Have you ever heard of the Ontario Realty Corporation? Sounds dull, eh? However, I was surprised at its range of responsibilities and where that affects us. So from their website, here is their ” About us.”
“The Ontario Realty Corporation manages one of the largest real estate portfolios in Canada, consisting of approximately 6,000 buildings and structures and over 80,000 acres of land across the province. The portfolio includes a wide variety of properties ranging from detention centres to office space, courthouses and heritage buildings.
Our Services Include:
• Providing expert strategic real estate advice and solutions
• Buying and selling properties on behalf of the government
• Overseeing building maintenance, repair and operational services
• Leasing and lease administration on behalf of the government
• Managing major construction, repair and alteration projects”
The ORC owns the Cornwall Outdoor Recreation Area (CORA). The ownership was transferred to it from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
CORA is a lovely parcel of land on the west side of Cornwall commonly called the Trout Quarry. Many people go there to hike, fish and even scuba dive in Felix MacDonald Lake. However, many people go there to dump their garbage because they are too cheap to pay the tipping fee at the landfill.
Once a year, members and friends of the Resource Stewardship Council SDG take their gloves and their garbage bags and clean up the garbage. It is discouraging how soon after that, there is more garbage.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources stocks the lake with trout each year — I think it is likely the only cold water lake in this area.
The Ontario Realty Corporation doesn’t care. They would like to sell the property to an organization that can continue to run it as a public space. However, with budgets these days so tight, most organizations cannot afford the liability or the responsibility.
So what should be done about CORA? The RSC tried putting up gates to keep people out at night. The gates were repeatedly pulled down. We tried to put up signs to discourage garbage dumpers — didn’t help.
It would be a real shame if the place was barricaded out at the main entrance because it would be a long walk for those seniors who like to fish or even just sit around and have a picnic in the lovely area.
There was a CORA committee a few years ago made up of interested people to discuss issues around the site. They developed a number of trails, installed signs, tried the gate idea and worked on the first cleanups. Perhaps it is time to get interested people together and try to figure out the future of CORA.
If you have an interest in saving or improving the “Trout Quarry,” call Jim Hendry at 613 933 7671 and leave your contact information. We can get together, throw around some ideas and decide where to go next.