Welcome to Heritage-Patrimoine Cornwall

Municipal Heritage Committee, Cornwall Ontario

Heritage Awards

Created in 2017 for Canada’s 150th birthday, the annual Heritage Awards program nominates property owners who demonstrate passion and creativity in restoring their heritage buildings.

2021 Winners

This residence at 321 Amelia St owned by Gerald and Shirley Wood, historically is the former Beth-El Synagogue. The Synagogue was founded and built by Julius Miller, the president of the Jewish Congregation, in 1924. The congregation purchased the lot for $1150.00 The new Synagogue was opened in 1925. The cornerstone was laid by Aaron Horovitz and the official opening presided by Mrs Elizabeth Miller(mother of Julius Miller). In 1946, the barracks from Wartime Army Basic Training Centre on Marlborough St were sold off and the congregation bought one and had it moved to the property. They used it as a social hall and had many social events and celebrations.

On April 2, 2006, the Jewish community in Cornwall celebrated their five-decade history in the city, but it was also the day the Synagogue was closing its’ doors.

It was a sad, emotional day for Cornwall’s Jewish community, but a moving tribute to a vibrant congregation, one of the oldest of Ontario’s small Jewish communities.

Moving ahead to 2009, the Synagogue remained vacant and in need of some attention. Gerald and Shirley came to Cornwall from Kingston, to look at a Victorian home they were interested in buying. The home was not what they wanted, but they decided to have a look at the Synagogue. Shirley, an interior designer by profession, saw potential in this property and she had a vision for its’ renovation, even in its’ dilapidated state. They completely gutted the church interior and worked to bring Shirley’s vision to fruition. This undertaking took a painstakingly 2½ years to finish. The church space is now an open concept, formal living room and dining room with high ceilings. The bedrooms and kitchen occupy the back of the home, with a total of 3000 square ft of living space.

Shirley and Gerald saw potential in this historically significant building, a heritage gem, and proceeded passionately to make their dream a reality.

Heritage-Patrimoine Cornwall is pleased to present this Heritage Award to them and as Gerald said, “Shirley deserves the honour.” She saw potential in restoring an old building, a Synagogue, and repurposing the space for a new use, a home!

2020 Winners

6 Second St. E. – Pommier Jewellers

That particular corner of Pitt and Second Street has seen a lot of different structures over time. From a general store, banks and grocers, and restaurants, until 2010, when Truffles Burger Bar burnt and the vacant space became the Pommier Courtyard.

Pommier Jewellers started in 1877 in Ottawa and relocated to Cornwall in 1937. In 1986 the family-owned business moved its present location in the heart of downtown. The property went through extensive renovations in 2013, conscious of maintaining its heritage character. The expansion redefined the shopping space.

The beautiful Pommier Square, with its outdoor chiming clock, has become a hub for many community gatherings, most recently providing musical entertainment for the art walks.

121-125 Adolphus St. – Bruce Russell, owner

The crown patent for the land was issued in the early 1800s to Simon Fraser. Material from St. John’s Presbyterian Church was used in the building back in 1860. The most intriguing portion of the building is undoubtedly the tower that rises from the central entrance hall and ascends to a bell-cast roof and spire. The property is now divided into three apartments, and care has been taken to preserve and maintain the original features. The house and property are well-maintained, and the interior had kept its historical character.

2019 Winners

Former Cline House ​208 Second St. East 

Heritage Award was presented to Melanie Baker-Brown for the beautiful design and refurbishment of the Cline House Gallery on Second St The Cline House is a designated heritage property built in the late 1850s for Samuel Cline, a prominent merchant, and businessman. It remained in the Cline family until 1955 when the Cornwall Public Library Board purchased the building and land and served as a library until the new library moved to its’ present location. The building has undergone changes and alterations but the solidly built red brick façade and some interior architectural features of the era remain. 

Valley Garden Retirement 1320 Lisieux St.

Heritage Award presented to the Normand Peladeau Family and Alain Lanthier.

The Peladeau Family purchased the former St. Lisieux School repurposing the building and renovated the interior to turn it into a premier retirement facility for the seniors in our community, calling it Valley Garden Cornwall. Repurposing heritage buildings, for example, Churches and schools that have closed for various reasons are much more economical and environmentally sustainable and the buildings can be used for generations to come.​ 

Riverfront Retirement Home 1810 Montreal Rd. 

Normand​ Peladeau and Alain Lanthier also purchased the former East Front School overlooking the St Lawrence River. They are renovating and refurbishing the interior, naming it the Riverfront Retirement Centre. The “The Little Red School House” as it was known, was built in 1934 and housed public school children in the eastern portions of the city. It was added onto in the 1980s and ’90s. Mr. Peladeau and Mr. Lanthier have preserved the façade of the 1934 building, reconfigured the windows, but it has remained a part of the new development.   

