April 01, 2021 | George Johnson
My First Home: Jon Cornish, longtime Calgary Stampeders running back and CFL hall of famerDuring a 152-game career with the Calgary Stampeders, Jon Cornish racked up some impressive accomplishments, including 7,401 rushing yards, a pair of Grey Cup rings, three Most Outstanding Canadian baubles in a row and a touchstone Most Outstanding Player nod.
He also reached "the house" – football jargon for the opposition's end zone – on 46 occasions, but he didn't own his own house until 2013. "Location. Location. Location,'' said Cornish of his priorities when purchasing his first, and current, home. "I wanted to be close to (McMahon) Stadium. I really wanted to wake up and think football the same way I had in college (at the University of Kansas).
"So, I bought in the Brentwood area after living in Varsity. I definitely bought it as an investment property, having access to two suites (to rent), sort of anticipating the end of football and the ensuing transition period I'd be going through."
Like most career changes, that transition – from CFL star to investment advisor with RBC Dominion Securities – would not be without its challenges.
"I definitely bought it as an investment property, having access to two suites (to rent), sort of anticipating the end of football and the ensuing transition period I'd be going through."
"I knew during the journey that I'd be on to become an investment advisor that there'd be points I would not be making a lot of money," said Cornish.
"Having the opportunity to work at the bank previously, I understood what kind of cash flow I needed to sustain my lifestyle and stuff. I just wanted to make sure that everything was taken care of before I was done football."
Cornish purchased the property, originally listed at $500,000, for an estimated $415,000.
"The hardest part of homeownership is that first month. What the hell am I doing? What did I sign up for? That's so much money! What is going on here?" said Cornish.
"Then you quickly come to enjoy the benefits of homeownership. Being part of a neighbourhood, making everything exactly the way you want it."
To that end, the 2019 Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee completely revamped one of the bathrooms in the home to include a spacious, walk-in, "football-style" shower.
"A big space, no curtains," said Cornish. "It's something that I would have to do again if I bought a new property. It's become that much a part of my routine."
Having dealt with injuries that cut short several seasons and determined to be healthy moving into the post-football phase of his life, Cornish retired from the CFL at age 31 in December 2015.
Since then, Cornish and his wife, fellow investment advisor Kiran Seetal, have both worked at RBC while spearheading community initiatives, including Calgary Black Chambers, which the couple launched to foster diversity in Calgary while providing mentorship, fellowship, advocacy and scholarships to prepare post-secondary students for professional careers.
Naturally, they've also been enjoying their home.
"Honestly, the house has been a joy, and we've been incredibly lucky in terms of tenants," said Cornish. "Our tenants are moving out, so we're going to have the full house for the first time."
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