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Cornwall is a city in Eastern Ontariomarker, Canadamarker and the seat of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Ontario. Cornwall is Ontario's easternmost city, located on the St. Lawrence Rivermarker, Quebec City-Windsor Corridor and Highway 401, and is the urban centre for surrounding communities, which include Long Saultmarker and Inglesidemarker to the west, Mohawk Territory of Akwesasnemarker to the south, St. Andrew's and Avonmore to the north, and Glen Walter, Martintown, Williamstown, and Lancaster to the east.

Cornwall is located in Eastern Ontario approximately southeast of Ottawamarker, Canada's capital, southwest of Montrealmarker, Quebec's largest city, and northeast of Torontomarker, Ontariomarker's capital. It is named after the English county of Cornwallmarker which is represented in the flag and coat of arms which both boast the duchy standard.


Coat Of Arms Of The City Of Cornwall
Aboriginal peoples have lived in and around the area of present day Cornwall for millennia. The first serious non-aboriginal settlement was established in 1784, by disbanded Loyalist soldiers, their families and other United Empire Loyalists-- primarily from New Yorkmarker -- following the 1776 American Revolution. They founded a settlement on the site formerly called Pointe Maligne, and named it New Johnstown. It was later renamed Cornwall for the Duke of Cornwall, Prince George, and became one of the first incorporated municipalities in the British colony of Upper Canada in 1834.

West of Cornwall, along the St. Lawrence River, there existed several smaller communities now known as The Lost Villages. These communities were permanently flooded in 1958 by the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway to make way for the massive Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam at the western end of the city and were covered by the hydroelectric reservoir.


According to the 2006 census, Cornwall has a population of 45,965. This represents a 0.7% increase from the 2001 Census, which gave the city a population of approximately 45,640, but is still 3% below the 1996 census figure of 47,403.

The 2001 census indicates that English is the first language learned by approximately 65% of the population, while 27% count French as their native language and the remainder have any of a number of mother tongues, including (among others) Mohawk, Greek, and Italian.


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 Statesmarker 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.

Cornwall was once home to a thriving cotton processing industry. Courtaulds Canada Inc.’s rayon manufacturing mill operated until 1992 at one point employing almost 3,000. Domtar, a Quebec-based company operated a paper mill in the city for nearly one-hundred years, ceasing operations on March 31, 2006. At its peak, Domtar employed nearly 1,500 employees. In addition, Canadian Industries Limited (C.I.L.), now Pioneer Chemicals, has operated a plant in Cornwall since 1935.

Cornwall's industrial base has now shifted to a more diversified mix of manufacturing, automotive, high tech, food processing, and contact centres. The City hosts the largest SCM distribution centre in Canada, its massive facility employing nearly 1000 people. Furthermore, StarTek and Teleperformance both operate call centres in Cornwall, each of which provides in excess of 300 jobs. In late 2008, Shopper's Drug Mart announced the construction of a 500,000 sq.ft. 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 announced the establishment of a new contact centre, to open in 2010. Over 170 new jobs will be created. Cornwall's unemployment rate is estimated at around 7%.

On April 16, 2009 Cornwall City Council agreed to increase property taxes by 2.5% per household based on property assessments calculated in 2008.

On February 18, 2009 the United Counties council (surrounding the city of Cornwall) tabled a draft budget that would see a 2.7% decrease in property taxes. On February 19, 2009 the United Counties council voted 7 - 4 for a 4.5% tax rate decrease. Larger than the 2.7% that was tabled as a draft.

MoneySense magazine rated Cornwall as Canada's 86th best city in 2009 (out of 154).


The city of Cornwall hosts festivals and special community events including; Canada Day festivities, the "Lift Off" hot air balloon festival, and Gay Pride day (cancelled for 2009).

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

Lift Off

Lift Off is an annual festival centered around hot air balloons. The festival is held in Lamouroux Park on the St. Lawrence Rivermarker and features, carnival rides, balloon rides and live music. Lift Off attracts thousands of visitors. Performers have included Trooper, Tom Cochrane, April Wine, Sass Jordan, Glass Tiger, Dennis DeYoung and Theory of a Deadman.

This year's Lift Off ran from July 9-12, 2009. Notable performers include Amanda Marshall, Finger Eleven, EWA: Elite World Artist, Meat Loaf and Pink Floyd cover bands.

Non-profit organizations

Cornwall is home to many local charities and non-profit organizations. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, the Agapè Centre (which serves free meals to more than 100 residents a day), Salvation Army, United Way, Canadian Mental Health Association, St. John Ambulance and Canadian Red Cross all have offices in Cornwall.


