Windsor's Canada Day Parade returns to downtown for 1st time since 2019

The Unity Flag, pictured during a Canada Day parade in Windsor in a 2015 file photo. (Maggie Durocher - image credit)
The Unity Flag, pictured during a Canada Day parade in Windsor in a 2015 file photo. (Maggie Durocher - image credit)

Several roads in Windsor's downtown core will be closed for a few hours on Monday when the city's Canada Day Parade passes through for the first time since 2019.

The theme of this year's festivities is "Canada Day in Downtown Windsor" to celebrate the parade's return to downtown. This year's parade is expected to feature at least 63 entries which will include floats as well as giant inflatables, marching bands and more.

The parade, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be staging between Giles and Wyandotte, so road access will be limited after 9 a.m.

The parade will get underway at the corner of Ouellette and Wyandotte before wrapping up at Riverside Drive at Caron Ave.

For the last four years, the parade route followed an east-to-west path along Wyandotte Street East, starting at Devonshire Road and ending at Aylmer Avenue.

"We're very excited to be back on the street," said Maggie Durocher.

Durocher is the executive director of Windsor Parade Corporation. She says bringing the parade back downtown is part of efforts to revitalize downtown.

"We'll let people see what truly can happen down there," Durocher said.

Durocher hinted that there will also be a pair of special guests she suspects kids will be very excited to see and potentially meet.

"They decided to pay us a special visit in the middle of the summer to check out this new parade route," Durocher said.

Prior to the parade, a fan zone with games, crafts will be set up on University Avenue — and that's where 3,000 free Canada Day cupcakes will be given out and you can pick up a small Canadian flag.

Durocher noted that there were several new entry applications for this year's parade including increased interest from multicultural communities and groups. She also noted that this year's parade will feature a lot of music — from marching bands in the procession to bands performing throughout the day as well as parade entrants who'll be playing music.

Downtown Windsor BIA executive director Debi Croucher announces the return of the Canada Day parade to downtown Windsor flanked by Paw Patrol and Sonic the Hedgehog who will be costumed characters in the parade.
Downtown Windsor BIA executive director Debi Croucher announces the return of the Canada Day parade to downtown Windsor flanked by Paw Patrol and Sonic the Hedgehog who will be costumed characters in the parade.

In a file photo from March, Downtown Windsor BIA executive director Debi Croucher announces the return of the Canada Day parade to downtown Windsor flanked by Paw Patrol and Sonic the Hedgehog who will be costumed characters in the parade. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Monday is also the Downtown Windsor Canada Day Arts Fair, which will take place on Pelissier Street between Wyandotte Street and Park Street West. Local vendors will sell and display unique items such as vintage clothing, home decor, collectibles, crafts and art pieces.

The Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association is using the parade as an opportunity to collect donations. The organization is urging residents to bring canned goods or monetary donations with them on Monday so volunteers pushing grocery carts can collect them.