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The Detroit River is a 32-mile (51-km) long strait in the Great Lakes system. The name comes from the French RiviÃ¨re du DÃ©troit, which translates literally as River of the Strait. The Detroit River has served an important role in the history of Detroit and is one of the busiest waterways in the world. The river travels south from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, and the whole river carries the international border between Canada and the United States. The river divides the major metropolitan areas of Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontarioâ€Š—â€Šan area referred to as Detroit-Windsor. The two are connected by the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.