Back to Detroit: U.S. land border opens after longest interruption in history


Open more share options Breadcrumb Trail Links Local News Back to Detroit: U.S. land border opens after longest interruption in history Author of the article:Trevor Wilhelm Publishing date:Nov 08, 2021 • November 8, 2021 • 4 minute read • 6 Comments Todd Shearon of Windsor poses in front of Comerica Park in downtown Detroit on Monday, November 8, 2021. He crossed the border into Detroit shortly after midnight to reunite with his American fiancee. Todd Shearon of Windsor poses in front of Comerica Park in downtown Detroit on Monday, November 8, 2021. He crossed the border into Detroit shortly after midnight to reunite with his American fiancee. PHOTO BY DAN JANISSE /Windsor Star

There were lunch dates, family reunions and mystery packages.

The longest border interruption in Canadian history ended after midnight Monday when the U.S. opened its doors to non-essential travellers.


There wasn’t a mad rush of Canadians over the Windsor-Detroit border, but the ones who made the trip were ecstatic — and a little nervous — to be back in the Motor City.

“It kind of felt weird,” said Todd Shearon, who went to Detroit to visit his fiancée. “You’re almost guilty like you’re doing something wrong. It’s been forbidden for so long for most people.”

The Canada-U.S. land border first closed to non-essential travel in March 2020. People on both sides of the border were cut off from travel, vacation homes and, most importantly, friends and family living in opposite nations.



Kim Spirou of Windsor is shown at the Detroit Mailbox office in Detroit on November 8, 2021. She was picking up a package that was being held there for several months. PHOTO BY DAN JANISSE /Windsor Star


Canada was the first to relent, opening its border to fully vaccinated Americans in August. The U.S. finally reciprocated on Monday.


“It feels good, it feels like I’m free again to roam around,” said Paul Talbot, who crossed the border for a friend’s birthday party. “I love Detroit. I love everything about Detroit. I worked over here for five years. I’ve got a lot of friends. I travel a lot.”


Kim Spirou, who went to Detroit for some shopping and lunch with a friend, also said it felt like freedom.


“I used to take walks along the river and just look longingly at the riverfront knowing I had all these friends over here that I couldn’t see,” she said. “It’s just a great sense of freedom now that we can just cross the land border and do what we always loved to do with our American family.”


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