Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | December 21, 2015

Historic Cornwall – Fairview

This area was part of Cornwall’s western gore, Lot 12 in the 1st Concession (163 acres), which was granted by the Crown to Timothy Johnston on February 22, 1806.  From Johnston it passed to George Haley on December 26, 1811. Haley in turn sold it to Henry Waggoner on March 8, 1815.  In his will, Henry passed it to Jacob Waggoner on October 25, 1832.  On July 7 of 1835, William Mattice purchased the land.  Subsequently that tract of land was split into smaller parcels, including Beaconsfield, which the elder Mattice willed to his son Corydon on August 25, 1881.

Fairview 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 Fairview no longer appears on Cornwall maps.  The aerial photo below looks south towards 2nd St. W.


Here is a depiction of Fairview then and now:

Fairview_ca. 1927_2015

A map dated 14 December, 1881 identifies the area simply as Maple Field Farm.

From 1904-1913, the areas which became known as Laflecheville and Fairview (2nd to 5th and Cumberland to Wood Lane/later Brookdale) housed a pre-cursor to the current Cornwall Golf and Country Club. It was the third in a succession of five golf club sites, culminating with the present site on the former Guy Carleton Colquhoun farm.

On June 30 of 1926, Charles Asa Beach sold property to Cornwall Development Co., owned by Arnold Nielsen Smith, Hilliard C. McLean, Herbert Yates and Charles C. Munro.  The subdivision contains streets named after three of them.  On March 21 of 1927, Plan 74 was registered for the Fairview subdivision by these men.  Originally Fairview was bounded on the north by Fifth Street West. on the east by the Town limits (Cumberland Street), on the south by Second Street West and on west by Laflecheville (east of Gulf Street).

Within a previously undeveloped area on the southwest side of Fairview, a survey was created for a pie-shaped parcel of land on March 21, 1927 and assented to by the Township on July 27, 1927. In Plan 75 it was described as a Subdivision of Lot ‘B’ in the Subdivision of Fairview.  According to the 1927 City Directory, just two homes were in Fairview, on the north side of Second Street.



This lovely 1895 house at the corner of 2nd St W at Cumberland St was originally the home of Judge Robert Baldwin Carman. It was subsequently purchased by Arnold Nielson Smith, president of the Montreal and Cornwall Navigation Company and then by John McMartin prior to Legion ownership in 1947.

1950_Legion_HeritageCornwall CR

Branch 297 of the Royal Canadian Legion in 1950.

The City and Township each contributed $25,000 grants to enable the purchase. John McMartin, the Ontario mining millionaire, contributed furnishings as well as a large financial contribution. An Open House was held on February 1, 1948.

1961-07-03_HonourTheFallen_0001 DF

Branch 297 of the Royal Canadian Legion in 1961 prior to the Glens Lounge addition.


Branch 297 of the Royal Canadian Legion subsequent to the Glens Lounge addition. Although the current entrance is on Cumberland Street, the original structure fronted on 2nd St W and the address continues to be 415 2nd St W.

old st francis schoolOn July 26 of 1939, a land grant was transferred from the Alexander Anderson Estate to the R.C.E.C. of Alexandria.  The deed for  Separate School SS. No. 2 is dated November 24, 1943; it was later known as St. Francis de Sales School.

2nd St W_451 453A-B_webThe Second Street West portion had been fairly residential, but has shifted to commercial. This residence shown in this photo of 451, 453-A-B Second Street West has been replaced by a commercial establishment.

457 2nd St W_Brookshell Motors_1952-04-01Brookshell Motors operated from 457 second Street West in the 1950s.

459 2nd St W_Bel-Claire Cleaners_Bell_1972

459 Second Street West was home to Bel-Claire Cleaners in 1972.

Powdrell and Alexander aerial Cr

This L-shaped building on the n.w. corner of Fourth Street West and Cumberland Streets began its life as the Powdrell & Alexander (Canada) Limited Curtain Factory at what would later be known as 425 4th St W.

On April 13 of 1933, the land grant was transferred to Powdrell & Alexander of Canada Limited for $5,550.  In 1937 Arthur Laverty organised the Cornwall Textile Workers Union at Canadian Coloured Cottons Limited and Powdrell and Alexander Curtain Factory. On September 17, 1948 Canadian Coloured Cottons Limited announced that it had purchased the Powdrell and Alexander curtain factory, renaming it the Glengarry Cottons Limited (a subsidiary of Canadian Cottons Limited) mill.

In 1959, after the closure of three cotton mills, the plant was purchased by National Grocers for $200,000. One of two Fingerhut facilities operated there for a time. Later Crane Supply operated out of the west portion of the building at 233 Yates Avenue at Fourth Street West. In December of 1981 in a 300 sq ft section of the building on Cumberland St, the Bellemare family launched a fruit and vegetable business that evolved into the successful Farm Boy chain of grocers. In October of 1984, the Bellemaires merged their business with a family member at a 5,000 sq ft site on Sydney Street and have since expanded to other Ontario communities, thus far including 19 0ther stores in Ottawa, Kingston, London, Kitchener and Whitby. Many small manufacturing, service and retail businesses have and do call the building their home today. Welcome improvements to the facade are recent.

A recent view of the n.e. corner of the former Fairview. This Google satellite image shows the former curtain factory, Cumberland Garden's to the north

A recent view of the n.e. corner of the former Fairview. This Google satellite image shows the former curtain factory with Cumberland Gardens to the north


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

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