City buys bank building for Cornwall arts center

The former Bank of Montreal branch at 159 Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. The city has closed a deal to buy the building and make it the future site of the Cornwall Arts and Culture Center. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – City council has given final approval for the municipality to close a deal on the future site for a Cornwall center for the arts.

It passed a bylaw Monday night to authorize the corporation to buy the former Bank of Montreal (BMO) branch at 159 Pitt Street to be “the future site of the Cornwall Arts and Culture Center.”

Coun. Elaine MacDonald, a long time champion of the arts, is elated.

“(This is) the end of a five or six year process to find a home for the arts. With this building hopefully we will have a home,” MacDonald said.

“I hope that this building, as an arts center, will become a third element that will make us a very diverse, exciting and rich community,” MacDonald added, referring to the Benson Center and the bike path system as the other two.

Because it’s a real estate deal, most of the council work has been done behind closed doors, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy explained.

The mayor says more information will be released in the coming days in a news release.

A report will also be coming back to council.

BMO built a new branch on Ninth Street.

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