Cornwall, Ontario

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City (single-tier)
City of Cornwall
Pitt Street, downtown Cornwall
Pitt Street, downtown Cornwall
Flag of Cornwall
Coat of arms of Cornwall
Coat of arms
Official logo of Cornwall
Motto: Pro Patria
Cornwall is located in Southern Ontario
Coordinates: 45°01′39″N 74°44′24″W / 45.02750°N 74.74000°W / 45.02750; -74.74000Coordinates: 45°01′39″N 74°44′24″W / 45.02750°N 74.74000°W / 45.02750; -74.74000
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Founded 1784
 • Mayor Bob Kilger
 • Governing Body Cornwall City Council
 • MP Guy Lauzon (Conservative)
 • MPP Jim McDonell (PC)
 • Land 61.52 km2 (23.75 sq mi)
 • Metro 509.03 km2 (196.54 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 64.00 m (209.97 ft)
Population (2011)[1][2]
 • City (single-tier) 46,340
 • Density 753.2/km2 (1,951/sq mi)
 • Metro 58,957
 • Metro density 115.8/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal Code FSA K6H, K6J
Area code(s) 613 and 343

Cornwall is a city in eastern Ontario, Canada, and the seat of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. Cornwall is Ontario's easternmost city, located on the Saint Lawrence River, in the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor along Ontario Highway 401, and is the urban centre for surrounding communities, including Long Sault and Ingleside to the west, Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne to the south, St. Andrew's and Avonmore to the north, and Glen Walter, Martintown, Williamstown, and Lancaster to the east.

Cornwall lies on the 45th parallel, approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of Ottawa, the national capital, 120 kilometres (75 mi) southwest of Montreal, Quebec's largest city, and 440 kilometres (270 mi) northeast of Toronto, the provincial capital and Canada's largest city. It is named after the English Duchy of Cornwall; the city's coat of arms is based on that of the duchy with its colours reversed and the addition of a "royal tressure", a Scottish symbol of royalty.


Aboriginal peoples have lived in and around the area of present day Cornwall for millennia.

The first serious European settlement was established in 1784, by United Empire Loyalists, primarily from New York. Disbanded soldiers and their families began to settle at the site of Cornwall, then called New Johnstown.[4]

They were led by Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnson and were soldiers from the First Battalion King's Royal Regiment of New York and a contingent of the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants. Following the success of rebellious colonists in the American Revolution, the United Empire Loyalists (as they were later called) migrated to Canada. The British government helped them settle there in reward for their loyalty and compensation for their losses in the United States.

They founded a settlement on the site formerly called Pointe Maligne by French colonists and renamed it New Johnstown. It was later renamed Cornwall by the British for the Duke of Cornwall, by proclamation of Prince George, and in 1834 the town became one of the first incorporated municipalities in the British colony of Upper Canada.[5] The construction of the Cornwall Canal between 1834 and 1842 accelerated the community's development into an industrial centre.[4]

Situated west of Cornwall, along the St. Lawrence River, were several smaller communities. Now known as the Lost Villages, the communities were permanently flooded in 1958 by the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The massive Moses-Saunders Power Dam at the western end of the city required a reservoir, and the villages were flooded when it was filled.


Cornwall is a port-of-entry into Canada (Canada Border Services abandoned the Cornwall Island post May 31, 2009, but resumed service on July 13, 2009, at temporary facilities on the city's southern edge). The city is connected to the United States at Roosevelttown, near the municipalities of Massena, New York and Malone, New York, via the Three Nations Crossing (Canada, Mohawk, and U.S.A.) which traverses the St. Lawrence River and Cornwall Island, located within the Ontario portion of Akwesasne, a mostly Mohawk reserve.

