Local Tourist / Transportation

Sightseeing tours with an upbeat twist

WindsorOntarioNews.com Sept. 13 2018

Many cities have bus and walking tours but for decades Detroit had none or few.

Now, a relatively new organization has come along and created a host of tours to celebrates the Motor City’s rich history of people, architecture and industry.

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High in the sky in southern Ontario

WindsorOntarioNews.com July 27 2018

It’s the only resort in Ontario that converts a ski chairlift to a summer pedestrian gondola.

It’s the Blue Mountain Resort outside Collingwood, and since 2004 summer visitors have been able to be propelled to the top of the mountain just like skiers in the winter.

That’s great for affording fantastic 360-degree views including of spectacular Georgian Bay.

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For real "blue water," you'll just have to go to the Sarnia-Lambton coast

WindsorOntarioNews.com June 12 2018

There is an Amtrak train named Blue Water, a 1960s pop tune called Blue Water Line, and Sarnia and Lambton County have always identified with its “blue water” coast.

“A lot of people don’t realize just how blue our water is, a lot of the other big lakes might be a little turquoise or brown, ours is truly Ontario’s blue coast,” Tourism Sarnia Lambton’s Vicky Praill says.

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Town removes safety rumble strips after complaints from residents

WindsorOntarioNews.com April 25 2018

It didn’t take long for the Town of Amherstburg to react to citizen complaints about the annoyance of nearby so-called “transverse rumble strips.”

The strips were installed or re-installed – depending on location – on roads near several rural intersections only last November.

“Transverse” means the strips cross the full lane of the road.

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Unlikely agency comes to aid of cyclists

WindsorOntarioNews.com October 25 2017

An unlikely organization has come to the air of cyclists - the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

If you have a membership with the CAA – and it’s usually motorists who do – that membership also includes help for problems when you happen to be travelling on two wheels.

The program is called Bike Assist.

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Everything you wanted to know about crash-prone Hwy 401 construction zone

WindsorOntarioNews.com August 25 2017

A stretch of Hwy 401 in Chatham-Kent has become increasingly dangerous this summer with several major traffic accidents resulting in deaths and injuries.

Between April and July there were 61 motor vehicle accidents – 28 that included commercial vehicles or tractor trailers – in a construction zone.

The OPP estimates up to 50,000 vehicles a day pas through that zone.

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Don't like daytime construction? You might really dislike the alternative

WindsorOntarioNews.com July 27 2017

Motorists griping about the city’s numerous summer construction projects might be complaining about something else if the city moved them to the wee hours of the night.


City staff say they get a lot of feedback from motorists about the inconvenience of lane closures and driving around construction barrels during hot and dusty daytime streets.

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Kids walking to school promotes exercise, fights traffic congestion

WindsorOntarioNews.com July 10 2017

Traffic tie-ups around schools is a perennial problem in parts of Windsor.

It’s also part of a wider syndrome of the way children travel and the real or perceived attitudes towards safety and convenience.

A national organization is trying to combat parents driving their kids to school, approaching the issue from several perspectives.

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Toronto research firm's 'Pure Michigan' campaign's ROI stats questioned

WindsorOntarioNews.com May 5 2017

The Pure Michigan campaign which Canadians are familiar with from the soothing tones of narrator and TV actor Tim Allen’s voice, has been targeted as a huge waste of money that generates a pittance in tourism re-investment.

That’s the opinion of the conservative market-oriented Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which published the study’s results last fall.

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London's '100In1Day' festival

WindsorOntarioNews.com March 8 2017

London is celebrating all that’s great about its city in one day, and you don’t have to be from London to take part.

The event, taking place June 3, follows similar activities in other cities such as Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal.

This is London’s first time holding the celebration.

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Four Freedoms - Olde Sandwich Towne's little known intersection

WindsorOntarioNews.com January 31 2017

You might know it as the corner where Mackenzie Hall and the nearby former Windsor Jail is located.

It’s also the site of St. John’s Anglican Church.

And the relatively new Brock school and the Westgate senior citizen apartment complex are on the southwest and southeast corners respectively.

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More Customs ABC kiosks designed to expedite long Pearson airport lineups

WindsorOntarioNews.com Dec 8 2016

If you’ve noticed the waits in the line ups being quicker lately at the Canada Customs areas at Toronto's Pearson International airport it might be because the government has added several new automated machines to speed processing.

“At the Toronto Pearson International Airport, eight additional ABC kiosks were added at both Terminals One and Three over the period late-May to mid-June 2016,” Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) spokesman Derek Lawrence said.

