Cornwall’s Historic “Four Corners”

Sara Lauzon ~ Wayback Playback
Cornwall’s Historic “Four Corners”
Photo provided.

It goes without saying that one of Cornwall’s most popular "hubs" is Pitt and Second. Being within the original square mile of our city, this section of Cornwall has gone through many changes.

One of the most memorable landmarks from this area of town, was the Post Office on the North West corner. During the 1800s and early 1900s, this was easily the most photographed building in Cornwall, and was featured on many postcards during that time. Built between 1882 and 1885 by local contractors Gordon & L.A. Ross, the construction cost a little more than $47,900. The city was convinced that the Post Office building would fall over. Unfortunately, in 1954, the building met the wrecking ball. Despite the city’s concerns, it took over 120 blows from the wrecking ball to make the building budge even the slightest. On September 11, 1956, Lionel Chevrier laid the corner stone for the Seaway Building, which still graces the same location.

Across the road, on the North East corner, was the King George Hotel. Although this building remained on the property for years, it was renovated and expanded several times. Originally constructed as a private residence for Noah Dickinson in 1825, this building was never used for its original purpose. Instead of being used as a home, this building operated as a barracks, a ballroom and concert hall, a courthouse, a hotel and bar. (If you ever wondered where the bar, “The Old Fort”, in the basement got its name, it was because of its former military connection!) In March 1947, the building underwent renovations and included Liggetts Drug Store and Millar’s Men’s Wear. Eventually, Tamblyn’s would replace Liggetts. Historically, this building was known as The Dominion House, The American House (around 1873), The Balmoral and more familiar to many of you, The King George Hotel (which it was named in 1910.) Unfortunately, the King George Hotel was destroyed by fire on February 14, 1997. 

In 1919, Archie Dover opened a wool shop in Cornwall, which eventually expanded into what became a well-respected menswear store. Dover’s Menswear replaced the Stirling Bank on the South East corner of Pitt and Second Streets. Archie Dover eventually expanded, opening clothing stores all across Ontario. This area of downtown became home to several restaurants. The most popular restaurant at this location was the Colossus, which operated from 1970 to 1992. The restaurant was owned by John Alachouzos, Minas Diakonis, Mike Gerogiania, and Mike Mastrominas. The last business to operate at this location was Truffles Burger Bar. The building caught fire at 4am on December 5, 2010, and was completely destroyed. Today, this corner has been transformed into a parking lot for Pommier Jewellers.

On the South West corner of Pitt and Second Streets was the Bank of Commerce. Eventually the bank was replaced by Fullerton’s Drug Store, which still operates at the same location today.

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