What Happened to Our Good Friend, the East End? By E.V.Hutcheon Cornwall Ontario



Cornwall Ontario -I find myself a generally cautious person, but all be it a positive person too. That’s how I felt one autumn morning walking up Alice St.


Birds are chirping and the sun shines. A number of squirrels are running around franticly trying to collect nuts and seeds before the winter comes. Everywhere I look people are just as busy, getting in and out of cars on their way to work or school. It’s a beautiful day in the east end of Cornwall. There is a slight chill to the air, but there are no clouds in sight.


ev 2A few hours pass, the streets are all but bare. Graffiti is drawn on the sides of convenience stores giving color to the washed out, run down buildings. Small chips of plaster fall from most of them as well as many of the other homes in the area.



The sidewalk is cracked in places and there is this one house with garbage and recycled alcohol bottles in clear plastic bags, barricading the entrance. There is no sign of life behind the massive stacks. A sign that hangs against the latched fence, which is barely readable, says; don’t steal the bottles, because stealing is wrong.



A few houses down a cop stands outside a house where two middle aged citizens argue with one another. There’s a woman crossed armed and scowling at an equally frustrated male, who wears a permanent frown on his face. If you keep walking, passed the police vehicle, towards a house with every window and door boarded and locked, you can escape from the piercing gaze of officer.


ev 1 Walking passed I couldn’t help but be thankful that was not my house. I know I’m the only one who’s thought that when you’ve looked at some of the make shift homes people live in through out the east end.


If you live in the East End you might want to picture this, you put the key in the lock of your small apartment or home and turn it. The key catches, you notice your front window unlatched and pulled open to one side. You finally manage to yank open the door and get inside. You notice right away something is wrong.



Everything in your living space is a total disaster; your sofa bed has been turned over and your stereo, T.V, Xbox 360, Wii, laptop, anything with any worth has been snatched from right under your nose.


How do you feel?


ev 4Do you still feel at home like you would have otherwise?

That safe secure feeling you get when you step through the door of your house every other time, is now completely gone in a single second with one quick sweep.


For a friend of mine Kailey Hook, her sense of security shattered when she came home after a weekend of visiting her family in Arnprior to a ransacked home.


When I came home everything on my porch was rearranged, my chair was on the opposite side of my porch, my screen on the window on the door was pulled out of it and cracked open. I saw all that and I just kinda was in shock from all of it.”


Sadly, Kailey is not the only one who has come home to find a crime scene.

Another reliable source stated in their interview that they’d come home also from visiting family, to their second story apartment trashed and remnants of a squatter living at their home, during their absence.


I guess the perpetrator thought that it would be better to leave garbage and bits of their DNA, as apposed leaving nothing at all when they made off with over 3,000 dollars worth of belongings.


Imagine this:

If you walk down a street completely deserted of people. The only two residences you go passed are two identical buildings facing across from each other. There is only one difference to these two buildings; but this one change alone will completely alter the perception of how the public views the two structures.


ev3On the left side of the street, the building you glimpse is a rundown warehouse with every window except one, smashed. Red graffiti painted along every reachable angle and surface, and it looks as though it hasn’t seen life since the early 80’s. On the right side of the street, is a warehouse in pristine condition with no broken windows, all the lights are on and people clearly have a purpose for it. If you were someone looking to vandalize, which one would you more likely to torch? The rundown mess or the one in better condition, that is still in use?


The logical answer would be none of the above. Unfortunately most people don’t think about logic in the midst of an illegal act. This is a direct result of disrespect, just as it would be if someone were to come in and ransack your home.


Unfortunately for Kailey, she had no locks on any of her windows helping to prevent a break in.


What I couldn’t understand was why break a window and leave evidence, why not just take the screen out and not make it obvious that you were there?”



The real motive behind that would simply be because it’s easier. Not to mention, it amps up your fear and makes you question even the smallest of details in others behaviors going forward.


I don’t feel safe at all. Like that just shows me a bad image of them.”