Cornwall was once home to a thriving cotton processing industry. Courtaulds Canada, Inc.’s rayon manufacturing mill operated until 1992; at one point it employed nearly 3,000 people. Domtar, a Quebec-based company, operated a paper mill in the city for nearly 100 years, ceasing operations on March 31, 2006. At its peak, Domtar employed nearly 1,500 employees. In addition, Canadian Industries Limited (C.I.L.), has operated a plant in Cornwall since 1935.[citation needed] The Cornwall, ON location has been converted into a major deriatives plant.

Cornwall's industrial base has now shifted to a more diversified mix of manufacturing, automotive, high tech, food processing, distribution centres and call centres. The City hosts the largest SCM (Walmart) distribution centre in Canada, its massive 1,500,000-square-foot (140,000 m2) facility employing nearly 1000 people. Target Canada is building a new distribution centre in Cornwall's Business Park on a 169-acre (68 ha) parcel of land. The Target Canada distribution centre will be operated by Eleven Points Logistics. StarTek which downsized in 2011 and Teleperformance (closing Jan 2013) both operate call centres in Cornwall. Teleperformance provides in excess of 300 jobs. In late 2008, Shopper's Drug Mart announced the construction of a 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m2). distribution facility in Cornwall's Business Park. Construction started on the new facility in the summer of 2009; over 130 new jobs will be created. Service Canada has established a new contact centre which opened in 2010. Over 170 new jobs were created. Cornwall's unemployment rate is about 4%.[6]

MoneySense magazine rated Cornwall as Canada's 167th best place to live (out of 190), in 2012.[7]

Cornwall Square
Location Cornwall, Ontario
Opening date 1979
Owner Charter Real Estate Investment Trust
No. of stores and services 60+
No. of anchor tenants 2 (No Frills, Sears)
Total retail floor area 250,000 square feet (23,226 m2)
No. of floors 2

Cornwall Square, also known as The Square, is a two-level 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) shopping mall within Cornwall.[8][9]


Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1996 47,403 —    
2001 45,640 −3.7%
2006 45,965 +0.7%
2011 46,340 +0.8%

The 2006 census indicates that English is the first language of approximately 68% of the population, while 24% count French as their first native language. The remainder speak numerous mother tongues, including (among others) Mohawk, Greek, Italian, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Bosnian, and Tamil.[10]


Historic Cornwall Jail, now County Courthouse

The Cornwall City Council is governed by an elected eleven-member municipal government composed of the Mayor and ten Councillors representing the City as a whole. The Mayor and City Councillors serve four-year terms.

At the 2010 municipal election 56.5% of eligible voters did not vote—out of 30,655 registered voters, 13,338 cast ballots (43.5%).

The mayor of Cornwall is Bob Kilger. Cornwall is situated within the electoral district of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, which is represented provincially by MPP Jim McDonell (Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario), and federally by MP Guy Lauzon (Conservative). John Sandfield Macdonald, the first Premier of Ontario, was from Cornwall, and is buried in St. Andrews West at the Catholic Church cemetery.


Montreal Road

The city of Cornwall hosts festivals and special community events including; Canada Day festivities, and "Lift Off" hot air balloon festival.

Cornwall is named after the county of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. Its flag also bears the insignia and colours of the flag of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Lift Off[edit]

Lift Off is an annual festival centered around hot air balloons. The festival is held in Lamoureux Park on the St. Lawrence River and features, carnival rides, balloon rides and live music. Lift Off attracts thousands of visitors. Performers have included Collective Soul, Trooper, Tom Cochrane, April Wine, Sass Jordan, Glass Tiger, Dennis DeYoung, Chantal Kreviazuk, Theory of a Deadman, Kim Mitchell & Max Webster guitarist, Peter Fredette, Finger Eleven, Amanda Marshall, Our Lady Peace, and Marianas Trench.


Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School became a grade 7–12 school after amalgamating with General Vanier Intermediate School for the 2011–12 school year. The school celebrated its bicentennial in 2006 and, is the oldest school in Canada.[citation needed]. CCVS offers a complete French immersion program in grade 7–12.

