CORNWALL, Ontario - A venerable part of the city's east end will be closing its doors in a matter of months.
Caisse populaire de Cornwall's Montreal Road locale, which has operated in the city for 60 years, will be no more.
Denis Beaudry, branch manager, confirmed the news in an interview.
Beaudry said the bank has analyzed the foot traffic at both its locations, and determined only about 400 of it 7,000 members actually visit its Montreal Road locale to conduct business on a regular basis.
It's the same number at its Ninth and Pitt streets locale - but the difference is clients also so shop and spend money at other businesses in that area of town.
Beaudry said the same cannot be said about the Montreal Road locale.
"There will be no change in service," he added, but conceded efforts will have to be undertaken to ensure some elderly clients from a seniors building on Edward Street - near the Montreal Road Caisse- will still be able to bank in person.
He said a shuttle service will operate weekly for residents heading to the bank on Pitt Street which will remain open. He has yet to confirm which day of the week would be most convenient for residents.
Coun. Bernadette Clement, a member of the city's Le Village committee, expressed disappointment with the decision, in an interview.
She said seniors who live nearby are worried about having to travel long distances to complete their banking.
"They're the ones that use that Caisse (on Montreal Road) so much," she said. "From my perspective this is a loss."
The Caisse owns its Montreal Road building, and Clement hopes that officials will decide to leave some kind of "legacy" at the property.
"We have all this vision for Le Village," said Clement. "We need to keep showing Le Village is being revitalized."
The Caisse was once known as a financial hub for the city's Francophone community who lived in that area of town.
Clement expressed further disappointment that this part of Francophone heritage is being lost.
Beaudry sympathized with that sentiment, but he said the decision made by the Caisse board, which is made up of local individuals, is being done to ensure the financially viability of the bank long-term.
He maintained the bank is currently on a solid financial footing.
Beaudry said some of the part-time staff at the Caisse could find themselves laid off, but he could not provide specific numbers.
Information sessions Sept. 26 (in French) and Sept. 30 (English) will take place at the Best Western in Cornwall to answer public queries. They get underway at 7 p.m.