Budget Burns in Cornwall CFN Discovers $59K Bus Loo Contract Above Gordon’s Jewellers 030618

Cornwall Ontario – As council argues over whether to cut pizza and pop for committee meetings CFN has discovered that the City rents space above Gordon’s Jewellers on 2nd and Pitt so drivers can use the loo or take a lunch break.

Of course if they break there where would they leave their buses?

The contract, which is a five year commercial lease starting in 2017, as the city is paying HST, makes little to no sense.

Clearly Cornwall Transit and the City have alternatives within their own base.   For example, the hub could be at the Civic Complex allowing for washroom space.

CFN contacted the City of Ottawa and OC Transpo and asked if they rented such facilities?

No, OC Transpo does not rent nor manage private apartments or other commercial spaces that are not part of its regular operations.  OC Transpo does have operator facilities for the purposes of taking a break or using a washroom at major stations and connection points along the Transitway and bus route network.

Troy Charter, Director, Transit Operations

Ironically, before the City cut funding to its public art gallery there was a request for assistance to purchase the building which also included the restaurant (now closed) across from the second story apartment now rented, which also had a two room space with washroom above the restaurant.  IE, instead of investing in the city and securing the future of the public art gallery and serving the bus drivers, the city chose to see its public gallery close and rent space.

Len Tapp, Cornwall Transit poobah confirmed via email that there are no other spaces rented by the City for this purpose.   He stated that the space is in fact zoned commercial and not residential, and further suggested that the space was covered under the city’s umbrella insurance and that the space included:

Janitorial services are provided as part of the agreement at rate agreed upon by the City and the Lessor .

What do you think dear CFN viewers?  Is this a wise expense in light of the budget cuts?  You can post your comments below.


  1. people have to pee. and we cannot change the entire Cornwall Transpo hub to the civic as it would require rerouting all buses, adding/changing all the stops, and make it a nightmare for the elderly who have been using second street hub for decades. The hub is on 2nd and Pitt at the heart of the commercial downtown of the city.

  2. Not much of a secret that CT was renting that space. The request for the approval for the lease were included in a council agenda a few months back.

  3. City of Cornwall “pissing” away our money again.

  4. Don’t really have an issue with this.

  5. Agreed Bob. They do have to go to the bathroom and have lunch somewhere.

  6. Author

    Hugger nobody is suggesting that the drivers not have a place for their breaks. The question is if renting an apartment or commercial place for that purpose makes fiscal sense when there are other options like moving the hub to the complex.

  7. As Jamie J said moving the hub to the complex would not work. It would require changing most of the routes. Having the hub downtown is convenient as it is the heart of downtown. Ask Ottawa and other cities what happens when mass changes are done to their bus systems….mass confusion.

  8. Sure Ottawa doesn’t rent locations for bathrooms, etc. But what do the facilities they have cost to build and operate? $59k is cheap, as compared to building / operating seperate facilities. Cornwall is not Ottawa, there is not a lot of options to have an operator used facility without incurring major expenses and avoiding mass reorganization .Arrggghhhh!!!!!

  9. Author

    Hugger the Complex is TWO BLOCKS away from Pitt & Second. I can assure you that it could be done.

  10. Author

    No Hugger, $12K per year so that a few drivers can use the loo is not cheap, and it escalates up in cost as time goes by. It’s not a good use of the public purse in my opinion and there are better solutions. IE, arrange for breaks to occur closer to starts of runs near Cornwall Transit or find other locations that have better options.

    Frankly it’s an indictment of a lack of business that is open and alive near Pitt and Second. If there were more places open near that intersection a driver could just zip in and use the loo if needed.

  11. Once again we agree to disagree. You see it as a simple fix, others see it as not a simple fix. It isn’t just a matter of moving a few bus routes.

  12. Author

    It actually is Hugger. I think the issue is that some people don’t deal well with change. If something isn’t working or isn’t efficient, the sooner you fix it, the more time and resources you have for other needs. It really is that simple. Paying rent is just burning cash. It’s not a solution.

  13. Arrggghhhh!!!!!

  14. About the article:
    Number 1 (Pun intended) – for years, money was spent without economising; by using a city financed facility — i.e. TAG premises — to house breakroom and restroom facilities for transit drivers.
    Number 2 (Sit down for this) – Cornwall bus routes already look like a gerrymandered election map… and this, to serve a “commercial downtown”? …How long since we had one of those?

  15. Don’t argue with the ADMIN Hugger as he’ll banish your post, he has the power, the only power he should have with anything to do with this city. He(ADMIN) wants a Casino in Cornwall, another cancer to society at it’s worst. Build condo’s near marina and lets rid our Biker problem and Cornwall Finest and geese from Lamoureux Park

  16. No admin it’s NOT that simple! The civic complex is a community centre that hosts from hundreds to tens of thousands of visitors in a single day on occasion. How are you going to manage the buses ??? How long would buses be delayed? Neither is the civic ONLY TWO BLOCKS away. To walk from the stops on the corner of Pitt and second and then walk to water street and then cutting diagonally

  17. across Lamoreux park is over 600 metres.And now you are herding people aways from downton businesses whichis difinitely counter productive.
    Also emeber there is also Labour standards at work here which DEMAND that employers must provide suitable facilities, including bus drivers access to safe and private washroom/ break facilities including during times businesses are closed.

  18. Asking drivers to use the washrooms of local businesses is both laughable and most likely in violation of labour laws. If you were to poll the population and downtown businesses, you’d be very hard pressed to find even a significant minority who would want the hub to be moved to the civic.
    If the cost to have the hub in prime downtown shopping area is to lease space for the drivers, it’s money

  19. One last thing. Currently the civic complex is only open from 8:30-16:30 Mon-Fri whereas the city buses run from 6 am to 730 pm.
    That will require giving access to the public during these off hours, which then means extra staffing, extra security, all to be provided and paid for by taxpayers. It’s just a bad bad idea.

  20. I agree with jamie J on the transit issue. And some bus routes run until 11:30 p.m. The complex is open to 11 p.m. (I’m pretty sure) for walkers who use the concourse. But having the hub at the complex would involve constructing private washroom facilities to comply with labour laws, as the complex washrooms wouldn’t meet the standards required and are too far from the main entrance.

  21. Author

    Hugger there are solutions other than renting an apartment. It just takes some planning. You’re entitled to your opinion. You’re allowed to be wrong 😉

  22. And as are you. Rearranging all the bus routes to save $12k / yr doesn’t make sense . The cost involved in doing such an exercise would exceed the money spent. Add in the cost of building new washroom/break facilities/bus bays at the complex, which the land it sits on you have suggested could be put to better use, would far exceed the money spent on the rental on the facilities on Second St. Nuff said!!

  23. Author

    I never realized you worked in planning for Cornwall Transit Hugger….

  24. I don’t. But with age comes common sense.

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