2017 – The Year in Review – April, May and June



  • Woofa-Roo presented the “Shaggy Chic Social” at the Libro Centre with the event billed as “an evening of whiskey, wine and wags, food and fun.” Festival director Lorene Clayton said they tried to have something a bit different than the festival itself so the idea of the Shaggy Chic Social was originated. It was a chance to have people “get together and socialize” and enjoy a night out with their dogs at the same time.
  • The town’s tourism department launches “A’burg Rocks” in which rocks are painted with festive colours and designs and scattered in local parks and public places.
  • Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) was highlighted during “Amherstburg Night” at a Windsor Express game at the WFCU Centre in Windsor.
  • Retiring fire chief Al Reaume is recognized by town council for his service to the town and the department. Bruce Montone is welcomed as the town’s new fire chief, shortly after leaving the Windsor Fire Department.
  • Herman Glonek and Jean Farr are both honoured at Seasons Retirement Community on the occasion of their 100th birthdays.
  • The town’s sign bylaw comes under question due to the Rotary Club wanting an extension (for which they would be eventually granted) to put up signs promoting Ribfest. The economic development committee presses council to revisit the issue.
  • Hundreds attend the Easter Egg Hunt, which had to be moved inside the Libro Centre due to threatening weather. The Good Friday procession is also held and marches down Brock, Richmond, Sandwich, Rankin, Dalhousie, Ramsay, Park and Simcoe streets.
  • Amherstburg Public School holds a “vow of silence” with students staying quiet as a way to show support for those who don’t have a voice, such as those in poor countries or those who are bullied.
  • The “Country at Heart” fundraiser sells out at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. Presented by the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team, it raises $23,010 in support of the Windsor Regional Hospital ICU unit.
  • The Amherstburg Police Service switches its dispatching service to Windsor police. Windsor’s bid came in at $653,000 over the five-year period with LaSalle police’s bid being over $1.48 million. Owen Sound police and Strathroy-Caradoc police also submitted bids with those bids being just under $1.48 million and $1.54 million respectively.
  • The Amherstburg Fire Department’s retirement and awards banquet was held with the retirees alone amounting for 264 years of service to the community. Retirees included former deputy chief James Ouellette (46 Years of Service), Frank Beaudoin (45 years), Kenneth Tytgat (35 years), Mike Dikan (30 years), Brian Gibb (26 years), Rodney Ferriss (23 years), Marcy Laframboise (21 years), Rob Taylor (20 years) and Russell Deslippe (18 years). Also honoured was Al Reaume, who spent his last official day as fire chief at the banquet before re-entering retirement.
  • ACS held its annual volunteer appreciation dinner with this year’s event being dubbed “A Night of a Hundred Stars.” A total of 124 volunteers were recognized. ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo said the volunteers put in over 7,000 hours of service during 2016, she added.
  • The town of Amherstburg has chosen to stick with the traditional method of voting for the next municipal election, scheduled to be held Oct. 22, 2018. Town council passed a motion to use the traditional method of voting for next year’s election, but rejected an administrative recommendation to allow Internet voting for advance polls.
  • A sold-out crowd of 130 people pack Christ Church Anglican for a Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) concert presented by the Belle Vue Conservancy. It raises $5,359.
  • The town finished 2016 with a surplus of $738,000 and $100,000 of that will be donated to the Cypher Systems Greenway. In addition to the donation to the greenway, $15,000 went into an economic development reserve while $20,000 went into a Gordon House working capital reserve. The Libro Centre reserve will receive $100,000 while $292,291 goes into a police reserve. Debt reduction to the Texas Road project covers the rest, amounting to $255,711.