For Kailey, walking down the street is harder; feeling safe in her own community is now tougher than ever before. The only source of comfort or guidance I can add is for any one reading this, lock your windows and doors when you leave. Make sure you have done all you could to prevent an illegal act (even if that means you need to invest in cameras or a guard dog) occurring on your property.



After walking down the streets of the East End with me, Sam Zroback, shared her views on things.


It’s really dilapidated. Yards look unmaintained like who ever lives there has no sense of pride in their residence, you know? And the look of their house… there’s a lot of sketchy looking people walking down the East End wearing bandannas and certain color scheme in their outfits, if you know what I mean?”


It really makes you wonder, if people living in the east end can’t even feel safe in their own community, than what chance does the rest of Cornwall have of feeling safe in the east?


I personally would like to believe that is not whole the case. After living in Toronto for most of my life, it completely blows my mind on how everything seems to be run in the East End. Where are the Cornwall police in all of this? That’s what I would really be interested to know.  

E.V. Hutcheon is a 2nd year St. Lawrence College Journalism Student.  She has professionally edited a Polish history book and is hoping to see her dream and passion of writing into a career. Previously living Toronto, E.V. is now a proud Cornwall citizen. On her off time you can usually find her at home writing her latest book, or walking along the St Lawrence River. 

Milena Cardinal


  1. I wish people wouls stop generalizing about the east end. It’s not all doom and gloom.

  2. What happened to the east end? Well I think you need some history. There was this cotton mill that paid low wages and hired poor Quebecers to move to Cornwall. They bought cheap housing on small lots. The cotton mills closed and four generations of welfare families later you have Le Village (aka French Harlem or the east end). It has always been a dump. If you live there, move. If you visit there, bring guns. Wigger culture and 14 year old mothers are the way it has always been and always will be. A few years back the CAO of the city allegedly on mayor’s orders had the fire department burn it and then stop it to protect the assets of a certain blood-sucking family. Should have let the whole banana burn to the college and to second street. On that day a media empire began.

  3. I do not feel safe in many areas in this city.. As an older lady I will not venture too far out in he evening even to Walmart or Metro area etc.. leave alone the east end.. I have been approached for money a few times so I am very cautious.. I do not ever go to the mall downtown..

    I think it would be nice if the city did something to try to clean up the east end and other areas of this city instead of having the best of the best like the Benson center and luxury things this city has but it still has it’s crack houses on Mtl road and even prostitutes…

    I come from a city about the same size and never seen some of the things I have seen here… Oh I forgot pajama city..

  4. i had a comment but now i don’t know what to say, never been lost for words before. disorder is the key ingredient to the east end. one street will have homes, actual homes, actively kept up in appearance on one side of the street and on the other nothing but slums, low rentals for low income earners. mix the two and what becomes of the well kept homes? value loss, the banks won’t lend money to upkeep a home that loses value. what becomes of the home? if you can’t repair it, it becomes rundown. when it gets to a state of disrepair it becomes a low rental for another low income family, a slum lord from out of province will snap it up, never do anything in its upkeep and rent it for 5 years or so and who cares right? the people across the street don’t care, why should they? their liveing in the same conditions. the situation in the east end can only be overcome when people start caring about the atmosphere their families grow up in, a bar every hundred feet or so used to be the norm, not so much anymore. most of them even moved away. give people a chance to hold their heads up and be proud of what they have, they need too!

  5. I drive a school bus for High school around the East end. I have to say I have the greatest group of kids, they are polite and very friendly and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. That being said I have driven in other areas where some of the children have been rude,very demanding and spoilt…..The old saying comes to mind “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

  6. Police just add more fear to the east end. They make crime profitable, abuse us mentally and physically, and worst of all they help children’s aid (homewreckers) destroy families while keeping the real crooks and pedophiles in this city safe

  7. “Past”… the word (misused at least 3 separate times in this article) is “past”… You walked past.. not passed. A journalism student that claims to have edited a book? Please, learn the language.And someone might want to edit and proofread a little bit too before publishing.

