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The unknown fate of Windsor’s abandoned Greyhound Bus Terminal

January 2024

What will become of the City of Windsor’s former Greyhound bus terminal remains unknown despite a plan by the University of Windsor to incorporate it into its $32.6-million downtown creative arts and music campus. For now, the vacant building will remain as such.

Windsor’s Greyhound bus terminal opened in 1940, serving as the central station for both Greyhound’s inter-city bus services and Windsor Transit’s city-wide operations. The station, designed by local architects Hugh P. Sheppard and George Y. Masson, featured a two-storey front façade along University Avenue that used the streamline modernism design, an off-shoot of art deco, that had become standard to all Greyhound terminals, with single-storey yellow brick for the rear portion of the building.

This style is associated with American Architect W.S. Arrasmith, who designed at least 50 stations for Greyhound.

A remodeling in the 1970s saw the stone covered with pebble-gravel panels.

The station was in use until all transit activity was transferred to the new Windsor International Bus Terminal on Chatham Street West at Church Street. The building was then used as a farmer’s market until being bought by the University of Windsor in 2012, as a part of the university’s expansion of its downtown campus.

The original plan was to have the film production program move into the former bus depot, a part of its creative arts and music campus, a project that also includes the former Windsor Armoury and the former Tunnel Bar-B-Q property, both across the street. A part of the plan included demolition of all but the façade of the station and construction of a new one-storey 15,000 square fee building behind it, about twice the size of the original structure, and stretching the entire block north to Chatham Street. The Chatham Street Parkette, to the north of the depot, was to be converted into an outdoor performance area and gathering space.

Unfortunately, this plan was abandoned in 2017 after discovering the old bus depot sits directly above the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, limiting the ability to dig below or add weight to the site with a larger building. Instead, plans for a new film production building were shifted to the former Tunnel Bar-B-Q restaurant site.

Six years later, the former Windsor Bus Depot still sits boarded up and empty, awaiting an unknown fate. A fire on 23 December 2023 resulted in minor interior damage.

Sources: University plans for former bus station yet to be determined | Windsor Star, Future of Cleveland’s sleek Greyhound bus terminal is up in the air after recent sale – cleveland.com, Former Greyhound Station – Windsor, Ontario – Bus Stations on Waymarking.com, (106) Pinterest, UWindsor reveals vision for downtown campus | DailyNews, https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMNYET_Old_Greyhound_Station_Windsor_Ontario, Firefighters battle blaze at Windsor’s former downtown bus depot | Windsor Star, UPDATED: University of Windsor approves plans for building on Tunnel Bar-B-Q site | Windsor Star.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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