CORNWALL – Sheltered by a large tent from the pouring rain, around 80 people turned out Friday to pay homage to Chuck Charlebois and to dedicate the Chuck Charlebois Recreational Trail.
Waterfront trail users along the section of trail from Harbour Road to St. Lawrence College are greeted with large arches over the trail, emblazoned with the visionary’s name.
A groundbreaking for the arches happened in October 2017 and they were completed last fall.
The former city councillor and 2000 Citizen of the Year had his hands in a lot of city projects, including the Renaissance Group, World Changers, waterfront redevelopment, the brownfields program, the Cotton Mill Lofts and the Cornwall Harbour.
“The seeds that are now bearing fruit in our city were sewn in large part because of Chuck Charlebois,” Centretown coordinator Todd Lihou told the crowd.
Mayor Bernadette Clement said the trail is the best way to access the waterfront and that it was “so fitting to name this part, especially symbolically, this part here in the east end.”
Charlebois’ wife and two children were also part of the ceremony.
“We’re very grateful that Chuck was aware of this and that he saw the renderings of what would be. It means so much more to us that he was aware of it and part of it and that he saw the pictures that you presented to him at the hospital…and that it was done before he left us,” Suzanne Charlebois said.
Chuck Charlebois, 69, died on Feb. 22, 2018.
Chuck’s friend Claude Poirier and Le Village BIA chairman Michel Dubuc also spoke.
A plaque with details about the history and contributions of Chuck Charlebois will be installed along the harbour area in the next couple of months. A proof was shown to the crowd on Friday.