Downtown Cornwall Ontario Wilting – First Farmers Market Dies Now LCBO Moves out of Core

Wine GlassCFN – It’s going to be harder to get fine wines and spirits in the downtown Cornwall Ontario core as the LCBO is pulling out of its Pitt Street location and moving further East.

The downtown strip in Cornwall has been struggling with the Farmer’s Market closing and more empty stores than in recent years.

Several local merchants said to CFN that they’re not sure how much longer they themselves could hang on with higher taxes for commercial buildings and fees for a DBIA that seems to be doing nothing but putting up the occasional pot of flowers.  One downtown vendor called the Mayor “Bankrupt Bob” during our conversation; referring to mayor Bob Kilger.

Cornwall has for decades struggled what to do about the identity of Pitt Street as Brookdale avenue populated with Big Box stores.

Unlike nearby Brock “Vegas” (Brockville Ontario) Cornwall did not save many of its heritage sites nor seem to have a true downtown development plan in action.

While some are waiting and hoping to rip up the downtown green spaces and develop condos others have cited simply a lack of leadership and vision for the River city.

What do you think amazingly intelligent viewers of CFN?  You can post your comments below.

subscribe to cfn


  1. Cornwall has not invested in itself for many years. Sure we have great success with distribution centers locating here. Lots of unemployment has helped with a work force for these.

    What we need are drawing cards for clean industry and a younger clientele for our shopping venues…..all of them. As we know, the door is open for more shopping here to come.

    (th and McConnell development is well under way while the great hope for 7th to 9th on Cumberland seems to have died on the drawing board.

    Two exciting interest/investment items would certainly be a DOWNTOWN BEACH… you feel the heat?

    The other that comes to mind is a ‘Temporary’ Stop’ location for Winnebago’s, family trailers of all kinds for a 1 to three day stay over to get refreshments, catch up on their supplies and rest up for a further destination journey.

    A Travel Trailer park with electricity and sewage dumpage as well as showers use to be located here years ago. Perhaps it was pre-St. Lawrence River taming in the 50’s.

    One nearby the border crossing, such as the snow dump area or on the former Domtar site, or even on the vacant 7th/9th/Cumberrland site could be a nice way to introduce people o our Cornwall hospitality. It would not interfere with hotels as people will be using their trailers.

    One potential market would be conventions such as the Jehovah Witness’s who have to take accommodations far out of town to come here. If they could come in trailers they would still use our restaurants and shopping facilities instead of driving back out od town each evening.

    Just saying. But what are we doing about it? Where is the leadership. Who are the ‘blockers’…where are the bakers?

  2. The ship has never had a rudder.

  3. Take a drive to Dorion, now that is what I call development and a shopping paradise. The Cornhole downtown is dead along with the Square and both are eyesores even Brookdale is a snore. This city has so much potential….but will never change, probably too scared to change..the young are leaving in droves or not returning after college/university and who can blame them, not everyone wants to work in a damn warehouse (the latest replacement for defunk call centres).

  4. The best years of downtown Cornwall where in the 90’s when Pitt St. was closed. Anyone remember Cornfest???
    Good times, good times…
    Not sure who was Mayor then, I think Martelle…
    There used to be LCBO in east end, certainly Cornwall could sustain 3 LCBO stores one would think….This will be a big loss for sure.
    Another one bites the dust…..

  5. Very simple solution to the problem, rid the city of the Mayor and his Council or should I say followers including all clicks, you know the Bob Peters and Gilles Latours of this city. All these people serve 2 things, each other and themselves and not a single one can see past that brown spot on the tip of their nose, unless of course the other wipes it off so each can dive in for more.

  6. “A Travel Trailer park with electricity and sewage dumpage as well as showers use to be located here years ago. Perhaps it was pre-St. Lawrence River taming in the 50′s.

    It would not interfere with hotels as people will be using their trailers.

    One potential market would be conventions such as the Jehovah Witness’s who have to take accommodations far out of town to come here. If they could come in trailers they would still use our restaurants and shopping facilities instead of driving back out od town each evening.”


    What do you mean it would not interfere with hotels, most of the Jehovah Witnesses stay at out local hotels, this year alone they will have stayed 6 weekends thurs , fri and Saturday nights in our local hotels. All the chain hotels are guaranteed 100% occupency for 18 nights. These conventions bring well over a million dollars of revenue for the local hotel and restaurant owners. Without such revenue hotels would be forced to lay off people. The jehovah wittness conferences are the cornerstone of the hotel tourist season each year. Beleive me I know I work in the hotel industry.

