7 ways to explore Cornwall online

March 22, 2020

The current COVID-19 situation has prompted all of us to adopt social distancing and take a break from our usual habits. This means more time at home and less time out exploring with family and friends.

Fortunately, there’s still a bunch of ways for visitors and residents to enjoy Cornwall, even from the comfort of home! We’ve put together a list of ways to explore Cornwall online. From the mighty St. Lawrence to the Waterfront Trail to the Cornwall of days past, you’re sure to discover something new.

Time to get clicking!

Tour the Waterfront Trail

Waterfront Trail
Waterfront Trail on Google Street View

The Waterfront Trail is one of Cornwall’s most popular and beloved attractions. Stretching from Gray’s Creek in the east to Guindon Park in the west, the Waterfront Trail runs the entire length of the city, offering amazing views of the St. Lawrence River and the Cornwall Canal. And it’s completely off road!

The trail winds through beautiful Lamoureux Park and connects to a number of attractions including the Cornwall Community Museum, the Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre, Marina 200 and the Cornwall BMX Track.

It’s definitely worth exploring, and you can even explore it virtually. A street-level view of the trail is now available on Google Maps via Street View, providing a step-by-step look at the entire trail! Zoom in on your favourite section of the trail and start scouting your next adventure!

Click here for the Cornwall Waterfront Trail Street View

Get lost in the trees

Lamoureux Park has a lot of amazing features. One lesser-known feature is the Arboretum. Located between the Cornwall Community Museum, the Waterfront Trail and the Rotary Eco-Gardens, the Arboretum features 44 different types of tree species that make up Cornwall’s tree canopy in one convenient location.

The species are planted in pairs and each one has a tag identifying it. It’s a fun way to learn about the various types of trees that you’ll see around Cornwall.

You can also take the Arboretum tour online thanks to an interactive map!

Click here for the Lamoureux Park Arboretum virtual map

Magical history tour

Spearheaded by Cornwall’s Heart of the City, the Cornwall Historic Walking Tour features several dozen plaques with each one showcasing a different piece of Cornwall’s past. The plaques – scattered throughout the waterfront, Downtown, Le Village and other locales – feature amazing artwork by Pierre Giroux and serve to highlight Cornwall’s rich history in a whole new way.

You can even do the tour virtually from the comfort of your own home through an interactive story map. View the plaque locations, the artwork and the stories behind each installation from your computer, smartphone or mobile device!

Click here for the virtual Cornwall Historic Walking Tour

Related: Take a virtual history tour of Cornwall

World-class waters

The Florida father-son duo of Roland and Scott Martin are two of the biggest names in fishing on the continent. In October, they came to Cornwall to see what our world-class bass fishery was all about as participants in the 2019 Cornwall SDG Counties Pan Am Bass Championship.

The result? Lots of bass. Big ones.

“This river right here… it’s the best small-mouth (bass) fishing I have ever seen in my life,” Scott said in a video on his YouTube channel (with 500,000 subscribers) at the end of the championship. “I don’t have the words for it. I really don’t. You just need to come up here and experience it. It’s crazy.”

Grab some popcorn and watch as the Martins and other members of USA Bass take off from Marina 200 in search of a Pan Am gold medal. Spoiler alert – you’ll see lot of giant bass (and a trophy musky too)!

Click here to watch the Pan Am Bass Championship video

Cornwall then and now

The landscape of Cornwall has changed a great deal over the past century. Free trade and global economic forces lead to the demise of major industries like the cotton mills, Domtar and Courtaulds. Fires caused the Downtown to be rebuilt while the St. Lawrence Seaway and Hydro Project completely transformed the waterfront.

The change is significant – and it’s easier to visualize than ever before thanks to a cool web app built by the City of Cornwall’s GIS Specialist Denis Lalonde. The City of Cornwall Circa 1929 Map superimposes aerial photographs from that date with current aerial photos of the city, allowing the user to hover over entire neighbourhoods and see the physical change side-by-side.

After checking out your favourite neighbourhood, make sure to zoom in on Lamoureux Park and the cotton mills area. Then scroll west and you can see what Cornwall looked like before the R.H. Saunders Generating Station was built. You can even see the lost village of Mille Roches and the hamlet of Maple Grove – two of the communities that were inundated as part of the Seaway and Hydro Project.

Click here for the City of Cornwall Circa 1929 Map

Hometown heroes

Cornwall has a rich sports legacy filled with championship athletes at all levels and disciplines. These local heroes are recognized with a place in the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame inside the Cornwall Civic Complex.

The Hall features an amazing collection of photographs along with one-of-a-kind pieces of memorabilia. And there’s also a digital version of the Hall, where you can learn more about the hundreds of local athletes who have made their mark on the world of sport.

Take a virtual tour at the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame website and read about legends like Newsy Lalonde, Lori Dupuis and Moe Racine.

Click here for the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame website

Library learning

The Cornwall Public Library is one of the biggest anchors of Downtown Cornwall, drawing visitors of all ages with its amazing collections and trendy environment. Like many other public buildings, the Library is currently closed to the public but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy its offerings.

The Library has a wide variety of eResources available to enjoy – everything from recipes to emagazines, music and more. With hoopla, users can instantly borrow ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, music and more around the clock with their library card!

Click here for the Cornwall Public Library eResources


Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Check out the Explore section of our website for information on attractions, heritage experiences, outdoor adventure and much more!

Article by Kevin Lajoie