Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | May 20, 2017

Aaron Horovitz – his legacy


To celebrate the Canada 150 Mayor’s Picnic taking place in Lamoureux Park this Victoria Day Monday, we offer this glimpse into the life of the man who championed these parades and children’s picnics from 1939 until 1957. Your Cornwall Community Museum will be open during the Monday event (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and features an exhibit on the historic Mayor’s Picnic. As always, admission is free – donations greatly appreciated. Cornwall’s new Tourism Office located inside the Museum will also be open for you during this event.

  • Aaron and his brother Louis arrived in Montreal from Romania in 1910.
  • In 1911 they relocated to Cornwall, realizing that the market was less competitive here than in Montreal`s garment district.

Prince Clothing & Cornwall Pants

  • They leased part of the Brennan block (a former hotel on the n.w. corner of Marlborough & Water Sts)
  • In 1920, having outgrown the building, they relocated Cornwall Pants to the former Plamondon Hotel on Marlborough St. S.
  • In 1923, they adopted the Prince Clothing name and expanded their operation to a second building up the street, the former Collins Dance Hall.
  • In 1970 the brothers sold the business to the Lovell brothers.
  • After much economic difficulty, the factory closed after a fire in 1975.
  • In 1976, a former plant manager took over, renaming it to F&B Clothing and relocating to Brookdale Avenue. F&B subsequently closed.

Terms as Mayor (waived his salary)

  • 1930-34, 1936, 1944-46, 1949-56
  • Cornwall`s longest-serving mayor
  • Possibly the first Jewish mayor in Canada
  • Transitioned Cornwall through the Annexation
      • February 22, 1956 Annexation Order
      • July 1, 1958 Annexation Officially takes place

Central Park renamed Horovitz Park in his honour

  • Once the gem of Cornwall
  • Now a postage stamp


  • 435 York Street
    • This structure has served many purposes, including the home of Canada Bread, and Domtar`s resident manager`s home.

  • 219 2nd St W (above)
    • Since 1878 the property was passed from the Gillie family to the Camerons, and Smiths, then to the Horovitz family in 1926, remaining in their family until the early 1990s.
    • The house was constructed ca. 1900 as a brick structure and modified ca. 2000.
  • Charlottenburgh Park
    • The family estate had been donated as a park; the entrance gate has been re-located over the years. Today the RRCA operates the park, which includes public beach and camp ground.


1955 Mayor’s Picnic Parade.  This view shows the east side of Pitt Street just north of 2nd.


1956 parade on Pitt Street, northeast of 2nd St., leading to Central (Horovitz) Park.

1952_90-20.76_Looking AtTheCrowdsOfChildrenMayor Horovitz at the 1952 picnic, the old band shell is decked out in British and American flags.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 14, 2017

Doran’s Corners – Willis Church

Once known as Doran’s Corners, at the junction of present day Wales Road and North Lunenburg Road East, sits an old cemetery, which is a reminder to many of the small church that shared the site for well over one hundred years. The gravestones date as far back as 1810. Transcriptions are posted at this LINK.

Between 1822 and 1828, Presbyterian Minister Rev. Joseph Johnston held services in homes. Prior to that time, people walked to Woodlands (now one of the Lost Villages) to attend services. In 1831 this Lutheran church was constructed on the site donated by Jacob Stata and apparently shared by the two congregations; the North Lunenburg Presbyterian congregation’s official origin dates to the prior year. In 1965, two other congregations merged with this one.

Our collection of relevant artifacts includes this 1911 calendar.

The 1920 Annual Report for the Congregations of Lunenburg, Wales and Newington, under the Rev. W.W. Conrad, shows the following surnames among the Lunenburg contributors: Adams, Arbuthnot, Bush, Conrad, Cook, Fickes, Gray, Markell, Moke, McColl, McEwan, McGillvray, Maginnis, Poapst, Rombough, Runions, Rupert, Shaver, Stata, Warner, Wereley, Williams and Wyatt. The minister’s annual stipend amounted to $300.

In 1925, the congregation joined the United Church of Canada. In 1929 repairs were made to the church, but a portion of the old foundation was left intact in order that the church could remain on its original foundation.

Another Willis United Church artifact in our collection is this commemorative plate on the 128th anniversary of the church.