  7. I think it’s always good to make it difficult for politicians to get alcohol, especially in Cornwall.

  8. I have been saying for a very long time now that “Bankrupt Bob” Bare Ass is what I refer him to along with names that I cannot post but you all get the picture. I told all of you that Bare Ass will bankrupt Cornwall very soon if he isn’t put out as of now. You cannot wait another year and that is the truth. Bare Ass has no vision and yes businesses are struggling with mighty high taxes and so are home owners and renters and people can no longer take it anymore. The downtown core has been mighty neglected. In the past the downtown was thriving and you could hardly walk on the sidewalk that there were so many people shopping. Nowadays the downtown looks worse than the 30’s depression. The entire town looks that way as well. People don’t have any jobs so how are people going to spend when they have nothing. That is the problem. The unemployment problem is worldwide and the system is only going to crash and exactly when that depends on those who run the world.

  9. you know in the last 10 years or so the city has been lacking in the creativity department for the downtown core we used to have corn fest in the summer and in the winter we had the winter fest which had ice sculptures. canada day is nothing but a joke and no matter what goes on in the park it brings no attraction to the down town core i did co-op in a downstore this spring and the amount of foot track is barely visable you have the odd older person going down the side walk with a walker but nothing else city needs to get its head out of its (censored) and start looking at what to do to the downtown core not worry about the water front so much

  10. Tonight at 360 Pitt Street our dispicable band of asshats sat, smiled, cheered, patted each other on the backs and praised the glory of our new savior A strategic plan like no other that they had no part of other than cost. One that will get Cornwall through the next seven years. Ain’t life wonderful here? CRAP!!! What are these idiots smoking??? Contraband picked up during the last recent drug raid. Like we are supposed to forgive them for all the wasteful spending, corruption and misdeeds for the past seven years. Again they have proven to this writer that they dont have a clue of what they are doing. So Sad.

  11. How far east will they be moving to? Crossing the border just to team up with the SAQ ???

  12. Grant…….you are probably right. Perhaps the USA side will take on the project instead.

  13. Author

    Dave there is a beach in Massena.

  14. Why is moving the LCBO a problem again? It’s more accessible out of the core

  15. Thanks admin. Perhaps I should have used more clarity in referencing ‘Grants’ comments.

    Comment: ‘Perhaps the USA side will take on the project instead.’

    Should have inferred ‘Perhaps the USA side will take on the project instead of the ‘temporary/transitionsal stop’ TRAILER PARK…before holidayers move further in country, theirs or ours.

    Actually I participated in a 20 mile triathlon at that beach in Massena some time ago…I actually finished….enough said :-).

    Thanks again ‘admin’

  16. Gary Samler, I certainly don’t know of new locate for LCBO but my guess of east, would be in the area of the old Zellers Mall.


  17. Apparantly across the street from the old Zellers location, next to Food Basics & Wing Hing !

  18. A trailer park operation on old Domtar properties ( ex paper mill )
    and or 7th & Cumberland would not enhance our City .
    Perhaps the movement of the LCBO off Pitt St. will not sit well with
    the immediate area locals & the Local ruling class . It has been said
    by many that the LCBO store is to close to and to convenient to
    City Hall and it is thought by many Cornwall residence the need for Sober first and second thought on City Council”s decision making .

  19. With respect to A Concerned Taxpayer…..

    A trailer park operation on old Domtar properties ( ex paper mill )
    and or 7th & Cumberland would not enhance our City.

    Does that imply that the ‘smell of money’ of the Domtar plant DID enhance our city. To be quit frank, the nick name of Cornwall was less pleasant from ALL REGIONS OF NORTH AMERICA. Even I experienced it from those of less friendly persuasion within my former domain, when I transferred here years ago.

    Would it not be a more ‘inviting’ trend to see people finally coming into Cornwall in droves(pun) with their fancy pantsy caravans of Winnibegos, gleaming in silverlight colors instead of running in the other direction ‘by ANY means we can.

    YES, I did say CARAVANS, as that is how a number of North American triler enthusiasts move from parts unknown to parts of trails unknown.

    To immediately equate ‘trailers’ as u hauls or a stature of less invited character is impudent and your veiled attempt to demean these travelers as a visual disparity, disreputable and tardy is unfortunate. You obviously have not eaperienced the high life many of these travelers enjoy.

    Many seniors today for example ‘sell out’ house and home lock stock and yes, barrel to allow them the freedom of continental travel for 10 to 20 years, coast to coast to coast.

    To immediately DUMP on ideas that one empresses, to demean their attempt at change, to be disparaging on every turn shows not my or their idiocy, but rather the highs and lows at which too many Cornwallites have for years chosen to go.

