Cornwall Ontario Branding Problem? Facebook Meme Page Heckling City Goes Viral 1500 + Likes in 2 Days

Cornwall SPRING 2012CFN – Ah the irony.  I get invited to check out this Facebook page that essentially is a celebration of all that’s not as good about Cornwall Ontario.   LINK

Yes it’s kinda high school.  And yes some of it’s funny.   For those viewers that don’t know Cornwall Ontario is a kinda unusual kinda of place.  It has immense potential and already has achieved some good.

1006349_511400548942564_535577669_nYes it’s a bit xenophobic and yes a bit of a closed shop; but the utter irony is that the locals trash it and view it more poorly than we latecomers to the party.

cornwall transitI contacted the page owner who stated;

My goal was to raise awareness for the ongoing visible problems in a community that could be striving.

gosling cwall

“I myself, am a member of the Cornwall community, my memes hackle a lot of things that I played a relative part in myself for example, I have memes about Citadelle High School yet I was once a student there, I joke about the facts of the working man not making enough in this town yet I work in this town and I joke a lot about Cornwall Transit yet I ride the bus to work 6 days a week.


My goal is for the city to improve these things and Memes grab attention, the Bold text, the sharp pictures. When you look at a meme, it’s fast, you read the title, you look at the picture, read from top to bottom, look at the picture again and then you laugh. All this happens in 1 and a half seconds. Teens and adults like myself all enjoy memes for that reason, it’s quick hilarity. If this is the manner in which is the most ideal for raising awareness of the surrounding problems in our community, then I will continue to create these memes.”

Asked about offending people with the memes:

I can understand why someone could find it offensive, I go on about Teen pregnancy, Parents who have teens that are pregnant or teens that have had a child could easily find those memes offensive, HOWEVER they know better than anyone else that they are offended not only by me but the fact that it is a problem in our community. Every time you read one of my memes, you can say “Its funny, cause it’s true”. In no way am i trying to offend, I am addressing the problems using Memes and Hilarity as my vehicle

CFN last year tried to have a three month contest where the public would write in letters about what was amazing about Cornwall with the top 100 as voted by the public would win local shopping prizes.

That effort was attacked by the City with the mayor even suggesting that it would be a “security” issue to have a link on the city’s website and facebook  page to the contest.   The Chamber of Commerce and Team Cornwall also refused to participate in a three month campaign on the most read newspaper in the city to cherish what’s best of our fair town.

As a matter of fact at the time people suggested we have a contest about how bad Cornwall is and now with this facebook page it looks like that would have been more popular?

Insanity, I know.    So reading through this meme page and seeing over 1,500 people like the page in less than two days I decided to throw this out to you the public to post what you really think of our fair city by your comments below.

So please have it .  Post the good and bad that you feel about your city.

And if you’re like me and want to make Cornwall a better place to live, work, and play please come out to our first Town Hall meeting on Sunday October 27th from 1-4 PM.   It’s free admission with live entertainment; community and political speakers, and tables for vendors, organizations, and artists.

Town Hall 300x250 2013-08-25


  1. Liberals have totally destroyed Cornwall,we need to get rid of their corruption before we can hope to rebuild

  2. In the early 70’s the wizards of the day sitting around the horseshoe at city hall decided that two independent studies paid for by the taxpayers of Cornwall were out to left field. The decision was therefore made to close off Pitt St. and go ahead with a pedestrian mall. Well surprise, surprise that did not work out to well ! That legacy has unfortunately continued during my residency here in this potentially great community.

    Around the same time council produced a forecast that predicted that the population of Cornwall would reach 100,000 by the year 2000.

    Unfortunately they were not aware that jobs, living standards and high welfare numbers were factors in growth, obviously among other issues.

    But change is coming !

  3. I have stated previously in the pages of this publication my fond memories of Cornwall and best wishes for the future of the community. However, it must be said that many have left for good because of the abuse they suffered at the hands of Cornwall’s power brokers. The old “you’ll never make it in this town” treatment has been laid on too many people that went on to success elsewhere.
    I can tell you as part of the Cornwall diaspora – there is definitely an image problem.


    This “meme” is supposed to BRING AWARENESS and supposed to be Funny?? OH OK……more like negativity.

    With that type of mentality this city will never change.

  5. I have never seen a city with this much potential fail so miserably over and over again. We have the potential to be amazing. Our location could not be any more perfect! An hour from Ottawa and Montreal! 15 minutes for the US. The st. Lawrence river? WOW could we have a gorgeous waterfront. We *could* have it all. This facebook page nails it though. Cornwall fails over and over again. Why? I have no idea. The people itself maybe? It’s at the point where it’s ridiculous and what else can we do but laugh? How crappy do you have to be at being a city when you have all THIS (location, waterfront, potential to be amazing, etc) at your fingertips and you still can’t do a thing with it? Reality is – we suck. That’s why this Cornwall memes page is so hilarious.

