Best Of Windsor Essex Awards 2019 Winners Announced by TWEPI

Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island announced the winners of the fourth edition of the Best of Windsor Essex Awards, based on public nominations, during a special ceremony held at St. Clair Centre For The Arts last Thursday (March 28). The voting ran from February 4th through February 24th, 2019 with the goal of putting together the most comprehensive list of the “best things to see and do” in the region.

Just for voting, the public was entered into to a draw for a chance to win a grand prize featuring a $500 shopping spree at some of the Best of Windsor Essex Award winners. The lucky winner was Mike Soda who was at the awards ceremony to claim his prize.

Mike Soda and Gordon Orr

Mike Soda (left), winner of the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Shopping Spree Grand Prize with Gordon Orr at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

This popular social media campaign drew a tremendous response where Windsor Essex businesses received over 12,400 nominations, with 232 finalists across 46 awards. Voting categories included the best in: Arts & Entertainment, Attractions & Events, Drink, Food, Outdoor Adventure, Shopping, Stay, and Photo Op.

In addition to commemorative plaques, a letter of congratulations and bragging rights, winners will also be mentioned in Tourism Windsor Essex’s 2019/20 Official Visitor Guide and at bestofwindsoressex.ca. This specifically designed site will feature a mini-profile and photo of each winner and a highlight of the top 5 finalists per category.

TWEPI Best of Windsor Essex 2019 Awards Winners

Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Awards Winners gathered for a group photo at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Finalists and winners will be able to use this campaign to differentiate their business, increase their visibility, validate their achievements, and act as a strong testimonial of their offerings. Furthermore, this campaign has created an authentic list that is expected to resonate with visitors, giving Tourism Windsor Essex the opportunity to highlight some of the best of what the region has to offer.

Gordon Orr, CEO Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island

Gordon Orr, Chief Executive Officer Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, speaking during the Best of Windsor Essex Awards at St. Clair Centre for The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

“Now in its fourth year and with a record-breaking numbers of votes, you can see how much Windsor Essex businesses and their fans have embraced the Best of Windsor Essex Awards as a way to establish themselves as leading tourism operators in our region” said Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island. “Our goal from the Best of Windsor Essex Awards is to showcase iconic experiences, hidden gems, and everything in between. Use this list as a great way to explore Windsor Essex!”

Best of Windsor Essex Arts & Entertainment Awards 2019

Caesars Windsor Best Entertainment Venue Award

Caesars Windsor receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Entertainment Venue at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Best Art Gallery or Art Space

Art Gallery of Windsor

Finalists included Chiaroscuro Artists’ Supplies & Showroom, Gibson Gallery, Leamington Arts Centre, and Merlis’ Eatery & Beverage House.

Best Entertainment Venue

Colosseum at Caesars Windsor

Finalists included Capitol Theatre Windsor, Chrysler Theatre, Leamington Amphitheatre, and Phog Lounge.

Best Museum or Heritage Space

John R. Park Homestead

Finalists included Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village, Chimczuk Museum, Park House Museum, and Pelee Island Heritage Centre.

Best Theatre Company / Performing Arts Group

Windsor Symphony Orchestra

Finalists included Edmunds Towers School of Dance, Korda Artistic Productions, University Players, and Windsor Light Music Theatre.

Best Tour Experience

WindsorEats

Finalists included Grapevine Tours, J.P. Wiser’s Distillery Experience, Rum Runners Tour, and Windsor Adventure Inc.

Best of Windsor Essex Attractions & Events Awards 2019

Bluesfest Windsor Best of Windsor Essex Music Festival Award Winner

Bluesfest Windsor receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Music Festival for the second year in a row at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Best Attraction – Family Friendly

Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens

Finalists included Adventure Bay Family Water Park, Point Pelee National Park, Sky one Trampoline Park, and Zap Zone Fun Centre.

Best Attraction – Gaming

Caesars Windsor

Finalists included Chances Gaming Lounge, Leamington Raceway, Paradise Gaming Centre, and Wizards of Walkerville.

Best Attraction – Historical

Fort Malden National Historic Site

Finalists included Amherstburg Freedom Museum, Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village, John R. Park Homestead, and Willistead Manor.

