Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 29, 2016

Canada Day Past – Cornwall Ontario.


scan0168Cornwall’s Canada Day celebrations started one “hot summer afternoon, a week before Canada Day” over a coffee in 1972 at Norm Lalonde’s Montreal Road Biscuit Shop.  Norm became “very angry when he overheard some costumers arguing over Rene Levesque and the separatists.  “A couple of people said they were going to the U.S. for the July 4th festivities.” This made Norm even angrier and sad.  Moved to action and with only 5 days to go, Norm and his wife Therese called Toronto and received some souvenirs and held Cornwall’s first Canada Day celebrations in Nativity School yard with 1,000 sprinklers and the singing of O’Canada with about 500 people.


Always operating the day without government funding, the Day moved to Lamoureux Park and came to attract an estimated 40,000 people once the fireworks started.  At one time celebrations encompassed the whole week!


The 1987 Canada Day Programme.scan0152


In 1981, Norm now known as “Mr. Canada” received the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Award from the previous year’s winner, Larry Keen.  Both men served as City Councillors.scan0153


Therese Lalonde on the left, Norm in the middle and Miss Cornwall, Shelly Forsythe congratulate Norm for being name Citizen of the Year.


Canada Day 1995.


International Food Fair, Canada Day, 1985.scan0158


Canada Day 1985.  The Park was full of people and activity to meet all tastes.


A popular event was trying to sale a cardboard boat.scan0159


The sailor is dunked as his boat collapses.scan0161

Another popular, if peculiar activity was the Cornwall Thing Contest sponsored by the Cornwall Community Museum.  We had to tell people that their grandparent’s were not eligible for the oldest thing category.  The above table shows a selection of Cornwall “things.”





Norm sponsored a Unity Scroll during the Quebec referendum debate, 1995.  If he looks angry, he was, and determined too.  For Norm we were all Canadians!scan0169


Norm wife his wife Therese traditionally kicked off Canada Week Festivities with a cake and flag raising ceremony at the Wood House Museum now the relocated Cornwall Community Museum.  Therese is seen hear placing a top hat on Norm in the parlour of the museum in the 1970s.


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Cornwall Industry

A Cornwall Community Museum Blog

Cornwall Canal and Shipping History

A Cornwall Community Museum Publication

Cornwall Community Museum

In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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