Choosing Cornwall - One Woman's Story

By Bob Peters
May 30, 2012

Candace ZimmerWhen Candace Zimmer first found out that her husband was being transferred to Cornwall, she had trepidations. After all, she really didn’t know Cornwall that well.

“I was unsure of the city but I quickly started to realize how great it is and all the benefits we have living here,” she recalls. “Cornwall offers all of the amenities of a big city, but with a warm, community feel.”

Candace and her family quickly took advantage of Cornwall’s amazingly low housing costs, and were able to afford a beautiful house on a large lot. The average cost of a house in Cornwall is around $160,000 giving new home buyers more house to choose from compared to larger cities. With new waterfront condos currently being sold in a heritage mill complex, and a new retirement residence nearing completion along the St. Lawrence River, the choices are expanding every day. Add in some of the lowest electrical costs in Ontario, and the fact that the City has no development charges, people moving to Cornwall have a tidy financial windfall that they can use to invest in their dreams.

For Candace, that dream was to open her own medical aesthetics clinic - Vitalglow. Having been in the aesthetics industry for a decade, she saw an opportunity to offer big city treatments such as thermage, botox and skin resurfacing at smaller city prices. She had originally thought about opening in the Gatineau area but quickly saw that a Cornwall location would allow her to keep prices affordable due to lower overhead costs. The fact that Cornwall was an easy drive from Ottawa also meant that she could service clients from across Eastern Ontario.

“Our Cornwall clinic offers an intimate atmosphere and allows us to really get to know and understand each of our clients’ needs and desires,” she says. “I have had such great support from people all over the Cornwall area, which has allowed me to establish myself and my business in a short amount of time.”

Of course Candace’s life is more than just her home and her clinic. As the mother of three active children, she knows full well the importance of good mix of community amenities. In this regard, Cornwall shines. It offers a modern urban environment with full City transit, public library, good shopping and a great mix of restaurants. The City has invested heavily in recreational facilities and the Cornwall Hospital is just wrapping up a major redevelopment project. Arts and culture are flourishing in the City, adding life to a downtown that features a massive waterfront park and over 75 km of recreational trails.

“Our kids enjoy the benefits of the sports programming, the new Benson Centre (multi-sport recreation facility),” says Candace. “Their schools are small but the teachers and parents are so friendly and always involved!”

With Vitalglow a smashing success, and all calm on the home front, Candace knows Cornwall is now home for her family.

“We have great friends, neighbours, and colleagues throughout the city. We can't imagine living anywhere else!”

For more information on living in Cornwall, please check out the Live In Cornwall section of this website.

For more informaton on Vitalglow, please visit

The above story originally appeared in the Summer 2012 edition of Ottawa Family Living magazine.


Category: Business