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Cornwall Waterfront

Stretching along the City's southern border from Gray's Creek in the east to Guindon Park in the west, Cornwall's waterfront is considered by many to be one of the City's greatest assets.

The connection to the waterfront dates back to the very founding of Cornwall more than 220 years ago, when a group of settlers arrived in the general area of what is now the splashpad and children's play structure in Lamoureux Park.

The St. Lawrence River and waterfront has played a vital role in Cornwall's growth and development, serving both commercial and recreational purposes.

Today, Cornwall's 16-kilometre waterfront serves as a gathering place for special

events and a gateway to numerous recreation and leisure opportunities. Various parts of the waterfront are owned by senior government ministries or Crown corporations and these lands are leased to the City, thereby ensuring public access to the water's edge. The development of Cornwall's waterfront has been an area of focus for some time, and numerous community partners have been involved in the process together with the City. The present City Council has identified waterfront development as a key objective as part of its overall strategic priorities.

 

Official Plan
The City of Cornwall's Official Plan - the document which sets out the City's general policies for future land use - outlines a number of goals for the waterfront.

They include:

  • Improve public access, use and enjoyment of the waterfront.
  • Strive towards the development of a continuous, open space system along the waterfront which links major park areas and allows the development of passive and active recreation areas.
  • Recognize the waterfront as a potential tourism resource and encourage appropriate tourist projects and facilities on suitable sites.
  • Increase the recreational use of the river within the City.
  • Improve the visual image of the waterfront and encourage innovative development and design on or adjacent to the waterfront.
  • Encourage comprehensive redevelopment of select and appropriate sites along the waterfront such as the area east
    of the Civic Complex.
  • Ensure that waterfront development is compatible with and supportive of adjacent districts.
  • Protect environmentally sensitive areas along the waterfront
    and direct development away from hazardous lands.
  • Recognize the historic importance of the waterfront.

In 1987, the City's Waterfront Development Committee was created and charged with the responsibility of preparing a comprehensive Waterfront Plan for the City of Cornwall.

The Waterfront Development Committee is made up of representatives from the City and the community, and it serves as an advisory body to the Planning Advisory Committee and to City Council.

More recently, the City has established a Waterfront Land Committee whose primary focus is to research and plan for further acquisition of land for public use and development purposes.

The primary approach of this Committee is to look at securing land for the federal government and other public agencies as it becomes surplus.


Waterfront Plan
The first comprehensive Waterfront Plan was completed in 1989, and it included numerous implementation actions for various sections of the waterfront. The Waterfront Plan was updated in 2007 to reflect new priorities and influences impacting the waterfront. 

Over the past 20-plus years, a number of actions from the Waterfront Plan have been implemented (see chart below). As part of the update to the Waterfront Plan, input was sought from the public and numerous community stakeholders.

The Waterfront Plan sets out a series of short- and long-term goals to further develop and enhance Cornwall's waterfront. The document is divided into five subsections corresponding to each area of the waterfront:

  • East Front
  • Harbour to College
  • Lamoureux Park
  • Canal Lands
  • Guindon Park

You can click on the link below to download the entire Waterfront Plan or scroll down to read and download specific section of the Plan.

East FrontEast Front
The East Front section of the Cornwall waterfront is bounded by St. Lawrence College to the west, the north side of Montreal Road, Gray's Creek to the east and St. Lawrence River to the south. This area is rather narrow due to the proximity of Montreal Road and the high level of the roadway.

The land in question is held by the City, public agencies, small group dwellings, accessory structures, a co-op boat house, and Gray's Creek Conservation Area.

In the past, the adjacent lands have been used for industrial, agricultural, and transportation purposes. The recreation aspects of this section are limited, however, it provides scenic views of the St. Lawrence River and a corridor along the shoreline. In general, the properties are too small, irregularly shaped, steep sloped, or environmentally sensitive for intense development.

Many improvements have been completed in the past, which includes a new bike path, rest stops, and historical plaques.

The protection of views is the key objective and will be accomplished by regulating zoning and structural dimensions. Other improvements call to further develop the bike path and park facilities.

Harbour to CollegeHarbour
The Harbour to College section of the Waterfront is roughly the area from Bergeron Lane to St. Lawrence College and from Montreal Road at the north
to the St. Lawrence River to the south. The development in this section encompasses all the land up to the shoreline, much of which is underutilized or vacant and poses much potential.

The area has a rich industrial history, which includes the Cotton Mills'
Industrial Complex that serves as important heritage resources.

Public improvements are limited due to the fact that all of the land is owned by individuals other than the City, nevertheless, discussions with land owners have helped reach a consensus on public improvements.