  6. I moved to Cornwall in 2009. While there are amazing people in Cornwall, my experiences in Cornwall have been…. negative. I find it to be a place of discrimination, bad practice and corruption. The more serious issues to improve Cornwall are neglected or ignored.

  7. Author

    Lisa I will share a portion of my personal opinion on this subject. People here I find are not inclusive. There is also a caste situation of those that feel certain entitlements.

    Others simply do not know how to play nice. There’s also a whole subculture of submissiveness where people refuse to question authority which allows for corruption. The still unanswered Chris Savard/Kinsmen/Lift Off situation. Other groups have questions marks hanging over them.

    I can tell you even before the boycott the doors were slammed shut on me from even participating on certain boards, groups, and committees.

    Even my ex-wife, our first year in Cornwall didn’t get a call back twice from Agape and all she wanted to do was volunteer our services for the Xmas meal.

    Until this community can treat each other fairly; support merit over kinship/cliqueyness, and stand up to corruption it’s kinda doomed to what we have now.

    And the only way to change that is for people en masse to stand up and say enough.

  8. @Stella
    Do you not pay attention to previous posts? It was common knowledge that Bobblehead Kilger, Council and the minions that are running this town did NOT want to promote Cornwall because they didn’t come up with the idea that Jamie had! Get with the program before you flap those lips…

    Until we have fresh blood running the show here in town it will continue to be a lost dream.

  9. Author

    SoS – some people just like being the pickle in the pooh….

  10. I agree with Stella…how is this person helping the situation. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. His goal is to be clever…not “…to bring awareness..” for some noble goal…he’s just a smartass.

    I also wonder about everyone saying we’re failing. How are we failing? Who says a community must constantly grow? Our population has been the same since my birth some 45 years ago…so? It’s not like the town has gone bankrupt and closed up shop. We’re sustaining.

    I don’t purporte to have any solutions…I just question if there really is a problem…live and let live…I’m satisfied with Cornwall. Like someone else said, we’re one hour from Ottawa and one hour from Montreal so if I have ready access to anything I want by living in Cornwall.

  11. I absolutely love the Facebook Memes page about cornwall. They tell it like it is, just the same as Cornwall Free News. Keep up the great work.

  12. @Wondering Man absolutely right!!!

    Why dwell on the negative aspects? Every city has their own problems to deal with, Cornwall is no different.

    However, ridiculing, put downs and dwelling on negativity won’t change a thing. Actually, what is does is highlights our weaknesses as a community and doesn’t encourage growth.

    @SOS……..nobody said we did not need change. What was said is that negativity does not help a city grow. Before you flap your lips, read the posts.

  13. This city is like quicksand. Hard to get out. Hard to live in it. You just keep sliding downward with it. So many issues and seemingly no vision. This city needs a serious youth Injection in politics because what’s being done is doing little and the same people are always running the show. The local government is more worried about their public perception than they are about their duties to represent the city and because of that Cornwall is a warehouse town with little opportunity so young workers are leaving or being pigeonholed into positions with no future.

    It’s no wonder so few people respect Cornwall the least of which is it’s own population.

  14. Lynn Reynolds is right.

    Nepotism, nepotism everywhere.
    Even here at the Cornwall Free News!

  15. Agree 100% Dennis jaciw!!!!! It is what it is.

  16. Author

    Um, I have no relatives working at CFN in any shape or form Smith. Care to explain that one?

  17. Kinship is not exclusive to relatives.

  18. Author

    I think it is Smith. Perhaps you mean Cronyism? We don’t do that here either.

  19. If we could get the right people running Cornwall, perhaps one day people in Ottawa or Montreal would say “we are only 1 hour from Cornwall”!

  20. Wait till the Cornwall cops get tasers

  21. Jamie I stayed up to look for the name that I was looking for Mr. Pat Finnerty about how Cornwall’s population hasn’t changed since 1956 and what he said about Cornwall is absolutely true.

    I was trying to think of this dear man’s name in my seniors brain that ceases sometimes and allas I found it. This man is or was a councelman and he has lived in Cornwall from 1956 – I was 5 years old when he came to Cornwall so he knows it mighty well. I love this dear man he made me laugh. I am burning the oil of the lamp being up late so as I can think of his name and get back to you and everyone.

