30 Things to See and Do During Lift-Off

By Kevin Lajoie and Bob Peters
July 12, 2012

Each July, Lamoureux Park becomes a hub of activity for Cornwall’s biggest summer celebration, Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off. From the carnival rides and majestic hot air balloons to the children’s activities and big-name entertainment on stage, there’s definitely no shortage of things to see and do during this four-day event.

But the fun doesn’t stop with Lift-Off. The festival also provides an opportunity for visitors to explore all of the great things that Cornwall has to offer. Great restaurants, shops and attractions are just steps away in Cornwall’s Downtown and Le Village business districts. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 30 things to do in Le Village and Downtown during Lift-Off!

  1. Celebrate in Style. Check out the eclectic shops of Downtown Cornwall to gear up for Lift-Off. There are too many to mention here, but you can start with Life's Little Pleasures, Aube Freres, Pommier Jewellers - to name just a few.
  2. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Memory Lane Sweets. Cool off with some artisan handmade gelato or choose from dozens of retro candy choices at this funky little candy bistro on Pitt Street.
  3. Stay Cool by Getting Wet. Escape the heat by cooling down at the Splash Pad in Lamoureux Park. A great spot for the entire family.
  4. Grab a sandwich at Riley’s Bakery . A Pitt Street landmark, Riley’s is an old-fashioned bakery with old-fashioned prices and massive sandwiches that are sure to satisfy any appetite. The fresh donuts and cookies are also a must.
  5. Visit one of the oldest jails in Canada. The Historic Cornwall Jail ceased operations on Water Street several years ago and it is now open for self-guided tours.
  6. Step Back in Time. Explore Cornwall's past at the Cornwall Community Museum, located right in Lamoureux Park near the Splash Pad. The Museum is divided so that each room reflects a different time period, from the early 1800s to the 1950s! On Sunday afternoons, families can also take part in some free old-fashioned activities.
  7. Relax on the Patio. A favourite restaurant and nightspot, Schnitzels European Flavours on Pitt Street has 15 beers on tap including a variety of world brews and local favourites such as Beau’s from nearby Vankleek Hill. Be sure sto also check out their wood-fired pizza.
  8. Unwind at The Grind . Recharge your batteries while enjoying a delicious beverage and a treat in this popular coffee shop on Second Street East. While your there, be sure to check out the fantastic local artwork that adorns the walls.
  9. Rent a bicycle. Wheel out of Bicycle World on Pitt Street wheel to explore Cornwall’s beautiful waterfront along the scenic Recreational Path, which stretches from one end of the City to the other. Bicycle World also has tandems and kids trailers available to rent.
  10. Take the plunge at the Aquatic Centre. Cornwall's indoor aquatic facility features a six-lane, 25-meter pool along with a two-storey waterslide, a toddler leisure pool and a spacious whirlpool. Right next to the Complex in Lamoureux Park.
  11. Take a Bite of Buffalo. Experience the exotic tastes of buffalo, venison and alligator at the Truffles Burger Bar on Pitt Street.
  12. Korner the Kids. If you have little one (or two) in tow, pop into Kid's Korner on Pitt Street for a wide selection of Kid's books and toys.
  13. Explore Cornwall’s rich sports history. Check in to the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame (inside the Civic Complex) and view photos of local sports heroes from days gone by. Be sure to check out the shrine to the Memorial Cup champion Cornwall Royals!
  14. Get back to Nature. Be sure to check out the Eco Gardens on the far west end of Lamoueux Park. This area has been kept natural, and features nature paths, a great lookout spot along the St. Lawrence River - and even a small waterfall.
  15. Check in at the Library. The Cornwall Public Library on Second Street East is a great spot to relax and recharge your creative batteries.
  16. Take a bite out of great pizza. Cornwall is well known for its great pizza – not just the quality but the variety as well. There are number of old-fashion pizza joints  that tantalize the tastebuds of residents and visitors alike. One such place you'll want to visit is Riverside Restaurant on Montreal Road. According to one online reviewer, it’s “not only the best pizza in North America but the best in the world.”
  17. Delve into the Deli. Moustache Joes on Pitt Street is a great little deli offering authentic Italian fare - great for take-out or sit-down dining. Dish Real Food on Second Street East is another great choice for take-out.
  18. Air Conditioned Shopping. The Cornwall Square Mall is home to dozens of national retailers and restaurants. Enjoy some authentic Lebanese cuisine from Cedars, a lunchtime staple for many Cornwallites.
  19. Wiggle and Giggle. Keep your toddlers entertained with a visit to Wiggles & Giggles Kingdom on Second Street West. Wiggles & Giggles features a large indoor play structure that is sure to provide hours of fun for your little one.
  20. Take to the Water. Take a tour along the St. Lawrence River via the boat launch at Lamoureux Park or rent dock space at the Downtown Marina 200.
  21. Check out the Market. Take some time to visit the Cornwall Farmers Market on Pitt Street and check out the stalls from local farmers and artisans.
  22. Late Night Snacks. Whether you’re craving a late-night snack or a hearty breakfast to kickstart the day, you can never go wrong with a visit to Napoleon Delicatessen  on  Montreal Road.
  23. Live Music at La Maison. When it comes to live music in Cornwall, you’ll likely find it at La Maison Tavern in the City's east end. The bar’s stage is frequented by both local artists and out-of-town performers on a regular basis. Legend has it that ‘The King’ himself, Elvis Presley, once stayed here when it used to be a hotel!
  24. Tune in to the Melody. If you’re a musician, a visit to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Melody Music on Pitt Street. This longstanding business has a huge line of products ranging from guitars and amps to drums and keyboards – and even ukuleles!
  25. Swing Some Clubs. The Cornwall area has some great golf courses, none better that Summerheights Golf Links on South Brand Road which features 36 holes. If mini-putt is more your game, check out Archie's Golf Centre on Vincent Massey Drive.
  26. Wing it at the Wing. A great spot to view the balloons is the patio at the RCAF Wing... which just happens to boast some of the City's best chicken wings!
  27. Enjoy a movie at the Port. The Port Theatre on Montreal Road is a Le Village landmark that offers patrons an old-fashioned movie-going experience, and the popcorn is second to none (tip: don’t be shy to ask for a refill).
  28. Rent some ice (or grass). Want to combine some athletic activity with your vacation? Drop by the new $32 million Benson Centre on Seventh Street, a state of the art mult-sport facility that has 3 rinks, a field house and indoor tennis court.
  29. Electricify Your Visit. Learn all you ever needed to know about hydroelectricity at the new and very neat St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre at the R.H. Saunders Power Dam at the far end of Second Street West..
  30. Appreciate some Art. Take a moment to explore Cornwall's artistic side at the Cornwall Regional Art Gallery on Pitt Street.

Clearly the above list doesn't cover everything! For more complete visitor information, please pick up a copy of the Cornwall Visitor Guide at the Cornwall and The Counties Tourism, located just across the street from Lamoureux Park! They can be reached at 613.938.4748 or online at

Click here for a quick guide to Lift-Off 2012.

Category: Community