In 1987, a large monument was erected commemorating the former church that had been demolished by members of the community due to the poor state of repair of the abandoned structure.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 11, 2017

Horovitz house – 2nd St W

Immediately east of the Legion Memorial Park on 2nd Street West at Bedford Street is a beautiful family home that many still fondly think of as the former Mayor Aaron Horovitz house (he also had a home on York Street as well as an estate east of the City.) Bill and Darlene McGimpsey purchased the house in November of 2016; Bill’s insurance office is conveniently located across the street.

Since 1878, the property was passed from the Gillie family to the Camerons, and Smiths then to the Horovitz family in 1926, remaining in their family until the early 1990s. The house itself was constructed circa 1900 and started its life as a brick structure on a stone foundation. Judge Pringle’s history of the district mentions James Gillie as being one of two engineers in the fire company which was formed in 1840. Pictured here is Aaron Horovitz on the front steps in 1934.

About 20 years ago, the new owner performed major upgrades to the house, including the addition of tilting security windows, steel roof resembling clay tile, copper eaves trough and downspouts, hot water heating, central air, and a 200 amp electrical service. Recent Upgrades include a 120 gallon water heater, new central air, walls were painted, some new floors installed, an indoor sauna and outdoor hot tub were also added.

Exterior:  The front verandah was closed in and is now a foyer. The double doors provide great security, weighing well over 200 lbs each.

A patio sits atop the front entry, affording views of the street and park.

The driveway is made of wood.

Main floor: This very inviting upscale five bedroom house features high (approx. 9’) ceilings, crown moulding and ample custom cabinetry, spacious rooms, and plenty of natural lighting.

West side: The formal dining room is at front with an adjoining parlour at the rear.

Side bay parlour windows overlook the patio and Legion Memorial Park. Double and single French doors lead to the front hall. Previously these two areas were reversed.

East side: The everyday dining room is at the front, connecting to modern kitchen.

Rear addition: The sunken family room features gorgeous walnut paneling and views of the patio, park and yard.

Second floor: Over the family room, between levels, we find the master bedroom with ensuite. The walls connecting the main house to the addition are very deep.

The second level of the main house contains the other family bedrooms and a sunny lounge is at the front, providing access to the elevated balcony.

Third floor: A door on the second level accesses stairs to an open concept walk-up loft.

Lower loft area: Sofa and tv with exercise area opposite. The sauna was recently added. Windows bring in sunlight.

Large raised loft area: showcases a large hot tub surrounded by marble. On the same level are his and hers pedestal sinks and behind a privacy screen is the toilet. A rough-in exists for a bidet. Overhead is a (approx 10’ by 10’) skylight that was covered over due to leakage. Two large dormer windows bring in wonderful natural light and provide a great elevated view. Should the McGimpseys ever be so inclined, this area would make a spectacular honeymoon suite in a charming Bed and Breakfast.

Basement: Includes a modern laundry room, additional storage as well as a 120 gallon hot water tank, air exchanger, central air and large electronically controlled boiler for heating the home. Supplemental area heating is provided via heated floors and gas fireplaces. The decorative hot water radiators were cleaned and re-installed ca. 1995.

Yard: The garage was built ca. 1900 as a carriage house. A canine building with three outdoor kennels was added ca. 1995. All of the roofs and two of the buildings match each other.

A patio sits to the west of the house, overlooking the park, with partial view of the street.

A hearty ‘thank you’ is offered to the McGimpseys for allowing me, and thereby all of you, to experience their new dream home, as well as some wonderful Cornwall history. Kudos on this wonderful example of a century home that has been very tastefully maintained with the old and the new complementing each other.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 9, 2017

Artifact of the Week – 1955/56 Mayor’s Picnic

In the 1940s and 50s, Cornwall’s Mayor Aaron Horovitz was much loved for the annual children’s picnics that he chaired and funded from his own resources. The mayor was also known for not accepting his salary. He and his brother were successful businessmen and this was part of how Horovitz gave back to the community he called home.

1955 was the final year that the annual Mayor’s Annual Children’s Picnic was held at the City’s popular Central Park.

In 1956 the event was re-located to the more spacious Athletic Grounds since the City was in the process of becoming larger by about 29 square miles and a sizeable crowd was anticipated.

The above beanies, tickets and event programmes are among the various relevant artifacts given by various donors.

Your local Canada 150 Committee is resurrecting the popular 1940s/1950s Mayor’s Picnic in Lamoureux Park this Victoria Day Monday, May 22nd from 11 am – 4 pm (rain or shine).