2018 Winners

Sean Adams Lawyers Office 305 Second St. E.

Sean Adams and his father before him have always maintained the building repointing the brickwork and replacing crumbling window surrounds, seeking out original materials. He has done some interior renovation and maintenance, refinishing the original floors, woodwork and adding heritage fixtures and hardware reminiscent of the era the residence was built. He keeps the gardens and grounds of the property immaculate and well groomed. The house was built in1874 in the Italianate style by William Mattice, a prominent figure in Cornwall’s history. Italianate architecture is colourful and highly decorative. The defining prominent feature of this residence is the white belvedere located on the roof with a crowning decorative finial. The cornice of the belvedere is supported by ornate modillions. Simple pilasters adorn the four corners. The belvedere is lit up with white twinkling lights at the Christmas season. The entrance is neoclassical and is typical of the Italianate style with a projecting pediment. The arched windows are long and narrow, typical of the style with “eyebrow ike” segmentally arched windows. The quoins with limestone covering create an appealing image with the deep red brick. The addition on the east side was built in the 1980 and was sensitively constructed to blend in with the 1874 portion.The Heritage Award was presented to Mr. Sean Adams, the owner.  Congratulation and thank you for preserving our heritage! 

Bernadette and Richard McRae 434 Sydney St.

The frame house was built in 1886 by Duncan Munroe who constructed a number of homes on the west side of Sydney St and south of Fifth St. He rented them to employees. They were featured in the Cornwall Old Boys Reunion of 1906 as the “Munroe Cottages.” After Duncan Munroe’s death, the people living in the houses could buy them for $9000.

Duncan Munroe, a Presbyterian was Cornwall’s “Insurance King”. He was instrumental in forming a committee of local businessmen in April 1887 to establish the Stormont Electric Light and Power Company. They pooled their resources and bought the Hodge Woolen Mill power site for $25,000 and installed 500 light generators. In four months the main streets of Cornwall were lit up with electricity including Sydney St. Munroe was a founding member(1886) of a men’s fraternal

club “The Cornwall Club” at 42 Second St. He was a member of the “Son’s of Scotland”, the “St Andrew’s Society” and the Local Orange Lodge(founded in 1857). He became Master of that lodge when it was incorporated in 1895 and named Munroe Loyal Orange, no 880 in his honour. He was a benefactor of the Cornwall High School Cadet Corp along with Mrs John McMartin, who outfitted them with kilts, making it one of the few, kilted units in the province.

2017 Winners

Chesley'Inn 40 First St. W. Robert Prowse

Built in 1814 and heritage designated in 1987, Chesley’s Inn, Cornwall’s first Inn has been brought back to life as its original purpose thanks to Mr. Robert Prowse who has worked relentlessly to rehabilitate it into a Bed and Breakfast. ​Cornwall’s first Inn was owned by the Chesley family. The family was prominent in Cornwall during the nineteenth century, producing shopkeepers, innkeepers, and even a former mayor of Cornwall. The structure is a wonderful example of Georgian architecture.

Boys & Girls Club Cornwall 506 First St. E.​

The second award was presented to the board of the Boys and Girls Club who bought and refurbished the historic Church of the Good Shepherd, an Anglican parish, in 2008. The church is believed to be “Gothic Revival” with other styles apparent. It has an attached wooden parish hall, which was the original Church built by Rev. Cannon J.J. Mountain in 1886. The Church of the Good Shepherd had its’ last service on July 4, 2004 after 118 years. The church was the spiritual foundation for generations of families.

Central Public School - 200 Amelia St.

In 2005 the old school was demolished but the new school was built on the same historical site in the centre of the town and designed by Kingston’s Colbourne and Kembel. Rhonda Horne-McQuay was the principal architect on the project and charged with the task of designing a new school that incorporated the historical façade. The school is heritage designated for the surviving structural elements from the 1931 addition to the front façade of the building which complements aspects of the 1883 design. The portion that was saved is shown above. It is now part of the internal entrance and exit to the school library, also shown above. 

229 Sydney St. - James and Timo Edney-Lepage

In 1896, a Pitt St businessman named Gordon Phillips purchased property on the adjacent street in Cornwall for the sum of $700. Mr. Phillips ad his beautiful home at 229 Sydney St constructed that same year by Ross Construction Company. Mr Phillips owned a business that dealt with home furnishings, with newspaper adds boasting that he “sold the best lines of stoves and is known for varieties of kitchen and cooking utensils” He also was a tinsmith and did plumbing work on the side., having installed many furnaces in churches, public buildings and private homes in Cornwall.

Today the “Phillips House” is one of Sydney Streets most glamorous homes, possessing nearly all of its’ original features. The house has since been painted an eye-catching shade of blue, giving it one more reason to stand out on the street.