How Canadians are paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Posted at 9:55 PM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-08 23:19:45-04

WINDSOR, Ontario (WXYZ) — The queen never graced the Motor City, but she visited Canada 22 times in her 70 years in power.

A picture of her along the Detroit River from 1951 was shared with 7 Action News.

In the past, she referred to Canada as home. Her death sent shock waves across the country. 7 Action News visited Windsor, Ontario Thursday to see how she’s being remembered just over the bridge.

Queen Elizabeth in Windsor Detroit River
Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) and Prince Philip on a visit to Windsor, Ontario in 1951 with the Detroit skyline in the background.

We saw one of Windsor’s most popular attractions, Queen Elizabeth II’s sunken garden. Her image and likeness are weaved into the fabric of this city and the rest of the country.

"The last visit to our city was 1984, her and Prince Philip," Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said.

The queen’s own signature is in this guest book. Back then, Dilkens was a young boy.

"I was in elementary school, we all had to march down and walk about a mile down to the main road where she was going to be passing after arriving to Windsor airport," Dilkens said.

The queen’s presence is felt and seen all over the city. Every day, Canadians walk through a beautiful garden that’s dedicated to the global icon. Her death is still unbelievable for some.

“To be honest, I thought she was never going to die. I thought she was almost immortal," Ciara McDonald of Windsor said.

The queen came into power in 1952, just one year before Jenny Nolan was born. She says she was fortunate enough to see her majesty in person at Buckingham Palace.

“She came in the car right beside me with a couple Corgis in the back, and I was really amazed at how little she was in real life because she seemed large as life, I guess," Nolan said.

Nolan is in Canada visiting her son. She lives in a Australia, a country that also lost their queen.

"It's very sad. People in Australia are portraying the same feelings," she said.

The queen was Canada's longest serving monarch. Her rule was more symbolic than anything, and not everyone is pledging allegiance.

"For some people, a symbol of pain, especially with colonialism?" Michael J. Krym of Windsor said. “One hundred percent and on top of that, the queen represented to a lot of people here an outdated system -- a system people were trying to get away from."

The throne now belonging to King Charles III.

The mayor of Windsor says the city plans to have a vigil in the queen's honor. Details about that are still being finalized.