Students Working on Urban Design Projects for Cornwall

June 18, 2013
By Kevin Lajoie

Cornwall Ontario – A pair of planning interns from Queen’s University are taking a fresh look at a number of key sites in Cornwall as part of a unique summer project with Heart of the City.

Heather McDonell and Sarah Nielsen are roughly midway through a 10-week project to build on the recently-completed Centretown Streetscape Revitalization Strategy and develop new design ideas for three key sites in Cornwall’s traditional commercial areas.

Topping the list is the intersection of Brookdale Avenue and Water Street, the site of the future new low-level bridge entrance. Among other things, they are looking into various design elements and paving patterns that could help to make the intersection more friendly and welcoming.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase what a beautiful and vibrant city Cornwall is to residents and visitors,” said Ms. McDonell.

The students are also exploring various design ideas for the intersection of Pitt and First Streets as well as the open space in front of Nativity Co-Cathedral on Montreal Road. The end result will be the creation of some design ideas to make the spaces more inviting and functional.

“This work fits in nicely with our goal of building a stronger connection between the Downtown, Le Village, waterfront, cotton mills and bridge areas while still maintaining the individual characteristics of those areas,” said Michel Dubuc, President of Le Village BIA and Co-Chair of the Streetscape Implementation Committee.

The interns have already spent a considerable amount of time meeting with Heart of the City officials and other community leaders to discuss the goals of the streetscape project. They’ve also been researching the history of Cornwall in order to understand how the city’s past has shaped its current situation and future potential.

“We’re excited to be working in Cornwall and we see huge potential for future projects and for both public and private developments,” said Ms. Nielsen. “Features such as Lamoureux Park, Cornwall’s proximity to major urban centres and small-town charm are immediately recognizable, and they add character and charm to the city. These are all elements that can be enhanced and used to build on the success of the Centretown area.”

Ms. McDonell and Ms. Nielsen are both students at the Queen’s School of Urban and Regional Planning where they are in the midst of completing their Master’s of Urban Planning.

The Centretown Streetscape Revitalization Strategy provides a detailed vision for future development of public streetscape amenities in the areas of Downtown, Le Village, Water Street and the new bridge entrance. The plan can be found in its entirety on the Heart of the City website,

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