Historic Walking Tour Offers Unique Window to Cornwall’s Past

July 22, 2016
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – Visitors and residents alike have more reasons to take a stroll along Cornwall’s scenic waterfront with the creation of the Cornwall Historic Walking Tour.

Nearly 20 plaques have been erected featuring colourful illustrations of historic scenes. Individually each plaque is impressive, yet together they form a tapestry that weaves throughout the City.

Each plaque depicts an era or event from Cornwall’s rich history. They feature the artwork of renowned Cornwall artist Pierre Giroux, whose prowess with the paint brush makes the illustrations come to life. Local historian Lily Worrall completed much of the research that went into the illustrations, to ensure that material is accurate.

“I worked hard to ensure that the essence of every piece we produced captured the spirit and traditions of Cornwall,” said Mr. Giroux. “This project was so much fun to complete, because I think the people who live and visit here will gain a greater appreciation for the hard work that went into building our community.”

Much of the illustrations that make up the Cornwall Historic Walking Tour have been installed along the waterfront, but they can also be found at other key locations throughout the city.

While passersby can enjoy the tour in any location, and from any direction, the fun begins along the Recreational Path in the west-end of the city with an illustration depicting Gleeson’s Lock, or Lock 19 – an integral part of what was once the Cornwall Canal. Stops along the tour include illustrations representing the paper mill, Hotel Dieu Hospital and the Cornwall Orphanage.

The Cornwall Historic Walking Tour is a collaboration between the Downtown and Le Village Business Improvement Areas, and was supported by the City of Cornwall.

“This project has been two years in the making and we couldn’t be happier to see such a positive addition to our city,” said Michel Dubuc, chair of Le Village BIA. “The historic walking tour is an excellent example of the great things that can happen when organizations in Cornwall enter into partnerships to better our community.”

Dubuc’s sentiment was echoed by Downtown BIA chair Brenda Campbell.

“I encourage Cornwall and area residents, as well as visitors, to enjoy the historic walking tour at their leisure,” said Ms. Campbell. “We have worked so hard to ensure that the rich history of our community is told in a way that will resonate with everyone who enjoys the walking tour.”

Denis Carr, manager of Heart of the City, said the illustrations will add to the beauty of the waterfront and Cornwall as a whole.

“This is just the beginning of some of the fine work being done in our city to showcase the talent, and rich history, that makes Cornwall a wonderful place to live and raise a family,” Mr. Carr said.

Map of the Cornwall Historic Walking Tour

An online map, featuring each of the illustrations, their location and a description of the subject or event being depicted can be found the following websites:

“On behalf of city council I congratulate all of the individuals who made this project a reality,” said Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy. “I was reminded how important these murals are when I was stopped by some tourists who asked me about them. These individuals were impressed with the heritage our community holds so dear.”

Each of the plaques measures 76×101 cm (30×40 inches) and also includes a French translation.

A public event, which will serve to officially launch the opening of the Cornwall Historic Walking Tour, is being scheduled in the coming days. All of the illustrations are expected to be completely installed by the middle of the summer.

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