Cornwall Ontario – The Cornwall Historic Walking Tour, a collaboration between the Downtown and Le Village Business Improvement Areas, weaves a tapestry of local history through illustrations that dot the landscape throughout the city.
Nearly 20 historic illustrations are being erected along the Cornwall waterfront, commemorating the rich history of the Seaway 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 Gleason’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.
“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. “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,” she said. “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.”
Further partnerships were created when project organizers reached out to Cornwall artist Pierre Giroux, whose prowess with the paint brush brought the illustrations to life. Giroux’s artwork is known throughout Canada.
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.
“I worked hard to ensure that the essence of every piece we produced captured the spirit and traditions of Cornwall,” said 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.”
Local historian Lily Worrall completed much of the research that went into the illustrations, to ensure that material is accurate.
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,” he said.
Each of the plaques measures 76×101 cm (30×40 inches) and also includes a French translation.
Click here to access an interactive map of the Walking Tour illustrations.
“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.”