Collaboration between municipal planners, a citizens' association, and an academic institution in the rehabilitation of Le Village (Cornwall, Ontario)
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For over a century, the city of Cornwall has been economically reliant on traditional manufacturing-based businesses. Over the past thirty years, however, changes in global markets and production practices have translated into a significant decline. One distinct east end neighbourhood within the city, traditionally referred to as "Le Village," has been significantly affected by this shift in industrial importance. Following the closure of the textile mills, unemployment increased significantly and those families who were able to leave did so. The area fell into a state of disrepair with many residences turning into rental units. In addition, the infrastructure was neglected for many years, and the viability of the commercial core of Le Village came into question . Despite these trends, the spirit of community persevered and, in 1998, a group of concerned business owners, citizens, and organizations banded together to form the Groupe Renaissance group. This not-for-profit organization focused on developing a vision of the district with clear objectives to create a viable, sustainable "community" within the city of Cornwall.