Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Pommiers Rileys Landmarks of Yesteryear JULY 17, 2015


DawnFord_SSRSTRIDE Wheelchairs Plus is a registered charity in Ottawa which sells and rents used equipment and devices to people with disabilities and those in need of assisstive devices. These items include wheel chairs, walkers, scooters, bathroom and bedroom aids plus other miscellaneous equipment.

A friend of mine got a special bed from STRIDE for her foster child who had Epilepsy. According to their website, this non-profit organization was founded and is operated by a team of volunteers consisting of persons with their own disability, family members, retired Engineers, Health Care Professionals, and other wonderful dedicated men and women. Articles donated are refurbished and must meet their high standards of safety. A ninety day warranty is given on sold items. Financial assistance is available if required

Sounds like an organization we could use in Cornwall to aid our citizens. Go to their website or contact the office at 613-723-0528 for more information. They are located at 43 Grenfell Crescent, Bay # 6 in Nepean, ON.

There is a very informative article in the June 2015 Glen Stor Dun Lodge newsletter about Diabetic foot care. It is written by Janet L. Kuhnke who is an Enterostomal Therapist of the St. Lawrence College Collaborative Nursing Program in Cornwall. She advises checking your feet daily for any change in colour( red, blue, black) or ill fitting shoes and checking also between the toes. She suggests feeling for roughness, cracks, blisters and callouses. She suggests applying cream to the tops and bottoms of the feet but not between them. Any problems should be reported to your health care professional. Sounds like good advice for all of us. This entire article can be read on their website at: . or call the Lodge to see how you can get a copy of the June newsletter at 613-3384.

I am in love. I met this gorgeous male with the softest brown eyes I have ever seen. It was bound to happen sooner or later. It was love at first sight for both of us. It is Kismet. It is ‘puppy love’ all over again. When he looks at me, I melt. The hugs and kisses are out of this world. He is wild about me. His name is Buster and he is a big guy. There is only one problem; he belongs to another and she won’t give him up. I have pleaded with her, begged and bawled, ranted and raved , cried and carried on, to no avail. Alycia is standing firm. Buster belongs to her, she says, forever. What can I do in a love triangle?? Buster doesn’t have much say about it because she is the one who prepares his food and goes for a walk with him and gets to hug and kiss him every day. She will have to give him up and give him to me one day, won’t she?? Buster goes crazy when he sees me and she knows it. How long can she keep us apart?? But then, I wouldn’t give him up either.

I guess in the end, I will have to do the right thing. I will have to do what ‘Rick’ did in the movie ‘Casablanca’ when he had to say goodbye to ‘Elsa’ and move on. He said , ‘Here’s looking at you, kid’.

(Does anybody know what he really meant by that?)

I am just kidding, of course. The truth is Buster is a 7 month old St. Bernard puppy. He is a beautiful dog with a cute puppy-dog face and gentle big brown eyes. He is gorgeous. Alycia and her family love him and I do too. When I get to see him I give him a big hug. When you hug Buster you know you have had a doggie hug!! One of life’s great pleasures.

I parked my car on Pitt Street the other day and jay-walked across the street. I was soon in front of Riley’s Bakery. I was thinking of going in to get one of their wonderful sandwiches. They are so good.

Rileys CornwallFor an unknown reason, I looked in the window and for an instant I half expected to see the donuts moving down the little slide on that machine just like in the old days when we were kids. We stood there wishing we had a few cents in our pockets so we could have bought a donut. I had talked to the owner some time ago about that machine but if I remember correctly, he said that he couldn’t use it because of present fire regulations. Too bad ,because it was something most of us who grew up in Cornwall would surely remember.

I looked around and realized everything was so changed on the street from those days except for Riley’s Bakery and the Bank of Montreal. Lucky for us , Pommier Jewellers, Fullerton Drug Store and Shulman’s Men Wear are still here as are the Library, the Standard Freeholder and the Post Office but all in different locations. Laura Secord and the Sears Catalogue office are now in the Square.

And what about Kastner’s Men and Boy’s Wear? It seemed to me Kastner’s was a household name when I was growing up. My Mom often bought clothes there for my older brothers because the materials were good and the prices reasonable. I talked with the present owner Glenn Lang . He said Mr. Kastner opened the original store near where the Freeholder used to be on Pitt Street between 1905-10. Glenn bought it from the original owner’s daughter.

A friend about my age with a better memory than mine, told me that Mrs. Kastner, who owned it when we were growing up, was Mickey Kastner’s mother. Mickey had a Record Bar on Pitt at one time. This would be a fascinating family story to write about one day. I am sure there are a lot of wonderful stories of these family owned businesses we have had in Cornwall and still do.

