Best Windsor Neighbourhoods for Renting
Newcomers to Canada who want to live in the country's southernmost city, be right beside the United States and enjoy one of the country's warmest climates, then Windsor Ontario and its great neighbourhoods might just be the place for you.
Windsor is an automotive-focused industry city of 229,660 people situated on the south bank of the Detroit River directly across from Detroit, Michigan (which makes it popular with cross-border shoppers and fans of Detroit's four major league sports franchises!). The Ambassador Bridge, the busiest commercial border crossing between Canada and the United States, connects the two cities.
Proximity to Detroit and the U.S. is an attraction
The city of Detroit has a population of 639,111 but the metropolitan Detroit area has a combined population of 4.3 million people. So, living in Windsor essentially makes you part of a very large urban area that is in fact the most populated trans-border urban area in North America.
As mentioned above, Windsor, originally settled in 1749 as a French farming area, is known as the "Automotive Capital of Canada" with a history as a major industrial and manufacturing hub. It's now known as a commercial transportation hub and is the third-largest city in Southwestern Ontario, behind "nearby" London and Kitchener-Waterloo.
Rental housing in Windsor is affordable
Windsor also features some of Ontario's most affordable rent and homeownership prices. The city is divided into four distinct sectors: Downtown, East End, West Side, and South Sides, all of which feature unique neighbourhoods with plenty of housing options.
As of April 2022, a one-bedroom apartment in Windsor was rented for $1,152. A comparable one-bedroom in Toronto was rented for $2,023. That's a considerable difference of almost $900 a month!
The University of Windsor is known in recent years for its focus on health, natural science, and entrepreneurship research. It's a public research university with 12,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students.
Windsor has the warmest climate in Ontario
And did we mention the weather? Because of its southern location, Windsor has THE WARMEST climate of all Ontario cities (it's on the same latitude as Northern California!). The average temperature sits above 10°C (50°F) for 223 days of the year; it gets less snow than any other Ontario city; summers are hot and humid, with an average temperate of 23 degrees Celsius; winters are considered mild (by Canadian standards) with the temperature only dropping to an average of -3 degrees in January.
Consider it the Miami of Ontario!
Best and most popular neighbourhoods in Windsor, Ontario
Here are some of the best and most popular neighbourhoods to rent in Windsor.
Live in the heart of Windsor! Detroit is located directly across the river, making Downtown Windsor a beautiful waterfront community. The architecture of the homes in the area are fantastic, and there are many amenities close. Perfect for both families and the working class. If you’re looking for a neighbourhood with plenty of housing options and accessible transit, Downtown might be the right place for you.
What Local Residents Love: “Windsor is a small city, but there are a lot of benefits that come along with living here. First off, we have access to the border if you are looking to go to the United States for shopping or just for fun, it is always convenient to have that option. Secondly, we are a great city for families. Ranging from low price housings and friendly neighbours, I personally think this is one of the many best places to live. Thirdly, Windsor is known for its good food. Did you know that Windsor has the best pizza in all of Canada? It is very surprising that such a small city can have such great quality pizza.”
East Riverside Neighbourhood
East Riverside is a hugely popular Windsor neighbourhood that is newer to the city. It’s close to parks, green spaces, shopping, and restaurants. There’s close access to trails and the water.
What Local Residents Love: “You can have a waterfront home, even with a beach, right in the city. That’s a lifestyle not normally associated with a city.”
Forest Glade Neighbourhood
Back in the 1960s and ’70s, Forest Glade was THE community in Windsor everyone wanted to live in and near. It still has excellent amenities, beautiful homes, and a great location. It has access to its own library, community center, and excellent access to transit.
What Local Residents Love: “I grew up in Forest Glade and it was a good area. Houses are mostly raised ranches with the odd bungalow and two-story. Tends to attract younger families so it may not be best for retired people.”
South Walkerville Neighbourhood
Home to some of Windsor’s most historic residences and buildings, South Walkerville is home to the Windsor Metropolitan Hospital which is located near Optimist Memorial Park. There are many things to do in this area, and South Walkerville is best suited for families or retirees.
What Local Residents Love: “It is easily the most walkable neighbourhood in the city with an interesting history and the best selection of restaurants and bars in the city. South Walkerville is quite safe, but like all city life, there are some streets that are worse than others. East of Walker road gets a little worse. But even Ford city has some interesting things popping up.”
One of Windor’s communities with a little less character and history, Southwood Lakes is a community that has beautiful homes, executive properties, and has a lot of luxury. You can find waterfront homes that are conveniently located by major highways and amenities. A newer addition to Windsor, residents absolutely love living in this quiet, unassuming neighbourhood.
What Local Residents Love: “Very beautiful, nice homes, mostly quiet, nice trail.”
University of Windsor
University living at it’s finest. The U of Windsor is located among residential areas, which many students inhabit. West of downtown, this area has access to a variety of restaurants, parks, public artwork, the Riverfront Trail, and some of the best views Windsor has to offer. Close to banks, shopping, drug stores, and more, this area was built for convenience to accommodate the 16,000 students that attend the University of Windsor.
What Local Residents Love: “UWindsor’s main campus is situated largely in a residential area, but the downtown area is very close, and restaurants and other recreational spots like the riverfront are within walking distance. For a night out on the town, head down to Caesars Windsor for the casino, a concert, or both. You can check out the Devonshire Mall for shopping or a movie, or take the tunnel bus to Detroit for a day trip to see the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings.”
What actually began as the community for those who were employed by the Hiram Walker distillery, Old Walkerville, has a rich history and has a lot of character and uniqueness in its charm. Close to parks, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment, many people love living in this area of the city. The homes in the area boast grand architecture and are worth site seeing for anyone checking out the neighbourhood.
What Local Residents Love: “I live in Old Walkerville. It is a fantastic neighbourhood with much historic value and a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. Once a month, the BIA hosts the night market, where you will find a great crowd, entertainment, multiple vendors, and great food. It is truly the place to be in Windsor ON.”