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 Brownell (Liberal), and federally by MP Guy Lauzon (Conservative). The first Premier of Ontario was from Cornwall, and is buried in St. Andrews West at the Catholic Church cemetery.


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 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. 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.

Of note in Cornwall is the number of high schools for a relatively small city. Due to the culturally diverse demographic base in Cornwall, the city is home to three English public, two English Catholic, and one of each French public and French Catholic high schools for a total of seven.

Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School hosts grade 11 and 12 students and is the oldest school in Canada to have not closed its doors, having celebrated its bicentennial in 2006.

Several Cornwall area high schools figured in a report published by the Canadian Fraser Institute (April 2007). The report ranked schools by student performance in reading, writing and math. Seven out of ten area schools scored 50% or less in the study. Out of 719 Ontario schools, l'Ecole secondaire catholique La Citadelle, held the top spot for Cornwall placing 208th, with a score of 7.3 out of 10.

Census results from Statistics Canada indicate that only 1 in 4 working age adults (20 – 64 years) finished high school. The same body of statistics do however infer a recent trend among Cornwall residents to complete high school as well as undertake post secondary studies.

Cornwall has many public and Catholic elementary schools, including Gladstone Public Schoolmarker, East Front Public School, Viscount Alexander Public School, Immaculate Conception, St. Peter's, and a number of others. The oldest elementary school, Central Public School opened its doors in 1816.

Cornwall has two public intermediate schools. General Vanier Intermediate School and St.Lawrence Intermediate School.

A campus of St. Lawrence Collegemarker 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, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River ecosystem.

St. Lawrence College President and chief executive officer Chris Whitaker (as per the Standard-Freeholder, February 14, 2009) confirmed that the college is on a shortlist to house a telephone call centre—as the college reduces academic offerings and begins leasing out office space—in this instance to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

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. 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 Flight Service Specialists, technical operations, and leadership. The site is also used for classroom functions and to host conferences for organisations outside of NAV CANADA.


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, soil contaminated by coal tar and byproducts, and most evidently, "Big Ben": a 45 acre, 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 liklihood 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 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. Although a construction date has not been determined, the governments of Canada and Ontario will each cover one-third of an estimated $55.5 million cost to expand the Cornwall facility to a secondary treatment level. 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.

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 has provided $5,000 in start-up funding for the project. 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.



The north span of the Three Nations Crossing, seen from Cornwall's east end.
a fleet of 35 buses, Cornwall Transit serves the community 6 days per week (excluding 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 1.3 million passengers are transported per year (roughly 4,500 person trips, per day of operation).. 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.

Cornwall is served by the Cornwall Regional Airport located 10 km east of the City, near Summerstown. It is open year round and licensed for day and night VFR IFR operations. The facilities include a 3500' x 100' runway, a terminal, hangar, and Canada Customs Service (on request). Domestic and international charter flying service from the airport is offered by Cornwall Aviation.

Cornwall is located on 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 Civic Complex

Cornwall has three indoor arenas, the Cornwall Civic Complex, the Bob Turner Memorial Centre and the Si Miller Arena. And although Cornwall's youth and overall population have declined over the past 10 years, the City of Cornwall has committed to further build a $30 million dollar arena complex (with as yet unsourced funds).


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 Newmarketmarker 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 franchises the Quebec Nordiques and the Colorado Avalanche.

The Cornwall Colts are the current Junior A team playing in the Central Junior A 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.

Competitive Swimming

Cornwall's competitive swim team is the Cornwall Sea Lions, currently under the coaching of Robert Eynon. Two swimmers, Hannah Riordan and Tess Simpson, compete at junior international level and represented Canada at the second FINA World Junior Championships and Tri-Nations Cup .

SoccerCornwall has two soccer areas. The Kinsmen Junior Soccer Filed on Second and Power Dam and The Dome ( for indoor soccer )on Saunders drive.

Notable people

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





  • Cornwall Standard Freeholder is the city's main daily newspaper, and is managed by Osprey Media, a division of Quebecor.
  • Le journal de Cornwall is the city's main francophone newspaper.
  • Seaway News
  • Cornwall Free News


  1. 5 Star Flags
  2. Cornwall Population Stats Canada
  3. Canada's best places to live MoneySense, May 2009
  4. Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
  5. Fraser Institute
  6. Education Stats
  8. International Joint Commission Assessment
  9. Environment Canada
  10. Big Ben Recreation and Landfill Area
  11. Investigating Human Exposure to Contaminants in the Environment (Published by Health Canada)
  12. Mid-Sized Transit Service Helps Change Thinking About Natural Gas
  13. CTV list of transmitters to be shut down
  14. TV Cogeco
  15. Le journal de Cornwall
  16. Seaway News
  17. Cornwall Free News

External links

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