Buildings of WindsorDemolitionLost Windsor

Essex House Hotel – 317 Riverside Drive West

Image from SWODA

A look today at the Essex House Hotel from 1961. The Essex House Hotel was built around 1840 and sat on the south west corner of Riverside Drive West and Dougall Avenue. In the late 1950s plans to develop a civic auditorium next door began to take shape and the Cleary Auditorium and convention centre rose to the east. The Essex House started to fall on hard times, and was pretty run down, when it was sold in 1972 to Peter & Mary Cogan. The Cogan’s extensively remodeled the tavern and reopened it as the Parkview Hotel.

Under the Cogan’s ownership the Parkview introduced nightly entertainment.

Ad from 1973

In 1978 the City of Windsor hoping to attract a developer to build a hotel adjacent to the Cleary began to assemble the land west of the Civic Auditorium to offer as a package. Included in the expropriation was the Parkview Hotel. The building was then leased back to the Cogan’s to operate until the demolition.

Time finally ran out for the Parkview Tavern and it poured its last beer in June, 1980. The building was demolished in August, 1980 and the land turned over to developer William Docherty who built two hotels on the site.

The last owners of the tavern had interesting lives. Peter & Mary came to Canada in 1951 from Czechoslovakia. Mr. Cogan recalled working at Zalev’s Scrap yard when he first came to Windsor for $0.90 an hour, working 10 hour days. He then worked at the Canadian Bridge Company for two years, before becoming a truck driver in 1954. Mary would join Peter on his trucking trips to Western Canada. She enjoyed the trips so much that in 1955 she joined the Teamsters Local 880, becoming the first female Transport Truck Driver in Canada. In 1963 Peter entered the tavern business.

Mary Cogan behind the wheel in 1962

Peter Cogan passed away September 8, 1986, at the age of 74. Mary Cogan passed away May 18, 2010 at the age of 86.

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