What Happened to Our Good Friend, the East End? By E.V.Hutcheon Cornwall Ontario

What Happened to Our Good Friend, the East End?     By E.V.Hutcheon Cornwall Ontario

 

 

Cornwall Ontario -I find myself a generally cautious person, but all be it a positive person too. That’s how I felt one autumn morning walking up Alice St.

 

Birds are chirping and the sun shines. A number of squirrels are running around franticly trying to collect nuts and seeds before the winter comes. Everywhere I look people are just as busy, getting in and out of cars on their way to work or school. It’s a beautiful day in the east end of Cornwall. There is a slight chill to the air, but there are no clouds in sight.

 

ev 2A few hours pass, the streets are all but bare. Graffiti is drawn on the sides of convenience stores giving color to the washed out, run down buildings. Small chips of plaster fall from most of them as well as many of the other homes in the area.

 

 

The sidewalk is cracked in places and there is this one house with garbage and recycled alcohol bottles in clear plastic bags, barricading the entrance. There is no sign of life behind the massive stacks. A sign that hangs against the latched fence, which is barely readable, says; don’t steal the bottles, because stealing is wrong.

 

 

A few houses down a cop stands outside a house where two middle aged citizens argue with one another. There’s a woman crossed armed and scowling at an equally frustrated male, who wears a permanent frown on his face. If you keep walking, passed the police vehicle, towards a house with every window and door boarded and locked, you can escape from the piercing gaze of officer.

 

ev 1 Walking passed I couldn’t help but be thankful that was not my house. I know I’m the only one who’s thought that when you’ve looked at some of the make shift homes people live in through out the east end.

 

If you live in the East End you might want to picture this, you put the key in the lock of your small apartment or home and turn it. The key catches, you notice your front window unlatched and pulled open to one side. You finally manage to yank open the door and get inside. You notice right away something is wrong.

 

 

Everything in your living space is a total disaster; your sofa bed has been turned over and your stereo, T.V, Xbox 360, Wii, laptop, anything with any worth has been snatched from right under your nose.

 

How do you feel?

 

ev 4Do you still feel at home like you would have otherwise?

That safe secure feeling you get when you step through the door of your house every other time, is now completely gone in a single second with one quick sweep.

 

For a friend of mine Kailey Hook, her sense of security shattered when she came home after a weekend of visiting her family in Arnprior to a ransacked home.

 

When I came home everything on my porch was rearranged, my chair was on the opposite side of my porch, my screen on the window on the door was pulled out of it and cracked open. I saw all that and I just kinda was in shock from all of it.”

 

Sadly, Kailey is not the only one who has come home to find a crime scene.

Another reliable source stated in their interview that they’d come home also from visiting family, to their second story apartment trashed and remnants of a squatter living at their home, during their absence.

 

I guess the perpetrator thought that it would be better to leave garbage and bits of their DNA, as apposed leaving nothing at all when they made off with over 3,000 dollars worth of belongings.

 

Imagine this:

If you walk down a street completely deserted of people. The only two residences you go passed are two identical buildings facing across from each other. There is only one difference to these two buildings; but this one change alone will completely alter the perception of how the public views the two structures.

 

ev3On the left side of the street, the building you glimpse is a rundown warehouse with every window except one, smashed. Red graffiti painted along every reachable angle and surface, and it looks as though it hasn’t seen life since the early 80’s. On the right side of the street, is a warehouse in pristine condition with no broken windows, all the lights are on and people clearly have a purpose for it. If you were someone looking to vandalize, which one would you more likely to torch? The rundown mess or the one in better condition, that is still in use?

 

The logical answer would be none of the above. Unfortunately most people don’t think about logic in the midst of an illegal act. This is a direct result of disrespect, just as it would be if someone were to come in and ransack your home.

 

Unfortunately for Kailey, she had no locks on any of her windows helping to prevent a break in.

 

What I couldn’t understand was why break a window and leave evidence, why not just take the screen out and not make it obvious that you were there?”

 

 

The real motive behind that would simply be because it’s easier. Not to mention, it amps up your fear and makes you question even the smallest of details in others behaviors going forward.

 

I don’t feel safe at all. Like that just shows me a bad image of them.”

 

For Kailey, walking down the street is harder; feeling safe in her own community is now tougher than ever before. The only source of comfort or guidance I can add is for any one reading this, lock your windows and doors when you leave. Make sure you have done all you could to prevent an illegal act (even if that means you need to invest in cameras or a guard dog) occurring on your property.

 

 

After walking down the streets of the East End with me, Sam Zroback, shared her views on things.