Best Festival – Arts

Art in the Park

Finalists included Art at the Marina Leamington, Art by The River, Walkerville Art Walk, and Windsor International Film Festival.

Best Festival – Community Holiday Event

Bright Lights Windsor

Finalists included Amherstburg River Lights, Combersation Holiday Event, Kingsville Fantasy of Lights, and Walkerville Holiday Walk.

Best Festival – Family & Fairs

Harrow Fall Fair

Finalists included Essex Fun Fest, Ford Fireworks, LaSalle Stawberry Festival, and Tecumseh Corn Festival.

Best Festival – Food & Drink

Carrousel of the Nations

Finalists included Amherstburg Rotary Rib Festival, Taste of Tecumseh, Windsor Craft Beer Festival, and Windsor Rib & Craft Beer Festival.

Best Festival – Music

Bluesfest Windsor

Finalists included Chaps & Spurs Country Festival, Hogs 4 Hospice, Island Unplugged Music Festival, and Kingsville Folk Music Festival.

Best Festival – Street Event

Open Streets Windsor

Finalists included Amherstburg Gone Car Crazy Show, Buskerville Windsor, Dropped on Drouillard, and Stroll the Street Belle River.

Best of Windsor Essex Drink Awards 2019

Walkerville Brewery Best Brewery Experience Award Winner

Walkerville Brewery receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Brewery Experience at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Art of a Cocktail

Wolfhead Distillery

Finalists included Blind Owl, F&B Walkerville, Grand Cantina, and Jack’s Gastropub.

Best Brewery Experience

Walkerville Brewery

Finalists included Craft Heads Brewing Co., FRANK Brewing Co., GL Heritage Brewing Co., and The Grove Brew House.

Best Coffee House or Roaster

Anchor Coffee House

Finalists included 30mL Coffee Co., Caffeine & Co., Merlis’ Eatery & Beverage House, and Taloola Café.

Best Winery Experience

Pelee Island Winery

Finalists included Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, Muscedere Vineyards, Oxley Estate Winery, and Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.

Best of Windsor Essex Food Awards 2019

Thai Palace Best Asian Restaurant Award

Thai Palace receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Asian Restaurant at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Best Around The World Eats

Mazaar Lebanese Cuisine

Finalists included Grand Cantina, Kabobgy, Mare Nostrum, and Mi Casita.

Best Asian Cuisine

Thai Palace Restaurant

Finalists included Jade Chinese Cuisine, Koi Sushi, Pomegranate Chinese Cuisine, and Shin Shin.

Best Breakfast

The Twisted Apron

Finalists included Garfield’s, Stacks, The Lumberjack, and TOAST Restaurant.

Best Burger Joint

Mamo Burger Bar

Finalists included Barrel House Draught Co. & Grill, Crave Family Grill & Pub, Jack’s Gastropub, and Motor Burger.

Best Ice Cream

Dairy Freez

Finalists included Busker’s Submarine, Slinky’s Ice Cream, Stop 26 Ice Cream & More, and Waterfront Ice Cream.

One-of-a-kind Food Event

Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast Harvest Dinner

Finalists included Craft Beer & Chocolate Pairing at GL Heritage Brewing Co., EPIC March Mac’ness, Iron Kettle High Tea, and Windsor Eats Dinner on a Pier.

Best Pasta House

Spago

Finalists included O’Sarracino Trattoria & Wine Bar, Piccolo’s Pizza & Pasta House, Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant, and The Cook Shop.

Best Perch

Jack’s Gastropub

Finalists included Birdie’s Perch, Paula’s Fish Place, Sandbar Waterfront Grill, and Wolfhead Distillery.

Best Pizza Pie

Armando’s

Finalists included Antonino’s Original Pizza, Brenko’s House of Pizza, Capri Pizzeria, and Oven 360.

Best Poutine

Frenchy’s Poutinery

Finalists included Birdie’s Perch, Eighteen Twelve Putinerie, Phog Lounge, and Simon’s Prime Hamburgers.

