A message from Cornwall Tourism

As we navigate through this extremely challenging time, we want you to know that Cornwall Tourism is here to support your business, festival or special event in any way we can.

We are working to stay up to date as much as possible on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the tourism industry. We are also consulting frequently with partner organizations and stakeholders. We ask our businesses and community partners to contact us regarding cancellations or any other business impacts from COVID-19 to ensure we can react accordingly as the situation develops.

We will share updates through this page as new information is received, so please check back often. When warranted, we will also send information to our stakeholders via email. If you aren’t already receiving our email newsletters, please take a moment to sign up using the sign-up feature at the bottom of this page.

Please feel free to share updates or concerns with us at the contacts below.

Kevin Lajoie
Tourism Officer
Cornwall Tourism

Amy Malyon
Tourism Coordinator
Cornwall Tourism

Information and Resources

Below you will find a variety of information and resources about COVID-19. Please check back often as this information will be updated on a regular basis.

Choose Cornwall has also developed an extensive digest of news related to COVID-19 for local businesses. Click on the banner below to access it.

Choose Cornwall

  • The Cornwall Tourism Visitor Information Centre and main office – located inside the Cornwall Civic Complex – is currently closed to the public.

    While our main office is closed to walk-in traffic, we’re still open and ready to help. Visitors and residents can contact us by phone at 613-938-4748 or by email at klajoie@cornwall.ca and we will respond to your enquiry as promptly as possible. You can also reach us via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

    Visitors planning a trip to Cornwall can view our 2020 Visitor Guide online (click here to view) or use our online information request form to request a hard copy. These requests will be processed as soon as possible.

    Additional information

  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across its borders. This includes the international border crossing at Cornwall.

    Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

    This measure was implemented on March 21st and will be in place for 30 days, at which point it will be reviewed by both parties.

    For more information, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.

  • Wednesday, April 29th

    City supporting local small businesses

    In order to provide emergency relief and to support efforts by local business owners to improve their operations, the City of Cornwall has launched the Cornwall Small Business Emergency Support Loan program. Qualifying businesses are eligible for an interest-free loan of up to $5,000 to offset the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Additional information

    Wednesday, April 22nd

    Regional business survey launched

    A new survey has been launched to gain a better understanding of how COVID-19 has affected local businesses in Cornwall and SDG Counties. The survey results will help guide local Councils when developing recovery programs and community support. The survey closes on April 30th.

    Click here to access the survey

    Tuesday, April 14th

    Ontario extends emergency declaration

    On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days.

    Additional information

    Thursday, April 9th

    Minister announces next steps

    In a teletown hall with over 1,000 tourism stakeholders across Ontario, Minister Lisa MacLeod announced nearly $100 million in funding and the creation of 14 sector advisory committees to advise the ministry on recovery efforts.

    “We will recover, we will rebuild and we will emerge stronger than ever,” said Minister MacLeod.

    Additional information

    Thursday, April 2nd

    TIAO launches survey

    The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario has launched a new survey to gather up-to-date information from tourism businesses on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey closes Monday at 8 am.

    Additional information

    Source: Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

    Wednesday, April 1st

    Parks of the St. Lawrence closes parks and public spaces

    The St. Lawrence Parks Commission has temporarily closed visitor and vehicle access to all of its outdoor parks, public spaces, trails and amenities. This applies to all visitors including recreational walkers and dog walkers. The parks commission manages Upper Canada Village, the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary, the campsites of the Long Sault Parkway and other properties in eastern Ontario.

    Additional information

    Source: Parks of the St. Lawrence

    Tuesday, March 31st

    TIAO releases Immediate Impact Management Strategy

    Today the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) released an Immediate Impact Management Strategy that outlines necessary actions that will help stabilize tourism industries and position them to weather the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Additional information

    Source: Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

    Monday, March 30th

    Ontario extends emergency declaration

    This new order would close all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario, including but not limited to playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment, condo parks and gardens, and other outdoor recreational amenities.