 

It’s really dilapidated. Yards look unmaintained like who ever lives there has no sense of pride in their residence, you know? And the look of their house… there’s a lot of sketchy looking people walking down the East End wearing bandannas and certain color scheme in their outfits, if you know what I mean?”

 

It really makes you wonder, if people living in the east end can’t even feel safe in their own community, than what chance does the rest of Cornwall have of feeling safe in the east?

 

I personally would like to believe that is not whole the case. After living in Toronto for most of my life, it completely blows my mind on how everything seems to be run in the East End. Where are the Cornwall police in all of this? That’s what I would really be interested to know.  

E.V. Hutcheon is a 2nd year St. Lawrence College Journalism Student.  She has professionally edited a Polish history book and is hoping to see her dream and passion of writing into a career. Previously living Toronto, E.V. is now a proud Cornwall citizen. On her off time you can usually find her at home writing her latest book, or walking along the St Lawrence River. 

Milena Cardinal

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26 Comments on "What Happened to Our Good Friend, the East End? By E.V.Hutcheon Cornwall Ontario"

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Harry Hopkinson
Guest

I wish people wouls stop generalizing about the east end. It’s not all doom and gloom.

420
Guest
What happened to the east end? Well I think you need some history. There was this cotton mill that paid low wages and hired poor Quebecers to move to Cornwall. They bought cheap housing on small lots. The cotton mills closed and four generations of welfare families later you have Le Village (aka French Harlem or the east end). It has always been a dump. If you live there, move. If you visit there, bring guns. Wigger culture and 14 year old mothers are the way it has always been and always will be. A few years back the CAO… Read more »
Jane Doe
Guest
I do not feel safe in many areas in this city.. As an older lady I will not venture too far out in he evening even to Walmart or Metro area etc.. leave alone the east end.. I have been approached for money a few times so I am very cautious.. I do not ever go to the mall downtown.. I think it would be nice if the city did something to try to clean up the east end and other areas of this city instead of having the best of the best like the Benson center and luxury things… Read more »
john rothwell
Guest
i had a comment but now i don’t know what to say, never been lost for words before. disorder is the key ingredient to the east end. one street will have homes, actual homes, actively kept up in appearance on one side of the street and on the other nothing but slums, low rentals for low income earners. mix the two and what becomes of the well kept homes? value loss, the banks won’t lend money to upkeep a home that loses value. what becomes of the home? if you can’t repair it, it becomes rundown. when it gets to… Read more »
Debbie
Guest

I drive a school bus for High school around the East end. I have to say I have the greatest group of kids, they are polite and very friendly and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. That being said I have driven in other areas where some of the children have been rude,very demanding and spoilt…..The old saying comes to mind “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

Cwall
Guest

Police just add more fear to the east end. They make crime profitable, abuse us mentally and physically, and worst of all they help children’s aid (homewreckers) destroy families while keeping the real crooks and pedophiles in this city safe

literate
Guest

“Past”… the word (misused at least 3 separate times in this article) is “past”… You walked past.. not passed. A journalism student that claims to have edited a book? Please, learn the language.And someone might want to edit and proofread a little bit too before publishing.

Anyway, about the article itself. I live in the East end of Cornwall, and have for 3 years, have never felt the least bit afraid of the area, beautiful people here, and peaceful.

David Oldham
Guest
Absolutely John Rothwell, people need to care, to take pride in their surroundings, not surrender and abandon hope. Hope for better begins with stepping up to the plate and hungering for that first home run of the season. Jane Doe that was funny ! Pajama City ! I have watched with growing wonder and amusement at the ever increasing number of individuals venturing out about town in their pajamas. Being an import myself one of the first things that I noticed particular to Cornwall was the number of people that do not wear winter boots or use the sidewalks. All… Read more »
Eric
Guest

A few concerned neighbours should have a chat about forming a neighbourhood watch, contact the police, and put it into action. Contact the Girl Guides / Boy Scouts and organize a clean up day with a get to know you bar b q. Take control of your space!