Past implemented initiatives include the development of the bike path, zoning amendments, development controls, infrastructure improvements and streetscaping.

Future goals include acquiring further lands for City ownership, harbour redevelopment, introducing more residential development, discouraging industrial uses, and re-utilizing vacant properties.

Lamoureux ParkLamoureux Park
Named after a former Member of Parliament for Cornwall, Lamoureux Park
is Cornwall's showcase park and a key gathering place for festivals and community events such as Canada Day, Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off and Arts
in the Park. 

The Lamoureux Park area is geographically defined by the bridge area
corridor to the west, Water Street to the north, Bergeron Lane to the east,
and the St. Lawrence River to the south. The park is frequently used for
various recreational activities which include sight seeing, biking and fishing.

The park contains facilities such as the Eco Gardens, RCAF Building, Cornwall Community Museum, Lion's Club Bandshell, Cornwall Civic Complex, Aquatic Centre, Marina 200, Cornwall Curling Centre, and Legion Ballpark.

The City owns the majority of the lands within the park and leases the rest form the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority and other federal agencies. Past completed projects have included the Rotary Eco Gardens, Rotary Gazebo, boat launch, playground, the clock tower, bandshell seating and a new splashpad and washroom.

Prospects for the park area include proposals to provide more parking, redevelop lands near the new low-level bridge and to further improve access to the park and its facilities.

Canal LandsCanal Lands
The Canal Lands region of the waterfront consists of lands bounded by the 
RH Saunders Power Dam to the west, the bridge corridor at Lamoureux Park
to the east, the St. Lawrence River to the south and Second Street West to the north. The western part of the lands are encompassed by the RH Saunders Power Dam and the surrounding area contains many mixed uses such as commercial, residential, and industrial.

The area serves a recreational purpose with a recreational path and may project future water-based recreation.

The lands between the canal and the St. Lawrence River have remained predominately natural and undisturbed, enabling a pleasant recreational environment. The canal lands have a significant heritage in that they were used by vessels to by-pass the Long Sault Rapids, however, was the canal became obsolete when a new canal system was established. Past improvements have included the lock 19 bridge crossing, historical plaques, development of soccer fields, and various others.

In terms of redevelopment, the Canal Lands are the top priority in regards to this Waterfront Plan. Various improvements are being proposed which include redevelopment of non-industrial uses in the former tank truck area, protection of waterfront views from Second Street West, improve access via Riverdale residential community, and obtaining City ownership of the subject lands.

Guindon ParkGuindon Park
The Guindon Park region of the Waterfront consists of the lands bounded by Vincent Massey Drive to the north, City limits to the west, the Lake St. Lawrence Dyke to the south, and the boundary of the Ontario Power Generation lands to the east.

The park provides cleared picnic areas, nature trails, a boating area, and various facilities. This is a passive recreational area that was once Loyalist farmland prior to the Seaway flooding in 1958.

It is the largest park within the City limits, providing residents with a natural setting within an urban environment.

The area is desired to remain in a natural setting and therefore has not seen many developments in the past, however future developments may include providing trail maps, supporting boating activities, and increasing maintenance of facilities.

Completed Waterfront Plan projects

Lamoureux Park
- Establishment of the Clock Tower.
- Creation of the Eco Gardens, a natural garden and pond area, in partnership with the Rotary Club.
- Creation of a new public boat launch and new parking areas south of the RCAFA Wing 424.
- Creation of the Children's playground and splashpad.
- Relocation of the Cornwall Community Museum.
- Creation of a new parking lot near the Cornwall Community Museum.
- Installation of permanent seating at the bandshell.
- Construction of the Aquatic Centre on the east side of the Cornwall Civic Complex.
- Construction of the Cornwall Curling Centre to the northeast of the Cornwall Civic Complex.
- Establishment of waterside fishing platforms.
- Installation of hydro equipment for special events.
- Landscaping and recreational path improvements.
- Construction of the Rotary gazebo.

Guindon Park
- Creation of several picnic areas along the recreational path and other areas of the park.
- Establishment of signage and trail maps.
- New children's play structure.

Canal Lands Area
- Creation of recreational path crossing at Lock 19.
- Installation of historical plaques describing history of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
- Improvements to Second Street streetscape and Blackadder Creek.
- Improvements to spillway bridge.
- Construction of the St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre.

Harbour to College Area
- Removal of oil tanks from lands near the Harbour.
- Infrastructure improvements and rezoning to allow for redevelopment of the Cotton Mills area. Residential development of area now underway.
- New Cotton Mills Road and recreational path constructed.
- Establishment of residence at St. Lawrence College.
- Establishment of St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences.

East Front Area
- Residential development of former Courtaulds parking lot.
- Completion of recreational path.

 

Cornwall