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Distracted driving case? Ont. launched stark anti-texting campaign in June

WindsorOntarioNews.com October 12 2016

The recent distracted driving – texting – case in Windsor was a local high profile example of an ongoing epidemic of such phone related behavior, which the Ontario government says it is strongly targeting.

Windsor resident DJ Cassady last month was sentenced to three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to criminal negligence causing death in the July 2015 crash which saw Cassady’s Infiniti hit Amherstburg motorcyclist Donald Russell on the E.C. Row Expressway.

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On Via Rail, no longer a mad scramble for best train seats

WindsorOntarioNews.com Sept. 14 2016

When you board a train these days it’s almost the same as boarding an airplane.

No longer can you choose your seats when you get on a Via Rail coach.

Instead, when you book your ticket you are assigned to a specific seat by number.

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In between a staycation and a vacation: this book has ideas

WindsorOntarioNews.com July 11 2016

Want an alternative to a vacation or staycation?

Why not take a day trip – or even a brief overnighter – and tour several of Ontario’s top natural attractions?

A good guide is the newly-released (by Firefly Books) 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario, by Chris Earley and Tracy C. Read.

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Two more years left of Toronto's "Dig Down" Union Station reconstruction

WindsorOntarioNews.com May 26 2016

Train travellers arriving at Toronto’s Union Station might feel that they’ve been emerging into an never-ending construction zone.

Well, construction has been going on for six years as the venerable station is transformed into a larger and more accessible transit hub for Via and GO Transit trains.

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Detroit ranks third in customer satisfaction

Detroit Metro Airport has come up number 3 in passenger satisfaction when it comes to all airports in the United States. That’s according to the folks at JD Power. The survey examined facilities, accessibility, security checks, baggage claim, check-in and baggage check and food, beverage and retail. It was based on more than 40,000 traveler responses. Meanwhile the airport has announced that discounter Florida-based Spirit Airlines is adding flights between Detroit and Jacksonville Fla beginning Dec. 20. And the airport announced that its mile-long McNamara terminal red tram is undergoing renovations through April 2019. Travelers should expect slightly longer wait times. Metro served almost 35 million passengers last year and has more than 1100 daily flights. – 9/24/18

Add night time zipline to Falls adventure

Add the new Mistrider Night-Time zipline to your next visit to Niagara Falls. It joins an existing daytime Mistrider zipline that runs along the Niagara River gorge. The four parallel lines face both the US and Canadian Horseshoe Falls, illuminate at night in a rainbow of colors. There’s also a scheduled fireworks display. The night time rides run until Canadian Thanksgiving. The daytime rides run daily until the end of October and weekends in November. Riders hang from 67 metres (220 ft.) vantage point, with descending “gravity floats” along 670 metres (2200 ft.) as fast as 70 kph. The line doesn’t actually go over water but along the edge of the Niagara river gorge. The rides are organized by WildPlay Niagara Falls. – 8/15/18 Photo: Wildplay Mistrider

Former Windsor casino execs overseeing rival gaming expansion

It may have escaped local observers’ notice but veteran Caesars Windsor executive Keith Andrews (photo right), and often the face of the local gaming industry, as long ago as 2014 jumped to a new Canadian casino gig and is now overseeing opening of the Cascades gambling emporium in Chatham-Kent, construction of which began last week. Andrews was with the Windsor casino for 16 years and with The Winterton Group, a gaming industry consultancy. In July 2014 he was appointed to head British Columbia-based Gateway Casinos & Entertainment’s Ontario operations. His job title is Senior Vice President and Managing Director. Andrews has been in the casino industry right from its start in Ontario. He was a provincial policy advisor when the Government of Ontario was setting up casino gambling in 1994. Meanwhile, another former Windsor casino exec, Terry Black, also moved to Gateway in 2014. Black was CFO at Caesars Windsor. He and Andrews are both overseeing Gateway’s Ontario casinos. Black had been working at Paragon Group before joining Gateway. He’s Gateway’s VP Finance. Gateway has six casinos in southwestern Ontario and three in the north.– 7/10/18- Photo: Gateway

