When I interviewed at UofD I actually talked to a few Canadian students that commuted to school everyday from Windsor. They said it wasn't to bad. Everyone drives about a half an hour to school everyday any how since the neighborhood is not to great.
AHHH...the good ole Ambassador Bridge! Brings back memories....When I hitchiked from Mexico to Detroit, my ride left me and my friend at the foot of the bridge..than out of nowhere, like 10 Customs Officials surrounded us and told us to go away, because the bridge didnt have any pedestrian traffic.....we asked them how we could get back into Canada, and the sarcastic A-hole said, "Why dont you try New York".....anyways, we saw an Ontario trucker just about to cross the bridge, and we asked if we could tag along. We asked him where he was from, and he said Brantford, Ontario so we yelled "GRETZKY!", showed him our Canadian passports, and hopped on. Can you believe he actually took two punk idiots with backpacks across the border!!! Trust me, I was kissing the Canadian passport after that one!
Anyways, sorry for babbling. I think its a great idea to live in Windsor!!! NO need for a visa, and you would still pay Canadian dollars in rent, so even with the toll, you still probably break even. And the crime rate in Windsor is like nothing.
The only bad thing I could see is that when the terror alert goes Orange, border crossings become long and annoying.
Although you might not need a visa, I suggest that you get one. Because of the tighten security at border crossings, to save you unneccessay time and the possibility of frequent searches, you should at least get the I-20 which is issued by the university.
Also, I have experience travelling between Windsor and Detroit...you just have to know when to avoid crossing during certain periods because you will have to wait A WHILE to get across. I know the tunnel will shut down periodically at peak times to minimize tunnel congestion, and exit from the U.S hwy to the bridge is usually lined up with trucks in the morning.
However, because you will be starting school at 8 am at UDM, you should be able to avoid the morning traffic!