Pointe Maligne gets a facelift

Le Village BIA President, Dr. Michel Dubuc, uses a pressure washer Wednesday, July 13, 2016, to make some final cleaning touches to the Legion Park building at Pointe Maligne. Stakeholders in cleaning up the waterfront park were showing off the improvements to reporters. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Stakeholders behind giving Pointe Maligne its first facelift are giving the public an open invitation to enjoy the revitalized waterfront venue.

Former city waterfront committee member and Le Village BIA President, Dr. Michel Dubuc, had been heavily involved in the project, which has been years in the making.

“I’d like to invite everyone to come down to Pointe Maligne, park your car, and go up into the park area and appreciate the beautiful waterfront views,” Dubuc said Wednesday morning during a media event to show the changes at the park.

“This project represents what Centretown is all about. Bringing various community partners with a common goal together in order to complete, in this case, a beautification project,” he said.

The green space and parking lot at the foot of Bergeron Drive has had a number of improvements. Those include removing large piles of dirt, the relocation of stones in the parking lot, removal of graffiti and cleaning up the Legion Park building, as well as painting lines on the parking lot for more efficient use of the parking area.

Waterfront committee member Bill Beattie highlighted some of the history of the site, as the parking lot used to be one of the waterfront canals. Pointe Maligne used to be the site of the second waterfront canal. The first one, where Trillium Distribution is located, was built in 1834.

Beattie explained the committee is in the process of getting a $500,000 federal grant for more improvements to the area, which would have matching funds from the City of Cornwall. The city already has $280,000 set aside for the development of Pointe Maligne.

Cornwall Minor Baseball President Gordie Van Putten said the seven field ball diamond is the only one in Ontario, making Pointe Maligne an added attraction for baseball.

Van Putten said the diamonds and towers will be painted this week.

There’s also a new set of stairs connecting the ball diamonds and the parking lot.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Centretown and DBIA spokesman Denis Carr explained this project is a piece of the puzzle to connect the two downtown areas.

“The two downtown BIAs are working closely together, more so than they’ve ever done before,” Carr said. “It also proves that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Many of the improvements done here are just done by elbow grease and a little bit of paint and a group getting together,” he said.

The final configuration of Pointe Maligne is still a work in progress, Carr explained.

The green space is tucked away off Bergeron Drive and accessed off Harbour Road, behind the ball diamonds, which Carr believes needs more marketing.

“We’ve got to start promoting and directing people to the area and, we’ve got plans, that will happen this summer,” Carr said.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version to clarify the history of the canals. The first canal, built in 1834, was at the Trillium Distribution site, not Pointe Maligne. The parking lot for Pointe Maligne was also the site of a second canal.