The Morning After the Inferno that was the Cotton Mill Fire in Cornwall Ontario – Monday October 11, 2010

(photo courtesy of Rob Selwood)

Cornwall ON – The City of Cornwall has issued a press release updating the Fire at the Cotton Mill in Cornwall Ontario.

The fire in Cornwall’s waterfront Cotton Mill district is under control and fire crews are on site continuing to put out any remaining fires that are still burning.
A spectacular fire erupted in an abandoned building in the early evening of Sunday, October 10, 2010. Cornwall Fire Services responded to the alarm and throughout much of the evening 36 firefighters were on scene to battle the blaze.  A total of 9 fire vehicles were dispatched to the scene.

“I would like to commend the hard work and dedication of our Fire and Police Services in responding so quickly and professionally to this incident,” said Mayor Bob Kilger. “This fire could have been much worse if not for the effective intervention of our firefighters. The Police kept the sizeable crowd safe and at a distance, allowing our emergency services personnel the freedom to do their job.”

The fire was contained to one building in Cornwall’s historic Cotton Mill district. The area contains several buildings, including offices and a condominium development currently under construction.
The building affected by the fire was slated for demolition later this year due to structural problems. One firefighter received a minor injury, was treated and has been released from hospital.

The Ontario Fire Marshall’s office will not be investigating this fire due to the following:  the amount of the building that has been destroyed will make determining cause and origin of fire highly unlikely; the building was scheduled for demolition; and, no loss of life of occurred.

The Cornwall Community Police Service will continue their investigation of the incident.

For safety reasons, the remaining parts of the building will be demolished beginning as early as today.  As a result, the area surrounding the Cotton Mill area will be not accessible and the public is asked to remain behind barricades so that fire and demolition crews can do their work.

Individuals who work in offices at the nearby Weave Shed will have access to their place of work tomorrow and their normal parking area will be accessible from McConnell Avenue only.

We have received some more photos from the event and after as well.
(photo courtesy of Rob Selwood)
And this spectacular shot from Robert Dawson.
We want to thank everyone that’s emailed in photos and videos.   If you have anything you want to share on the story you can email us at
Jason Setnyk Kilger for Mayor Schnitzels


  1. Admin
    Investigative reporting time.

    Can you ask council if the cotton mill property owners still recieve the tax incentive? It was some building incentive in the area of 5 million dollars. I would assume now that the fire has demolished the building the insurance will cover some and the city can no longer charge the tax rate for a structure. It would be hugely reduced to just taxes on just the lot.

  2. “Thomas Alva Edison arrived in Cornwall in 1884 to conduct experiments with electric illumination in the Canada Mills weaving sheds of Canadian Coloured Cottons, power being furnished by a steam driven generator. It was significant at the time because Edison’s installation was the first electrical incandescent lighting system to be put into operation in Canada. The experiment was a huge success. Coincidently, Charles V. VanDepoele also successfully demonstrated Canada’s first electric railway in Toronto that same year. These events aroused the interest of then Mayor James Leitch, and Wilbur R. Hitchcock, to the point where they would play an important part in bringing streetcar service to Cornwall.”

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