Cornwall (Ont)

Cornwall, ON, incorporated as a city in 1945, population 46,340 (2011c), 45,965 (2006c).

Cornwall, ON, incorporated as a city in 1945, population 46,340 (2011c), 45,965 (2006c). The City of Cornwall, seat of the counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, is located on the St Lawrence River, 110 km southwest of Montréal. Founded in 1784 as a Loyalist settlement by veterans of Sir John Johnson's regiment, it was called New Johnstown and renamed Cornwall for the Prince of Wales (also duke of Cornwall) by the 1790s. A regional administrative centre, it was also an important transshipment point until completion of the upper St Lawrence canals in the 1840s and the Grand Trunk Railway in 1856. In the 1870s and 1880s several textile and paper mills located here, revitalizing the community and drawing a large French-speaking work force from Québec.

Today about half of Cornwall's inhabitants are of French origin. Domtar Fine Papers is a major employer, augmented by light manufacturing and by firms involved in research and development. Construction of the St Lawrence Seaway and of a hydroelectric generating station in the late 1950s brought temporary prosperity. The city is now trying to widen its industrial base and develop as a tourism centre. Cornwall has a campus of St Lawrence Coll of Applied Arts and Technology and a satellite campus of U of Ottawa. It has one of the oldest courthouses in the province (1833) and a restored "Regency Cottage" museum, Inverarden (1816). Though Inverarden is currently closed to the public, many of the cottage's artifacts are now held at the Cornwall Community Museum.