  • Town council approved the demolition tender for Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn with the winning bid going to the Jones Group Ltd. The total amount quoted by the Jones Group was just over $280,000 to complete the work, with that dollar figure being over $172,000 less than the next lowest bidder.
  • The first Holistic Wellness Fair was at the Libro Centre with over 40 vendors offering both spiritual and non-spiritual help to those who need it. The event was organized by Holly Harris, who wanted to give residents a local alternative to heading into Windsor for their holistic and wellness needs.
  • Honeywell announced there will not be any activity returning to its Amherstburg plant and that the remaining buildings at the site that Honeywell occupied would be razed as Honeywell decided to ship the work formerly done at their Amherstburg plant elsewhere.
  • The Live History group brought their tour to Amherstburg and the performance of “In Time” was held. The shows were presented in co-operation with Parks Canada at Fort Malden National Historic Site.
  • The Park House Museum celebrated Canada 150 by looking at women’s roles over the past 150 years. The Park House’s exhibit – “Her Story: 150 Years of Women in Canada – Fashion, Politics, and Gender Roles” – opened on the upper floor of the museum and ran throughout the summer.
  • The Motorcycle Ride for Dad roared into Amherstburg as Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 was one of the stops. The ride began at the Festival Plaza along Windsor’s riverfront, headed to Brews & Cues near LaSalle before heading into Amherstburg. From there, it went to the Colchester Bar & Grill, Freddy’s in Leamington and Mr. Biggs in Lakeshore before returning to Windsor. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was the ride captain.
  • Amherstburg resident and General Amherst student Stefan Dobrich was drafted by the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. The defenseman was selected 183rd overall in the Ontario Hockey League’s priority selection.
  • The Law Enforcement Torch Run stops in Amherstburg. The route changed as it went from Joe Meloche Ford to Community Living Essex County’s Channel Resource Centre. It raised money for Special Olympics. The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals would also play Amherstburg police in a charity game for Special Olympics.
  • The Tour for Humanity, organized by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, stopped at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School and St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School to discuss the Holocaust and various other genocides throughout history. Students were invited to head inside the tour’s mobile classroom, which travels throughout Ontario and includes three large projection screens.
  • The Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls has stepped forward to help the Belle Vue Conservancy. The doll museum, which operates out of the Malden Community & Cultural Centre located at 7860 County Road 20, officially presented a cheque for $20,000 to the conservancy.
  • A fire on Gore St. causes the home to be destroyed and the tenants displaced. The community rallies and raises money, clothes and children’s toys to assist families impacted by the blaze.
  • Youth from Amherstburg Community Church re-enacted what those in Third World countries have to go through to get water and raised a few bucks at the same time. The group of about 30 youth and their leaders walked from the church on Alma St. to Sandwich St. S. then headed to the drive-thru Tim Horton’s location then turned around and walked back to the church. That distance was roughly five kilometres.
  • Amber Bernachi of Amherstburg captured the 2017 Miss Eco International pageant and it was the highlight thus far of the 26-year-old’s pageant career. The pageant was in Egypt and she said winning for Canada “was one of the best experiences of my life.”
  • Jaclyn Balogh, a French and civics teacher at General Amherst High School, was one of the recipients of an Outstanding Service Award and joined colleagues from across Windsor-Essex County in receiving the honour at a Greater Essex County District School Board meeting.
  • The Memorial Cup visited Amherstburg with the junior hockey championship tournament being held in Windsor. The Windsor Spitfires, backstopped by Amherstburg native Michael DiPietro, would win the Memorial Cup tournament.
  • The Belle Vue Conservancy held its first golf tournament, entitled “Bogies and Birdies for Belle Vue,” at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor. Total proceeds from the tournament amounted to $10,080.59.
  • The Marsh Historical Collection moves from its long-time Dalhousie St. office to its new home at 80 Richmond St. The new location, inside the Heritage Square plaza, is on one floor and offers better accessibility.
  • Town council approved the tender for the Meloche Road project with J&J Lepera awarded the contract for their bid of $3,929,700, plus HST. According to a report from manager of engineering Todd Hewitt, the total budget for the project is over $4.3 million. The town received nearly $2 million in an Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) grant. The work, consisting of new storm sewers, multi-use trails, bike lanes, lights and a new road surface, was completed in November.

With Mayor Aldo DiCarlo at the helm, an excavator prepares to take the first chunks out of the motel
portion of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn.