St. Joseph's Secondary School is a part of the Catholic District Board and offers French immersion education. The newest high school in Cornwall is Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School[12] for grades 7 to 12, opened in response to overpopulation at St. Joseph's. Both schools offer French immersion education.

Cornwall also has two French high schools: l'École secondaire publique l'Héritage, and l’École secondaire catholique La Citadelle. La Citadelle is part of le Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est ontarien. It is home to students from grade 7 to 12. École secondaire publique l'Héritage is part of the Conseil des écoles publique de l'est de l'Ontario and is home to grade 7 through 12 students.

Saint Lawrence Secondary School hosts students from grade 7–12. For years, it originally was a high school, located where La Citadelle is now. Around 2003, it was turned into a school for grades 7–10. Now, it has transitioned back into a high school for grades 7–12. 2012 will be the first year since 2003 that grade 12s will graduate from the school.

Al-rashid Islamic Institute is the first Islamic school of any kind in North America, providing higher educations Islamic studies with the boarding facility.

Census results from Statistics Canada[13] indicate that 28.6% of adults (20 – 64 years) did not finish high school.

A campus of St. Lawrence College is situated in Cornwall. The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences is located on the College campus, and, among other academic and vocational offerings, provides an Environmental Technician program. The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences is a research centre that carries out ecotoxicological studies on large river systems and, in particular, on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River ecosystem.[14]

Cornwall is home to the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations (École des opérations de contrôle aérospatial des Forces canadiennes) also known as CFSACO.[15] CFSACO offers a range of basic and specialty courses and conversion training to Canadian Forces personnel. Military members are trained to become either Air Traffic Controller/Operators or Air Weapons Controller/Operators.

Nav Canada, Canada's air navigation service provider, formerly conducted training of domestic Air Traffic Controllers in Cornwall at the Nav Canada Training Institute and Conference Centre; Air Traffic Control training is now limited to international clients. The Centre still hosts training for technical operations, and leadership.


Cornwall does not enjoy a positive environmental reputation as a result of decades of industrial pollution in the city, the legacy of which is a riverfront contaminated by mercury, zinc, lead, and copper,[16] soil contaminated by coal tar and byproducts,[17] and most evidently, "Big Ben":[18] a 45-acre (180,000 m2), 80 metre tall dumpsite within the city filled with wood bark, paper mill sludge, demolition waste and asbestos.

In September 2008, over public opposition and in spite of Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) reports indicating off site leachate impact from the dump and the likelihood of runoff to the St. Lawrence River, the MOE permitted additional dumping at the "Big Ben" site of creosote and bitumin contaminated soils from Domtar's former No-co-rode Ltd. site.

Although the area is touted as recreational, it is off-limits until winter when the waste is covered and the odours are subdued. It is then used as a ski hill.

Big Ben Dump Cornwall, Ontario

For years, the industrial emissions in the Cornwall area, fuelled public health concern about respiratory disease and cancer. In 1995 Health Canada[19] reported the rate of hospitalization for asthma was approximately double that of cities such as Hamilton, Sudbury and Windsor. Further research, showed that infants under two years of age had four times the expected hospital admission rate for asthma. Lung and male rectal cancer rates were also elevated in comparison with the rest of the province.

The shutdown of the Courtaulds rayon fiber operation (1992) and the Domtar paper mill (2006) have been a significant factor in the city's improved air quality. Cornwall now consistently ranks in the top 10 of 40 monitored communities across Ontario. More recently, a Pembina Institute study of 29 communities across Ontario looked at a number of environmental, social and economic factors. Cornwall ranked 13th overall and its air quality was ranked #1 in the province.

Cornwall is one of only two cities left in the Province of Ontario with only primary sewage treatment facilities. Construction has started on the secondary treatment level plant with the governments of Canada and Ontario each covering one-third of an estimated $55.5 million construction cost. The City will pick up the remaining one-third of the cost, at $18.5 million.

