Amherstburg is a town near the mouth of the Detroit River in Essex County, Ontario, Canada. In 1796, Fort Malden was established here, stimulating growth in the settlement. The fort has been designated as a National Historic Site. The town is approximately 25 kilometres south of the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan, facing Wyandotte, Grosse Ile Township, Brownstown Charter Township, and Gibraltar, Michigan. It is part of the Windsor census metropolitan area. In 1998, The Town of Amherstburg absorbed the neighbouring Township of Anderdon (to its northeast) and Township of Malden (to its southeast) to form a larger Town of Amherstburg.
Amherstburg is home to several tourist attractions, including Fort Malden and the Amherstburg Freedom Museum (formerly the North American Black Historical Museum). This explores the history of African-American refugees in western Ontario, who sought freedom from slavery and made their homes here.
An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected in Amherstburg by the province to commemorate Bellevue House. Built c. 1816-19, it was the home of Catherine Reynolds, a landscape painter, and her brother Robert Reynolds. Additional tourist attractions include the Park House Museum and King’s Navy Yard Park, both of which are located in the heart of old Amherstburg.
The Gibson Gallery is located in a former Michigan Central Railroad Station (c. 1896), which has been fully restored. The gallery operates year-round, featuring exhibits by local artists, the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Windsor, traveling exhibits from Ontario museums and galleries, and student art/photography exhibits. A restored Essex Terminal railway caboose is operated as a railway museum. Gordon House was built in 1798 as a residence overlooking the Detroit River. Since being restored, it houses a Marine exhibit.
The Holiday Beach Conservation Area is one of the best fall birding sites in North America for viewing migratory birds. The 546-acre (2.21 km2) nature reserve contains over 2,000 feet (610 m) of beaches, picnic areas, a 2-kilometre (6,600 ft) trail along the edge of Big Creek Marsh. Holiday Beach is considered a premiere spot to view the fall migration of raptors (birds of prey). A ‘Festival of Hawks’ event takes place in September.
Texas Road is a street popularly associated with paranormal sightings and ghostly experiences. This stretch of road passes through a gully. It has been rumored that a man was murdered there. Since that time people have reported strange disturbances, such as car ignitions failing and paranormal light shows.
Amherstburg is a city of trade and services to support regional agriculture. It has also become known for several wineries in the area. Amherstburg Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, from 8:30am to 3:30pm. The Farmer’s Market is located at the Malden Community and Cultural Center, 7860 County Road 20 at the end of Howard Avenue on County Rd 20.
Amherstburg is home to the following competitive sports teams:
- Amherstburg Admirals Jr. C Hockey
- Amherstburg Stars Minor Hockey
- Amherstburg Cardinals Baseball
- Amherstburg Timberwolves Football
- General Amherst High School Bulldogs (various Men’s and Women’s sports teams)
The Amherstburg Stars Midget “A” hockey team were winners of the 2010 and 2011 OMHA playdowns and winners of the town’s first ever OHF title.
In the first week of every August, Amherstburg holds a heritage festival, consisting of activities at several locations around town. At Fort Malden, re-enactors depict eras ranging from the Roman Empire to the Second World War, establishing camps and performing battle demonstrations. Art by the River (established in 1967), is an annual two-day arts and craft festival that takes place the weekend before Labour Day weekend on the grounds of the Fort Malden National Historic Site.
Other festivities include:
- Spring Wine N’ Hop (May)
- Beef In the Burg Barbecue (June)
- Firefighters “J Wimpy” Volleyball Tournament (June)
- Canada Day Celebrations/Ice Cream Festival (July 1)
- Gone Crazy Car Show (July)
- Ribfest (July)
- Woofa Roo Pet Festival (August)
- WE Harvest Festival (September)
- Cancer Walk-a-thon (October)
- Christmas Parade (Late November)
- River Lights (November thru December)
- Amherstburg Christmas Pub Crawl (December)