  • Amherstburg Public School received a $70,000 literacy grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, with the local elementary school being one of 30 schools nationwide to get funding under the program.
  • Representatives of the Bicentennial Branch Essex-Kent of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada (UELAC) were at the historic 200-year-old Belle Vue to give the Belle Vue Conservancy a cheque for $5,000.
  • Five boxers from Amherstburg’s Fighting Island Boxing Club travelled to Toronto recently and all came home with gold medals. Fighters include Brandon French, Spencer Quinn, Jesse Hasson, Alexander Weaving and Luca Coppola.
  • The Amherstburg Fire Department teamed with the Amherstburg Rotary Club’s Ribfest committee and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) on a carbon monoxide (CO) safety program. A total of $9,500 was used to purchase 623 carbon monoxide alarms for free distribution to vulnerable residents in the community. The Ribfest committee kicked in $5,000 of the $9,500 total with an additional $2,500 coming from a Rotary International grant. The remaining $2,000 was funded by the fire department.
  • The Amherstburg Horticultural Society, in cooperation with The House Youth Centre and the Town of Amherstburg, hosted the 32nd Annual Garden Tour. Aligning with National Garden Days, this self-guided tour featured 12 private gardens paired with artisans & musicians.
  • EMS Team Ontario won gold at the prestigious Rallye Rejviz International Paramedic Competition in the Czech Republic. Team members, all from Essex-Windsor EMS, consist of Chris Kirwan, Lance Huver, Mike Filiault and Shawn May. Huver is from Amherstburg.
  • The Amherstburg Freedom Museum presented the annual “Ribs & Ragtime” event. Approximately 200 people sat under tents in the front of the museum and enjoyed ribs, chicken and the music of the band “Straight Ahead.”
  • Students at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School led the way in the fight against cancer as they held a Relay for Life event on and inside of the school’s track. Estimates on fundraising totals exceeded $30,000.
  • General Amherst High School held its annual athletic award banquet. Among the award winners were Megan Wismer for top female athlete and Brock Beaudoin for top male athlete.
  • An annual celebration of Essex County’s trail and paved shoulder network ended with a bang in Amherstburg. Amherstburg was the final stop on the County-Wide Active Transportation (CWATS) celebration tour as every municipality in Essex County participated.
  • The official groundbreaking for the Fort Family Fun Centre was held. The changeover from the Verdi Club to the Fort Family Fun Centre sees the building converted into one that has a bowling alley, arcade, party room, restaurant and laser tag arena.
  • The House Youth Centre teams with Convergint Technologies for upgrades. Approximately 15 employees from the company took over The House to replace all the heating valves, put new thermostats and set up a new computer operating building automation system for heating, taking control of the boiler. They also installed a new camera system and made fire safety improvements.
  • Becky Parent becomes the new executive director of the House Youth Centre. She also assumes the same position with Big Brothers Big Sisters Windsor-Essex.
  • The J. “Wimpy” Tiefenbach Memorial Volleyball Tournament was held with 33 teams in four divisions. The tournament was played at the Fort Family Fun Centre on both the sand volleyball courts as well as grass courts chalked out behind the sand courts.
  • For the third year in a row, General Amherst has raised the maximum amount of $10,000 in the Buick Drive for Your students test drive event. The $10,000 that was raised at the May 13 event at Amherstburg GMC Buick will go towards funding for many of the school clubs and organizations, depending on what club participating students and adults were representing or wanted their money to go towards.
  • General Amherst principal Hazel Keefner retires after a 29-year career, all but one of it being with the Greater Essex County District School Board. She began at Holy Names in the 1988-89 school year before coming to the public board after being hired to teach at General Amherst. She would teach at Essex District High School for 14 years before moving on as vice principal at Western, then Kingsville and then becoming principal at Riverside. She came back to Amherst in 2012. Melissa DeBruyne succeeds her with DeBruyne coming over from Western Secondary.
  • A local World War II veteran has been honoured with a Canada 150 medal as well as a Quilt of Valour. The presentation was made to Private Kenneth Gordon Farrow, who is now 97-years-old and a resident at Richmond Terrace Long-Term Care Facility. The quilt was made by Jan Bergeron and the medal was presented by Capt. Richard Girard CD Ret., the branch service officer with Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, and Don Nantais, the Zone A-2 branch service officer and second vice president of Legion Br. 157.
  • Anderdon Public School achieved platinum status through Ontario Eco-Schools, up from the gold status the elementary school achieved last year.
  • A bench dedicated at St. Bernard School was brought to Stella Maris School now that the former is closed. The bench is in memory of former teacher Michelle Fischer. A second “buddy bench” was also dedicated, with the second one being donated by Windsor Chapel Funeral Home.
  • Community Living Essex County conducts its 56th annual general meeting. Ron Giofu is acclaimed as president for a third straight year. Amherstburg’s Celine LaBrecque was named winner of the Bruce Crozier Memorial Award while Alvin Matte won the west area’s (Amherstburg/LaSalle) outstanding achievement award.
  • Windsor Spitfire goalie and Amherstburg native Michael DiPietro was drafted by the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. DiPietro was selected in the third round, 64th overall by the Canucks at the NHL Draft in Chicago.
  • Dr. Adrian Ninaber takes over as pastor at Lighthouse Church. Ninaber is also known as the “Powerlifting Pastor.”
  • Approximately 1,400 motorcycles pass through Amherstburg as part of the Bob Probert Memorial Ride. Local stops on the tour included The Fort Fun Centre and Wolfhead Distillery. The event raised $120,000 this year for Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital’s angioplasty program.
  • The Greater Essex County District School Board approved the space template for the new 828-student high school coming to Amherstburg. The space template to determine the number of square feet needed based on the programs the school would like to offer, explained Amherstburg/LaSalle trustee Ron LeClair.
  • Steve Brown retires as the town’s chief building official. His 44-year career saw the last 23 of which spent in the town of Amherstburg.
  • The Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association (WETRA) received funding through the New Horizons Seniors program for a community based project and presented one for the “young at heart.” WETRA held a “Young at Heart: 50+ Active Living Day” recently with music, performances and information.
  • Wesley United Church held its final service June 25. The church’s closure was blamed on declining numbers as only 15 would attend services on an average Sunday. The church had a 225-year history in Amherstburg.
  • A local gym left their usual home and headed for the beach. About 50 members of the Garage Gym were on the beach behind homes on Lakewood Dr. in co-operation with several homeowners in the area for a large workout session.
  • Essex-Windsor EMS whittled 150 applicants down to 11 and the 11 new recruits they selected were sworn in at a ceremony at the Essex Civic Centre.
  • A local Special Olympian struck gold on the links. Kyle Spearing, 25, won the gold medal at the Special Olympics North America (SONA) golf tournament. He competed in the level five, division six category. The tournament was held June 26-28 in Seattle.

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