Whisky Town Extraordinaire
Chris Edwards & Elaine Weeks
Born as employee housing for a burgeoning whisky distillery, the hamlet known first as Walker’s town evolved into a 19th century model community unlike any other in Canada, possibly even all of North America. Its benevolent dictator, Hiram Walker, conceived of everything to ensure the comfort and well-being of his denizens. From well-constructed & conveniently located housing to free clean running water & electric lights, paved roads, (long before neighbouring Windsor), fire and police protection, a public beach, schools, churches, ferry system, electric trolleys – and even a railroad—Walkerville had it, according to its founder’s tenets and decrees.
Join us on this fascinating journey through time, from the days of this area’s French settlers and First Nations people to the present as we examine how and why Walkerville came to be. Learn how one man’s vision of a Utopian community became, due to its geographic location, not only the home of his world famous whisky, but the birthplace of the Canadian automotive industry and ground zero for cross border smuggling during the wild days of Prohibition.