FAST whisks to airport

There is even a FASTer way to get to Metro Airport from downtown Detroit. Our story (below) talked about the 125 Fort Street route. But the city’s SMART bus service now offers FAST (Frequent. Affordable. Safe. Transit). The service connects to both Metro’s McNamara and North terminals. It only stops about every mile or so, as opposed to very few blocks on a typical route, expediting service. The Michigan Ave. route is one of three that SMART has introduced recently, with buses painted with the large FAST logo to distinguish them from others. Buses operate every 15 minutes and run seven days a week, weekends and even late nights. Fare is still only $2 and, a bonus, WiFi is aboard. - 6/8/18

A very cheap way to get to Metro Airport

Sure, it’s a little more inconvenient. But if you really want to save money – and don’t want to incur parking charges at Detroit’s Metro Airport or ride a Robert Q Airbus for $50.41 one-way, you can do something a little unconventional but it works. Take the Tunnel Bus ($5 Can one-way) to downtown Detroit. And then transfer to the SMART Detroit bus system Route 125. The fare is only $2 US and buses alternately run to the McNamara Terminal (Delta Airlines and partners) and the North Terminal. – 4/26/18

Wow to WOW fares

WOW air, an Icelandic “ultra-low” cost airline, known for its vivid purple-colored planes and matching flight attendant uniforms, is offering flights from Detroit to Iceland for $69 one-way. Fares go on sale today for flights between May 1 and June 20 and Sept. 1 – Oct. 27. The fare includes taxes and fees. The offer applies to 1480 seats on aircraft flying from 13 US cities “on selected flights” based on round-trip purchase. WOW air boasts the world’s newest aircraft made up of Airbus planes. – 4/26/18

New frequent Detroit - Ann Arbor bus service

Want to go to Ann Arbor but don’t have a car? Starting Oct. 30, there will be frequent seven-day bus service from Detroit to the college city, which abounds in cultural activities, great restaurants and of course the largest stadium in the western hemisphere. University of Michigan this week announced an expansion of its Detroit Connector bus service from students to the general public. The schedule begins at 7 am and runs until 1 am. You can book online. For Windsorites, the one hitch would be getting from a Windsor Tunnel Bus stop downtown to UM’s Detroit Center, about a mile up Woodward and just past the new Little Caesars Arena. You can walk, take a Detroit city bus, taxi or of course, ride-sharing services. – 10/24/17

Easing the hassle paying at US pumps

Some may know the secret but others not. And living so close to the US everyone should know. That’s how to pay at the pump at an American gas station without having to punch in a US zip code. Many frustrated Canadians believe they still have to go into the station and have the clerk keep the credit card while activating the pump. When the vehicle is filled the customer goes back and the clerk processes the card. Time-consuming, right? But all that can be avoided by using a little numerical trickery. It’s not illegal and in fact Mastercard a few years ago came up with the solution. Just enter the three numbers of your postal code – forget the letters – and add two zeroes. So, if your postal code is A2B 3C4 simply enter 23400. And as the old- fashioned slogan had it, Happy Motoring! – 4/10/17

A new bus route is born: the LaSalle 25

LaSalle’s new bus route will be known as the LaSalle 25. The route, operated by Transit Windsor, begins Sept. 5 and will be offered free until the end of the year. Buses will operate Monday – Saturday 7 am to 7 pm and there will be a second bus during peak weekday morning and afternoon hours. The entire route will take 45 minutes and will run from Morton Dr. and Front Rd. to St. Clair College and vice versa. It will connect neighborhoods such as Heritage Estates, Normandy St., LaSalle Town Centre, the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex, and Front Road through the old downtown. The route will “capture” 70 per cent of the houses in the town’s urban area, the municipality says. Passengers will be able to transfer to other Transit Windsor routes - the South Windsor 7, Dougall 6 and Dominion 5. South Windsor 7 travels to Devonshire Mall and Walker Rd. The Dougall 6 and Dominion 5 travel to downtown Windsor. – 16/8/17

London Via Rail station could be revamped again

London’s Via Rail station, which is just a decade and half old, may be revamped again if the city becomes a stop on a provincial hi-speed rail line. An older Via station, in a modern black office tower, was demolished in 2001, to make way for what might be described as the current standard looking Via station. A report by London city staff said the station could be revamped again to include two new high speed rail platforms, three traditional Via platforms, and “intermodal” connections to local bus services, including the city’s planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. But London’s director of roads and transportation Edward Soldo is playing down the report, telling WON.com “it is just pure speculation to even be talking about it. I’m trying to put that story to bed, frankly, because it’s not what I want repeated out there.” An environmental assessment on the $20 billion line is just getting started. The line’s first phase would be between Toronto and London, completed in 2025. It would eventually extend to Windsor by 2031. – 3/8/17