Time to Think About the Future of Lamoureux Park & Civic Complex by Jamie Gilcig OCT 21, 2016

It is time.  Cornwall is at a critical point in its history.    With a struggling downtown, a weak economy, proposed school closings, a destructive brain drain of our youth, and a toxic business and political culture there are some easy steps forward, and some more difficult ones.

Waterfront property is usually the most expensive property that generates the most in taxes.   Does it make sense to have such a huge green space, Ice Rink, and City Offices on such a block of our waterfront?

Nope.   It’s a community asset.   The Civic Complex is a substandard facility.    The seating is abusive.  It’s rarely ever utilized, and frankly is nearing the end of its natural lifespan.   The Aquatic Centre also has been a failure in that budgets reduced its ability and uses, and it’s needed several big repair jobs.

As the next Municipal elections get closer it’s time to really think about the future of this community and the waterfront.   While the Domtar lands will ultimately play a bigger role, they are privately owned.  It’s silly for the City to be housing info sessions when the land is not theirs to make decisions on (although one major player from Montreal might differ after complaining about the City killing a proposal to purchase the entire parcel recently)

Lamoureux Park and the Civic Complex are ours.

Developing mixed use housing, commercial, and cultural facilities while retaining public space is not rocket science, and it’s time to look at the real impact of changing vision.

There is plenty of space to either re-purpose or build new office space for City Hall in less valuable real estate within Cornwall.  For example the City could buy the dilapidated Chamber of Commerce building and erect a new City Hall with enough office space to house all of its needs.

With the Benson Centre established, the need for such a large arena may or may not be necessary given the large cost.  The salon’s at the Civic Complex also aren’t used enough to warrant being on the Waterfront.

It’s time to consider a new location for City Hall and city office workers.    It’s also time for our city to live within its means.  Adding 2-3% yearly tax increases simply don’t work.

The amount of cash the City can earn by selling and having development in Lamoureux Park and City Hall would put a major dent into a new facility not on the waterfront.   There are creative options.  For example Cornwall could negotiate with the Counties to use its council chamber for Council meetings, and then consolidate office space elsewhere.

Instead of spending money on trying to reduce goose poop, wouldn’t it be better to develop the property and attract and build our local economy?

A new multi purpose facility to replace the Aquatic Centre and a larger event space could be built as well without having to spend $40M.

Is it Time to Develop Lamoureux Parc & Replace the Civic Complex?

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It’s time to start the dialog, and frankly it’s time to replace the spend and tax crowd at City Hall and get some people who aren’t afraid of being accountable elected and actually running the city rather than being led by the nose by certain city managers that don’t even live in Cornwall.

Does it make any sense that we now have had three CAO’s in a row who aren’t comfortable to call Cornwall home, but are happy enough to take their generous salaries and benefits?

It’s time to put Cornwall and our future first.

What do you think dear CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.   Please note you have to sign your first and last name to comments as per our policy.


  1. Jamie just think about all the empty schools that is happening and what is that property going to be used for. Cornhole is literally finished. Take a look at the obituary column and there are more deaths than births in Cornhole. The population that the town puts up on those boards is all wrong. I would guess that Cornhole’s population is in the 30K range and not much more maybe even less.

  2. IMHO very few people use the obits and / or births sections of any newspaper any longer. Cornwall’s population is in the 45 to 50k, no matter what others think.

  3. Cornhole is losing its population Hugger and in no way is it 45K to 50K and only the blind would say that. The schools are closing all over Cornhole and the population has been going downhill ever since I was a teenager. God that was a long time ago. Cornhole is literally finished and no longer a place to live and work. It is only a tiny town with nothing left.

  4. Where do you get these tidbits of info? School closings will be happening all across Ontario because of the new funding formula, not just Cornwall. Yes even Ottawa will see school closings. Oh no….how will they survive? The population here is 46k, metro is 59k (2011). Please Jules do some research before spouting such untruths.

  5. You cannot go and build in a ghost town and the economy is going to crash – the Yankee dollar – petro dollar will be no more. What is coming is digital money that you cannot hold in your hand and you will all be slaves. Get right with God because the end is gradually coming. The US, Canada, etc. will wind up like what is happening in Venezuela and you cannot escape it.

  6. Digital money? We already have it. How many times has the demise of paper money been predicted? Too many times to actually count. I’ll believe this hocus pocus when I see it, which I doubt I will. Dreams, all dreams of all the naysayers. Go away I say, go away.

