Letter to the Editor – Harry Valentine on Where to put a Beach in Cornwall Ontario – July 23, 2012

In regard to recent interest expressed in Cornwall in regard to a beach along the city’s waterfront, I am providing a diagram showing 2-possible locations for a beach. Back in the history of Cornwall, the electric streetcars that once provided city transit, operated a route to St Lawrence Park that included a beach and a picnic area. That park was located on the east side of the river inlet that borders St Lawrence College.
One possible beach location would be the little inlet near the Woodhouse Museum. There may be scope to enlarge the little inlet and include a water pipe from the river, to assure continual exchange of water. This will save money on a water filtration pump and chlorine at a swim area that would be some 20-times of a municipal pool.
A second possible location for a beach would be to excavate a pool on the waterfront next to the new causeway. A small amount of water flowing from the Cornwall Canal could assure exchange of water in the pool, with an outlet emptying into the St Lawrence River. This pool could be some 200-times the area of a municipal pool and require no chlorine nor a pool filtration system.
Both options have been submitted to the City’s waterfront committee. Perhaps other citizens who have some creative ideas re a possible future beach at Cornwall, may care to submit an idea to the waterfront committee.
Harry Valentine
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  1. Has there ever be any thought of (a) bikes for rent or boats for rent ?
    Have anice day.

  2. As usual Mr. Valentines researchand application of ideas is forthcoming and intriguing. As recently highlighted by some citizens a beach or larger pool of water accesible for Cornwall swinners has been lacking. Conversions into a larger outdoor skating venue would also extent the community access with year round uses. Snow clearing could set up toboganning hills as well.
    These cooling hot spots would be a welcome areas for expanded summer and winter ‘ice capades’ festivals and inviting areas of play while our expanding Balloon Fest holds on. Imagine a hundred thousand visitors or more at these sites. Thank you Harry for your presentation of ideas here. Possibilities are endless. Of course we could just build more condos for the few, for tax revenues but so many youth would be robbed of a reason to come back home once or twice a year or even better, to simply set up their own roots for their lifetime right here in Cornwall. A great fun place to be.

  3. I believe Bicycle world rents bikes. A beach would be a wonderful addition to Cornwall. As it is now, people either go to Lancaster, the beach on the Long Sault Parkway, or the free beach just past the Lost Villages. If we kept people in Cornwall, they’d be buying their lunches, etc. here, rather than out of town.

  4. Biking, swimming and boating facilities for the general population along the waterfront would all seem to be ideas worth pursuing. Beach volleyball and ultimate frisbee are other activities that would seem to lend themselves well to Lamoureux Park.

  5. I don’t wish to throw cold water on this proposal however a few points should be considered. The map indicates digging on Govt. owned land that Govt. seems reluctant to part with & even if they became agreeable the W/F plan agreed to by City Council indicates Housing at that location. The other proposed spot seems to be in front of RCAF Wing. My concern with that location is Parking.Will people be agreeable to dig up green space for parking? My next point is project Cost? We are currently looking at 18.5 Million Dollars to pay for the up grade to our Sewage Plant which is necessary, does anyone really believe City Council could handle a costly project like this at this time?

  6. I don’t always agree with Harry Valentine, but when I do it is on this topic. Should have been done decades ago. If it is proposed as something healthy for the minds and bodies of both young and old, it will be done.

  7. Why is it that everytime the mention of building this and building that or a parking lot be made on/in Lamoureux park or areas like RCAFA,Equatic,curling rink are considered places to be desecrated in the area concerned?
    If you want to make improvements, GO EAST, there a lot of land there, that can be improved, instead of picking on lamoureux park.
    What IS ALSO BADLY NEEDED, is a PLAN FOR WHEN THE CAUSEWAY (if that’s what it’s supposedly to be called) IS COMPLETED.
    I have NOT seen plans, ideas, or whatever as to what is going to happen to attract visitors in/around Cornwall, both AMERICANS & CANADIANS.
    Have a nice day.

  8. I agree; I’d like to see the changes being made by the building of the new bridge. Are the plans made public yet?
    If not, why not?

  9. Gosh Whats missing here the (snow dump area) is owned by the GOVT. and they can do with it as they please & in due time they will let us know what their plans are.

  10. The gov’t this, the snow job that, the moneyfactor, condos yes, condos no, no dreams allowed……….no change or added ideas allowed because w/f commity has plans for east, can’t do this or that to the west, out of bounds? Typical negativism. DARE TO DREAM, that’s where good ideas come from. The universe will unfold as it should and the good dreams will come through. Yes we can, and yes we will.
    Personally I like the showcase ideas by the new bridge far bettter than a condo or another shopping plaza. Action, activity surrounded by beautiful guardens, statues honoring our heros and dignitaries. Unique designs and regular playfulness with bragging rights. We can do it, yes we can. RED TAPE BE GONE, get the white out.