    Anyway, about the article itself. I live in the East end of Cornwall, and have for 3 years, have never felt the least bit afraid of the area, beautiful people here, and peaceful.

  8. Absolutely John Rothwell, people need to care, to take pride in their surroundings, not surrender and abandon hope. Hope for better begins with stepping up to the plate and hungering for that first home run of the season.

    Jane Doe that was funny ! Pajama City ! I have watched with growing wonder and amusement at the ever increasing number of individuals venturing out about town in their pajamas. Being an import myself one of the first things that I noticed particular to Cornwall was the number of people that do not wear winter boots or use the sidewalks.

    All of this is changeable with the right leadership.

  9. A few concerned neighbours should have a chat about forming a neighbourhood watch, contact the police, and put it into action. Contact the Girl Guides / Boy Scouts and organize a clean up day with a get to know you bar b q. Take control of your space!

  10. Cornwall needs better leadership. Having moved from here for 15 years and then moving back I am truly disappointed with the city that has always been home to me. It’s a city that breeds ignorance and indifference. Indifference is one of its biggest problems. I attended this years Santa Claus parade and was beyond disappointed with the over-all feel of it. It was great that the fire trucks and medical vehicles came out, but did they really need to blare their sirens as if there was an emergency??? And the sirens, they don’t sing “Merry Christmas” they sing “EMERGENCY”. I feel bad for anyone with epileptic children, Lord knows they would not have enjoyed the parade. And the floats, some were really nice, classy even, but others were just a piss poor effort seemingly just to advertise a business. I am truly appalled at how bad Cornwall has been allowed to become, and yes, I say allowed, because no one seems to really give a care unless they are paid to do so, and even the ones who do get paid to do something seem to do the bare minimum. City planning has gone to the dogs, we no longer have a welcoming “downtown” where people can get out of their cars and go for a stroll. The city has become segmented and disconnected. Cornwall needs people who truly care about the city and not just the paycheque that it provides. When out of town/country friends come to visit we take them to Ottawa or Montreal because we feel embarassed. Belleville is a smaller city by population, yet its beauty and its feel of community is a million times better/stronger than what we have allowed Cornwall to be. I say allowed because there are people in charge, people who get paid our tax dollars, yet what do they REALLY do for us besides make back room deals to rip off the community. We need transparency, we need to be able to trust one another so we can work together. Too many selfish, small minded people. I wake up everyday with the saying “be the change you want to see in the world”, I wish others would to. And I wish more people would be held accountable for their actions. That can go either way. Celebrate the great people, it will make more people want to be great. Reprimand the bad ones, publicly (with proof) to discourage others of doing things to fail our city. We need better leaders, people who actually care.

  11. Jane Doe and folks I live not far from Heron Gate apartments and townhouses here in Ottawa and I heard on the car radio this morning that 3 gunshots were fired around 6 or 6:30 p.m. yesterday. This area has seen and heard a lot over the past 10 years at least. When we lived here in the past we never heard of such things happening at all. About 10 years ago there were gun shots fired here where Tim Horton’s is and someone was shot and further east on St. Laurent or was it Russell Road someone was shot in the elevator of a high rise building. Society has gone completely insane. I have to read everyone’s posts here to have a good laugh but yes that is Fossoli’s east end for sure.

    Jane Doe if you were here in Ottawa you would not step out of your house or apartment. LOL LOL. If people knew 1/4 of what really goes on here nobody would step out of their door. One elderly lady told me ten years ago that her children check up on her many times a day to see if she is ok and she lives in a single home around here. She told me that when her kids were little she was able to let them out in the back yard but nowadays she wouldn’t even sit out there herself. We are living in a very bad society today and one that I hate so much. Downtown Ottawa is much worse than where I am and we are surrounded by low income housing.

  12. In past years the east end was low indeed but never have I seen it to be as bad as what it is today. South Central Los Angeles looks better than that with all its crack houses and all. The house that was posted previously with all the junk on Second St. and I forget what other intersection it was at but it was a literal dump. There should be laws against all this but of course there are no laws in Cornwall at all.

