Photo Du JourWindsor

Windsor’s Biggest Architectural Loss

Originally founded in the City of Windsor in 1864 by the Community of Holy Names of Mary & Jesus, with a few nuns from Montreal. St. Mary’s Academy was originally located in downtown Windsor on Ouellette Ave. By the late 1920’s the Sisters had an old school building on very valuable land. The order sold the building and land to the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel Corporation, the land is now the site of the Canadian Tunnel Plaza. The original building was demolished in 1929.

The second St. Mary’s opened in 1928.

However the massive sprawling Gothic complex that was built in 1928 in South Windsor was an amazing structure.

Designed by a Sister from the order, not an architect, the massive building stood guard over south Windsor until April 1977. On the afternoon of April 29, Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), that same company that imploded Hudson’s, imploded St. Mary’s.

A lousy sub-division replaced the Majestic structure, the developer even called the sub-division “The Gates Of St. Mary’s”. Almost immediately the decision to demolish St. Mary’s was regretted, and that in turn help to turn some sympathies towards preservation.

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