Cornwall ON – I’m a concerned citizen. It’s election time here in Cornwall and there are a multitude of issues and I’m not sure many of them are going to get talked about.
Yes, we’re doing candidate debates here on the Cornwall Free News & Seawayradio.com, and there are lots of other debates and evenings planned, but I have some very serious concerns about what’s going to be happening to Cornwall in the next 5, 10, 20, years.
I see something a bit disturbing going on right now. I can’t factually put my finger on it exactly, but my perception; my GUT INSTINCT tells me that there are things happening that will change Cornwall forever.
I see moves made that perhaps will turn the 401 into a strip of big box stores. I see Walmart expanding its current store to mostly likely take over most of the current space in the mall its in. As stores like Shoppers move out and other leases end I have a hunch we’ll hear construction announcements made.
My biggest concern though is our waterfront; especially the the former Domtar site. I’m hearing very little about it. There’s a real opportunity for Cornwall to mould itself in ways that most cities could only dream of.
When I see Brockville Ontario for example I see that 401 big store expansion and when I drive down the picturesque and historic main streets empty stores.
Here in Cornwall Brookdale avenue has already emptied a lot of the life that was once Pitt Street and Montreal road. Right now I see more hope for Montreal Road than Pitt Street, but can we not embrace the future without letting go of the past? Can we have “Big Box” stores and a vibrant, healthy, and financially successful downtown core?
As I look at the candidates for both council and Mayor I ask myself questions about these people; many of whom are incumbents and who I’ve watched vote on issues like the Glengarry Apartment condo conversions.
We need vision more than anytime in the history of Cornwall right now. Today. This election will set the plate for generations. I hope that people think about that before they vote and I hope that we get a great voter turnout this election.
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Since everyone wants suburbia a downtown core is a difficult to maintain. For a successful core you need people living there. If you walk Pitt St you can see the numbering of the businesses skip one or two number sets. It is my belief they were done so for the possibility of apartments being built atop the stores.
As for Pitt Street, A good portion of the buildings are not owned locally and they are priced out of the market. The old McLennan Building come with a parsec of land that is land locked. There are a bunch of little issues like that in the downtown which make it difficult to be successful.
Mark seems to have his dreams in the east end. It is time for change there but Chuck Charlebois has been trying that since he was our alderman. Mr Renascence man, could have been mayor had he served one more term an alderman too. I went to buy some apples and drove back through the area, honestly it needs work but what will it cost?
The old Courtaulds site is still contaminated or we would already have had businesses there. I would have to look up who was slated to build but after soil samples they decided it was better to locate else where.
Domtar is no better, I can recall walking onsite in the cold evenings. In front of the craft mill the black liquor was spewing from the grates. After reporting it I was informed that as long as it was with in the fence line it was not an issue. Well it still must lie with in the fence line but who is responsible for reclaiming the land?
Our problems here run pretty deep
We need to teach other communities how to develop a holding company that makes pollution disappear like magic.
Brockville is a good example of what could happen. I do not have much of a problem with say a shopping district north of the 401 and a restaurant area along the water. Right now there is not as much pictuesque water as past Glen Walter though, but making better use of the bike trail could help.
They exist somewhat, but council doesn’t want to listen and Lauzon well it’s Lauzon