    Additional information

    Source: Government of Ontario

    Update from Chief Medical Officer

    Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued a new statement today in response to COVID-19.

    Additional information

    Source: Government of Ontario

    New COVID-19 website

    The province of Ontario has launched a new dedicated website for COVID-19 to provided expanded information on the pandemic.

    Visit website

    Source: Government of Ontario

    Friday, March 27th

    PM announces additional support for small businesses

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These include:

    – A 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses
    – Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June
    – Launch of the Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses.

    Additional information

    Source: Government of Canada

    Relief proposal for tourism, hospitality & foodservice

    Restaurants Canada, the Hotel Association of Canada, and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada have issued a joint proposal for stronger relief measures to help businesses across these sectors survive the impact of COVID-19. They are looking for support from businesses in these sectors.

    Additional information

    Source: Tourism Industry Association of Canada

    Thursday, March 26th

    Update from Tourism Minister

    On Thursday, Lisa MacLeod, the Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture, hosted a conference call with stakeholders across the province to provide an update on actions being taken by her government. The Minister highlighted 10 specific actions being taken:

    1 – The Tourism Development Fund is being repurposed to the Tourism Development and Recovery Fund and is being increased from $500,000 to $1.5 million

    2 – The government is working with industry partners on an online marketplace and town centre for all Ontarians to access concerts, art, digital gallery and museum tours and attraction prepurchases. An initial investment of $150,000 has been made to match community contributions to give musicians a platform to do concerts from the safety of their homes.

    3 – Destination Ontario is actively working on a marketing program that will let the world know that when they are ready to travel and when we are a safe environment to accept them back, we will be ready.

    4 – The government will be allowing all licensed restaurants, bars and pubs to sell and deliver unopened alcohol at their establishments.

    5 – The Ministry has provided lists of hotels to other Ministries to be used in the event hospitals and other facilities need capacity due to social distancing. The province’s recent economic statement earmarked $341 million should this be required.

    6 – The Ministry is revising regulations to allow contract and freelance workers to receive Ontario’s three refundable film and TV tax credits while at the same time working to streamline the time it takes to complete them.
    7. The $7 Million Ontario Music Fund is being retooled to flow more funding immediately during this crisis.

    8. Despite the postponement of the Olympics, the $10 million Quest for Gold and Sport Hosting events funding will still be available.

    9. Celebrate Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and Trillium Grant funds will flow even if events are forced to cancel.

    10. Local libraries, community museums and governments agencies and attractions will see their funding flow very quickly so when it is safe to do so, they can open their doors again to the public.

    Cornwall Tourism is seeking additional information on these announcements and how they can potentially benefit the local tourism industry. Stay tuned for updates.

    Source: Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

  • Small Business Emergency Support Loan

    In order to provide emergency relief and to support efforts by local business owners to improve their operations, the City of Cornwall has launched the Cornwall Small Business Emergency Support Loan program. Qualifying businesses are eligible for an interest-free loan of up to $5,000 to offset the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

    For additional information, please click here.

    Seminar on assistance for businesses

    Join Andrew Seguin, Founder of Seguin Financial, for a free seminar for local businesses to better understand the new financial assistance programs for businesses coping with COVID-19. The seminar is taking place Friday, April 24th from 12 pm to 1:30 pm.

    To register, please click here.

    Deferral of remittance of MAT

    In an attempt to assist local accommodation providers with cash flow and ease the burden during this difficult time, the City of Cornwall is providing hotels, motels and other accommodation providers with the option to defer Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) remittances until August 31, 2020.

    This temporary change would affect remittances for the period of January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, due on April 30, 2020 and July 31, 2020 respectively.

    Accommodation partners who have questions with respect to the MAT remittance process are asked to contact Nicole Svenson in the City’s Finance Department at 613-930-2787 ext. 2313 or by email.

