Looking Back – Napoleon Cartier 

Don Smith - Cornwall Community Museum
Looking Back – Napoleon Cartier 

Cartier, a small avenue in what was once Cornwall’s north-end back when we were a square mile town, is named after a blacksmith, Napoleon Cartier. The man, who was widowed three times, was born in 1857 in St. Anicet, QC and died in Cornwall in 1943. 

Cartier purchased the property bounded by Ninth Street West, York Street, Eighth Street West and Bedford Street from Thomas Murphy. It was described as 4 4/5 acres of partially low pasture when there were several small farm-like properties in the Square Mile town. Today, an evangelical church operates across the street from Cartier’s former home, in what was built as St. John Bosco Church at 847 York Street. A gravel and concrete company operates on the opposite side of Ninth Street in what was the GTR mainline in Cartier’s time. 

When Napoleon first came to Cornwall, he worked for Isaac Watters (Boileau) at the shop located at 517 Pitt. The building was demolished in 1961 and houses YourTV Cogeco today. 

Courtesy of a family member, we have this glimpse of Cartier’s own blacksmith shop on Ninth Street (pictured above).

And this was his home on the corner of Ninth and York Street. Cartier’s property was then identified as 201 Ninth Street West; the house there now bears an address of 848 York Street. 

Mr. Cartier parcelled out several smaller lots for houses and created a laneway parallel to and West of York Street running between Eighth Street West and Ninth Street West. The lane was named Cartier Avenue in his honour. 

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