Posted by: Media Manager | December 21, 2015

Historic Cornwall – East Front

East Front included the properties on both sides of Provincial Hwy 2 East (Montreal Road), from a bit east of Dunbar to the Township limit (Boundary Road).

Part of Lot 2
Captain Samuel Anderson, UEL (1736-1836) was one of the first to settle in East Front on an extensive granted property. In 1785 he served as Justice of the Peace and later became first judge of the Eastern District.


Later on some of his descendants operated a ferry service across the St. Lawrence River in the absence of a local bridge. Pringle makes reference to Richard McBean being granted permission to operate a ferry from his house to St. Regis beginning in January of 1806. McBean’s house stood on the west half of Lot 2 (Capt. John Anderson’s estate) in the 2nd Concession until 1860 per Pringle. The ferry service, pictured in the above 1930s photo, was located opposite East Front Public School and ran between East Front and Akwesasne. The scow was towed across the river by motor boat. In the photo Harry Webster is standing on the ferry, Mrs. Brownridge is standing, while Mrs. W.S. Relyea is sitting.


East Front Public School is on this lot today. East Front started out as a one room schoolhouse in 1934. The front core was added in 1945. A new gymnasium and two additional classrooms came about in 1991.


East Front and Gladstone Public Schools closed in June of of 2016 to be replaced by a new combined school, Bridgewood, at 850 Nick Kaneb Drive. Bridgewoood is on Lot 3. As of early 2017, both former schools sit empty.

The Historical Society of Ontario erected a plaque on his farm in honour of the Captain.

Part of Lot 1
Also part of Captain Samuel Anderson’s grant, it now houses the Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge. The Lodge started out in 1912 at the former House of Refuge and Industry property on 11th St E. The 11th Street facility had become antiquated and no longer large enough to house SD&G’s aging seniors, so a new modern $1.2 million Lodge was constructed in East Front. The design  was by H.H. Roberts of Westport and the R.E. Stewart Construction Company of Sherbrooke was the General Contractor. The community was invited to an Open House on February 22-23 of 1952. Beginning the week of February 25 the process of transferring residents to the new facility began. September 21 of the same year saw the Official Opening and Dedication ceremony.


The exterior was brick to the level of the windows, then B.C. cedar shingles. The complex was state of the art, deemed to be the most modern institution of its type in Canada. It opened with 192 beds and was designed for expansion. The kitchen and heating system were capable of serving 300 beds.


When the Lodge opened at this site, the Beach house was still in front of the complex that was built on the former Beachview Farm. Two other houses are pictured behind the complex, closer to the former cattle barn. More details are available through the Museum & Archives.


The current 132 bed Lodge complex is a modern 1994 replacement on the same 1952 site at 1900 Montreal Road.

Part of Lot A, and B (West half)
Originally granted to Lt. J.F. Holland, the property was later owned by Captain Martin McMartin.

mcmartin-house-2016The NAV Centre property (formerly known as Transport Canada Training Institute or TCTI) is the site of the 1850 Capt. Martin McMartin stone farm house which now functions as a pub for the Centre. McMartin owned 600 acres on the tract of land which ran from the River to Toll Gate Road. The McMartin property was immediately east of the Anderson property. Construction of the $30 Million TCTI began in late 1977 on 65 acres of what was then known as the McNairn farm.


In 1976 12 acres of the GlenStorDun Lodge property was purchased from the United Counties for a buffer zone around TCTI. At that time, the City of Cornwall also purchased 6 acres along Second Street to use as a residential park. The full property is now described as Part of Lots A and the west half of Lot B, Concession 1 – Parts 1-6 on Plan 52R-274 and Part 3 on Plan 52R-663, City of Cornwall. In 2007 an application was made to re-zone the property from Institutional 10, Residential 10 and Residential 20 to Institutional 20 to clarify the the continuation of the Training facility, Meeting and Conference Centre indicating what is meant by by such a facility and that it may, from time to time, be used by the general public. Area hotel owners were concerned over possible undue competition due to the re-classification of the site. After an MOU was signed, the re-zoning was approved on September 17, 2007.

Part of Lots B (East half), C, D
This was all part of Major James Gray’s grant. Gray’s Creek is named after him.

Lot B houses Cornwall’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Inverarden Regency Cottage is on Lot C.

In 1970 Chemcell (Cornwall) Limited agreed to donate the house as an historical site. The donated land included property fronting Montreal Road, running north beyond the house, about two acres in total.

It was originally constructed for Nor’Wester John McDonald of Garth in 1816 upon his retirement.  He subsequently sold the house to his partner and son-in-law John Duncan Campbell.  The Campbell family lived here until 1965, where they operated kennels. The Campbells added the verandah ca. 1920. Parks Canada now owns the mothballed site.


Please follow this LINK to view an article on this historic property.

On Lot D today we find Marimac. MCA Records and Compo/Decca Records previously occupied that building.


MCA Records

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



  1. Was the ferry in the area of Howard Smith Pulp Mill ? My grandfather Arthur Dumond lived on Water Street by the mill.

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