  22. Don’t we all make fun of Cornwall in some form or fashion? Why is this any different? If you can’t poke fun at the city you live in to lighten your day, then you are entirely way too serious! Yes, we live in a city with problems. Yes, this facebook page brings these problems to the fore front. We all see these problems, and deal with these problems every day. Why not get a chuckle from them? It’s better than sitting there, making snide comments or stewing in hatred. Lighten up, people. It’s life. None of us are getting out alive!
    To some of the comments above, about how this page is not helping the situation, well, what are you doing about it? It’s great to leave comments, it’s our right of free speech, but commenting on something doesn’t make it happen. Complaining about something online doesn’t effect change. There are many other ways you can make a difference in our community. Why not put your efforts there? And if you already do, fantastic! Let’s hope change does occur….we definitely need it.
    To end this, we all can use a little humor in our lives. Take this facebook page as just that….humor. As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine.

  23. Jamie I love that hippo pulling that wagon. Cornwall Transit indeed. I remember when my husband and I decided to leave the car at home and take the bus instead after many years of not getting on Cornwall Transit. It was so funny when we asked the driver how long it would take for another bus to come and when he said 1/2 hour we just said to the driver “you’ve got to be kidding” so we walked the entire distance to home.

    I love what Mr. Joseph Francis said and he is absolutely right in his description. Honest to God I haven’t stopped laughing ever since. Cornwall was always behind but much more so today than ever before.

    The person who blogged ahead of me said something true and that is that you have to lighten up and laugh. Too many people are way too serious and the crazy things that go on in life you have to laugh or it will drive you crazy.

  24. In order to affect change people have to look at themselves in the mirror and only you people in Cornwall can make that happen. Many people sit down and let the crooks run it all and the same crooks come in year after year after year. All this clique is what is destroying Cornwall and yes it is getting worse, much worse. It takes ordinary people to make the right changes and not these rich crooks who are hanging on to the clique and taking bribes. If ordinary people do not take charge then nothing good will ever happen except going deeper into the swamp. I guarantee you that if things keep on going the way they are many people will no longer have their homes in Cornwall and many will be living on the streets.

  25. II have often see that question about Cornwall’s population and I have given it a lot of thought from time to time and it very well might just be correlated with education you see here in Cornwall if you have graduated in the last 15 or 20 years and even if your parents enrolled you in a French immersion curriculum and you went on to university and got a higher education you realize there no chance of promotion or securing a job here as your French credentials are almost totally useless. So most of the English speaking young adults who want to get ahead move west where there skills are appreciated while here in Cornwall the jobs left behind are filled by the few Bilingual locals or people who commute to the higher paying jobs here from West Quebec and Ottawa Gatineau Region often choosing to live in places like Casselman Embrun so one spouse can work on Ottawa while one works here. That’s why many of my families kids have left because jobs held by there parents for years for example have been declared bilingual if the position becomes vacant.

  26. Cornwall GROW UP
    Cornwall will grow and expand in spite of the common downplay of verbiage some espouse. It will grow and expand with or without the guidance of council.
    People will come and go especially grow with seniors coming home from a life of building their equities in larger environments with much higher incomes and properties than Cornwall has been able to match. We need to take advantage of this influx as much as possible.
    Thanks to recent developments like Riverside Terrace and the newer executive style apartments on the former Courtaulds property.
    Funny how people here think these are far too expensive, yet they are filling up from outsiders and those from Cornwall who can afford them. This program will continue to build, literally, as the needs over the next 5 to 10 years will show,
    Now that a number commercial distribution of goods and services business’s have a foot hold in Cornwall, more and more such as the recent opening of the UAP central distribution has located near by, will evolve. I foresee another 5 or more coming our way in and around Cornwall as they too recognise their potentials.
    Along with these we see spin-off service industries and building industries in support of the distribution centers expanding and moving here. And why not. Prime example is the new Lock-key storage area for transports on the south east corner of the 401 and Boundry Road corner in development stages.
    Cornwall, get off the pot, get off the down playing our great city. So many big city dwellers immediately recognise all the wonderful green space we have. So close to cross country and downhill skiing, skating rinks. walking trails with our recreational paths. A fabulous library with so much to offer we are the envy of many communities.
    The pity and whinny party is over……NOW GROW UP AND HELP ALL OF US SELL OUR WONDERFUL STYLE OF LIVING. GET OUT OF YOUR LAZY BOYS AND FIND SOME SQUIRRELS TO FEED, BIRDS TO TAKE PICTURES OF, A TRAIL TO WALK SUCH AS OUR OWN COOPERS MARSH SO CLOSE, our fabulous golf course, Long Sault Parkway and so much more such as our recreational paths surrounding our fine city.
    …take a bag with you and enjoy making the recreational areas prettier. Don’t think bending over to pick up some else’s drink cup or hamburger wrapper is beneath you ……… your part to ensure your front door shows well to our visitors…..EVEN IF YOU RENT, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO KEEP YOUR TRASH OFF THE FRONT PORCH AS MUCH AS OWNERS. Maybe that is why you whine so much…from facing your own garbage. Humbling as life can be at times, pull up your own socks first then you can chose to bitch or build as the need be.
    Stop imploding within Cornwall and recognise and SELL our entire region of Eastern Ontario. We are in this soup together and there is nothing like a home cooked stew with lots of broth.
    We have the stew and we have the broth. Get busy.
    Dave Windsor

  27. One more GREAT AND WONDERFUL THING TO ADD…….CORNWALL AIRPORT……expansion plans are still on the table.

    So you see folks, our future is flying high. Be part of it.

