Two of the largest economic investments in Cornwall’s history grab the top two spots in our 2022 newsmaker honour roll.
Devcore’s decision to shift the billion dollars it earmarked for the LeBreton Flats development to Cornwall from Ottawa is a runaway winner.
The multi-year development goes far beyond the purchase of the Nav Centre which is big on its own, but it includes, among other things, 2,400 housing units and first-rate hotel on the waterfront.
It overshadowed the other huge development announcement: A Great Wolf Lodge will be built in the northeast part of the city near Highway 401. It will be a $350 million investment and will employ as many as 600 people when completed sometime in the next five years.
It will make Cornwall an attractive tourist destination, especially for families.
Cornwall was selected in a search that included Northern New York State, Vermont and Quebec.
Third on the year-end honour roll is the election of Justin Towndale as mayor. It was the second straight election in which Cornwall voters elected a mayoral candidate with a diverse background. He also is the first active member of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders to serve as mayor. He holds the rank of captain. In 2018 Bernadette Clement, now Sen. Clement, became Cornwall’s first female mayor and one of the few Black mayors in Canada.
The 2022 election produced another first. Three female candidates – Sarah Good, Carilyne Hebert, Elaine MacDonald – finished one, two three. Mary Mack made history when she became the first woman elected to council back in 1947 and was the lone female council member for the next 10 years.
One would be hard-pressed to find another Ontario municipality with female candidates taking the top three spots.
The election of Towndale married with the one-two-three finish shows along with newcomer Fred Ngoundjo snatching the 10th spot on election night show how far Cornwall has progressed on its diversity journey when it comes to electing members of council.
Vital statistics for 1957 showed that the post-war baby boom explosion was showing no signs of cooling off.
The numbers released by the city clerk’s office on Jan. 10, 1958 showed that 2,010 babies were born at Cornwall hospitals – General and Hotel Dieu – during 1957. Works out to 168 babies per month.
October had the highest number of births with 217, while 205 births were registered in December.
There were 281 marriages, most in local churches, in 1957.
On the downside, there were 487 deaths over the previous 12 months.
JANUARY 1958 – CKSF Radio announced that it was expanding its news coverage of the city and United Counties with additional staff. … Cornwall Golf and Country Club unveiled plans to expand its course to 18 holes after purchasing 65 acres adjacent to the course. The club had 606 members. … The law office of Horwitz Kertzer and Salhany moved to 109 Pitt St. … A two-car crash on Highway 2 three miles west of Long Sault sent 11 persons to hospital. … Among the 76 city and area residents to received citizenship certificates at the county court house were Antonieto D’Alessio, Anna Marie Meyer, Johannes Van Delet, Marten Verburg, Gerhard Wensink and Raoul Sepp. … With winter in full swing, police were warning against youngsters hitching rides behind vehicles (bumper surfing) and throwing snow balls. … With the addition of 21 new officers from a recruitment drive, Ontario Provincial Police District 11, which covered SD and G and Russell and Carleton, went to 24-hour patrols. In all, the district now had 91 officers. … There were 100 former Hungarian freedom fighters and their families living in Cornwall and the United Counties. They had fled their homeland during a Soviet Union invasion and crackdown on free elections. … Ottawa Junior Canadiens, coached by Scotty Bowman, defeated Cornwall Chevies 8-4 in a senior A hockey game at the Water Street Arena. John Annable, three goals, Ralph Backstrom and Bobby Rousseau, two apiece, Claude Richard (brother of Maurice and Henri) and Bob Boucher rounded out the goal scoring for the Juniors. Cornwall native Bill Carter had three assists. Neil Burke, Don Labelle, Rene St. Hilaire and Guy Henri scored for the Chevies.
HERE AND THERE It’s back to the future when it comes to replacing plastic bags with brown paper bags. … Chicago has had more shootings, more murders, more car-jackings, more muggings and more armed hold-ups in the last two months than all of Mexico, but nobody is issuing travel advisories for the Wind City. … National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Charles Barkley wouldn’t allow his sons to play football when growing up. Said the sport is too dangerous for kids. … Some scams are easier to detect than others. Last week I received a Facebook friend request from a city resident. He died four years ago. Or, just maybe. Naw. Can’t be. … One of the persons charged in the murder of OPP officer Greg Pierzchala had been released on bail, despite a history of violence and illegal weapons possession. This after he initially had been denied bail. The name of the justice of peace or judge who released him should be made public. …In its annual list of the top 100 people of power and influence in hockey, The Hockey News put former Cornwall Royals defenceman Matt Schneider in the 14th spot. The 53-year-old native of Rhode Island serves as special assistant to the National Hockey League Players Association executive director. There is speculation that he will be the next head of the NHLPA. … Another ex-Royal who has stayed in the game after his playing days is Rod Pasma. He’s NHL vice-president of hockey operations.
TRIVIA ANSWER Jane Stewart‘s maiden name was Nixon. Her father Robert was leader of the Ontario Liberals. He made two unsuccessful attempts to defeat Conservative governments. Her grandfather Harry Nixon was Ontario premier in 1943.
TRIVIA This event in September 2004 was a first for Cornwall: 1) Parade of Nations, 2) Garlic Festival, 3) Hot-air balloon festival, 4) Pride Festival, 5) International dog show.
QUOTED “You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you are down there.” – George Burns