    “420” said it right indeed and so has Jane Doe calling it pyjama city. Yes very young girls getting pregnant and living off the system. I came across a web site that describes all this from Cornwall and what goes on in that part of town. There are some good people who are literally stuck there because they bought a house years ago and cannot sell. Who in their right frame of mind would buy there. Renting is bad enough but at least one is free if something happens then you just pick up but that isn’t the case when you own then you are literally stuck.

    {MODERATED} Long double Post Jules.

  13. Jane what you wrote is absolutely the truth and Cornwall has gone completely downhill. I sat down with my husband talking about how much Cornwall has changed and even how Ottawa has changed. Everything went down to the gutter. Cornwall used to be a family town but not anymore – all you see is smuggling, corruption to the core, theft, drugs, run down properties, etc. If one cannot afford to own then folks do not buy a house but rent instead. If you cannot maintain a property then do not buy at all. There is a great deal more to owning a house than what meets the eye. So much is hidden from sight and needs so much repair not counting what you see. It takes a great deal of money and then some to keep up with everything that has to be done. Slum lords indeed like what people posted is right. Absentee landlords from other cities trying to make a profit. Do you know that when you own a single house that it is considered a liability and the only time that it is an asset is when it is a rental because you make money off the property unless you have an office on the side like for a doctor, lawyer, etc. We will soon be ringing in 2014 and even 2015 and I can assure you all that many very hard hardships are coming in these years and I think even beyond. Do not spend a dime more than you have to. I am giving all very good advice and I know what is coming but it is up to everyone to do their own investigation and it isn’t good at all. Everywhere we went from stores to other businesses everything was vacant of people.

    Cornwall has become a place of only a very few people are welcome to live and the rest looks like crack houses and dumps. I no longer feel at home in Cornwall whatsoever and this has been coming on for a long time now. I think that with the time the good people will pull themselves up and leave because there is nothing else there for them. Cornwall is ignored by the province as well as the country and is well know for what goes on down there. There are good people in Cornwall and that is the truth and they will eventually have to leave.

    Belleville is a very nice small town and is well kept up. London Ontario is a nice looking city but very rough and you get the pollution that comes across from the US. We debated for a long time where to go and live and for us Ottawa was the best choice for us and I like it here. It has grown a great deal bigger and of course there is crime which is mostly committed by Africans, Arabs, Afghanistan people, etc. We like where we are very much and have an excellent landlord and excellent supers and they are all worth gold and good tenants thanks to the landlord and his supers.

    Cornwall has the very wrong management from the very top all the way down to mayor and council who are all mighty useless. Remember that when the next election comes up if Cornwall still exists by then. Give them all a swift kick in the you know what out the door for good.

  14. OMFG Jules, STFU!!

    Really you are comfortable with this statement??
    “… and of course there is crime which is mostly committed by Africans, Arabs, Afghanistan people, etc.”

    Man if you are not careful, the foriegners in your apartment building are going to figure out your ugliness and revolt against you. Then where will you be? Sometimes jules you should just STFU.

  15. The word “passed” is correct in it’s context, all 3 times. Check the dictionary.

  16. When the old saying says “a picture speaks a thousand words” they sure knew what they were saying. LOL LOL. ROLF! Looks more like an outhouse than anything. The whole town is falling apart anyway and a real lost cause.

  17. Some posters take a picture and turn it into the holocaust! Jules you can ignore me if you like, it doesn’t change your thoughtless bigoted words. Laugh it up and keep pretending you know more than everyone, in truth, you know much less than you think.

    No one can survive in your negative bubble jules, not even you. You must be just as miserable as your posts. No one person can be so filled with hate and ignorance and still be blissfully happy.

    Cornwall will go on without you jules, you are not needed to complete the city. In fact, if all the bigots join you in Ottawa, Cornwall and surrounding counties will be just fine and thrive and grow.