Best Sweet Treat or Bakery

Sweet Revenge Bake Shop

Finalists included Lakeside Bakery, Little House of Cupcakes, Riverside Pie Cafe, and Stiemar Breads Windsor.

Best Vegan or Vegetarian Bites

Carrots & Dates

Finalists included Healthy Mama, Merlis’ Eatery & Beveragehouse., Nooch Vegan Eatery, and Taloola Cafe.

Best Wing Stop

Rock Bottom Bar & Grill

Finalists included Bull & Barrel Urban Saloon, Hurricanes Pub and Grill, John Max Sports & Wings, and Loose Goose Resto Pub & Lounge.

Best of Windsor Essex Outdoor Adventure Awards 2019

Urban Surf Co. Best On The Water Experience Award

Urban Surf Co. receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best On The Water Experience at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Birding Hot Spot

Point Pelee National Park

Finalists included Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary, Ojibway Park, and Pelee Island Bird Observatory.

Best Golf Course

Kingsville Golf & Country Club

Finalists included Ambassador Golf Club, Oxley Beach Golf Course, Roseland Golf & Curling Club, and Sutton Creek Golf Club.

Best On The Water Experience

Urban Surf Co.

Finalists included Pelee Island Charters, Pelee Wings Paddleboards Shop, Windsor Adventure Inc., and Windsor River Cruises.

Best Outdoor Attraction

Boardwalk at Point Pelee National Park

Finalists included 42 at Point Pelee National Park, Bert Weeks Memorial Fountain, Rotary Centennial Park, and Windsor Sculpture Park.

Best Park or Garden

Kings Navy Yard Park

Finalists included Coventry Gardens, Dieppe Gardens, Jackson Park, and Point Pelee National Park.

Best Trail

Ganatchio Trail

Finalists included ERCA Greenway, Malden Park, Ojibway Park, and Point Pelee National Park.

Best of Windsor Essex Shopping Awards 2019

Walkerville BIA Best Shopping District Award

Walkerville BIA. receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Shopping District at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Best Antiques or Vintage Store

Timeless Treasures

Finalists included Attic Treasures, Harrow Antique and Collectible Centre, and The Dusty Loft Antiques & Collectables.

Best Mall

Devonshire Mall

Finalists included Tecumseh Mall, and Windsor Crossing Premium Outlets.

Best Shopping District

Walkerville BIA

Finalists included Amherstburg, Kingsville, Ottaway Street, and Wyandotte Street.

Best WE Made It: YQG Made Store

Urban Art Market

Finalists included Dutch Boys Chocolate, Michael Difazio Reclaim Artistry, Ocean Bottom Soap Company, and Soutwest Shores.

Best of Windsor Essex Places To Stay Awards 2019

Iron Kettle B&B Best Bed and Breakfast Award

Iron Kettle B&B. receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Bed & Breakfast at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Best Bed & Breakfast

Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast

Finalists included A Hidden Gem B&B, Inn 31 at Jack’s Gastropub, Kingsville House Bed & Breakfast, and Wandering Dog Inn.

Best Campground

Leisure Lake RV Resort

Finalists included East Park Campground, oTENTik at Point Pelee National Park, Sturgeon Woods Campground, and Willowood RV Resort.

Best Cottage

Stone’s Throw Cottage

Finalists included Charlies Retreat, Escape by the Lake, Holiday Beach Cottage, and Oxley Beach House.

Best Hotel/Motel

Caesars Windsor

Finalists included Best Western PLUS Leamington, Seacliffe Inn, The Grove Hotel, and Towneplace Suites by Marriott.

Best of Windsor Essex Photo Op Award 2019

Windsor Waterfront Best Photo Op Award

City of Windsor Waterfront receiving the Tourism Windsor Essex and Pelee Island Best of Windsor Essex Award for Best Photo Op at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts on March 28, 2019. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Best Photo Op

Windsor Riverfront

Finalists included Great Canadian Flag, Jackson Park, Kings Navy Yard Park, Lakeside Park, Leamington Marina, Peace Fountain, Pelee Island Light House, Point Pelee, and Willistead Manor.

The full photo gallery of award winners can be found the Eyes On Windsor Facebook Page.