Historic Neighbourhoods – Cornwall Centre

Cornwall Centre was so named due to the fact that it was the centre of Cornwall Township. The Township, in existence from 1788 until 1997, originally comprised nine concessions running from the St. Lawrence River north with 38 lots from east to west.

The Township was proclaimed by Lord Dorchester on July 24 of 1788 and was incorporated in 1850. The First Township Council meeting took place in St. Andrews on January 21, 1850. Until 1855 meetings were conducted in members’ homes or at William Eamer’s hotel. The Township Hall was erected on the front of the east half of Lot 18, Concession 4 on land purchased from John Milroy on June 13, 1855; the Civic Address is now 16,933 Cornwall Centre Road. A shed and fence were added in 1856 and demolished in 1960. The Clerk’s living quarters were attached to the Hall until a 1934 expansion which saw the construction of a separate house for the clerk. Since the clerk was responsible for the Hall in what was a rather remote area, the Council took the unusual step of providing for his residence.


From 1879 Cornwall Twp Map – Twp Hall Location

The building also functioned as a community centre which saw many dances, showers, suppers, socials and even housed the Post Office prior to the advent of rural delivery. Robert R. Anderson was post master from April 01, 1875 until his death on June 11, 1892. J. Mullin took over on March 07, 1893 and remained at his post until the post office closed on December 27, 1913.

cwlctr-w-i_crestThe Cornwall Centre Womens’ Institute (Cornwall Centre Branch of the Stormont Womens’ Institute) was founded on January 25, 1912 and held its final meeting on April 10, 1990.


This photo was taken at the August 13, 1935 meeting of the CCWI at the historic Township Hall. The hall and adjacent residence still stand today (2017).

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 to a converted garage in the former riverview subdivision at 400 St. Felix Street. At that point, the Cornwall Centre W.I., which was already meeting in the old Hall, was given full use of the facility.


400 St. Felix Street in 2016 – Townhouses

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 become the home of the City’s Social Services and today is refashioned into townhouses.

Cwl Ctr Twp Hall_1959-04-17_webThe Township Hall photo above is from 1959. Due to increase in Township business, funds became available and the Hall in Cornwall Centre was renovated starting in 1968; the W.I. left the premises in 1970. The renovations included re-configuring the space as well as bringing the building up to standard with proper washrooms with running water, replacing the oil burner with electric heat and a gas furnace and installing a fire exit in place of a window. The lovely exterior stone walls were largely kept intact. Council met there for the final time on December 17, 1997 as the new Township of South Stormont superseded it. At that time the Municipal Office relocated to and amalgamated with the Osnabruck Municipal Office at the former Osnabruck Township Hall and later moved to the newly built South Stormont Municipal Offices in Long Sault. The building is now privately owned.

cwl-ctr-w-i_0007Cornwall Centre School was located on the north side of Cornwall Centre Road, east of Power Dam Drive.

cwl-ctr-wh-rose-cfWhite Rose was the Cornwall Centre cheese factory in the early 1900s operated by J.S. Tobin and located near the old Township Hall. Later it was operated by Reddick and McNaughton and ca. 1920 by Alex Gibson.Still later Alex and his son Gordon Cameron took over followed by a Labelle and later a Levac. Ca. 1950 it had become a private residence.

Brookshell was located on the north side of Cornwall Centre Road, west of Power Dam Drive.

In February of 1997 a plan was submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs to amalgamate what remained of the Township of Cornwall and the Township of Osnabruck into the new Township of South Stormont. On January 1 of the following year, South Stormont came into existence.

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

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