I love Pommier’s Square at Pitt and Second. Something about it reminds me of the old days growing up in Cornwall. The brick colourful flower beds are beautiful and I love the stately clock. But some of it, I think , is because on any given day there are a lot of people gathered about that area. Something is usually going on then at the Pommier Square like a fund raiser or entertainment which draws people to gather.

When I was growing up, when we said we were going, ‘downtown’ we usually meant in the area of Pitt and Second mostly. There weren’t as many cars of course and there would be lots of people walking on both sides of the streets of Pitt and Second shopping or out for a fresh air stroll in our downtown core. The exception to that was on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays when everything was mostly closed. We could shop on Friday and Saturday evenings. The doctors also took Wednesday afternoons off in those days. The rumours were that some of the doctors played golf. I bet others took a well deserved nap.

You could meet other kids, neighbours or someone’s Mom downtown. Now that feeling is back when people are gathered near Pommier’s Square for some event. Kudos to the Pommier family who contribute so much to our community. Their jewellery business goes back seven decades, according to their website. Like the Jade Garden Restaurant ‘s opening, that would make it about early 1940’s.

In those days there were a lot of self-owned businesses and we knew the owners’ names. There was Mr. Kyte ( books and stationery- how did he always know where things were in that packed store??), Mr.Esper (?) ( shoe shine and repair), Mr. Sleeman (sports shop), Mr. Kennedy ( Kennedy’s soda fountain ), Mr. Smolkin (children’s clothes), Mr. Chan (Jade Garden Restaurant..remember when the Chan Twins were born?), Mr. Snetsinger (hardware- everyone said if they made it – he had it), Mr. and Mrs. Laniel (jeweller-she was my Aunt Alice’s sister), Mr. Webber (stationery),Mr. Nyman (shoes), Mrs. Kasner (men and boys clothing-Mickey’s Mom ), Mr. Dover (men’s wear), Mr. Whitaker (florist) , Mr. Warren (jewellers and others. We called them by their names. We also knew the names of the Pharmacists in the drugstore when we went to buy a Mellow-roll ice cream cone. It seemed so personal and friendly which was a good feeling when you are a kid.

The big question is: how did those big Colonial Buses get around that little Bus Station ( now lawyers’ offices and apartments) on Second Street next to the Shirley’s Restaurant (now Panda Restaurant)?? Must have been a tight squeeze.

I heard some seniors were going to rewrite the words to Nat King Cole’s wonderful song ‘Too Young’ ( which was written by Sid Lippman and Silvia Dee). They want to change the words from ‘they tried to tell us we’re too young’ to ‘they tried to tell us we’re too old.’

The Paraprosdokians are going round again. I love them. Here are a few funny ones:

1) Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2) If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

3) I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it is getting harder and harder to find one.

4) They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

5) I used to be indecisive. Not I’m not sure.

Reminds me a bit of the late comic Benny Youngman who said, ‘ Take my wife. Please!’

Have a good week, Dawn


  1. Excellent story of yesterday,I also remember all the baby carriages parked outside of Zellers store,no one would or could do that today

  2. I remem ber going to Cornwall on old highway 2 to go to Zelllers on Pitt Street in the back of a pickup truck with some friends to spend our hard earned money! Zellers was the place to go. Awesome column Dawn!

  3. I sure do remember Cornwall of yesteryear and so many good memories. Woolworths comes to mind as well as all the stores that were named. When we were in Cornwall Riley’s Bakery today is not the same at all what it was back then. I too stood in front of Riley’s Bakery in the 50’s and 60’s era and watching the doughnuts being made in the machines at the front of the store exactly in front as people can see. I can tell you all honestly that no where do they make doughnuts like that the way they used to. My husband will no longer eat anything from Tim Hortons or anyone else. There is nothing like what Riley’s Bakery used to make and I mean nothing. Even coffee today is so horrible that it isn’t coffee at all but chemicals and the same thing with the pastries. I long for Cornwall’s past but not today the way things are at all.

  4. Dawn you brought out the best of what Cornwall used to be like and honestly if Cornawll was like what it used to be “your wacky Jules” would go back but not now at all not anymore with the insanity. Cornwall used to be a nice place but all that passed under the bridge. Dawn you are an exceptionally great lady and keep up the great work. Nice to hear on Cornwall’s by-gone days. I won’t forget the cakes, cookies and home made bread that permeated the air at Riley’s bakery in past years. There was nothing like it unless you made it at home yourself. Take care Dawn and all the best to you.

Leave a Reply