County Annual Report – 2020

Northumberland County has just released their annual report (for 2020) and they show expenditures of $107M and revenues of $119M of which taxes are $58.8M.  For all this money, few residents would be able to list what it’s spent on so a report is good.  Cobourg Councillors are directly elected by taxpayers which means that there is a strong democratic connection.  But County Councillors consist of the Mayors of each of the constituent municipalities – in the case of Cobourg, that’s Mayor John Henderson – so it’s an indirect representation.  There are no separate County elections.  Most will probably know the County looks after garbage and some major roads and recently there’s been a focus on affordable housing – but… Read complete articleCounty Annual Report – 2020

Swimming in West Harbour to be Banned

With Victoria Beach closed on Weekends and Holidays and limited to 1200 capacity on weekdays, visitors will be looking for other local beaches.  The West Beach would be a good bet but it’s not groomed and hard for visitors to find.  Another obvious swimming spot is the beach in the Harbour along the West headland.  Locals avoid it because they know that it’s often unsafe because of a high e-coli count caused by water that doesn’t move much and pollution from gulls and ducks.  The main Harbour area on the east side (see picture below) is already a “no-swimming” area because of the danger from boats but Council moved on Monday to also ban swimming in the rest of the… Read complete articleSwimming in West Harbour to be Banned

Zoning of Rehabilitation Centres

In July 2020, Council was asked to approve the use of the (mostly vacant) Medical building at 316 King Street East (opposite the High school) as a rehabilitation centre for patients with drug or alcohol problems.  There was a lot of concern expressed by councillors and the public due to proximity to the school so the issue was deferred pending a study of zoning of such facilities (see link below).  A contract was awarded to Meridian Planning Consultants to report on this subject and their report was presented to Council at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.  Their basic conclusion was that such a use should be possible but subject to case by case decisions which would include collecting public… Read complete articleZoning of Rehabilitation Centres

Some Entertainment Venues Now Open

With the Province re-opening, we can hope that more local entertainment venues will open since with Step 3, 50% capacity is allowed.  That means cinemas, theatres, museums, Art Galleries etc. can open and operate.  But in Cobourg, not all venues have announced any change.  The Concert Hall at Victoria Hall is still closed; the Firehall theatre is closed; the Cobourg Community Centre is partially closed; there are no events at the United Church; the Learning connection is not holding live events; the Cobourg Lions Centre and Columbus Centre are not holding events – at least not yet.  BUT, some venues are now open and providing entertainment.  There is a page on the Cobourg Calendar site that tries to list all… Read complete articleSome Entertainment Venues Now Open

Cobourg Planning Department Busy

There are three new residential developments coming to Cobourg, one new commercial development and more details are being provided on a previously planned commercial development.  One notification was at the Council meeting on June 28 and four will be at the Committee of the Whole meeting on July 19.  The three residential developments require public meetings and must be approved (or not) in 120 days or the applicant could refer the matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal (previously the OMB).  The two commercial developments have 30 days and no public meetings – so we can expect a fairly quick response. One of the applications includes a large, five storey apartment building with 86 units and these could be condos or… Read complete articleCobourg Planning Department Busy

Managing Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches

Cobourg residents and Councillors have expressed concern about managing the crowds attracted to Cobourg’s beaches – this has been a special concern with the onset of the pandemic but even in normal times, beach crowds can be a problem.  To address this, the Town created a survey and asked the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) to generate recommendations on “how the municipality can manage the popularity of Victoria Park Beach.” Survey results were published in March (see link below to Cobourg News Blog report) – and with the help of Community Services Staff, the PRAC have now published their recommendations and will ask the next Committee of the Whole to accept them.  It’s quite comprehensive but being recommendations and not… Read complete articleManaging Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches

Next Step of Re-opening will be Earlier

The Province originally said that Ontario would move into Step 3 of re-opening once 70 to 80% of adults had received one dose of vaccine and 25% had received two.  Now that 77% of people 12 and over have received one dose and 50% have received two doses – that threshold has been met already.  Also required were a lower ICU occupancy rate and generally a low new case rate and these have also happened. The numbers for our region (HKPR) are not quite that good but may well be soon.  Given the good results, the Province has announced that we will move into Step 3 five days earlier on July 16 (at 12:01 am) and has released detailed regulations… Read complete articleNext Step of Re-opening will be Earlier

Cobourg House Prices Steady

In June, house prices in Cobourg stayed close to their record highs – despite talk of a housing price bubble which would suggest a drop.  According to the Northumberland Hills Association of Realtors, the average sale price of a house in the area in June was $849,437.  (Note that Northumberland Hills includes Port Hope, Hamilton and Cramahe as well as Cobourg).  Only 130 units were sold in the area, down 14.5% from June 2020 although this volume  is 12.1% above the five-year average.  Year to date, home sales totaled a record 749 units – this is up by 36.4% from the same period in 2020.  The graph below compares the trend with prices in the GTA and it’s clear that… Read complete articleCobourg House Prices Steady