James L Dunn Public School

The Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) built James L. Dunn Public School to help meet increased demands for French Immersion programming in the City of Windsor. This school replaced Giles Campus French Immersion Public School.


The new school is located at 1167 Mercer St., and includes the historic International Playing Card Co. building.


Construction began in November of 2019 and the school opened in September of 2022. 

Project information

Project details for the new school include:

  • Grant: $15,230,000
  • Number of students: 645
  • Architect: J.P. Thomson Architects
  • General contractor: Fortis ​Group

Construction update

During the site preparation, two sets of railway tracks were discovered under the ground and both had to be removed to build the school foundation. Delays like this are always part of any construction project.

Photo Gallery: James L Dunn Public School will appear here on the public site.

School name

The GECDSB Board of Trustees selected James L. Dunn Public School as the name of the new school due to Dunn's historical significance in Windsor.

In 1883 he fought, unsuccessfully, to have his daughter enrolled at an all-white school because the school for Black children was under-funded and did not provide an adequate education. After his failure in court, however, Dunn worked to improve the education system from within. First he earned a seat as a Trustee with the Windsor Board of Education and then he was elected as the City's first Black alderman.

But James Dunn's accomplishments were not limited to politics and education. He and his brother, Robert, bought the company where he worked in the 1860s and renamed it Dunn's Paint and Varnish. They developed new processes and operated the company in the community for years.

James L. Dunn Public School is a reflection on determination, community service, education and manufacturing.