Cornwall & The Counties
The eastern Ontario city of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG) that surround it is a destination brimming with local charm.
Named after the English Duchy of Cornwall, this Canadian city stands out for its balance of contemporary living and natural beauty. Together with ‘the Counties’, Cornwall is part of the 1000 Islands community, located on the St. Lawrence River. Explore the natural history that shaped Cornwall and the Counties. Join the locals for some of the best fishing in all of Canada, right on the riverbank. Sample award-winning artisan cheese that's out-of-the-world. Listen for ghostly bells in St. Raphael’s Ruins. Coast your bike along the Waterfront Trail. Learn about the Indigenous Community at the Akwesasne Cultural Centre. Experience 19th rural life at Upper Canada Village. And cozy up in a local restaurant or craft house brewery.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Cornwall & The Counties, scroll down or visit the region's tourism website.
Where is Cornwall & The Counties?
Nestled in the corner of Southeastern Ontario, Cornwall and the Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG) are approximately 100 km south of Ottawa and 120 km east of Montreal. Cornwall also provides a border-crossing with the United States of America, connecting with Massena, New York, via the Three Nations Crossing.
Things to Do in Cornwall & The Counties
Once known for paper mills and smokestacks, Cornwall has embraced its history, a source of great character in the small city. The star of the show is the St. Lawrence River. With this beautiful river on the doorstep, Cornwall & The Counties make an excellent destination for freshwater fishing.
Cornwall’s riverside lies along the famous Waterfront Trail. This series of tracks and trails covers 2,100 km from Quebec to the Great Lakes and connects with many heritage and natural highlights. For example, Gray’s Creek Conservation Area is located a few minutes northeast of Cornwall. It has a network of cycling and hiking trails to enjoy all year round. Lamoureux Park in Downtown Cornwall is popular with locals and tourists alike. The park runs along the shoreline of the river, peppered with playgrounds and gardens to enjoy at your leisure.
And, of course, Long Sault Parkway is Cornwall’s most famous scenic route leading to blissful island communities, with great fishing, boating and onsite camping. While nearby, Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary is the only place in North America with campgrounds inside a fantastic bird sanctuary.
Learn about local Indigenous history at the Experience Akwesasne Welcome Centre, located on Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island). Travel to the Lost Villages Museum in Ault Park, that features 10 heritage buildings, moved and restored by the Lost Villages Historical society (the original site for the buildings is now at the bottom of Lake St Lawrence). Tour St. Raphael’s Ruins, a hotspot for history lovers. Akin to cathedral ruins in Ireland, St. Raphael’s Ruins still hold an ethereal blend of abandoned architecture in a ghostly natural setting.
Sample some of the area’s bounty, including local produce and freshly baked goods at a farmers' market. Time your tour just right, from the Long Sault Farmers' Market open Wednesdays to the Martintown Mill Market on Sundays – and everything in between. Pair delicious local fair with homegrown craft beer, cider or wine. And don’t leave SDG without a visit to Glengarry Fine Cheese to taste the famous Lankaaster gouda style, creamy Celtic Blue and heavenly Figaro.
Neighbourhoods & Districts in Cornwall & The Counties
Cornwall has two ‘downtown districts’ with twice as much character. Beyond Cornwall, its neighbouring Counties are lovely to explore:
Dundas: Runs the full length of history, from Prehistoric World to Upper Canada Village to the more modern summer fairs and festivals.
Glengarry: An active community with a lot of love for its Highland heritage and many festivals throughout the year.
Stormont: The home to natural beauty with the Long Sault Parkway and many local farms to visit (and sample the delicious local produce).
Downtown has had a resurgence in both business and social events, building on its heritage centre while rejuvenating its natural parklands along the river. Keep an eye out for the growing ‘Street Art’ scene as more local artists are encouraged to celebrate Cornwall with a variety of murals and exhibits.
This is the second commercial district in the east end of Cornwall. As seen in the name, this district holds strong ties with its French history, including a vivacious theatre community and contemporary urbanised living.
Things to Know About Visiting Cornwall & The Counties
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Cornwall and The Counties, it’s nice to learn what the locals recommend.
Where to go for a drink
Where to go for brunch
Where to go skating
Great camping spot
Set up camp at one of the three campsites in the Long Sault Parkway, a picturesque archipelago of 11 islands in South Stormont, the perfect base from which to fish, dive, paddle, hike and spend time at the beach.