City of Cornwall unveils Winter Housing Plan

Posted On Thursday November 09, 2023

The City of Cornwall has leased the former Parisien Manor to provide housing residents living in encampments and/or on the homelessness waitlist (By-Name List) during the winter months.

“The establishment of our winter plan initiative at Parisien Manor represents months of behind-the-scenes work focused on the establishment of a safe and secure location for the most vulnerable in our community”, said Mayor Justin Towndale. “This facility will ensure that those who are in need will get the supports that they need and provide a transition to more permanent housing, including at our Massey Place location.”

The City of Cornwall has been diligently working on securing a location for temporary housing for several months now. Once Parisien Manor was identified as the location, the City of Cornwall had to work with the owners to ensure compliance with building life safety regulations and for the City to develop its operational plan for the housing initiative.

“This initiative is a result of months of detailed planning by both the City of Cornwall Housing Staff and the United Way,” said Mellissa Morgan, General Manager of Human Services and Long-Term Care.  “This collaboration is a good example of how a community can work together to help solve complex housing issues within our City.”

Steps have already been taken to relocate some of the residents of the homeless encampments to permanent housing.  Residents still living in encampments and residents who joined the By-Name List will be prioritized for room space at the temporary winter site.

Within the Parisien Manor, several local agencies will be providing a wide range of services to residents, including addiction services, mental health supports, help with personal needs and permanent housing solutions.  The facility would provide up to 20 single rooms with a bathroom and shower.

The lease signed by the City of Cornwall is for approximately seven months. During this time, Housing Services staff will work to secure permanent housing for residents housed through the Stepping Stone Project.

Security for residents and employees is also paramount. As such, the property will be monitored by security officers and security cameras.

The City of Cornwall asks that residents make ONLY monetary donations to the United Way of SDG. Anyone wanting to donate can find more information here: Housing and Homelessness - Stepping Stone Project - United Way of SD&G (

Since the summer, Housing Services staff have been working closely on the evolving reality of homelessness to provide support to its residents.

The Housing Services department ensures coordinated response and housing fairness of the City’s homelessness population through a homelessness enumeration (By-Name List).

To refer someone to the By-Name list, please contact the Housing Office at 613-933-6282. For more information, visit:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


1-   What is the context leading to Homelessness?

Often, people experience homelessness when all other options have been exhausted, and/or they are dealing with circumstances that make it difficult to maintain housing.  Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. People who are impoverished are frequently unable to pay for necessities such as housing, food, childcare, health care and education. Poverty can mean a person is one illness, one accident or one paycheque away from living on the streets. 

2-   Who will be housed in Parisien Manor?

Residents that are currently on the By-Name List and are homeless are prioritized.  All cities in Ontario are required to have local priorities, which include fleeing violence, emergency medical and homelessness to access housing options on a priority basis.

3-   How Can I Help, where do I donate?

We will be asking residents not to make donations to the former Parisien Manor. Please take Donations to the United Way SDG.

4-   Why is the Parisien Manor only temporary?

The contract signed by the City of Cornwall will last seven months and will be extended if needed. During this seven months, Housing Staff will work to secure permanent housing for residents and/or plan for transfer to Massey Place.

5-   What will happen at the end of the contract with Parisien Manor?

The City of Cornwall has purchased the former school site on Cumberland street.  This location, now called Massey Place is being retrofitted to provide supportive housing units, tiny homes as well as many of the services for mental health, addictions, supports that will be carried over from the Parisien Manor initiative.

6-   How do I refer someone Parisien Manor?

The City of Cornwall and many community organizations have come together to create a collaborative system to support those who are experiencing homelessness. The core component of that system is the By-Names-List to refer someone please contact the Housing Office at 613-933-6282.  For more information, visit:

7-   What took so long to advance a winter housing plan?

The City of Cornwall has been working on securing a location for several weeks. A previous housing option had advance but unfortunately became non viable.  Once a location was secured the City of Cornwall had to work with the owners to address several life safety and other building operation concern to prepare the building for residency. To avoid false expectations and confusion, an official announcement was held until a lease agreement was signed. We have been advising encampment residencies of this opportunity.

8-   Why were existing City facilities not considered?

The City of Cornwall has limited community facilities as we continue to grow. The buildings owned by the City are occupied with local programming and are required for staff for the proper operations of the City.

9-   I see vacant buildings, why weren’t those sites secured for housing options?

We look to consider vacant building agreements and ensure the facility is suitable.  As such, the City of Cornwall cannot simply house residents without an agreement with private property owners.

10-               What kind of support will be available to residents?

A community collaborative of local agencies will be offering a wide range of services to residents of the temporary winter housing. These will include: addiction services, mental health supports, personal needs, and permanent housing solutions.

11-               Will Parisien Manor be safe?

Security for residents and employees is paramount to the City of Cornwall. As such, the property will be monitored by security officers and security cameras.

12-               Does the City’s housing team provide supports to residents facing homelessness?

The City of Cornwall’s Housing Services department visits regularly the individuals facing homelessness to provide support and services. Options do exist to quickly respond to urgent housing needs, where residents are eligible, they could have benefitted from income supports, rent subsidies, community housing placement or other housing options in Cornwall. The Housing Services department also keeps track of the City’s homelessness population through a homelessness enumeration (By-Name -List).

13-               What are the intended benefits of Parisien Manor?

The winter housing plan is a project that offers up to 20 individual rooms for residents facing homelessness in Cornwall.  Housing First practices have demonstrated successful outcomes to stabilizing the individual crisis situation when wrapped around services are provided.  Encampments are not encouraged or sanctioned by the City.  Services at Parisien Manor are offered in a residential context with all the base amenities residents can except including a private room, washroom, shower, laundry, heat, etc.

14-               Why is the City leasing Parisien Manor? 

The City is leasing the facility at Parisien Manor to operate as a Transitional Housing facility for individuals experiencing homelessness. Securing the facility will help ensure homeless residents  have adequate winter housing to serve individuals that need support. The site is a cost-effective approach that provides more opportunities for onsite programming and supports to transition individuals to long-term housing. 

15-               What are the details of the lease? 

Council gave staff the necessary authority to negotiate the lease for this facility. The terms of lease will be reported to Council and made public once the lease is approved. To ensure the fairness of the lease agreement and negotiations, it is necessary to keep some details private.

16-               What are the details of the property? 

Parisien Manor is located at 439 Second Street East. The two-storey building was previously used as a retirement home.

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