Riverview 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 Riverview no longer appears on Cornwall maps.
At its peak, Riverview was bounded on the north by McDonald Avenue (Third Street East), on the east by Belfort Street (St. Felix Street), on the west by Guy Street and on the south by Montreal Road.
The original name Belfort Street is in relation to Fort Augustus (a former windmill converted to a fort); the current name St. Felix Street is in honour of the patron saint of the original St. Felix de Valois Church.
Built in 1838, in response to the 1837 rebellion, the structure was the only masonry fortification located in the Eastern District. The conversion from windmill to fort was done under the command of Colonel C.B.Turner, commander of the Eastern District along with Captain George Phillpots of the Royal Engineers. Loophole embrasures were punched into the sides of the masonry mill and the roof was raised a few feet to accommodate the octagonal observation gallery.
Following the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada, the fort was abandoned and sat silently in a field for decades. In 1929, Miss Bertha Colquhoun, the owner of the property, donated a small patch of land upon which the fort stood to the Township of Cornwall, on the condition that the township agreed to “maintain the fort and grounds as a public park.”
Residential expansion in Cornwall soon enveloped the site. The fort had deteriorated due to neglect and was seen as a hazard to the youth of the area. In the summer of 1944, the Township of Cornwall demolished the Fort. It would now be located near 404 Easton St. and St. Felix Street. – Sources include Archives Canada and the SD&G Historical Society.
Cornwall’s East End, 1924. The Weave Shed is in the foreground and Fort Augustus (Windmill Fort) is in the lower middle right hand side.
St. Albert le Grand was another school that was located in the former Riverview subdivision. The former school now operates as the Carleton Apartments at 1104 First Street East between Belmont Street and Carleton Street.
With a large portion of the Township population then living close to the Town of Cornwall, on August 28, 1950 the Township Hall was re-located from Cornwall Centre to a converted garage at 400 St. Felix Street in Riverview.
Subsequent to the 1957 City of Cornwall Annexation of a large portion of the Township, Council reverted to using the Cornwall Centre Township Hall and the St. Felix Street site became the home of the City’s Social Services and today is refashioned into townhouses.
St. Felix de Valois Church was constructed on Montreal Road at the intersection of St. Felix Street in 1937 and succumbed to an electrical fire on its 50th anniversary in 1987. A modern replacement by the same name was erected at 620 Glengarry Blvd.
To return to our main post on Historic Cornwall neighbourhoods, please follow this LINK.