Windsor was the first Canadian city with an electric streetcar system. Streetcar #351 served on the fleet of the SW&A (Sandwich, Walkerville and Amherstburg) until the system was dismantled in the late 1930s. The City of Windsor acquired Streetcar #351 in 2017, preserving a piece of Windsor’s history. Streetcar #351 is one of only three streetcars formerly used in Windsor which is still in existence.
City Council approved funding for the restoration of the streetcar, hoping to bring it to its former glory and showcase it so that residents can experience first-hand what early transportation in our city was like. Streetcar #351 was first brought to Windsor from New Jersey, and remained in the area even after retirement. Streetcar #351 was found in Belle River, where a cottage had been built around it. Once restored, it will be incorporated into the landscape of Windsor, possibly gracing the riverfront.
The streetcar was built in 1918 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was first used in New Jersey. In 1926, it was purchased along with 19 others for the Sandwich, Windsor and Amherstburg Railway (SW&A) line and was used in a route to Tecumseh. It had a smoking compartment which was common for the electric streetcars that ran from Windsor to Tecumseh, Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville and Leamington.
Renovation on the car began in October 2017, and was at 70% completion in February 2019. In order to house the streetcar, the City of Windsor is asking citizens for $100,000 through a campaign named “Preserve and Protect.”