  28. Author

    Dave please. The airport should have been expanded years ago. Why it’s taking this long is a tribute to the failure of our MP and the political will to economically develop our region.

  29. Use or OUR Sports Paths:

    I mentioned earlier the term ‘recreational paths’. Of course one would recognise this as inferring the paved walkways throughout, around and beyond the city limits.

    To now MOST people were of the understanding that these were ‘BIKEpaths’….I reject this anymore.

    Despite everywhere in the country where this reference is more common, I believe we should start and recommend a more relevant term. The ‘bike’ inference gives OWNERSHIP to bikers. In fact, too much ownership…..witness the number of speedsters that cavalierly wipe by walkers…even or ore so startling little children……no warning of a ‘bell’…no sound out of…’passing left” or any such regard.

    How unfortunate that we, all of us, have allowed this arrogance and ignorance of many bikers(NOT ALL) to overrule and overrun walkers and runners.

    This is a pet peeve of those caught off guard. Racing on a recreational path at super speeds, in weaving in and out, is irresponsible just as doing the same on a roadway with a vehicle.

    I propose that we select a name through out the city, even posting signage with a set of ‘Rules to go by…..

    Spots Path Etiquette:


    1) Slow down for pedestrians.

    2) Always give fair in advance
    warning signal.

    3) Use grass to bypass if necessary.

    4) Please keep your own litter.

    Thank you for your considerations.

    Dave Windsor

  30. Mr. Dave Windsor is right about the beautiful parks and bike trails and even here in Ottawa at the park that we go to there are many who are very inconsiderate who race bikes and don’t care for people who walk like ourselves for instance. My husband gets all huffy about how they behave so that is everywhere. People should be respectful towards others and yes biking is a good exercise but be respectful. You don’t know when you have to stop all of a sudden for whatever reason and that is the truth.

    People who are ordinary do not get the jobs in Cornwall. This isn’t just about language like what “reality check” said but it is about what family that you belong to and who spoke for who to get those jobs. All those ordinary folks like myself have left Cornwall because of those things. All the people that I went to school with have left Cornwall except for a mighty small few that can be counted on not more than one or two hands.

    There is not one place that is 100% good. Here in Ottawa we have problems with gangs, drunks, etc. Just take a look on news about what happened on Clarence Street in the market and the police were called to a bar and beat up a man who was drunk and causing a disturbance. A bar that starts with Tequila something or other. That is all we hear about and many other things that make Cornwall sound pretty good. The Ottawa cops are mighty tough compared to Cornwall’s Barney Fife PD and that is another good thing about Cornwall’s cops is that they have more humane about them. When you are in a big city there are many crimes to deal with and they have no feelings because of what they see many times a day and they get hard.

    About the airport I don’t know why they want an airport because Cornwall is mighty small. Yes I do see where some seniors would like to live in Cornwall to get away from the crimes, pollution, etc. The young have no other alternative but to leave unless one has a well known name in the community where they get hired and others are left on welfare lines even with an education. Now you see why we left along with so many others.

  31. Regarding Summerstown Airport response, Jamie and Jules….

    We need the airport to open more doors to business executive in and out of our Cornwall and regional area. Executives, particularly the banker types and CEO’s looking us over do not
    have the time to spent 3 or 4 hours on a commute

    Our MP, with respect and others have been short sighted regarding this very important issue. Build it, expand it for Lear and other fast jets and you will see more growth and expansions in the following 5 years than we’ve seen in the last 20.

    That is the bottom line.

    As far as Cornwall being a low level education town, jas long as we continue to beat ourselves up about it we will continue to be stagnant. Their is so much opportunity here it is incredible. The only way to go is up.

  32. Regarding the disappointing council vote Monday night……

    I feel miffed by councils unfortunate vote last evening on both the expansion of our water supply

    into South Stormont territory. I can understand the tax concerns, however the lack of

    insight would be the consumer driven influx these extra business’s can and would surely bring.

    To add to that the Airport extension is long, long overdue and short sighted. Massena airport

    does not and will not service us as well with fast, in and out commutes from across the country

    by executive who simply do not have the time for a four or five hour delay(customs/traffic on bridge, etc.).

    It is this kind of backward thinking that this town has had thrust upon them for 50 to 60 years now.

    Stupid is what stupid does and we’ve collectively been stupid here for a very long time.

    Dave Windsor
    From Beautiful though SERIOUSLY Conflicted
    CPRNWALL, Ontario

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