“When the British withdrew from Detroit in 1796, they transferred the courts of the Western District to Sandwich (Windsor). An abandoned blockhouse, relocated from Chatham, served briefly as the court house and gaol until fire destroyed it in 1797. Its replacement, built soon afterwards, was burned by American soldiers during the War of 1812. A brick courthouse and gaol, completed in 1820, served until 1856 when the present building was constructed. Designed in the Renaissance Revival style by Albert H. Jordan of Detroit, it was built by stonemason Alexander Mackenzie, who later became Canada’s second prime minister. It housed the Essex County courts until 1963. Renamed Mackenzie Hall, the restored building opened in 1985 as a community and arts center.
Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation