PostcardsWindsor

Lanspeary Park

The postcard above from the mid 1920’s shows a view of Lanspeary Park.


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Bounded by Giles to the north, Ottawa to the south, Langlois to the west and Pierre to the east, Lanspeary is home to a pool, ice rink, ball diamonds, bandstand as well as greenhouses, which I was told once were part of the Willstead property.

From the City of Windsor Official Parks History:

Lanspeary Park
Commonly known as: Lanspeary Park
Former/other names: none
Location: bounded by Ottawa, Langlois, Giles and Pierre Streets
Property acquired: 1917
Acreage: 11.4
Official designation: Community park

Lanspeary Park is named in honour of former Windsor Alderman W.D. Lanspeary, an individual
who chaired the City’s Parks Committee in 1917, when the park was initially established. In all,
Lanspeary served nine years on City Council, including a three-year stint as chairman of the Parks
Committee. He was a key figure in the development of several public parks, including Straith and
Mitchell. As well, Lanspeary was instrumental in negotiations to provide Windsor with basic hydro
power.

In 1917, a $70,000 debenture issue enabled the City to purchase several parkland sites, including a
portion of today’s Lanspeary Park. Lands to expand the park were acquired in piecemeal fashion
over the following three years, at a total cost of nearly $100,000. In 1926, a modest greenhouse,
designed to showcase the Parks Department’s plants, flowers and shrubs, was established at the
park. A radio-equipped bandstand, ornamental entranceways, playground equipment and a cricket
pitch were also added to the park. In total, the City spent $11,000 to upgrade and refine Lanspeary
Park in 1926.

The Lions Club of Windsor, long known as an active, resourceful service club, began an extensive
fund raising drive in 1950, aimed at raising enough money to finance the installation of an outdoor
swimming pool at the park. Ultimately, the Lions Club publicly raised $25,000 and generously
contributed an additional $50,000 from their own coffers. After the City contributed $25,000, the
project was financially viable, and construction soon began on Windsor’s first outdoor swimming
pool. In 1991, the outdoor pool needed to be refurbished and again, the Lions Club contributed.
Along with funds from Wintario and the City both the pool and change rooms were improved.

Lanspeary Park is a vibrant, versatile public facility, providing Windsorites with an extensive
variety of high quality recreational facilities. Besides a standard array of playground equipment, the
site also contains bocce courts and an outdoor ice rink. The Department of Parks and Recreation’s
greenhouses are also located at the park. Lanspeary Park is probably best known as the home of
Windsor’s annual Labour Day Festival, a major local event which consistently attracts large
crowds.

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