Merkley's Efforts in Downtown Revitalization Recognized

By Bob Peters
March 2, 2012

Bryan MerkleyCornwall’s Downtown and Le Village commercial areas have undergone a significant transformation in recent years. New businesses have opened and dozens of storefronts have been upgraded, creating a welcoming atmosphere for both local residents and visitors alike.

This renewal didn’t happen by chance. The seeds were planted 12 years ago when the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce launched Heart of the City, an ambitious initiative to revitalize Cornwall’s urban core.

The business community, the City of Cornwall and numerous community organizations wasted no time in throwing their support behind the initiative, and committees were formed to take the next steps. Little by little, the revitalization plan took shape as a group of committed volunteers rallied support and sought out funding to help turn a vision into action.

One of those committed volunteers is Bryan Merkley. A downtown business owner (Cornwall Career College) and long-time member of the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), Mr. Merkley has been a driving force behind Heart of the City for numerous years, and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Mr. Merkley was recently recognized for his efforts on Downtown revitalization as he received the 2011 Above and Beyond Award at the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

“There’s a lot of people that deserve this,” said Mr. Merkley upon accepting the award. “Many of us are very pleased with what we see in the Downtown and we think it’s only going to get better.”

Cornwall City Councillor Denis Carr said Mr. Merkley was a fitting recipient for the award. As the point person for Heart of the City, Councillor Carr has seen Mr. Merkley give freely of his time to attend meetings, seek out funding opportunities and assist other business owners to upgrade their buildings.

“He’s a tireless worker and he’s given a lot of his own time to improve the Downtown,” said Councillor Carr. “His efforts have been instrumental in the overall revitalization of our urban core, and you can see the results.”

In addition to his work with the DBIA and Heart of the City, Mr. Merkley is also involved with Centretown Cornwall, a multi-year revitalization project that builds on the work of Heart of the City by focusing on economic development, organizational development, marketing and promotions and physical improvements.

For more information on Heart of the City and Centretown Cornwall, please visit

About the Business Excellence Awards

The Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards is a distinguished Cornwall tradition established in 1988. The Awards recognize outstanding achievements by Cornwall area businesses and individuals in the fields of commerce, community work and/or innovation. The awards ceremony, coupled with the presentation of the coveted Citizen of the Year Award, is one of Cornwall’s most prestigious annual affairs.

For more information on the Chamber of Commerce, please visit


Category: Business