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Willistead Manor, Windsor

4.6
#12 of 65 in Things to do in Windsor
Willistead Manor is a historic house located in the former town of Walkerville, Ontario, now part of Windsor, Ontario. Willistead Manor was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn in the 16th-century Tudor-Jacobean style of an English manor house. It was built in 1904-1906, and was commissioned by Edward Chandler Walker, the second son of Hiram Walker. It is named after the first son, Willis Walker, a lawyer in Detroit, MI, who died young.Contrary to popular belief, Hiram Walker never lived in the home. One of the unique features of the mansion is that it contained only one bedroom. Edward and his wife never had any children, and the coach houses to the manor provided ample room for guests. After Edward passed on in 1915, Mrs. Walker did not care to keep living in the big home alone, and she deeded the house and grounds to the town of Walkerville. When Walkerville was amalgamated with Windsor in 1935, it obtained ownership of Willistead.In the years after its use as a residence, Willistead served as the Walkerville Town Hall, Art Gallery of Windsor and as a public library branch. In the late 1970s early 1980s the City of Windsor, afraid of the repairs and upkeep on the mansion, wanted to demolish the structure. Preservationists stepped in and the home was saved. Today the 36-room mansion is used as a banquet hall, and the three-acre (12,000 m²) grounds are incorporated in a larger public park. The house can be rented for occasions such as weddings, corporate meeting and private parties. The house is also decorated for the Christmas holiday by The Friends of Willistead and opened to the public.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
82 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • July 18, 2017
    The first weekend of June rain or shine is the famous Art in the Park. It lasts all weekend with something for everyone. My friend bought an up and coming new artist's picture about 10 years ago for a...  more »
  • July 17, 2017
    Our wedding was held in the Paul Martin gardens at Willistead manor. The willistead host Anne was wonderful and accomodating for guests and the bride and groom. It was an unforgettable site and fantas...  more »
  • June 20, 2017
    This is a nice historic home, but if you have visited The Edsel Ford Home or Meadowbrook in the Detroit area you may be disappointed. Unfortunately when Mrs Walker left the home in the early 20th Cent...  more »
Google
  • February 8, 2017
    In one word. Impressive. So beautiful and the grounds are well kept. All the houses and buildings surround the property are just gorgious. A fantastic area to visit and experience.
  • September 10, 2016
    Great tourist attraction in the beautiful Walkerville area. Amazing weddings have been held here.
  • August 1, 2016
    What a beautiful venue/location! Apparently it's also a Pokémon hot spot so check it out for all your wedding, celebration, and battling needs!
  • July 7, 2016
    Well kept grounds and manor. They do bookings and tours.
  • January 9, 2016
    Grew up next to this beautiful park and love the historical tours. Great wedding venue

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Where to stay in Windsor

Accommodations in the border city cater primarily to transit travelers, with a range of motels and basic inns serving as affordable places to rest. Look to Huron Church Road--the main thoroughfare approaching the border--for the biggest selection of transitory accommodations. If you're hoping to explore the city itself, you can find a few more inviting hotels in the center, with the most exclusive of these offering views over the Detroit River.
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