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Amherstburg (2006 population 21,748; UA population 13,410) is a Canadian town near the mouth of the Detroit River in Essex County, Ontario. It is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan.
In addition to the primary urban area of Amherstburg, the town also includes the smaller communities of Amherst Pointe, Anderdon, Auld, Bar Point, Boblo, Edgewater Beach, Glen Eden, Holiday Beach, Lakewood Beach, Lukerville, Malden Centre, McGregor, North Malden, River Canard, Sunset Beach, Willow Beach and Willowood.
Across the Detroit River from the United States, the town was permanently established as a British military fort in 1796. The town was developed by Loyalists, who were granted land in Ontario after the British lost the American Revolutionary War.
During the days of the Underground Railroad before the American Civil War, fugitive African-American slaves often crossed the river to escape to freedom. They entered Canada at the town. Amherstburg was incorporated as a town in 1878.
Amherstburg has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with four distinct seasons. The summer brings heat & humidity, sometimes cooled by the proximity of the Detroit river and Lake Erie to the South. The area is known for a long growing season by Canadian standards. Winter brings cool to cold conditions with rain & snow in the mix.
Schools in Amherstburg include: Amherstburg Public Elementary School, Anderdon Public Elementary School, General Amherst High School, St. Bernard Catholic Elementary School, Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School, St. Jean the Baptiste Catholic French Elementary School, St. Theresa Catholic Elementary School, St Joseph Catholic Elementary School, Malden Public School
The local public high school in Amherstburg is General Amherst High School, named after Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst. Although General Amherst High School is located within the town, some teenage residents choose to attend Sandwich Secondary School or St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic Secondary School, located in the neighbouring town of LaSalle, Ontario. Both offer a French Immersion program for those who've attended a French grade school; French students in Amherstburg may also attend Ecole Secondaire E.J. Lajeunesse, located in Windsor, Ontario.
Amherstburg is home to several tourist attractions, including Fort Malden and the North American Black Historical Museum. An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected in Amherstburg by the province to commemorate Bellevue House's role in Ontario's heritage. Bellevue House (c. 1816-19) was the home of Catherine Reynold, a landscape painter and her brother Robert Reynolds. Additional tourist activities include the Park House Museum and the charming Navy Yard Park, both of which are located in the heart of old Amherstburg.
An art and history fan would appreciate the charming Gibson Gallery. The Gallery building is a former Michigan Central Railroad Station (circa 1896) which has been fully restored to its original beauty. 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 now a railway museum that represents the nostalgia of Amherstburg's railroad history.
The restored Gordon House is another appreciated attraction of Amherstburg. It was built in 1798 overlooking the Detroit River, and houses a Marine exhibit.
For the outdoors enthusiast, Holiday Beach Conservation Area is one of the best fall birding sites in North America. 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 North America's premiere spot to view the fall migration of raptors (birds of prey). A 'Festival of Hawks' event takes place in September.
In the first week of every August Amherstburg holds a heritage festival consisting of activities at several locations around town. At Fort Malden, for example, they hold a military time-line event where re-enactors depicting eras ranging from the Roman Empire to the Second World War establish camp and perform battle demonstrations.
Since 2006, Amherstburg has held an annual Shores of Erie Wine Festival. Each September, the four day Wine Festival features food, dancing, live entertainment, and wine tasting.
Amherstburg also celebrates Canada Day with a yearly fireworks display and day of family activities.
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:
Population:Land area:Population density:Median age:Total private dwellings:Mean household income:
21,748 (6.9% from 2001)185.65 km2 (71.68 sq mi)117.1 /km2 (303 /sq mi)38.6 (males: 38.1, females: 39.1)8346$73,653
20,339 (5.5% from 1996)185.67 km2 (71.69 sq mi)109.5 /km2 (284 /sq mi)36.6 (males: 35.8, females: 37.2)7667$65,594
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