    What BETTER ideas do YOU have that would INVITE, welcome, encourage people of influence and money to come to Cornwall, besides the beautiful view of another 4 walls condo?

    Don’t take me wrong, condos do have there place too. So does low rental side-by-sides…..perhaps you would rather a mix of those on the snow dump or Domtar lands? Oh, look, how pretty?
    How inviting?

    The excitement, the fun loving on the move RV Trailering crowd can bring, along with their desire to shop, buy gas, tour around, check us out or simply drive back home with the knowledge that they have been to CANADA OR HAVE SEEN CANADA for the first time in their lives can be very rewarding for Cornwall………………. ………………….as an adjunct to those who require the need of our hotels, motels and personal lodgings.

    Don’t forget, these fun loving tourist can also bring their vast knowledge of other regions they have been to that would enhance Cornwall even more.

    NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND BETTER? Now do we all get the picture?

    It would also seem too that you and others may have reasonable ass-umption of consumption(perhaps a liquid dinner type prior to) that some of our council have been under the influence in the performance of their chamber duties on, say a Monday night meeting or two?

  20. Good grief!! The eye sore dressed up by the colorful art work of community artists should be a location for a farmers’ market instead of an empty lot. What a waste of space and resources. The downtown core is turning into a ghetto despite the efforts of area business. We have the patio and restaraunt wars going on between Second and First street on Pitt, but other than that, our downtown core is dead after six pm. Like many others, I am leaving this City as there is no growth except for warehouses and big box stores. Brockville, Kemptville, even Morrisburg has a thriving downtown core that draws people with it’s quaint stores and services. It is apparent that there is a lack of leadership when it comes to city planning and listening to the needs of the community. Lets get rid of the Mayor and his sunshine list team. Lets demand a Mayor and city council members that will look after our community’s interests, not just their own.

  21. Re:Newsworthy
    June 27, 2013 at 8:31 am ‘Good grief!’

    Your point is well stated…..and here is my answer to my agreement w/you……..

    I am quite sure that all the problems that consume EVERYONE

    about ‘the downtown core’, the ‘le Village’ and every other

    ‘business decision EVER MADE IN THIS TOWN has the misfortune

    of having been MICRO-MANAGED by our city council and

    administrative recommendations and bylaw considerations, under

    the guise of support for those owning current stores. This

    protectionist attitude by owners of specific business’s involving

    themselves out of fear of losing their business.

    By rejecting all out side marketers to determine the best location,

    location, location for their offers to come here, our city fathers


    AGAIN…for time immemorial in Cornwall.

    Proof of this can be seen FROM THE TIME THE CORNWALL





    As a result, where do our own citizens, council and mayor,

    administration and city staff most all included, do their

    shopping……any day of the week they can be found in Kingston,

    Brockville, Ottawa, Montreal, Massena, Malone and Potsdam, just

    to name a few BECAUSE ‘WE’ DO NOT HAVE WHAT ‘THEY’ HAVE.

    Our potential for a Cornwall mecca shopping, activity center has

    been unwittingly frittered away over the years via backwoods

    thinking. What do we show ALONE THE 401 million car drive but a

    gas station and, berms, fencing and trees while virtually every city

    from here to Toronto show bustling places to be with hotels,

    motels and active markets ready and open for our business.

    I’ve long said that our City Hall should ‘get out of Dodge…get away from the downtown core, relocate in a six-STORIES HIGH WITH NICE COPPER GLASS FACADE, ON THE NORTH SIDE of and visible to the 401 traffic……..with a big sign across the top CORNWALL, OPEN FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

    This is very much needed if Cornwall can GET MOM AND DAD OUT OF THE DOWNTOWN CORE…………….AND YOU WILL SEE MAXIMUM GROWTH THERE WHEN THE MARKETEERS ARE GIVEN THE GO AHEAD…….without nicky picky interference’s.

    Our worst enemies are among us.

  22. Last week I was at Costco with my husband on Cyrville Road here in Ottawa and we saw a car from Cornwall. Yes people shop elsewhere than in Cornwall. I also met up with a girl that works in a mall in Cornwall some years back and she too was shopping in Ottawa and my husband and I were so very happy to see her.

    I remember that it was George Assaly for one who helped make Pitt Street into a type of a mall where it was closed off to traffic and having a corn fest and all. Mr. Assaly was trying hard to bring people to the downtown core.

    Where I live here in Ottawa they are taking down a mall and building individual stores and the bank and other things are already up. We miss the mall but it became dilapidated and a place where gangs would go in and drugs and cops and so much trouble. The place just now is a real construction site.

  23. People in Cornwall should not be afraid of change if it is good change. The thing is that a mayor and council and the economic development has to have vision.