    Tell me jules, what do you know about Crab mentality?

  18. bella-b, not to support anything jules says, however, there is a disproportionate amount of news reports with names that are not Smith, Jones or Daoust around Ottawa and Toronto.

  19. Fair enough Eric, but would you paint an entire race of people with the same brush so easily as Jules does? The face of Canadians has changed since we were kids. Just because someone looks different from me doesn’t automatically mean they are thugs and thieves. Just because someone’s name shows up in the paper doesn’t mean everyone by that name is a criminal. Just because it was white folks that give out germ infested blankets doesn’t mean all white guys are murderers does it?

  20. The reason the east end is in it’s present condition is because 75% of it is owned by slumlords.
    These slumlords have no incentive to fix up the property that will only be destroyed by the renters.
    If you notice any manicured lawns, new siding and well kept properties in the east end, it’s because these homes are lived by the owners.
    Most of the renters in the east end are on a fixed income. A single person on assistance makes about 5 or 6 hundred a month. I hope you don’t expect them to eat, and pay for a beautiful apartment and maintain it on that kind of income. They are on assistance for many reasons. Drug addiction, alcoholism, depression just name a few. If you can’t hold a job, you’re destined to live in the east end. The extra curricular activities that go on to supplement this low income is one of the main reasons the east end is the way it is. I’m not suggesting that tax payers should give more to people on assistance, in fact I don’t agree with supporting most of them as it is. I know why the east end is the way it is, but sadly, I have no suggestions to improve it.

  21. Certainly bella-b, innocent until proven guilty. No matter the colour or land of birth, there are more good than bad people.

  22. Exactly my point Eric.

    Jules only sees race and thinks it’s just fine to demean each and every person that is not an old white bilingual lady. She sees nothing wrong with pointing out how “smooth” her Islamic neighbour is. And finds it surprising that she can have a pleasant conversation with the jewish lady that lives down the hall. And her husband and his small few are the only good Lebanese people. And let’s not forget the criminal element of all the Africans, Arabs, Afghanistan people, etc. Or all the losers residing in Cornwall who are foolish to stay in such a slum. Who has she not insulted and ostracized? Who is fit to live in her world beside old white bilingual ladies? How can anyone sit idly by and let her spew without trying to show her how ignorant she is?

    I wouldn’t think so poorly of you Eric, but to say so forwardly that “there is a disproportionate amount of news reports with names that are not Smith, Jones or Daoust around Ottawa and Toronto.” is disingenuous as well. Most immigrants flock to urban centres hoping to create a life and a future so of course you would find more foreign names in the paper for any occasion be it negative or positive. I have noticed there are a lot of Lauzon’s and Carr’s and Daoust’s making the news around here. Should I make the same assumptions about the locals around here as you have made about the cities mentioned above?

  23. @bella-b, v. well stated

  24. @XScramblerX….thank you for your input. Your honesty in stating that you have no suggestions to improve it is refreshing and the fact that you were motivated to post an opinion establishes both concern and recognition that change is needed. Answers can be found when people such as yourself are willing to come forward and say it like it is. I have always believed that solutions can be easier found when the issues are properly identified.

    I believe it fair and accurate to state that the current council and mayor have turned a blind eye to the east end.Over the course of the last 25 years I have witnessed a slow and steady decay in this area of our city. The feel good groups seem oblivious to anyone’s needs, save their own.Open discussion and proper recognition that there is room for improvement might just pave the way to initiating action of a positive nature.

  25. Bella and I don’t often agree, but she nailed it this time.

  26. It’s a Christmas miracle! lol 😉


    You’d be surprised by how often we do furtz.

  27. I live in east end and the reason why all people in the East end get into drugs because government has bad paying jobs and sellings drugs makes more money east end might be trashy but it’s not the people fault where they’re druggies or hookers it’s the way of living.. graffiti is bad here it’s people marking there territory mainly white people that do this here but east end never gonna be a nice neiborhood

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