features more than 100,000 square feet of meeting, exhibition and banquet space, spanning two levels, that includes seven meeting rooms, a 40,000-square-foot exhibition hall and 25,918-square-foot ballroom. Additional meeting and event amenities include a 5,000-seat theater, full catering and audio-visual services and a full-service business center. Casino and hotel amenities include 758 guest rooms, six on-site restaurants, spa, 10,000-square-foot pool and more than 100,000 square feet of gaming.

Also located in downtown Windsor, the full-service St. Clair College Centre for the Arts features 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space throughout four levels. The waterfront facility's meeting spaces include 25 meeting rooms, the rooftop Riverview Terrace, nine spacious breakout rooms, the 1,200-seat Chrysler Theatre and luxurious 13,000-square-foot ballroom, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Detroit skyline. The center is connected via climate-controlled walkway to the 500-room Hilton Windsor.

Other regional and unusual venues include the Pelee Island Winery, located within the most unique natural habitat in Canada, which features interactive tours and tastings, as well as private group events. Also celebrating the region's varied natural habitat, Point Pelee National Park welcomes guests to explore its marsh and woodland habitats and view its springtime migrating songbirds and autumn Monarch butterflies. Groups of up to 100 can gather in the park's fully enclosed picnic area, as well as walk the Boardwalk Trail, which loops out into a sea of cattails, and take in the view from the marsh observation tower. The John R. Park Homestead takes visitors back in time to the 1850s through its series of restored house and farm buildings, including an 1860s barn available for private events. Groups may also hold events throughout the homestead's expansive grounds along the shore of Lake Erie.

About Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island, ON / Additional Info

Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island is one of Ontario's most beloved destinations, known for its rich heritage, variety of attractions, remarkable natural beauty and exciting nightlife. This region has played a role in much of Canadian and American history: It was the birthplace of Canada's automobile history; an influence in Prohibition and birthplace of Canadian Club whisky; an Underground Railroad terminal and part of the revolution to abolish slavery; and a witness to the formation of the modern-day labor movement. This region's unique heritage is reflected in its ethnic diversity, including that of French Canada, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as its global dining options, historical attractions and overall melting pot of activities and things to do.

Popular attractions include the celebrated Canadian Club Brand Centre, which takes visitors on a guided tour and whisky tasting. During the tour, visitors can learn about the company's role in quenching the thirst of many during the 13 years of Prohibition, as well as tour the Speak Easy room where Al Capone and The Purple Gang would hold regular meetings. The Canadian Club Brand Centre is one stop on the Rum Runners Tour, a comical yet educational bus tour led by costumed actors. During the tour, visitors are taken back in time to the 1920s and can view bootlegger hideouts, have lunch at a famous speakeasy and even visit mansions built with rum-running profits.

For a step further back in time, visitors frequent the Fort Malden National Historic Site, which has been an army garrison, British Indian Department post, dockyard for the Upper Great Lakes, and a meeting place for Chief Tecumseh and British General Brock. Today, the site preserves the elements of the second fort built by the British to defend the Canadian border from American attack during the first half of the 19th century. Visitors can enjoy a hands-on experience of military life, including live musket demonstrations and barracks tours.

In addition to celebrating its historical heritage, this region remains dedicated to its natural landscape and features more than 2,800 acres of green space throughout its 215 parks. The Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary celebrates the region's heritage and natural beauty, as well as commemorating Miner, who created the sanctuary in 1904 and shortly after introduced the practice of bird banding to trace the migratory periods of waterfowl. Today, visitors can picnic on the grounds and explore the more than 400 acres of natural landscape, hand-feed ducks and geese and view peacocks, exotic pheasants, wild turkeys and tundra swans, among other species.

This region's culinary scene mirrors the city's multi-culturalism, with restaurants specializing in pan-Asian, Italian, Lebanese and regional fare, just to name a few. Mazaar Restaurant serves traditional Lebanese cuisine and weekly belly dancing entertainment, while Chanoso's offers hundreds of stir-fry combinations and Asian-inspired shared plates. The casual waterfront eatery Lilly Kazzilly's Crab Shack & Grill specializes in seafood, while the warm, friendly Seasons Bistro highlights local ingredients in its seasonal selections. Finally, Neros Steakhouse at Caesars Windsor puts a modern twist on traditional steakhouse dining, as well as dazzling guests with an impressive atmosphere, right down to its centerpiece—a glass-enclosed wine cellar housing more than 1,000 bottles.

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