  11. The whole idea is to have ATTRACTION for visitors for REVENUE
    for the city coffers i.e. a camp ground operated by the city or leased, west of and close to the new bridge to help out with the abundance of visitors who come for different religious meeting and other festivities or simply to visit Cornwall.
    This will give employment and service to the community.

    Have a nice day.

  12. Perhaps a reality check is required instead of just dreams. The land just east of the new bridge (canal crossing) seems to be the spot by the proposal to be dug up for a new beach. However the Govt. who own the land perhaps are going to build the Toll booth there. Doesn’t the Govt have a right to do so? In addition to that it would be best to have Canadian Customs built here in Corn.

  13. Well, CONSIDER THIS, I wonder where you would be, today, if your parents had not dream of you. Where would Cornwall be, if someone had not dreamed of it being a city?
    That’s what reality is all about,to make those good dreams come true.
    Like I said, NOBODY has said where the toll booths are going to be,because, they are two entity of the goverment and don’t get along with each other. There is the “UNTOUCHABLES” in the CUSTOMS and “The SEAWAY MASTERS” and that is REALITY.
    Until they decide which way it shall be, hold onto your hats.
    Have a nice day,tomorrow.

  14. Sacred Cows Beaching All of Us.

    An extension of the dream would be to think outside of this box we are in or rather ‘right inside the box’. That is to view what some would envision as unthinkable or sacred cow or virtually untouchable. We DO have the makings of a beach area right under our noses. A beach with sand for running in for picnicking in and general sun worshiping in is a large virtually unused parcel of Lamoureaux Park, yes Lamoureaux Park.

    Between the RCAF building. above the water inlet, below and over to the Museum is a rarely used ‘lawn’. It can STILL BE USED FOR THE BALLOON FEST AND OTHER VENUES INBETWEEN USES AS A BEACH.

    This area could be graded/sloped and sanded right down to the waters edge so as to be appropriate for ease of access to the inlet. Reroute the bike path over the top of the beach or simply to vier into the upper bike path. The bike path from the west end of the inlet would be used as an access point. More picnic tables/garbage cans would encompass the mini peninsula while a metal pipe fence with look out point can run above the beach area with a stairway on the east and west sides of it would allow beach access from the Water Street ‘expanded’ park above the children’s splash pad.

    If we want people to come to Cornwall with easy, quick and safe fun right here in town then it can be done if we want it.

    As far as concerns for ‘pollutants’ hidden in the bed of the inlet,
    cement the bottom in and rope off the east end of the inlet just as Parks Canada have roped along its outer limits of our seaway beaches and parks.

    Yes, its a weird dream, or is it? All we continually hear is complaints and bickering over the uses and abuses of Lamoureaux Park yet here is a potentially viable project to get on board with federal, provincial and municipal coordinates. Oh yes maybe even the Water Front Committee.

    Dave Windsor
    Cornwall, On

  15. Dukers1, I agree, finally,someone has taken the steps to figure it out intellingently.
    It’s strange, there is suppose to be a board or committee for waterfront reseraction and yet,nothing has been said, (whoops )
    I forgot that dreaded word ” condo(S)” is still around and I forgot that their meetings are possibly secret/redundant also, otherwise there would be some action/info,huh!
    This would be a great time for them to show some initiative has occurred on thier part towards a beach in cornwall.
    Have a nice day folks.

  16. Thanks Bigfellow. Nice to have at least one fan, however, there is but one other and that is Mr. Harry Valentine, the engineer who came up with his own points of wisdom. I thank him for his initiation into this prospect.

    YES, of course there are hurdles to overcome. Some mentioned above, they were a forgone conclusion. One step at a time and any obstacles can be overcome. It all depends on the drive, the muster; the acceptances and so on doesn’t it.

    Here’s a few ideas to add to concerns others would have:

    1) Possible ‘rotary’ style bridge similar to the beautiful one they created over at the great gazebo they constructed could pass over the isthmus at the east end of the pond, onto the peninsula.
    Yes, it can.
    2) I envision raising the level of the inlet pond to the level of the shoreline instead of the other way around, approx. 3 to 4 feet by damning (rock piling) under the bridge mentioned above or to be used as a bridging containment wall with an opening-closure valve for flushing out the pool from time to time or simply to manage overflow at a slower pace. This would save a lot of work to tear down the slope to the water.
    3) I will reference this area as ‘Inlet Beach” from now on or I.B. for short.
    4) I.B. sediment is currently a mix of acidic leaves felled each year in the fall from the trees around the area. Cut down most of the trees then….opp’s…so beautiful, yet such a problem too, then sand down the entire area all the way to the highest ridge and add sand along the I.B. from the west end sloping it within the I.B. towards the east damn which would be the deep end or along the north side making the south side the deep end.
    5) The I.B. pond could be completely emptied from time to time for servicing the sidewalls eventually bricking or placing a protective erosion wall around the pond as recommended.
    A cemented bottom would make it easier to maintain. These could come later as funds become available.
    6) The entire area around the beach including the peninsula could be lined with many more inviting picnic tables, benches, railings, flower boxes…you name it for beautification
    7) The RCAF Wing would most certainly be concerned about their ‘boat’ ramps as they paid considerable dollars for the. Turn a lemon into a lemonade then by leaving them there and inviting beachers to use them instead. Hundreds if not more people will flood the area and you can bet allot more than a few boaters will be looking for their suds and great meals.
    8) We do as you know have an aquatic centre attached to the Civic Complex. WONDERFUL. One for training ALL YEAR LONG, its purposes will still be well served….but they do not have a beach do they…so here we are, working hand in hand.
    9) I’m excited. With the right thought put into it I does not have to cost a million bucks and it will get a lot more use than the $4 million spent on the Woodhouse Museum so far, since bringing it from Domtar. With all those exited kids and moms and dads and tourists the Museums purposes will be far greater served after all. All our Lamoureax Park benefits started with an idea, a dream and a desire to see them through. Yet we want more provided it meets the main challenges. That is effective use by as many ‘public’ persons as possible with as few visual blockages as possible. HERE THEN IS EXACTLY WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED or rather ideas the engineer and the dreamer are offering.