Children and Adult Activities include: Beach volleyball, Children’s dash races, Egg and water balloon toss, Face painting, Horseshoe tournament, Inflatable castles and courses, Kite Festival, Olde Car Show & Shine, Family poker run, Potato sac races, Three-legged races, Wheelbarrow races and more!

Food: Grilled hot dogs at olde fashioned prices provided courtesy of the Kinsmen and Optimist Clubs. Other food vendors will also be on-site.

Diverse Live Local Entertainment: Following the Official opening at 1 pm at the Bandshell.

Free Cornwall Transit shuttle: Cornwall Transit will be offering a free shuttle to Lamoureux Park during the Mayor’s Picnic!

To view images of these historic events, please check out our other posts at this LINK and here at this LINK.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 2, 2017

Before Cornwall Square – lower Sydney Street

Welcome to Part II in our series. Prior to the 1970s/80s urban renewal efforts which saw the creation of Cornwall Square and later the Chevrier federal building, that part of the City looked quite different than now.

In 1978 this was the east side of Sydney Street as seen from the corner of First Street East, prior to the street’s re-alignment around Cornwall Square. Today the Cornwall Square Dollarama and a section of the parking lot is on the site.

And the west side of Sydney Street included St. Paul’s United Church, Pearson’s Furniture (formerly a dance hall) and the Cornwall Electric garages and sub-station. The east end of the Cornwall Square parking garage sits on the former church site now.

Here is the relevant section of the 1963 Fire Insurance plan.


The garage depicted in the plan was Halliwell’s as above.

Stay tuned for Part III. If you missed it, here is a LINK to Part I.

Thanks are offered to Dr. Margaret Macaulay, who allowed us to scan these photos from her cherished photo album. What history is in your closet waiting to be shared? If you have Cornwall photos to share, please contact us at

Posted by: Media Manager | April 25, 2017

Joseph Laundrie – a Cornwall Blacksmith

Blacksmith shop in 1923 – 22-A 4th St E

Joseph Laundrie (1879-1966) was a well-known Cornwall blacksmith. He followed the pattern of many of his relatives who lived to their late 80s and 90s. In the 1927 Directory we find him operating at 22-A Fourth Street East and living at 306 7th St. W. The shop appears on the 1916 and 1923 Fire Insurance Maps, but is gone by the time the 1947 map was printed.

Vacant lot now

Today (2017) the property is an access way to a small parking lot behind the Medical Clinic across from City Hall. A decrepit portion of the former Quality First Laundry building still (barely) stands to its west. In its day the shop was quite handy to the Central House Hotel on Pitt Street.

Blacksmith shop in 1923 – 123-A Pitt St

Ottawa Hotel_Post Ofc eraBy 1937 we find him living on Pitt Street in the Glebe (site of the Health Unit today) and operating his business at 123 ½ (later identified as 123-A) Pitt Street. Today it is simply a section of the parking lot behind Koala. That building was formerly identified as possessing an address of 34 St. John’s Lane. It was directly behind what had been the Ottawa Hotel (pictured) at 83 (later re-numbered 123) Pitt Street and also a stone’s throw from the Carleton House Hotel on 1st St. E.

Later Joseph moved the family to 829 York Street (extended family pictured in front of the duplex) and finally to 227 8th St. W. Joseph and his wife Rose Anne (McDonald) raised three children: the late Clifford, the late Doris and Gloria.

Prior to making Cornwall his home, Joseph operated blacksmith shops in Bonville and Lancaster, having started his career in Hemmingford working at the James McCanse shop as seen in this photo.

Joseph was the eldest of 10 children of John Laundrie and Julia (Boileau) pictured here. After his mother’s death, Joseph’s father re-married and had another five children with Rose Tyo. The Laundries/Landrys are descendants of the original mid-1600s settlers of Ste. Famille (Ille d’Orleans.)

In April 2017, the SD&G Historical Society became the proud recipient of a donation of several of Joseph Laundrie’s blacksmith tools, including his anvil, punches, hammers and wrenches.

Posted by: Media Manager | April 20, 2017

Canada 150 – Heritage Quilts at 2017 Show

Volunteers have been setting up since 8 a.m. Thursday in anticipation of the largest ever Quilts on the Seaway exhibition, taking place at St. John’s Church in Cornwall (new venue). As seen in this photo, quilts grace most of the pews; additional displays encircle the perimeter of the sanctuary.

Your Cornwall Community Museum is an exhibitor this year with several of our heritage quilts on display in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday; this photo is of our section of the sanctuary. The quilts are amazing. Some of the quilts pre-date Confederation. Please be sure to check us out.

