Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | December 13, 2015

Historic Cornwall – Gladstone


Gladstone was one of the early suburbs in the former Cornwall Township that became a Cornwall neighbourhood on January 1, 1957 when the City annexed much of the Township.  The name Gladstone no longer appears on Cornwall maps.

Originally Gladstone was bounded on the north four houses north of Manchester Street (later re-named Second Street East), on the south by Montreal Road, on the east by Side Road (re-named Nine Mile Road and now McConnell Avenue) and on the west across from the Town’s eastern boundary, the east side of Marlborough Street North.

By 1947 the suburb had expanded north to Fourth Street East, with the exception of the half block around the General Hospital which had already been annexed.

In all probability, the suburb was named after William E. Gladstone, four time British Prime Minister between 1868 and 1894.

Here is a depiction of the original Gladstone then and now:

Gladstone_ca. 1911_2015

Note that three of the streets were re-named and several others sprung up within the boundary area. Also, the lane now known as General Hospital Lane had been called Good Shepherd Lane prior to the 1999 closure of the church by the same name. Maps depicting the gradual addition of neighbourhood streets over time in the former Gladstone suburb are available for viewing at the Cornwall Community Museum.

Volume I of George Wilson’s Down The Lane purports that McConnell Avenue was once known as McConnell Lane and later renamed an Avenue “to give it a more euphonious title.”  The McConnell family located there in the 1850s.  The street is named after Andrew McConnell, who was married to Eliza Cunningham.  They raised their three girls and eight boys there.

Here we see an early image of the Cornwall General Hospital at the northwest edge of Gladstone.Cornwall General0004

In 1888, Brothers Henry and John Whittaker opened their fruit and vegetable store east of the Cornwall Athletic Grounds (Joe St. Denis Field). A 1916 sales receipts describes their greenhouse as: “Gardens east of Lacrosse Grounds.” A 1935 receipt declares: “Salesroom and conservatories: 302 Baldwin Ave.” By World War I they started wholesaling flowers and built their business around snapdragons, gladiolus, mums and roses. For more than a century Whittaker Brothers Florist operated their greenhouse and store on Baldwin Avenue.  For a time they also operated a retail outlet at 12 2nd St. W.


302 Baldwin_2018_Going_going_goneThe entire operation quietly faded into history in May of 2010. The residence to the south is still occupied, albeit by new owners. Sadly trees ended up growing through the roof of the greenhouse and it became a refuge for feral cats and an attraction for “explorers”.  As a result, the City had a contractor demolish the green house in December of 2018 (photo sequence above).

Mrs. James Broderick and her sons built the Maple Leaf Hotel at 10 Montreal Road in 1889.  By the late 1920s, it went out of business due to prohibition. The three-story brick building then served other purposes and was demolished in 2001 to make way for Dubuc’s  eye clinic.

The Maple Leaf Hotel

Originally both sides of Montreal Road between Marlborough and McConnell were part of Gladstone. After the split, the north side was still in Gladstone (Cornwall Twp), while the south side was then part of East Cornwall.


roy_greg roy collection ca 1945

Roxy Theatre ca. 1945 Greg Roy Collection

Heritage Designated sites in Gladstone include the former Roxy (now Port) Theatre at 132 Montreal Road, the former Nativity School at 146 Chevrier Avenue, Nativity Church at 300 Montreal Road.

By the late 1950s, the building immediately east of the Roxy had been replaced by the brick structure which is still there today. V&L Dept. Store / V&L Shoes pictured below was owned by Vaillancourt and Levesque.



Quincaillerie C. (Charlemagne) & R. (Romeo) Marleau Hardware, 143 Montreal Road, and Lionel Vaillancourt Men’s Wear, 139 Montreal Road, in the early 1960s.

Properties in Gladstone which are listed on Heritage Cornwall’s Register of Non-Designated Cultural Heritage Properties of value or interest in the City of Cornwall include the former Good Shepherd Church buildings at 506 First Street East / 107 Marlborough Street as well as the Good Shepherd homes from 512-518 First Street East. Others include the properties at 135, 171, 325, 331-333 and 369 Montreal Road.


Nativity Church

To view our feature post on Nativity Parish, follow this LINK.

Nativity’s schools would ultimately find themselves on both sides of the divide between Gladstone and East Cornwall, which was split off from Gladstone as depicted in the following image. The schools in East Cornwall, as well as the smaller schools in Gladstone, are now long gone.


To return to our main post on Historic Cornwall neighbourhoods, please follow this LINK.


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