Dear Cornwall Ontario re: Ryan Gosling by Jamie Gilcig DEC 7, 2015

It was quite amusing to see some local media get excited by our homey Ryan Gosling mentioning Cornwall on Saturday Night Live, a NBC comedic institution led by Canuck Lorne Michaels who hails from Winterpeg.


As many know Ryan, who was born in London, grew up here and got his break via Montreal.


It’s no secret that Ryan has not spoken well of our city, and you really can’t blame him.  While his story is a colossal fail on the part of Cornwall it really shows the culture of Bullying that exists in the former Mill town.

How many locals brag about “beating up the little fag”  still to rounds of applause from locals without condemnation?

Cornwall isn’t a very welcoming place to outsiders.   Not all get treated so badly that they have to be taken out of school or get falsely arrested, but this writer has met people that have lived here over 30 years that still voice that they don’t feel like they’re a part of the community.

Ryan still has family here and visits, usually over the holidays.

Why haven’t our Economic Development people, led by Bob Peters now for nearly ten years (he also worked here in the 90’s before “leaving to the public sector” in a cloud of innuendo and rumors of misuse of a city credit card in a brothel in Eastern Europe)  done anything to address this issue?   Why not change Pitt Street to Gosling?    Why hasn’t the Port theatre had a Ryan Gosling film festival?

We hang meaningless banners off of street lamps. Why not show a little love to Cornwall’s current most famous former resident?

Of course this begs the question that if Cornwall’s leadership fails to take advantage of the celebrity of someone like Ryan imagine how the rest of us “outsiders” get treated?

The city this year cut our public art gallery’s funding to zero.    The gallery is the #1 tourist destination in the city with over 60% of art sales going to people from Montreal, Ottawa, and even as far away as Europe.    Zero?

Via Rail shut down local staffing and some service.   We still don’t have an actual bus station within city limits for those leaving or coming to the city.

Latour team cornwallMany of our growth ills could be helped if people with Ryan’s fame were members of Team Cornwall (instead of being the joke that it currently is)

Will things change overnight?  No.   Do people want them to change?   I’m not even sure of that.   Seeing the treatment that this writer gets with the utterly hurtful boycott which has hurt our community more than anything and led to multiple lawsuits and a pending Human Rights Tribunal case again clearly shows a meanness and lack of vision and leadership by those pulling the cords of power at City Hall.

Multiple whistle blowers papered and bullied by outside city law firms at tax payer expense don’t make for warm and fuzzy moments either.

Cornwall has many challenges, but can’t move forward until we put our house in order and that really does include changing the culture of bullying that has chased so many away and keep them away such as home town hero Ryan Gosling.

We need to embrace those that achieve success and earned merit rather than those charged with stealing from their own mother’s like former Team Cornwall President Gilles Latour who was actually singled out at the last Team Cornwall AGM by his replacement Peter Gault with praise instead of being booed out of the building, or former MPP Jim Brownell whose own role in the desecration of the poppy has been given a free pass when he too should have been stripped of his honorary title with the SD&G Highlanders.

What do you think dear CFN viewers?   Should our city stand for people like Gilles Latour & Jim Brownell or people like Ryan Gosling and yours truly?

You can post your comments below.


  1. Some of the local media were tripping over themselves to report that Gosling was on SNL and Cornwall was mentioned. Big whoop!! Do I care?

    Pitt Street changed to Gosling St? Seriously?? And a Ryan Gosling film festival at the Port? Personally, I’d fall asleep by the two minute mark of the first movie.

    Sure, he comes from Cornwall via London. But IMHO again big whoop. Do I care?

    In regard to the bus station talk to the bus companies. They’re the ones who decide where the bus stop goes. If the demand isn’t there they aren’t going to serve an area, same goes for Via Rail.

    Celebrities?? I can do without them.

  2. Any one that knows SNL knows it’s a comedy program where people like Dan Akroyd, John Blush and others got their start. THIS WAS A JOKE, part of a stand up monologue.

  3. Author

    Rick nobody said it wasn’t. Other media ran stories as though it was a miracle that Cornwall got a plug on SNL. You mean John Belushi, right? SNL has a proud Canadian history including a few folks from near here. It was also pointed out that Ryan didn’t actually mention Cornwall in the video, but a very hot cast member did 🙂

  4. I gather that Cornwall isn’t exactly a gay-friendly place. Brockville was like that too, but some progress has been made in the last few years.

  5. Author

    Cornwall is very very gay Furtz. I think we have the highest per capita in the region; but most are still in the closet or married to beards….

  6. I didn’t suggest that there is a low number of gay people in Cornwall. Just that it doesn’t seem like a gay-friendly place, which would explain why so many are still in the closet.

  7. Author

    Furtz CFN sponsored a few gay pride events here, but like any other group in the city infighting led to one closure after another. I’m not sure there’s even a pride group in Cornwall right now. Ignorance and bullying know no boundaries.

  8. Exactly, Jamie. Ignorance and bullying towards the gay population in and around Brockville was rampant until a few years ago. I think the big change happened when the fundamentalist religious nut-bars decided to keep their hate and bigotry contained within the walls of their churches. Since then, life has become much more tolerable, for the most part, for the people who are “different”.

  9. I went through my own days of being bullied in the schools of Cornwall and I have the same face as Ryan Gosling when it comes to talk about Cornwall. My children went through it as well and the racism that my husband went through was mighty hurtful and Cornwall wants to bring in Syrian refugees. As if people have not suffered enough without all this happening. Cornwall is a place that I don’t want to set foot in anymore. There are too many bad memories of that town. The town is gone nuttier every time I look at one of the toilet papers of record as well as Jamie’s CFN.

  10. Wait a minute I read something about Ryan Gosling having a hard time in Cornwall and now something about gays. Well we sure are not gay in our family so that part leaves us out of this mess. Cornwall is one hell of a place for normal people let alone {MODERATED}

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