Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford Looking Back at Downtown Cornwall 121018

Petula Clark’s song, “Downtown”reminds me sometimes of growing up post war in Cornwall. That line,”Everything’s waiting for you”, says it all.

Pitt and Second Streets were sort of our hub’ in center town. We had it all.

There were so many stores that seemed to have everything we needed or wanted. At Sleeman’s Sports Store on Pitt you could buy athletic equipment like baseballs, gloves and have your skates sharpened and then on to Kennedy’s Soda Fountain nearby for a great chocolate milkshake while waiting for the skates.

Or, head across the street near the corner and buy some comic books. Further on down the street were Kytes Book Store and Weber’s for books, stationary, etc. We thought Reg Kyte had every book ‘known to man’ at the time. If he couldn’t find one at first, sooner or later he found it, maybe in the basement.

We also had two movie theatres, The Palace on Pitt and The Capital on Second. There were great restaurants such as The New York Cafe on Pitt and The Jade and Shirley’s on Second. Next to Shirley’s was the Colonial Bus Terminal.

There were two hotels: The King George with a Laura Secord Store and The Cornwallis. Riley’s Bakery was and still is on Pitt in its original site. It used to have a big machine in the window and we would watch the donuts swirling down and around in it. Oh, for a nickel!!

Fullerton Drug Store sold not only their usual stuff but also had the scrumptious Mellow-roll ice cream cones.Woolworths had a great lunch counter plus the store sold records,both LP’s and 45’s, jewellery, etc. And we had many many clothing stores such as Kasners, Schulman’s, Dover’s, Bunny’s Ladies Wear, Dorjean and Reitman’s, to name only a very few. Wonderful shoe stores like Nyman’s where we could get our Saddle Shoes, White Bucks and Desert Boots. Nice Jewellery stores such as Pommier’s, Laniel’s and Ford’s.

Downtown we often met other kids or people we knew which was a big treat. The store owners and staff were always friendly and we knew some of them personally. They still are friendly in the Cornwall stores. Maybe that is one of the reasons why Cornwall is called “The Friendly City”.

My Mom always told us that if we had any problems when we were out that we were to go to a policeman and he would help us. I think they were affectionately called at the time,’the cop on the corner”. It was a nice security for us to know they were around and would help us.

Around the corner from Pitt on First Street west was the “Y” where we danced as teenagers on Saturday nights.

Heading east on First was the Central Park (now Horovitz Park) where there was a big band shell and a large swimming pool to enjoy in the summer.

John Pectus had a hot dogstand in the area where we could get a treat after a big swim. Around the corner was the old Water Street Arena where we skated,watched hockey games in the winter and in the summer enjoy entertainment like Country Hoedowns, musicians and other dances.

I remember going with a date to the arena to hear the “Swing and Sway” Sammy Kaye Orchestra one summer. Lots of fun.

And around town we could skate or play baseball in parks such as Memorial Park, 7th. Street Park and the Athletic grounds. Lots of fun tobogganing down the hill behind St.Columban’s Catholic Church on 4th. Street. And we were probably in great physical shape because we mostly walked everywhere or in the summer rode our bikes.

Yes, we had it all.

Pommier Jewellers has decorated their corner on the South East area of Pitt and Second next to their store to celebrate Christmas. It is very pretty and festive. Thank you.

There are some exceptional people in our world.  One such individual is Dr. Robert Stefanison, DDS, DIP,PERIO.

Since 1986 Dr. Stefanison has been providing Cornwall and area residents with Periodontal services and of late, Dental Implants. He has been driving from the West Island of Montreal to Cornwall twice a week and home again after office hours.

 That is a lot of miles and a lot of driving!!

I first met him about 1991 when I was referred to him for some periodontal work. I was amazed at how calm he was. I was probably like a fidgety five year old not really looking forward to ‘dental anything’. He sat down with me and patiently explained what I needed and how it would be done. The other amazing thing was how gentle his injections were and still are. Iwas saying Hail Mary’s during the injections which was my usual thing to do during any injection but I hardly felt it at all. Amazing.

I remember commuting five days a week for ten months – summer to the spring from the West Island to St.Raphael’s and home again each day. Some days were nice but some…not so nice when it was raining, snowing or I met white-outs and freezing rain. Ten months was enough for me. Yet, Dr. Stefanison has been doing it for 32 years!!! I think that is dedication for sure!! He is a wonderful dentist and a very nice man.

A big big thank you to him for being there for our residents and providing this much needed service for all of us in our community. Kudos.

Tracy Emond is a very gifted artist inthe Lunenburg area. She has a studio there named “Living Canvas Studio”. She paints in oils, charcoal, graphites, and pastels.

I love her Mission Statement:

“Being creative, to me, is not a choice but an obsession. I am inspired by the natural world,including animals, people and places and gravitate toward depictions of these things. Whether on paper or canvas, using charcoal,graphite, pastel or paint, I am bewitched with making an idea come to life.

I paint and draw in a softly realistic style and endeavour to capture the subtleties, beauty and light of a subject in a moment in time that captivates me.

My mission is to be a life-long learner & adventurer, to feed my obsession to create and to give joy toothers through my work.”

Very inspiring message. Makes me want to get out my paints and get busy creating something beautiful.

Tracy does commission work and will do a painting for you at your request, by appointment. You can see more of her beautiful work at and may contact Tracy by email at:, or or call 613-360-6322.Wonderful artist.

The Cornwall General Hospital used to issue some newsletters titled: The General Alert”. I have a few old ones. In the January 1972, Vol.4 No 1 newsletter are the CGHrules from 1897:

Some things have changed. Now the males and females are even in the same hospital room!!

I love this photo of the first big snowfall this year taken of the Trinity Anglican Church area on Second Street. The flakes of snow were so large and coming done so fast that it was impossible apparently to clear the lens of the camera even for a few seconds:

Photo courtesy of Bob Katz

Tiger Boy loves my spot on my bed. I don’t even call it ‘my side’ any longer because I hardly have a full side with him stretching out all over the place. One day when I was changing the bed and took off the pillows, the phone rang. When I came back, here he was on MY SPOT!! What a cat.

Tiger loves me to sing “Mull of Kintyre” to him when I am brushing him. It works well. If I don’t sing it, he gets restless and wants to end the brushing. Sure knows what he likes and how to get it. Big baby!!

A friend sent in a few more quotes of Steven Wright, the famous erudite scientist (comic), who once said,”I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced with exact duplicates.”

1) All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

2) Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

3) When everything is coming your way, you are in the wrong lane.

4) Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

5) If at first you don’t succeed, sky diving is not for you.

6) If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all the evidence that you tried.

7) To steal ideas form one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

8) The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.

9) The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

10) If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights still work??

Have a good week Dawn


  1. I so enjoy reading your excellent columns. – they bring me right back to our growing up years. I always end up with a smile on my face. Thank you for writing it.

  2. Dawn, this sure brought back a lot of memories. Thanks so much.

  3. I totally love the picture of the church!! Incredibly beautiful. Thank you.

  4. Dawn, your trip down Pitt Street was great. I also remember Clark’s Shoe Store, ( and Ross McDonald), Snetinger’s Hardware Store, Atchinson Feed Store…so many memories. Thank you.

  5. As well as all those familiar stores, I remember the old post office at Pitt and Second. It was a beautiful building and sad that it was taken down. Riley’s Bakery made the best cream puffs. All great memories. Thanks.

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