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.
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.
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.
“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
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
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
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
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
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
Art of a Cocktail
Finalists included Blind Owl, F&B Walkerville, Grand Cantina, and Jack’s Gastropub.
Best Brewery Experience
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
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.
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
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
Finalists included O’Sarracino Trattoria & Wine Bar, Piccolo’s Pizza & Pasta House, Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant, and The Cook Shop.
Finalists included Birdie’s Perch, Paula’s Fish Place, Sandbar Waterfront Grill, and Wolfhead Distillery.
Best Pizza Pie
Finalists included Antonino’s Original Pizza, Brenko’s House of Pizza, Capri Pizzeria, and Oven 360.
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
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.
Finalists included ERCA Greenway, Malden Park, Ojibway Park, and Point Pelee National Park.
Best of Windsor Essex Shopping Awards 2019
Best Antiques or Vintage Store
Finalists included Attic Treasures, Harrow Antique and Collectible Centre, and The Dusty Loft Antiques & Collectables.
Finalists included Tecumseh Mall, and Windsor Crossing Premium Outlets.
Best Shopping District
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
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.
Leisure Lake RV Resort
Finalists included East Park Campground, oTENTik at Point Pelee National Park, Sturgeon Woods Campground, and Willowood RV Resort.
Stone’s Throw Cottage
Finalists included Charlies Retreat, Escape by the Lake, Holiday Beach Cottage, and Oxley Beach House.
Finalists included Best Western PLUS Leamington, Seacliffe Inn, The Grove Hotel, and Towneplace Suites by Marriott.
Best of Windsor Essex Photo Op Award 2019
Best Photo Op
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.