The boutique is greatly expanded this year, with many different types of quilted items, books and supplies available for purchase. An adjacent room features items for baby.

The parish hall is set up with several racks, each one displaying one entire quilt or multiple smaller wall hangings, bags and clothes. The selection includes a number of Canada 150 themed quilts and hangings. Retailers from across the region are also on-site with everything from specialty irons and sewing machines to material and thread (poly and cotton).

The stage showcases an expanded Christmas section this year.

The exhibit is on from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday (April 21, 2017) and again on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Be sure to vote for your favourites.




Posted by: Media Manager | April 19, 2017

Artifact of the Week – Old Fort Tavern Sign

This historic commercial sign was purchased at a flea market subsequent to the King George Hotel’s demise in 1997. This Old Fort tavern sign also promotes the other King George Hotel taverns: Tropicana Bar and the 4C’s Lounge. Measuring 56 cm x 243 cm, the plastic sign is a considerable size.

The King George Hotel was built as a private residence by Dr. Noah Dickinson in the 1820s. It was never used as a home, but served as the County Court House, barracks, ballroom and concert hall. It became the American House around 1873; then the Balmoral House before at the turn of the 20th century and finally the King George in 1910. The hotel complex was destroyed by fire on Valentines’ Day, 1997.

The establishment was known to accept Canadian Tire money at par for beer.


Posted by: Media Manager | April 17, 2017

Celebrating Canada’s 150th – Heritage Quilts

Your Cornwall Community Museum has compiled a collection of some two dozen quilts, each with a story to tell. Some are family keepsakes; others commemorate aspects of our collective history. And some of them are signature quilts (bearing the names of multiple people who contributed to the making of the quilt.) A number of the quilts pre-date Confederation.

For example, this 6’ by 7’ signature quilt commemorates the sacrifice of those who defended their country during World War II. The centre panel is stitched with the wording: “For King and Country: Canada”, followed by the Union Jack (early Canadian flag), the community name (Morewood), as well as emblems for each area of military service: Army, Navy, and Air Force. Each of the 14 perimeter panels contains an outlined maple leaf surrounded by names of   community members who served; a yellow star beside a name indicates death in battle.

Our second quilt, consisting of 30 different squares, was made ca. 1972. Each person who made a donation has their name on the quilt. The proceeds were used for setting up the library archives.

This Lemon Star quilt was made in Eamer’s Corners in 1825. It has a central extension for the foot of the quilt to be between the posts of the bed frame. There are 37 stars in squares each measuring about. 9 1/4″ x 9″. The edges are protected with an edge sewn to each side.

This machine-sewn quilt was created in 1947, two years before Newfoundland joined Confederation. As such, that province is not included in the hand embroidered map of Canada’s provinces. Also featured are the coat’s of arms of the provinces, along with patriotic poems and a reference to the voyageurs sailing north along the Ottawa River from St. Anne de Bellevue. There are 7 squares across and nine squares down around the rim, laid out beaver/maple leaf/beaver, etc.

In addition to quilted bed covers, our collection also includes quilted clothing. This 1930s era lady’s silk thigh length jacket features a Mandarin neckline. A quilted design is on the sleeves, front and back. A hook closes the jacket at mid-waist. Seams are machine sewn while the lining is hand sewn. The funnel sleeves have a drop shoulder. A label reads: “Aux Galeries Lafayette; Paris; Nice; Londres; Lyon; Mantes; Alexandrie.” Mary Mack bought this jacket in Paris.

In honour of the Canada 150 year of celebrations, this coming weekend we are proud to participate as an exhibitor at the bi-annual Quilts on the Seaway show, this year taking place at a new venue, St. John’s church and halls. Please stop by and visit our exhibit Friday (April 21, 2017) from 10 until 6 and Saturday (April 22, 2017) between 10 and 4.

Bed Turning:  11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day

Remember, please send me your suggestions and historic photos: .

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | April 15, 2017

Artifact of the Week. 1730 Pewter Plate, found in Cornwall.

This pewter plate dated 1730 was found behind the old King George Hotel in 1956 and donated to the Museum at that time by Mrs. B.E. Vining.  23.6 cm in diameter.

The number in the shield touch mark may be 1705.

Sadly this is all the information we have about the plate, any help would be more than welcome.

PS   – Not a year goes by that someone doesn’t bring in some 200 year plus artifact found while during spring yard work in Cornwall’s historic Square Mile.


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