Belle Vue Conservancy has two fundraising events scheduled


Special to the RTT

After the devastating War of 1812, the construction of Belle Vue by the Reynolds family gave our forefathers hope.

Over the past two centuries Belle Vue has continued to play an important role in the town of Amherstburg, serving as a residence for three additional families, then as a convalescent home for injured war veterans and as a place of worship for the Ukranian Catholic Church.

In more recent years it was neglected and so is now in need of restoration.

The Town of Amherstburg purchased this building and property in 2016 and, in addition to preserving our national heritage, sees a future for the Belle Vue as part of the Town’s economic development.

After core restoration is completed, interior work will be done and the Belle Vue will be open for use by the public as a regional meeting, conference and cultural centre; as well a range of formal botanical gardens and greenhouses will be developed on the property, all of which will attract business and tourism to Amherstburg. It will significantly contribute to the enhancement of the historic Amherstburg waterfront which stretches along the River from the Kings Navy Yard Park to the Belle Vue.

The Belle Vue Conservancy has a new logo, designed and donated by local artist Elio Del Col.

The Belle Vue Conservancy has a new logo, designed and donated by local artist Elio Del Col.

Through collaboration with citizens and partnership with the Town of Amherstburg, the Belle Vue Conservancy, a team of dedicated volunteers, is focused on raising One million dollars for restoration to secure the property, specifically for a new roof, windows, gutters and foundation work, i.e. the envelope of the building. These Phase 1 core repairs are of absolute urgency in order to stabilize the house after the years of severe neglect. Since the Town now owns the historic Belle Vue property we believe it is in all of our best interests to work together to secure the future of Belle Vue.

In addition to promoting donations related to naming rights concerning different rooms and parts of the building, the Conservancy is currently undertaking two special events that are sure to be of interest to local residents.

First is a concert “Leading Notes for Belle Vue” to be provided by the Windsor Junior Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Franz, in partnership with Christ Church, located at 317 Ramsay St. in Amherstburg. It will be held April 27 at 7 p.m. This concert preserves our ties with the WSO and is anticipated to be the first of many such events. Tickets are $20 each and are available at the Gordon House, Sobeys and the Gibson Gallery. Sponsors for this event will be showcased on line and in the evening’s program.

Our second scheduled event is a golf competition “Birdies and Bogies for Belle Vue” to be held on Saturday, May 13 at Sutton Creek Golf Club. Registration is $150 and includes a golf cart, lunch during golf, dinner and a registration gift as well as a tax receipt for $50. Spouses and partners who would like to attend the dinner only may do so with pre-registration and payment of $50

Information about the history of Belle Vue and the Belle Vue Conservancy activities as well as opportunities to donate can be found on our website at




Essex County council refers two funding requests to budget



By RTT Staff


A pair of funding requests to Essex County council were referred to budget late last month, with one seemingly having a better chance of being granted than the other.

Representatives from the Windsor-Essex Active Retirement Community Initiative (WEARCI) appeared before county council asking for the county to fund them to the tune of $60,000. WEARCI president Krista Del Gatto said they have been able to attract people from the Toronto area to this region due to campaigns such as the “100 Mile Peninsula” initiative and said they could continue to attract more affluent people if their marketing efforts were supported.

“There could be many more if the partnership with the city of Windsor were to continue,” she told county council.

Leamington Mayor John Paterson believed $60,000 is “a big ask” and questioned what the benefit was to the taxpayers. He said the county is already asked to fund organizations such as Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) and the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Commission (WEEDC).

“We’re always funding and funding and funding,” said Paterson.


Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara said previous funding of WEARCI was “seed money” to get them started but said ongoing funding should be done through the private sector.

“I believe it should be privately driven, not publicly driven,” said McNamara.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) also put forth a request for funding, with the 70-year-old organization not specifying a specific amount. Executive director Sheila Wisdom noted they have 39 professional musicians with 22 per cent of “main stage audiences” coming from Essex County. The WSO also goes out into the community and into schools and Wisdom indicated that any funding would assist in delivering those programs.

Wisdom also pointed out the WSO performs community concerts in county municipalities including Amherstburg, Leamington and Tecumseh.

Essex County council members appeared to have a different outlook on the WSO requests. McNamara said the WSO helps deliver arts and culture to the county, something he said is “the basic fabric of our community.” He also noted it allows seniors and others who have difficulty travelling into downtown Windsor the opportunity to see the WSO in their own communities.

Kingsville Deputy Mayor Gord Queen acknowledged the work that is done in schools to help expose students to the arts while Paterson said he regularly hears positive comments when the WSO comes to his municipality. Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald believed the WSO is great for the community and that the county should “dig deep and find the coin.”

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya voiced interest in having the WSO expand into other county municipalities, such as his own, and suggested the Vollmer Centre as a venue.

Amherstburg concerts include the Christmas performance at St. John the Baptist Church as well as a summer concert in the King’s Navy Yard Park.