In 2006, the city updated its Strategic Plan including the objective, to develop an environmentally sustainable community.[citation needed]

In 2007, a former city councillor, Naresh Bhargava, began working with the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences on a project called the Community Carbon Reduction Initiative. City council provided $5,000 in start-up funding for the project.[citation needed] Earlier progress in energy conservation was made in the 1990s when a co-generation plant went into operation that provides 4% to 6% of the city's daily electrical needs while at the same time, heating a number of buildings including both hospital sites. Cornwall also converted all of its traffic signals in 2002 to energy efficient LEDs that have reduced power usage by more than 600,000 kW, enough to light close to 70 homes. The data was contained in a report prepared by the city's public works department.


Similar to most of southern Ontario, Cornwall has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa/Dfb) with cold, snowy winters and warm, humid summers. Precipitation is significant year round although the winter months are generally drier than the summer months.

Climate data for Cornwall, ON (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 18.0
Average high °C (°F) −4.4
Daily mean °C (°F) −8.5
Average low °C (°F) −12.6
Record low °C (°F) −43.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 76.2
Rainfall mm (inches) 29.1
Snowfall cm (inches) 47.2
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 14.2 11.3 11.2 12.0 13.8 11.9 11.4 11.1 12.0 12.8 14.6 14.0 150.1
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 3.9 3.8 5.7 11.0 13.8 11.9 11.4 11.1 12.0 12.6 12.1 5.7 114.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 11.5 8.5 6.6 1.9 0.04 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.31 3.4 9.5 41.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 85.3 114.8 153.0 166.2 209.9 241.2 274.1 229.7 163.7 129.9 75.6 61.0 1,904.3
Percent possible sunshine 29.9 39.1 41.5 41.1 45.6 51.7 58.0 52.7 43.4 38.1 26.3 22.3 40.8
Source: Environment Canada[3]


The north span of the Three Nations Crossing, seen from Cornwall's east end.

With a fleet of 24 buses, Cornwall Transit operates 6 days per week (excluding Sundays and holidays) on fixed routes and supplementary "rush hour" routes. In addition, there is an on-demand "Handi-Transit" service for the disabled. Cornwall Transit also contracts taxi service at a flat rate for Handi-Transit registrants who are ambulatory.

Cornwall Transit claims that about 738,000 passengers are transported per year (roughly 4,500 person trips, per day of operation).[20] The city lost provincially funded school bus contracts ($1 million per year) to private operators. This resulted in provincial subsidies of over $600,000 in 2006 to maintain operations.[citation needed]

At one time Cornwall had a street car system[21]

Cornwall is served by the Cornwall Regional Airport located 10 km (6.2 mi) east of the City, near Summerstown. It is open year round and licensed for day and night VFR IFR operations. The facilities include a 3,500 ft × 100 ft (1,067 m × 30 m) runway, a terminal, hangar, and the Canada Border Services Agency (on request). Domestic and international charter flying service from the airport is offered by Cornwall Aviation.

Cornwall is located on CN Rail's mainline Quebec City-Windsor corridor and served by 9 daily Via Rail runs between Toronto and Montreal. The Station is located in the City's north end.

The City of Cornwall is on the St. Lawrence Seaway just east of the Eisenhower and Snell Locks. The Cornwall Harbour and government wharf are located on the north bank of the St. Lawrence River in the city's east end.


Cornwall has two indoor arenas, the Cornwall Civic Complex and the Benson Centre with three ice surfaces.


Cornwall has been home to a variety of sports teams, the most notable of which was the Cornwall Royals hockey team which played in both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League before moving to Newmarket in 1992. The Royals won the Memorial Cup in 1972, 1980 and 1981.

Between the years 1993–1996, the Cornwall Aces, an AHL franchise was in town. They were the farm team for the NHL franchise the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche.

