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Things to know about ESSEX, Ontario: (Source: Discover Essex)
As one of Canada’s most southerly municipalities, Essex enjoys hot summers and mild winters. Our rich agricultural lands are some of the most productive in the province and our numerous wineries have a well-deserved national reputation. Housing prices are amongst the lowest in Canada and our well-tended urban areas, prosperous farm community and locational advantages are major attractions to new residents. In 2012, the Town was named one of the safest places to live in Canada.
The Town of Essex, population 20,427 (Source: 2016 Census), comprises four urban communities – Essex Centre, Harrow, Colchester and McGregor – and a large agricultural hinterland with field crop production, horse farms and vineyards.
Essex Centre, the largest of the four urban areas, is in the geographic centre of the County and is home to the Essex 73’s, the most successful Junior C hockey team in Ontario. While Essex Centre has many local shops and services, its location means that residents can enjoy quick access to any part of the County, including large urban centres in Windsor and Detroit. Highway 401, a main transportation route, is just minutes away.
Harrow serves the agricultural community and is home to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research centre for greenhouse vegetables and field crops. This urban centre offers a number of local shops and services. For almost 160 years, it has hosted the Harrow Fair every Labour Day weekend. As one of Ontario’s oldest country fairs, the Harrow Fair has stayed true to its rural heritage with its strong emphasis on highlighting and honouring the products of our farmers.
Colchester is a waterfront community on the shores of Lake Erie that is noted for its marina and its beautiful public beach. Known for its annual Walleye Derby in early June, Colchester is also a quiet stop for cyclists and other tourists following the wine route and the Lake Erie Waterfront Trail. As one of the oldest communities in the region, with roots going back to the Proclamation of 1792, the War of 1812 and the Underground Railroad, its history is a symbolic reflection of our Canadian heritage.
McGregor, with its strong roots in agriculture, is also notable for its outdoor sports activities at Co-An Park and the annual McGregor Music Festival. It is also home to the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Museum, the largest steam engine museum in Ontario.