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Settling in Canada City of Windsor PROFILE

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Windsor is known as “the Quiet Giant.”  It has been named the “#1 Best Small City in North America” by London’s Financial Times, and one of the “Most Intelligent Communities in the World.”


Windsor Facts

Population: 319,245 (2011)

Location – South-western Ontario
Canada’s southernmost city, directly across from Detroit, Michigan.

Hot summers, mild/moderate winters. Canada’s earliest spring.

Windsor is known as “the Quiet Giant.”  It has been named the “#1 Best Small City in North America” by London’s Financial Times, and one of the “Most Intelligent Communities in the World.”

Windsor’s economy is being rebuilt through economic diversification including tourism/recreation, transportation, agri-business and manufacturing. Growth industries include health and life sciences and renewable energy technologies.

Windsor features:

  • A position at the heart of the world’s richest consumer market, within an 8 hour drive of more than half of North America’s population
  • North America’s busiest international crossing
  • The 4th most culturally diverse population in Canada
  • The Windsor-Essex Parkway is now under construction to transform the route from Canada’s 401 Highway to the US border
  • A world-class downtown Aquatic Centre, now under construction
  • Surrounded by the Windsor Essex 100 mile peninsula of Great Lakes shoreline and lush farm land.


WindsorWindsor welcomes people from all over the world!

As of the 2011 National Household Survey, there were 70,290 immigrants living in Windsor – 22.3 per cent of the total population. Of these, 13.1 per cent – 9,225 people in all – arrived between 2006 and 2011.

Countries of origin
United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Other places of birth in Asia, Iraq, Other places of birth in Europe, India, China, Lebanon, Poland.

First languages spoken
English, French, Arabic, Italian, Chinese.

Catholic, No religious affiliation, Other Christian, Anglican, Muslim, United Church.

Countries of origin

These are the 30 most common birthplaces of immigrants to Windsor.

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population (2011) Immigrants Arriving 2006 – 2011
United States 7,040 1,565
Italy 6,330
United Kingdom 4,795 125
Other places of birth in Asia 3,980
Iraq 3,775 1,195
Other places of birth in Europe 3,725
India 3,505 500
China 3,320 560
Lebanon 3,285 220
Poland 2,635 85
Philippines 2,605 400
Romania 2,595 265
Croatia 2,250
Other places of birth in Africa 2,200
Pakistan 1,545 320
Viet Nam 1,530 85
Serbia 1,315
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,260
Other places of birth in Americas 1,060
Germany 985 20
Greece 785
Hungary 690
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 655 0
El Salvador 645
Portugal 580
Mexico 575 100
Jamaica 555 45
Iran 480 75
Ethiopia 380 75
Netherlands 365

‡ Statistics Canada did not publish data for some countries of origin for recent immigrants.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

First languages

These are the top ten “first languages” – the mother tongue spoken by people who live in this city.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
English 237,430 75.0%
French 12,715 4.0%
Arabic 11,760 3.7%
Italian 10,480 3.3%
Chinese, n.o.s.* 3,445 1.1%
Polish 3,410 1.1%
Serbian 3,130 1.0%
Spanish 3,090 1.0%
Romanian 2,430 0.8%
German 2,310 0.7%

* Not otherwise specified.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 Census of Canada)


These are the religions with the most adherents in Windsor.

Religion # of Adherents (2011)
Catholic 146,865
No religious affiliation 59,675
Other Christian 24,475
Anglican 16,690
Muslim 15,575
United Church 12,125
Christian Orthodox 10,980
Baptist 5,750
Presbyterian 5,385
Pentecostal 5,330
Lutheran 2,970
Hindu 2,890

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

Housing Information

WindsorThe availability of affordable homes is a key advantage to living in Windsor.  While the majority of Windsor residents own a home, there is an excellent mix of apartments in large and small buildings with affordable rents. Homes in Windsor can be bought at a fraction of the cost of a home in the Greater Toronto Area.

Average rents
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in April 2013 was $643 and a two bedroom apartment was $780. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment was $929.

Vacancy rate and availability
In Windsor, the vacancy rate for one bedroom rental apartments was 6.1 per cent and for two bedroom apartments was 5.9 per cent. The vacancy rate of three bedroom rental apartments was 12.7 per cent. This was the proportion of rental apartments that are vacant and ready for move-in in April 2013.

The proportion, in April 2013, of apartments that are vacant or for which the present occupant has given notice to move-out was 7.8 per cent for one bedroom apartments, 7.5 per cent for two bedroom apartments, and 14.3 per cent for three bedroom apartments.

Home purchase prices
In Windsor, the average house price, in 2012, was $172,047.

For more up-to-date information, see CMHC's Housing Market Information website, and the Canadian Housing Observer.

Housing help

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation – Housing information for Newcomers

These agencies can help you find an apartment:

Central Housing Registry of Windsor and Essex County
The central waiting list for government-subsidized apartments.