    Free webinars for business owners

    The Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre is hosting three free webinars for businesses on the following topics:

    How to Manage Your Cash Flow Through the Covid-19 Crisis (March 30th at 10 am)
    Link to cash-flow planning resource

    How To Market Your Business Through the Covid-19 Crisis (April 1st at 10 am)

    How to Operate Remotely and Online Through the Covid-19 Crisis (April 3rd at 10 am)

    For additional information and to register, please click here.

    Government supports

    The provincial and federal governments have announced a variety of supports for business owners. These include deferral of WSIB premium payments, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Credit and more. You can find info on these initiatives and many more, as well as a useful Guide to Government Supports, on the ChooseCornwall.ca website.

    Choose Cornwall

    Deferral of taxes

    The City of Cornwall has postponed the first and second instalments of interim taxation. Property tax payments that would be otherwise due on March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020 have been deferred to May 15, 2020 and June 15, 2020, respectively.

    For additional information, please click here.


  • Regional Tourism Organization 9

    RTO 9 – which covers eastern Ontario and Cornwall – has a dedicated page of information for the tourism industry about COVID-19.

    RTO 9 website
    RTO 9 Facebook page
    RTO 9 Twitter page

    Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

    TIAO is the voice of tourism in Ontario. The organization has been in regular contact with provincial authorities regarding COVID-19 and support for the tourism industry.

    TIAO website
    TIAO Facebook page
    TIAO Twitter page

    Tourism Industry Association of Canada

    TIAC has a variety of great resources for tourism businesses regarding the coronarivus pandemic.

    TIAC website
    TIAC Twitter page

    Destination Canada

    Destination Canada has resources and industry links for businesses that rely on the visitor economy.

    Destination Canada website
    Destination Canada Twitter page

  • The Tourism Development Corporation of Cornwall (TDCC) is remaining hopeful at this time.  They are continuing to review applications as scheduled, however, until the pandemic subsides, all awarded funds will be conditional on the event taking place.  As a reminder the TDCC is not accepting applications for the month of April as a scheduled pause in order to review and refine the application form and process.

    Events that have been effected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that have already received funds from the Tourism Development Fund, will be contacted by the TDCC to discuss the most effective solution.

    The TDCC is cognizant that this pandemic will effect the MAT collection and therefore the funds that will be available for distribution in 2021.  Members of the TDCC Board will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the best course of action is taken so that when the physical distancing is lifted Cornwall will be ready to receive visitors and offer the same great festivals, events and gatherings as we always have.

    For more information on the Tourism Development Fund, please click here.

  • Hotel outlook

    CBRE Hotels Research has released a preliminary 2020 forecast that analyzes the impact of the pandemic on U.S. hotel performance and provides insight as to how hotels may start to recover in the back half of the year.
    Link to more info

    Chamber survey

    A recent Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce survey concluded that many businesses will struggle to survive the pandemic.
    Link to more info

    Tourism employment

    Tourism HR Canada recently provided a snapshot of COVID-19’s impact on tourism employment.
    Link to more info

    International travel

    The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has revised its 2020 prospects for international tourist arrivals to a negative growth of 1% to 3%. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, UNWTO predicted a positive growth of 3% to 4% for this year.
    Link to more info

  • Public health updates

    For the latest information on public health efforts regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit:

    Eastern Ontario Health Unit
    Cornwall Community Hospital
    Government of Ontario
    Government of Canada

    City of Cornwall closures and service changes

    For the latest on City of Cornwall facility closures and service changes as a result of COVID-19, please visit:

    City of Cornwall

    Choose Cornwall Business Digest

    Choose Cornwall has created an extensive information digest for local businesses regarding COVID-19.

    Choose Cornwall

  • Community Support Helpline

    613-933-6282 ext. 3129

    Municipal Services


    Ontario Stop the Spread Business Info Line


    National Coronavirus Info Line