jane
Guest
Cornwall needs better leadership. Having moved from here for 15 years and then moving back I am truly disappointed with the city that has always been home to me. It’s a city that breeds ignorance and indifference. Indifference is one of its biggest problems. I attended this years Santa Claus parade and was beyond disappointed with the over-all feel of it. It was great that the fire trucks and medical vehicles came out, but did they really need to blare their sirens as if there was an emergency??? And the sirens, they don’t sing “Merry Christmas” they sing “EMERGENCY”. I… Read more »
jules
Guest
Jane Doe and folks I live not far from Heron Gate apartments and townhouses here in Ottawa and I heard on the car radio this morning that 3 gunshots were fired around 6 or 6:30 p.m. yesterday. This area has seen and heard a lot over the past 10 years at least. When we lived here in the past we never heard of such things happening at all. About 10 years ago there were gun shots fired here where Tim Horton’s is and someone was shot and further east on St. Laurent or was it Russell Road someone was shot… Read more »
jules
Guest
In past years the east end was low indeed but never have I seen it to be as bad as what it is today. South Central Los Angeles looks better than that with all its crack houses and all. The house that was posted previously with all the junk on Second St. and I forget what other intersection it was at but it was a literal dump. There should be laws against all this but of course there are no laws in Cornwall at all. “420” said it right indeed and so has Jane Doe calling it pyjama city. Yes… Read more »
jules
Guest
Jane what you wrote is absolutely the truth and Cornwall has gone completely downhill. I sat down with my husband talking about how much Cornwall has changed and even how Ottawa has changed. Everything went down to the gutter. Cornwall used to be a family town but not anymore – all you see is smuggling, corruption to the core, theft, drugs, run down properties, etc. If one cannot afford to own then folks do not buy a house but rent instead. If you cannot maintain a property then do not buy at all. There is a great deal more to… Read more »
bella-b
Guest

OMFG Jules, STFU!!

Really you are comfortable with this statement??
“… and of course there is crime which is mostly committed by Africans, Arabs, Afghanistan people, etc.”

Man if you are not careful, the foriegners in your apartment building are going to figure out your ugliness and revolt against you. Then where will you be? Sometimes jules you should just STFU.

Say what?
Guest

The word “passed” is correct in it’s context, all 3 times. Check the dictionary.

jules
Guest

When the old saying says “a picture speaks a thousand words” they sure knew what they were saying. LOL LOL. ROLF! Looks more like an outhouse than anything. The whole town is falling apart anyway and a real lost cause.

bella-b
Guest
Some posters take a picture and turn it into the holocaust! Jules you can ignore me if you like, it doesn’t change your thoughtless bigoted words. Laugh it up and keep pretending you know more than everyone, in truth, you know much less than you think. No one can survive in your negative bubble jules, not even you. You must be just as miserable as your posts. No one person can be so filled with hate and ignorance and still be blissfully happy. Cornwall will go on without you jules, you are not needed to complete the city. In fact,… Read more »
Eric
Guest

bella-b, not to support anything jules says, however, there is a disproportionate amount of news reports with names that are not Smith, Jones or Daoust around Ottawa and Toronto.

bella-b
Guest

Fair enough Eric, but would you paint an entire race of people with the same brush so easily as Jules does? The face of Canadians has changed since we were kids. Just because someone looks different from me doesn’t automatically mean they are thugs and thieves. Just because someone’s name shows up in the paper doesn’t mean everyone by that name is a criminal. Just because it was white folks that give out germ infested blankets doesn’t mean all white guys are murderers does it?

XScramblerX
Guest
The reason the east end is in it’s present condition is because 75% of it is owned by slumlords. These slumlords have no incentive to fix up the property that will only be destroyed by the renters. If you notice any manicured lawns, new siding and well kept properties in the east end, it’s because these homes are lived by the owners. Most of the renters in the east end are on a fixed income. A single person on assistance makes about 5 or 6 hundred a month. I hope you don’t expect them to eat, and pay for a… Read more »
Eric
Guest

Certainly bella-b, innocent until proven guilty. No matter the colour or land of birth, there are more good than bad people.

bella-b
Guest
Exactly my point Eric. Jules only sees race and thinks it’s just fine to demean each and every person that is not an old white bilingual lady. She sees nothing wrong with pointing out how “smooth” her Islamic neighbour is. And finds it surprising that she can have a pleasant conversation with the jewish lady that lives down the hall. And her husband and his small few are the only good Lebanese people. And let’s not forget the criminal element of all the Africans, Arabs, Afghanistan people, etc. Or all the losers residing in Cornwall who are foolish to stay… Read more »
Mary Anne Pankhurst
Member

@bella-b, v. well stated

David Oldham
Guest
@XScramblerX….thank you for your input. Your honesty in stating that you have no suggestions to improve it is refreshing and the fact that you were motivated to post an opinion establishes both concern and recognition that change is needed. Answers can be found when people such as yourself are willing to come forward and say it like it is. I have always believed that solutions can be easier found when the issues are properly identified. I believe it fair and accurate to state that the current council and mayor have turned a blind eye to the east end.Over the course… Read more »
Furtz
Member

Bella and I don’t often agree, but she nailed it this time.

bella-b
Guest

It’s a Christmas miracle! lol 😉

~

You’d be surprised by how often we do furtz.

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