Housing Information Services of Windsor and Essex County
3450 Ypres Avenue, Windsor, ON, N8W 5K9


WindsorCity of Windsor, Employment and Training Services

In a 2011 analysis conducted by the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation, these industries were prioritized for their strengths as Established, Growth and Emerging Industries in Windsor Essex.

Established Industries

  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Agri-business
  • Education & Training
  • Tourism & Travel Services
  • Logistics/Warehousing and Cross Border Activities

Growth Industries

  • Advanced Product Design & Development
  • Health & Life

Emerging Industries

  • Aerospace
  • Renewable energy
  • Digital Media
  • Professional Services

Job search help

These web sites list jobs in Windsor:

City of Windsor (public service jobs)

Private employment services may also be available.

Business start-ups

These organizations offer advice and support to people starting small businesses in Windsor:

Windsor Essex Small Business Enterprise Centre

Entering the workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials

World Education Services Canada

The following organizations are members of the Employment Ontario Network of Services. Each site provides a full range of employment resources and supports for persons in search of employment.

Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB)
Language Assessment and Resource

New Canadians Centre of Excellence Inc.*
660 Ouellette Ave, 2nd Floor
Windsor, ON N9A 1C1

St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology

Unemployed Help Centre*

Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women (WWWWIW)

Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor

City of Windsor – Employment and Social Services

Collège Boréal*

*Also funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to provide Employment Services


WindsorWindsor and Essex County has a university, college, and schools for children and youth in four systems:

  • an English public system with 61 elementary and 16 secondary schools;
  • an English Catholic system with 40 elementary and 16 secondary schools;
  • a Francophone public system with 2 elementary schools and 1 secondary school; and
  • a Francophone Catholic system with 1 elementary and 1 secondary school.

Schools in all four systems are free of charge.

Universities and Colleges in Windsor

University of Windsor
Over 16,000 students attend the University in a wide range of post-graduate and graduate programs. UWindsor recently opened its Medical Education Building, which houses the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. The University is also constructing a new 300,000 square foot, $112 million Centre for Engineering Innovation.

St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology
A 6,500 student campus with on-campus student residence.
A new HealthPlex will be built at St. Clair College’s Windsor Campus, including a state-of-the-art fitness area, classrooms, walking track and triple gymnasium. The Ford Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing delivers training in the engineering and manufacturing technology industry. St. Clair College Centre for the Arts in downtown Windsor specializes in Community and Justice Services and Food Service Management.

Elementary and Secondary Schools (for children and youth)

Windsor Essex County District School Board

Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

Conseil scholaire de district Catholique Centre Sud

Conseil scolaire Viamonde

Private schools may also be available.

Community Services

WindsorIn 2006, Windsor became one of the first cities in Canada to join the UNESCO Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination. The City is committed to creating a welcoming city and school system.

Internet portal for all immigrants and settlement services

211 South West Ontario Community information

311 City of Windsor Information

Language training

Collège Boréal
Francophone programming
Orientation, Canadian Language Benchmark training level 1-7, Enhanced Language Training (workplace)

Settlement help

These organizations provide a range of Language and Settlement support to immigrants:

The Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex County
Orientation, Canadian language Benchmark training; literacy-level 7, Community Connections, youth program, Welcoming Communities, Resettlement Assistance Program

New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence Inc.
Provides English classes, settlement help, job search, computer training, programs for youth, citizenship preparation

Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor
Women’s Programming: Orientation, Canadian Language Benchmark training; literacy-level 7, & Enhanced Language Training (finance & accounting)

YMCA of Windsor and Esssex County
Orientation, Canadian language Benchmark training; literacy-level 7, Enhanced language Training (healthcare) & youth program

Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women
Higher need clientele: Orientation, Canadian language Benchmark training, literacy-level 4, girls’ youth program

Citizen and Immigration Canada
Provides information on coming to Canada to immigrate, study, work and live. On this website you will find forms, policies and regulations, research, services, publications and visa offices.

One immigrant’s story

WindsorOur family of four came to Canada in August of 1999 from Bosnia and Herzegovina and within months we were connected to major Windsor arteries. This was possible because of good people who live in this city. On the third day in Canada we were "adopted" by a Canadian family who wanted to help an immigrant family settle down. They helped us open bank accounts, get the phone and hydro connected, acquire bus passes, language instruction and even assisted in looking for a job.

With this kind of wind under our wings, it was no problem to find the way to where each member of my family wanted to go. This meant going to University for me, and finding a job for the rest of my family. Canadian hospitality could be felt right away - multiculturalism in action! Asking for directions or assistance of any kind was a pleasurable experience as people of Windsor did it with a smile and patience.

Seven years later, our family of four is now three separate families with seven members and six jobs as my one-year old daughter is too young to work.

For this reason, and the fact that Windsor is the most southern and warmest city in Canada, it never occurred to me to think about moving elsewhere. Windsor is mine and I am hers.





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