Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 29, 2016

Artifact of the Week. Painting – CORNWALL CANADA’S COMING CITY, 1958.


This oil painting was done by Mrs. T.A. Phelps.  (It measures 60 cm x 45 cm)


She wrote on the back:

This was done in 1958 and is very true with sailing boat and Canada Steamship Line passing at the same time and a plane overhead.  I gathered industries new buildings with old and churches into the picture and trees not all our cities have trees as we have.

This painting was donated to the Museum in 2008 by John and Elizabeth Dickey of Williamsburg.

The artistic license used to make the Seaway Building taller than it was and include the full steeple on St. John’s Presbyterian Church dovetail exactly with the confidence Cornwallites had with the building and near completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Crowds danced in the streets when they heard that the last legal hurdle to the building of the Seaway was surmounted on June 7, 1954.


This aerial photograph taken above the canal and looking north, at the time the painting was done, shows just how much downtown Cornwall has changed over the last half century plus.

The Canada Steamship Lines dock in the lower left is gone; Cornwall Square has replaced the east side of lower Pitt Street, along with the Street Railway Barns and St. Paul’s Church; the Snetsinger Block on the west side of the first intersection of Pitt and 1st was destroyed by fire; the Salvation Army Citadel, constructed in 1904 and just behind the Snetsinger Block is gone; both the Cornwallis Hotel and Capitol Theatre in the middle left are gone; the houses along the east side of Sydney Street in the lower right have been replaced by the street; and the built up portion of the City more or less ends at 11th street.

This painting and photograph are examples of artwork and photographs in the collection at the Cornwall Community Museum.




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