COLUMN: Best of the best of 2015

Every year, media outlets and columnists will comprise lists of the best stories, the top stories of the year. Most run through the top events, but in writing the list, there were two distinct flavours for Cornwall and the counties, best and worst. In part two of this column, sit back, relax and enjoy a run through of the best of the best stories of 2015, from the headlines of Cornwall Newswatch.

#3 – International Plowing Match

The region played host to the 2015 International Plowing Match, one of the country’s premier agricultural events. A couple of years of planning, and a week of events in September saw thousands from around the province and country come to the village of Finch in North Stormont. Organizers and volunteers worked hard to put on a world-class show, and succeeded. Events like these do not come around often, it was a great place to showcase the region’s agricultural industry.

#2 – Walmart buys Target’s distribution center

Target’s hasty and bankrupt exit from Canada left employees at the newly completed 11-Points Logistics in a lurch. Have no fear, Walmart is here. The world’s largest retailer purchased the distribution center and announced plans for 1,100 jobs at the facility. This will replace the 400 jobs lost with Target’s exit. With the Loblaws distribution center no where to be found, and the main driver of economic growth in the area being retail, this net 700 job boost is a good shot in the arm to improve the regional economy.

#1 – Cornwall’s bridge has come down

Okay. Readers here might be thinking that this columnist has had a bit too much seasonal cheer, putting a story in both in the worst and best columns — not so. The lowering of the main span of the bridge on September 30th was a big event that took months of preparation; it also took much longer than the eight hours expected to do. Having stopped by several times during the day to look at the progress, it was amazing to see the number of people out for this, a truly historical day in the region’s history. Families came, decked out with blankets, coolers and lawn-chairs to watch the event. Even after the sun set, hundreds were there watching this slow-lowering behemoth inch its way to the ground. Just milling about with the different groups I talked to people who came from Iroquois, Maxville, Lancaster, Ottawa and Long Sault. All were there because they had some interest or connection to the bridge or the city. The region can have events like Ribfest, Garlicfest, Tubie weekend or the Highland Games, but few events draw people together in the way this event did.

Have a safe and Happy New Year, and thank you for reading.

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