An ode to Windsor’s french heritage opened at the Windsor Community Museum at the François Baby House on December 2, 2015.
The exhibit, named Windsor’s French Roots, features the francophone community’s contribution and development in the city. The creation of this exhibit ties in with the celebration of 400 years of Francophone presence in Ontario.
Mayor Drew Dilkens addressed the crowd before the ribbon cutting. He began his speech by noting Windsor’s unique francophone background. Windsor is actually the oldest continuous francophone settlement west of Montreal, with more than 15,000 French citizens.
Gérard Malo, president of the Windsor-Essex and Chatham Kent ACFO, said that recognition of the French minority in Windsor would mean a lot to the community.
“This is now our museum,” said Malo, “A dedication to our roots, and our history here in the city. It will raise awareness of our culture.”
The exhibit notes how the French presence shaped the city, from the distinct francophone street names to the narrow plots and north-south running roads. And, how the Francophone community continues to affect Windsorites, from the churches to the schoolyards.
Funding for the project was given through the City of Windsor and a provincial government grant. The museum will be open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For holiday times and closures, go to the museum’s website.