Joseph Chimczuk was born on October 17th. 1897 in Pednolaccyke,
Ukraine. After 4 years of education in a rural environment, he
finally decided to come to Canada in 1926. At first in Winnipeg, he
moved to Windsor, and, by 1934 had married Anna (who had children by her
previous marriage) who was a hospital worker.
Joe obtained employment at the Ford Motor Co. of Canada as a
tinsmith, but he built his fortune by Real-Estate deals and by lending
money to many people who could not obtain normal financing.
He loved reading, spoke seven languages, and lived very frugally.
He did not spend any money if he could avoid it, (and many legends exist on this
topic, many stories have been amassed !) and further supplemented his
income by taking boarders into his home. He grew his own vegetables
sold lead castings, which he made at his home, and did not even own
a motor vehicle.
Joe and Annie had no children of their union, and Annie died
in 1971. That same year Joe offered land to the Library Board as long as
they could come up with the money to build it at that time, but funds
to construct the library, to be named after him, were not available
within his time frame, so the project lapsed.
Joseph Chimczuk wrote and published a book of Ukrainian proverbs
(also translated into English ),and painted in oils. (one of his paintings
can be seen to this day in the Francois Baby House on Pitt Street.)
As he became older and his fortune grew, he increasingly felt
that people were after his money. After writing several wills, his
final decision was to leave his entire estate to the Corporation of the City
of Windsor, as Trustees and Beneficiaries, to "build a building to be
known as the "C(H)IMCZUK MUSEUM" for use as a cultural museum and
archives and library ".
Joseph Chimczuk died on December 2nd. 1990,and is buried next to
his wife Anna in the Cemetery on Ottawa Street (near Howard Ave.)
He left two sisters and three nieces, but nobody to carry on the
In the 15 Years since his death, his legacy has grown from
$1 Million to $3 Million. Many groups have attempted to acquire
his money, but without success.
Chimczuk Museum Inc. is committed to building the Chimczuk
MuseumTM and finally fulfilling Joe's dreams.