Commercial Market Overview

The City of Cornwall has a well-established commercial sector, servicing a regional population in excess of 110,000.

Recent Activity
The commercial sector has seen continued positive growth for the past several years. Several new businesses or entrepreneurs have taken over and redeveloped existing properties, and there has been a significant amount of new construction as well.  Construction of the Harden Complex anchored by shoppers is well underway. 

The decomissioning of the former Domtar lands on Brookdale Ave is well underway and should be ready for reuse in 2011.  The over 70 acre redeveloped Domtar lands are expected to feature a large commercial power centre combined with a botique waterfront hotel, restaurants, condos and residential development.  There continue to be opportunities on Brookdale Ave at Tollgate Rd. near the Home Depot. Other commercial developments are proposed at Ninth St. at Cumberland and on McConnell at Ninth St.  Most recently the City instituted new Community Commercial Shopping Centre  zones to its Bylaw that recognizes the growing trend to Power Centre type commercial development.  More than 26 sites with a present GLA of over 1.4 million sq ft of building were inclused in the rezoning.

While there is no complete and accurate inventory of commercial space in the City, we estimate that there is approximately 3,500,000 square feet of developed commercial (retail/office) inventory in the city. This estimate has been developed using the best information available from a variety of sources including the City Planning and Economic Development Departments, discussions with property owners and our own files. Additional information concerning vacancy rates for the various commercial districts in the City is available upon request.

Aquistion Costs and Average Rents
Compared to major Canadian and American cities, acquisition costs and lease rates for both office and retail uses in Cornwall remain bargains. The owners of commercial real estate in Cornwall's commercial sectors who continue to maintain and upgrade their properties are rewarded with rents in the $12. - $17. per square foot range on a fully net to the landlord basis. Secondary space remains readily available with rates ranging from $8. to $11. per square foot net.

Fully renovated heritage office and retail space can still be rented at the Weave Shed, a part of the former Canada Cotton Mill Complex which was originally constructed in the early 1900's.  2011 will see the redevelopment of parts of the Cotton Mills development to Commercial Condo loft units ranging from 500 sq ft to over 10,000 sq ft of rentable area.  Prices for this development are expected to be introduced at just under $150. per sq ft. 

The table below offers a brief overview of typical current rental rates including estimated operating costs for various property types in the City.

ItemLow Avg.High
Rental Rate 8.50 12.00 17.00
Realty Tax 2.50 4.00 5.00
CAM 3.50 5.00 5.00


  1. CAM represents Common Area Maintenance charges which include (yard maintenance, snow removal, water and sewer rates, heat, air conditioning, lighting, structural repairs and general building maintenance.
  2. The above figures are based on a 5 year lease of a 3,000 to 5,000 sq. ft. office/retail operation and includes utilities. Quality office/retail space is readily available at overall rates between $10.00 and $16.00.
  3. All costs in the above tables are based on Canadian Dollars per square foot of rentable space per annum.
  4. Base Rents, Taxes and CAM vary from property to property and are provided for information purposes only. Prospective tenants should not expect to find any one building at either the low end rate or at the high end rate. It's often the better quality buildings which have some of the lower operating costs for items such as: insurance, heating, maintenance, etc..

More Information
RE/MAX can help you obtain the information necessary to make an informed location choice. Additional information on recent development patterns, traffic counts, wage rates, training programs, utility rate comparisons is only a request away.