History
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History

Public Transportation, in varied forms, has served Windsor since 1850.  The earliest conveyances were horse omnibuses - city versions of stagecoaches.  The Windsor & Sandwich Street Railway proposed horse cars, drawn on rails laid in the City streets in 1865.

Another financial horse car company, the Sandwich & Windsor Passenger Railway, revived the concept in 1872. It received support to commence construction later that same year, and to begin service the following year, replacing the horse omnibuses. Foreclosed in 1880, this company was reorganized in 1887 as the Sandwich, Windsor & Amherstburg Railway.

Sandwich, Windsor & Amherstburg Railway (SW&A) Act incorporated by Act of Legislation, March 2, 1872, to provide public transit to the City of Windsor.

In 1887, Sandwich, Windsor & Amherstburg Railway reorganized after foreclosing in 1880, and provided public transit for the next ninety years.  SW&A became a household term in the Windsor area.  Transit Windsor took over the SW&A system in 1977, and is the name seen on Windsor's buses today.

Windsor claims several historic "firsts" in the public transportation field:

  • Canada's first electric street railway began operating in Windsor on May 28, 1886. Streetcars had steel wheels that ran on tracks, and overhead wires.
  • The first Canadian city with an all-electric transit system in 1891 when the SW&A was completely overhauled, extended, and fully electrified.
  • Canada's first trolley bus operation was the Lincoln Road line in the Windsor suburb of Walkerville, which commenced public service on May 4, 1922. The trolley bus had rubber tires and overhead wires. Some of the lines temporarily used the tracks already laid for the streetcars, and by doing this only required one overhead wire opposed to dual wires.

Transit Chronology:

  • The Sandwich and Windsor Passenger Railway (1872)
  • The Windsor Electric Railway (1886)
  • The Sandwich, Windsor & Amherstburg Railway (1887)
  • The City Railway Company of Windsor (1893)
  • South Essex Electric Railway (1896)
  • The Windsor & Tecumseh Electric Railway (1903)
  • Transit Windsor (1977)

For more information regarding the history of Transit Windsor follow the links along the left of this page.

Transit Windsor
3700 North Service Road East
Windsor, Ontario
Canada
N8W 5X2
Phone:  For detailed inquiries, call 519-944-4111.  For general information, call 311.
Fax: 519-944-5121
Email: tw@citywindsor.ca