    When young Korey Kennedy was in council he had vision even though some things may not work for Cornwall he had vision. I had so many good laughs at the kid in council that it reminded me of Sheila Copps and the conservative guy from the east coast teasing her and she jumping over tables. LOL LOL. Korey can be forgiven being young.

    Korey was a good one to have on council and he took some geography type course here in Ottawa and I don’t know if it had anything to do with planning. The young man used to refer to other towns like Brockville and Kingston and I think that is one of the things that people should refer to while helping to plan Cornwall to be a better town.

    Ottawa itself is changing all the time and what a difference it is compared to what it used to be like. Time keeps going forward and in order to attract people you have to have what brings them to such a place. I am concerned about the seniors and yet you don’t want it to be 100% senior so you have to attract families to live in Cornwall by having better facilities. I agree with all of you there. Ottawa has its problems and one of the big problems now is unemployment.

  24. Old malls are wearing down and pose a threat of ceilings falling in as well (witness Elliot Lake).

    The open concept mall allows people to drive or perhaps target the individual store(s) they wish to go to saving long ‘browsing walks’
    as so many of us have gotten away with ‘mall’ touring for, lets say Christmas gifting.

    So much shopping is now done via the internet, our mall time has been more limited.

  25. While I definitely support local businesses where possible I also adhere to the concept that my business has to be earned. Many businesses however subscribe to the mistaken concept “if you build it they will come”. When a business fails to train staff properly to respond to customer needs/inquiries and to thank each client at the cash for their patronage expect lower sales. Quite simply if a business doesn’t seem to appreciate my dollars then I do not go back, I go elsewhere. While I have had many good experiences in Cornwall there is definitely much room for improvement. Striving for excellence is not old fashion it is part of the recipe for success.

  26. The move of the Pitt St. LCBO out of the core to the old Jumbo Video location will not be convenient for myself. I will miss the staff who where always friendly, helpful and courteous.
    Unfortunately one more reason not to visit the core.

  27. Morrisburg what a lovely little village. Every time we go there I just love it.

    When people do not have any foresight or vision then a place deteriorates. Back in the very early 70’s as well as the late 60’s and even well before people were leaving Cornwall in droves. What made places like Long Sault, Ingleside and Morrisburg really thrive were their beautiful camping grounds and parks. Tourists love to camp and those were nice, quiet areas to go to.

    Cornwall has always stunk and people did not want to go there. Businesses went down and many people who had their businesses in downtown Cornwall left for Toronto and elsewhere. Cornwall’s downtown thrived but now it is a real ghost town.

  28. Now Jules, there you go again, ,Cornwall has always stunk and people did not want to go there ‘

    You have such a way of accentuating the negative about Cornwall.

    Well, you do have a lot of good points, but I have to tell you as a friend of Cornwall, we do not stink anymore, least wise not like it did here when we had ICI, BASF, Domtar and Courtaulds.

  29. I moved here in 2001 and this city’s growth is next to none… How about restoring some history..RE open a beach people tell me used to be here .. I agree with the camp ground(park ) idea.
    Shopping along the 401 to attract all!!
    Any other destination you drive to has shopping outlets and stores in droves.
    Walmart super center,Lowes,Target, best buy, texas roadhouse etc would be nice ..strip malls like on the 10-30 near Montreal.
    With such close proximity to the United States it could be a nicer more enticing town to visit with more big box shopping.. If you. Want people to shop an eat local then growth is very much needed here . Beaches,camp grounds ,water front hotel would be awesome retreat ..the possibilities are here to be unlocked .

  30. Hoppy July 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you Hoppy who ever you are. Seldom have I heard some acknowledgement over the many years I spout off the same tracks.

    The other issue I have often brought up was the REAL NEED to segregate our CITY HALL TOTALY FROM THE DOWNTOWN CORE.

    That situation has poisoned open minded thinking. Isn’t it any wonder we are still dark in the ageless battle for growth with respect to being visible and viable.

    YES TO OUR DISTRIBUTION CENTERS. More to come, hopefully.

    Yet, we can be considerably more diverse with a broader array of retailers. National and international chains, I believe have been spurned time and time again from the ‘visible’ channels such as the 401 and even more along the Hwy 138 of South Stormont region. WHY…protectionism of everyone’s downtown cores.

    While other towns and cities grow we continue to flounder.

    I am not one who is or would be so connected for many reasons, to be a strong leader……….perhaps you can take up the gamete

    I do believe that one day we will find such a person, strong on ideals not held with current or past councils/mayors, whom the citizens of Cornwall will receive with open arms….vote strong and for this new direction.

Leave a Reply