The Barn, McDougall Avenue, June 2019

Bringing Back the Barn

In 2013 the Windsor Arena closed its doors permanently. More than six years later, the fate of the arena has yet to be determined. The barn is best known as the home of the Windsor Spitfires however few people understand the cultural impact this building has had on the people living in the city of Windsor and surrounding area. The barn served Windsor’s hockey needs each winter, while the summer months hosted a variety of attractions. From the Big Time Wrestling show to the World’s biggest shoe sale, the barn certainly did its time. You could probably say the barn worked over-time to satisfy the needs of the city. But is its time up?

Ghost From the Past

September of 2019 the barn turned ninety-four years old, making it one of the oldest arenas of its kind in North America. Originally named the Border Cities Arena, the barn was built in 1924 by the Canadian Bridge Corporation, a local Windsor business. The ice rink opened for the first time in 1925, when over 7,000 fans packed into the barn to watch the Victoria Cougars take on the New York Americans of the NHL. For eighty-eight consecutive years, the barn opened its doors to the people of Windsor-Detroit, making it the hub of Windsor’s downtown core. When they finally closed the doors, not many people showed up to see it end. In March of 2012, only 300 or so fans showed up to watch the University of Windsor Lancer’s take the ice for the last time. Closed, but not demolished. After serving the city for almost nine decades, the barn has become a ghost looming over the city’s downtown core. Time to bring it back!

Tell your story

How many events did you see at the barn? Whether you were a rink rat or a pro wrestler tell us your story and help us to save the barn. Bring back the barn with your memories.