At the meeting next Monday of Cobourg Council, Carol McCann of the Downtown Coalition Advisory Committee will be presenting a progress report on how their efforts are improving Cobourg’s Downtown. The first thing to know is that “Downtown” is much bigger than just King Street – it includes the area from Lake Ontario north to James Street, East to Church/College and West to approx. Ball/Durham. The mandate of the committee is quite broad and they are in fact making progress albeit slowly. We know that because they are counting open businesses and documenting things that have changed. They have also started to count pedestrian traffic which helps in the understanding of the impact of “events”. For example, the Rib Fest has virtually no impact on downtown pedestrian traffic.
Mandate and Project Overview
The Downtown Coalition Advisory Committee projects include:
- Downtown Master Plan (DMP) (Download a copy here) & Community Improvement Plan (CIP) – completed 2016
- Town Tourism Assets Study – completed 2015 (Post on this here)
- Venture Initiative (CIVIC) (on hold since 2016 pending review of CIP success)
- Post Secondary Institution to DT, (Not feasible)
- Municipal Business Certification, (Not feasible)
- Town Redevelopment of a DT Building, (Not feasible)
- Victoria Hall Square – On Hold pending funding
- Signage and Property Enhancements – in 2018 budget
- Municipal Culture Plan – to be addressed in 2018
- Downtown Marketing – Approved by Council October 2017 – to be completed 2018
- Vacant Building Utilization *
- Building Renewal *
* New in 2017
The Coalition created graphics of a number of their measurements (see below) but also tabulated key metrics from 2013 to 2017. These include vacancy tax rebates, CIP payments, number of businesses and employees, tax revenue from commercial properties and residential statistics. Not all are complete but the idea of making these measurements is good. The full presentation is available from a link below.
Below are highlights of the Presentation – click any image to enlarge and watch slide show of them all.