Willistead Manor is a 36-room mansion nestled within a 15-acre park, that offers gracious accommodations for weddings, receptions, meetings, and other special events. Willistead Manor was built in 1906 for Edward Chandler Walker, the second son of Hiram Walker, founder of the world-renowned distillery. Managed by the Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture, and Facilities, Willistead Manor offers seven uniquely designed rooms to rent for special events. Public tours available at select times during the summer and winter. Call for private tours with groups of 25 or more.
Holiday Tours offered in December. Tour one of Windsor’s most elegant mansions all decked out in its holiday finest. An unforgettable experience for all.
The City of Windsor invites you to tour historic Willistead Manor along with the new Coach House Historical Exhibition on select Tuesdays and Sundays in July.
Remaining public summer tours of Willistead Manor and the Coach House Historical Exhibition are being offered as follows:
- Tuesdays, July 11, 18 and 25, 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m.
- Sundays, July 16 and 23, 2023, from 1 to 4 p.m.
- Cost is $6.25 for adults, $5.25 for students and seniors, and $2.75 for children 12 and under.
- Reservations are not required in advance.
- Tickets are to be purchased on-site upon arrival at the Coach House, using cash, debit or credit.
Summer tours include the full main Manor House; the Paul Martin Gardens; and the Coach House Historical Exhibition, which shares the story of Hiram Walker, the Walker family and legacy, the formation of Walkerville, Edward and Mary Walker, construction and history of Willistead Manor, and much more. This permanent exhibition is supported by the Charleigh Charitable Trust, the Walker descendants, Willistead Manor Inc., the Friends of Willistead, and the City of Windsor.
New this year, the Friends of Willistead offer an assortment of Willistead-themed keepsake items available for purchase (cash only) as part of the tours. The Friends of Willistead are a non-profit volunteer organization in the Windsor that has been in existence for over 40 years. Working alongside the City of Windsor, they are committed to the preservation, restoration and interpretation of Willistead Manor, and are dedicated to the promotion of public awareness and appreciation of the manor as part of Windsor’s unique cultural and artistic heritage.
Willistead Manor was built in 1906 for Edward Chandler Walker, the second son of Hiram Walker, founder of the world-renowned distillery, and Edward’s wife, Mary Elizabeth Griffin Walker. Albert Kahn, a noted Detroit architect of the day, built three buildings on the 15-acre estate: the Manor House, the Coach House, and the Gatehouse. With a design created in the 16th Century Tudor-Jacobean style of an English manor house, construction of the main building began in 1904. No expense was spared in the materials or labour. Edward and his wife Mary moved into Willistead Manor in 1906. In naming the estate, Edward commemorated his older brother Willis, who had died some years before. Edward lived in Willistead Manor until his death in 1915. He was buried in St. Mary’s churchyard across the street from his property on Niagara Street. Five years later, the Walker Family deeded Willistead Manor to the Town of Walkerville. Upon amalgamation of the Border Cities in 1935, the City of Windsor inherited this magnificent gift from the past. Over the years, the Willistead Manor has been a public library and an art gallery. Today, the 36-room mansion is a perfect location for weddings, receptions, theatre performances, poetry readings, and other special events.
The 2023 Willistead Manor Summer Tours are presented in partnership between the City of Windsor and the Friends of Willistead.