    Perhaps a city wide plebiscite during our next municiple election or a media questionnaire are due to see what our community really want to do about this. Go for it. YES WE CAN.

    Dave Windsor

  17. Thanks, dave, for the info. It’s funny, isn’t it, not a peep from the the waterfront “gang”, whose job it is to create envisions of changes to the waterfront. How many people are involved in the making of this committee, 5,6 or more and they still have not come up with any terrific ideas like yours and you took a short time to come up with a low price solution and they have been trying to do something for the last what is it, possibly 4yrs?
    There must be something cooking there or are they waiting for thier tenure to be completed?
    Have a nice day,folks.

  18. I well realize the frustrations citizens have with what appears to be personal or indirect for profit motivations. This question raised its head with the ‘Condo’ proposal right at the entrance to the Marina 2000. I couldn’t believe it at first, yet the will of the citizens of Cornwall was a loud and resounding ‘NO’. I see another letter yet in to-days Standard Freeholder (Aug. 2/12) acknowledging the desire to have a beach and also seeing the ‘Inlet Beach’ idea as viable. I have been discussing this area for a while with 3 engineer friends who do have some justifiable concerns but as yet nothing that can not have a work around. In today’s letter referenced here Mr. Raymond ‘Slim’ Pierette also indicates that he has made inquiries in the past. In 1993 a major study was undertaken specifically regarding a beach idea, costs etcetera. A good indication about how far back this NEED has been discussed by both the Waterfront Committee of the day and our city council who reviewed said studies. Remember these guys and gals were adults, not kids. So their insights were different than a Childs. Their area of research and costing was NOT the ‘Inlet Beach’ idea but a hidden small beach near the canal flew further west.
    It is past time to revisit a proper, specific and much larger exposed area proposal such as the parcel of Lamoreaux Park that is in my est. about 4 to 6 acres in size between the RCAF Wing and the Cornwall Museum. Have another physical review your self. I plan to be their approx. 1 pm on Friday August 3. Bring your friends. Everyone welcome. Open forum discussions welcome too. No’s and negatives can become important messages to work with and around. Perhaps we can build on this with a petition yet I feel that the media’s do an effective job of that by querying for votes as to whether or not our community would desire such a facility.
    Years ago a change house was torched. Also years ago Cornwall kids outwitted police, council and all authorities to be creative in finding their own swim hole be it some where on the old canal challenging dangers on a daily basis to get cooled down. Some would recall the Silve rbridge end of Marlborough with polluted waters. there was the board bottom at the bridge area below the ‘Old Hotel Dieu’ now St. Joseph’s Villa as well as across from the former Summerstown Sanatorium in skunky water. Then of course we had St. Lawerence Park (what happened to all the old canons there)? Well’ we built houses on the park and the 1950’s did in the beach that was used there. Remember Central Park with the large swimming pool. What happened to these and more were subliminal changes that eroded and overlooked the importance of a swim hole to be enjoyed by everyone.
    NOW IS THE TIME TO BRING ONE BACK. WE CAN DO IT. aLL WE NEED IS DESIRE, SUPPORT, TECHNICAL KNOW HOW AND ‘YOU’ AND ‘YOU’ AND ME TOO. I am planning to sit in a Water Front Committee meeting in August and perhaps protocols can be met to further a drive that will bring it on.

  19. A Beach at Lameroux park is a fantastic Idea .
    We need to attract people to the downtown core ,
    For myself and others we must bring our kids to Long Sault parkway for beach front.
    Having the beach central means less motor vehicles -may encourage more people walking to that destination as well as the people with minimal funds can easily access the beach through public transit.

    Cornwall is privileged to have its waterfront -please don’t fill it up with condo’s – that is not in the interest of the average citizen but lets create a beach like no other-
    Where peoples from all socioeconomic strata of society can enjoy the GEM that is Lameroux park.

    We have the space, now we need the political will ,its WE the people that can help Cornwall become a polished Gem.

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