  7. Waterfront development… why?

    Restore and preserve the waterfront, and develop the dilapidated properties that surround it.

    A green and unobstructed waterfront adds value to neighbouring areas — brick and mortaring it just puts us back a hundred years.

  8. Developing the waterfront adds pollution and the river is more than polluted enough to be polluted for the many hundreds of years to come. Stop making it any worse. I agree with Simon to fix up the properties around that area.

  9. Hugger we are not in digital money just yet. Digital to a certain point only. What digital money is that you will no longer have cash in your hand and if you owe anything to the banksters then they can take from your account. You would no longer get any cash at all and we will all be slaves. The US dollar may be tanking soon and all currencies everywhere will tank and this is all true.

  10. Jules…digital money will never replace paper money. How many times has the demise of paper money been predicted? Too many times to actually count. There will always be a need for paper money, it will never disappear; it will just be used less.

  11. Hugger I hope that you are right about paper money to stay. If paper money goes it will be a total and complete disaster.

  12. Jamie I came across something kind of crazy – yes it may be crazy no too crazy because it wouldn’t work out. The only brain crazy idea was if that arena at the complex was not in full function why not make it into City Hall or Town Hall as I call it. That may cost a bundle but just a crazy brain storm idea. It is in a good place for it but it would cost a lot of money to renovate the place.

  13. If the city were to decide to get rid of the complex redeveloping that area is not an option. It should be left as green space. If a large capacity arena space is needed there are numerous other empty spaces in the city.egJ7q

  14. Exactly Hugger and I agreed with Simon yesterday that the land should be left for sports and as a nice view even to walk around and enjoy the nature. I laughed at my end and came up with a crazy hair brained scheme. Leave nature as it is. Building on the water adds pollution and there is more than enough of that as is.

  15. As long as the underground economy exists there will be paper money.

  16. The Cornwall Square is going under, and is a cheaper option for a new city hall and civic centre.

    If nothing else, the huge empty space that formerly served grocery stores would be an ideal location to start with — to see if an arts centre would fly in Cornwall.

    If it works expand on it, make it permanent, if not, it only cost us rent and not the capital to build new.

  17. Author

    Simon the amount of cost to remodel the Square to suit City needs would be such that it wouldn’t make sense as a “short term” option. Likewise, if we developed Lamoureux Park the Square property would be highly expensive and more valuable. We can still retain access to our waterfront and develop our core.

  18. And the space formerly occupied by the grocery store will soon have a Dollarama in it. The cost to retrofit any of the Square for city needs would be prohibited.

  19. Cornhole Square is falling apart and it does cost an arm and a leg to fix. Every year and as I type this St. Laurent Shopping Centre is being repaired – the parking is falling apart along with so many other things. Corporations find it best to do away with malls and make individual stores which they are doing now here in Ottawa.

  20. I remember the good old days in Cornhole where the Civic Complex is located and it was Horowitz Park and people could sit on benches and there was a swimming pool for kids to take swimming lessons. All that is gone and replaced by a delapidating mall. Malls are too expensive to keep up and stores are being made individual like what they used to be like.

  21. At St. Laurent Shopping Mall here in Ottawa one of the escalators has been down for a couple of years at least. The corporation gets them fixed and then they break down again. Malls are starting to be a thing of the past. We much prefer individual stores and do away with malls that bring crime.

  22. I vote for restoring the area to a people oriented green space on a scale that most cities would die for.

  23. I am going to quote my husband what he said about Lamoureux Park and he said that the park was best back in the 1980’s when nothing was built in that park and just natural as well as those beautiful lilac trees that are no more. Once development came the park looks like hell. Things were best left the way it was – natural.

  24. I love art but not to go and make development in the park. That woodhouse or whatever they call it destroyed the park. Putting up too many structures is not good at all. $10 million dollars is a great deal of money and you wouldnt mind it so much if it were a smaller structure at a smaller price tag. Putting up giant structures for how many people in Cornhole when most people have left town.

  25. Schools are closing in Cornhole and Cornholes only hope is to bring in some refugees to fill the classrooms otherwise everyone is leaving town. There is no work in Cornhole and no life left – it is dead beyond belief.

  26. School closings will be happening all across Ontario because of the new funding formula, not just Cornwall. There are jobs here, just not a lot of high education jobs. Thus the youth / brain drain in the city.

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