The Cornwall Colts are the current Junior A team playing in the Central Canada Hockey League. They finished 6th in the 2007–08 season. Cornwall has hosted several major sporting events in its history, including the Ontario Winter Games and Special Olympics. In 2008, Cornwall hosted the Royal Bank Cup, the National Championship for Junior A hockey teams. The Cornwall Colts finished third in the series winning 2 of 5 games.

The Cornwall River Kings of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH) will play out of the Civic Complex starting in the fall of 2012.

Competitive Swimming

Cornwall's competitive swim team is the Cornwall Sea Lions, currently under the coaching of Simon St. Pierre. Three swimmers, Hannah Riordan, Tess Simpson and Megan Suffel have competed at the junior international level. Riordan and Simpson have also represented Canada at the second FINA World Junior Championships and Tri-Nations Cup[citation needed]. All three have accepted scholarships to recognized Division I American universities (Riordan – Auburn, Simpson – Texas A&M, Suffel – University of New Hampshire.


Cornwall has three soccer areas, The Kinsmen Junior Soccer Field on Second and Power Dam, The Benson Centre (for indoor soccer) and Optimist Park on Sunnyside Street and St. Michel Drive.


Cornwall has both competitive Men's and Women's Rugby Clubs. After many years without rugby in the community it saw a resurrection in 2006. Both teams compete in the Eastern Ontario Rugby Union, which is located in Ottawa. The home of the Cornwall Crusaders Rugby Football Club is Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School. The Men's and Women's Teams practice Tuesdays and Thursdays from April until the end of August. The Men's team has found success in recent years winning the Eastern Ontario Men's Division 1 Championship in 2009 and 2010 versus The Napanee Outlaws and the Gatineau Mirage respectively.

The sport of rugby continues to grow in the community. Many high schools throughout Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry have Junior and Senior Boys teams as well as Varsity Girls teams. These high school teams serve as feeders to the Cornwall Crusaders. Many players who play on the Crusaders today come from high schools in the S.D.& G. area.

Roller Derby The Seaway Roller Derby Girls Association is the First Roller Derby Flat track roller derby league est. in 2011. The Power Dames is the first official team

Girls' Basketball The United Counties Girls Basketball Team won provincial and international basketball tournaments in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In addition, the city offered girls and women's basketball to females from eight to college graduates. The San Lawrence College Women's team who a college tournament as well. The teams were coached by Adelore Bergeon and Alan Haskvitz.

Notable people[edit]

Some of the more famous people to hail from the Cornwall area include:



Some stations from other nearby areas, including Ottawa, Montreal and New York's North Country, are also available.



  • Cornwall Standard Freeholder is the city's main daily newspaper, and is managed by Sun Media, a division of Quebecor.
  • Seaway News is a weekly newspaper owned by Transcontinental.
  • Le/The Journal de Cornwall is another weekly newspaper. Once solely French, the paper is now bilingual.
  • The Seeker is a locally owned weekly newspaper, distributed both door to door and in stores, which focuses on arts, culture and events.

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Cornwall is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Cornwall census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Cornwall (Census agglomeration) census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  3. ^ a b "Cornwall, Ontario". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Ontario Heritage Trust Founding of Cornwall
  5. ^ 5 Star Flags
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Canada's best places to live", MoneySense, 2012
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  11. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  12. ^ Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
  13. ^ Education Stats
  14. ^ St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences – A leader in research, education, & community action. (2012-06-28). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  15. ^ CFSACO,
  16. ^ International Joint Commission Assessment
  17. ^ Environment Canada
  18. ^ Big Ben Recreation and Landfill Area
  19. ^ Investigating Human Exposure to Contaminants in the Environment (Published by Health Canada)
  20. ^ Mid-Sized Transit Service Helps Change Thinking About Natural Gas
  21. ^ Cornwall Street Railway
  22. ^ Griffin, Mary (2011-08-02). "Coventry's twin towns". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  23. ^ "Coventry – Twin towns and cities". Coventry City Council. Archived from the original on 2013-04-14. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 

External links[edit]