East Pier Engineering Assessment

In February, the Town closed the East Pier to vehicles because of “the appearance of voids in the asphalt surface. These voids are indicative of water infiltrating the underside of the pier and removing the supporting fill material. Without conducting an engineering inspection we cannot confirm that the pier is capable of supporting vehicles and our first priority is safety.”  Three Engineering consultants were asked to provide quotes to assess the condition but staff said that “it was not possible to compare the prices as each company was proposing a different approach.”  They were then asked to respond to a clarified scope of work but only Shoreplan responded.  Their quote was $48,793 and Council will be asked on Monday to approve awarding them the contract.

Proposal for East Pier
Proposal for East Pier

Shoreplan will conduct an above and below water inspection, assess structural and deck integrity, recommend repairs and estimate associated construction cost. It may include making boreholes if required.

Shoreplan estimates their work will take 8 weeks (weather dependent) although it must be done in the summer months.  Once approved, it is hoped that design work will be done during winter and the repair work completed in 2019 – presumably by late summer.  This would be subject to a budget for the work being approved.

The Waterfront Study proposed a complete renovation of the East Pier – essentially making it an attraction for pedestrians (see the drawing above right from the study).

There were cost estimates given in that study for “East Pier Improvements” spread over 2 phases – the total was $1.3M of which $700K was for structural repairs.  This planned assessment should give a more accurate number but it’s not likely to be cheap.


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I don’t mind the cars on the pier but I do not like the screeching tires and the loud music, especially when the piper is playing at sunset. I also leave when the profanity and shouting begins. There needs to be rules, “no loud music” signs? Let’s make it a place we can all enjoy, a place of tranquility.


The pier should be free of the stomach-turning ersatz quaintness that pervades the centre of this town. We don’t need trees and planters, board walks and benches. We’re supposed to be a town that values heritage. So let’s value it and repair the pier so that it looks exactly as it did originally. The pier is iconic and should be a nod to Cobourg’s place in history as a port town.


If you want it to look exactly like it originally did we’ll have to tear it down and rebuild it from wood. It might be a little bumpy in your car but I guess we won’t need speed bumps which is nice.

Come to think about if we’re really going to respect our history cars didn’t even exist but you have a horse drawn carriage you’re in luck!


I’d prefer to go back even further in history, to a time before your ancestors immigrated to Canada. I thought this was supposed to be a serious blog. You may disagree with someone but your silly response is offensive and another reason that our politicians do not take our heritage seriously — they know many people don’t really care.


It was a tongue-in-cheek way of pointing out the fallacy of your post. The pier was originally wood, needs changed and it was rebuilt, needs have changed again, there is nothing original about it and there is no need to have an asphalt pier to dock large vessels against. That time has passed.

If you want to respect the pier let’s respect it for what it is and that is a utilitarian piece of infrastructure built to serve the needs of the town. No different than it was updated to serve the harbour it can updated to serve the community. A single use driveway/parking lot is a slap in the face to a once bustling pier.


Why do people have to drive on the pier when you can enjoy just as much of the lake on a park bench. Cars drive out on the pier, windows down, radios blasting music that only they like to listen to. Walking won’t hurt anybody and the pier would be more peaceful!


People hate change even if it’s for the better. Could you imagine if the pier were parkland and we proposed paving over it so people could drive cars on it? Completely bonkers idea that wouldn’t see the light of day but here we have the grouchy “stop changing everything, I’m set in my ways!” people basically advocating for that because it’s the way it’s always been.


But it ain’t a parkland is it? It’s a pier.


Join the discussion… In nice weather and if you are fortunate enough not to have aches and pains while walking or if you have enough time on a lunch break, walking is wonderful. However, many town residents are older and pain is a real part of life. Also, for people that work indoors but need a nature break, getting out on the pier is really beneficial to mental health. Walking out on the pier in a storm in January is exhilarating but not everyone can do that – we need to be inclusive. Also – there aren’t a lot of unspoiled nature areas – the pier should stay that way because once gone, we will never get it back.


Sorry but did you just call the pier an “unspoiled nature area”?


OK – a platform for viewing an unspoiled nature area!!

Kim MJ

It’s worth noting that vehicles have not been allowed on the pier during winter months for a long time, because it’s incredibly dangerous. Vehicles on the pier aren’t a necessity, any more than vehicles on the beach are a necessity. There are many forms of accessibility that are not vehicular, and the vehicles on the pier have been far more of a hindrance than they have been a positive. It’s also worth noting that our pier has been an eyesore for the 30 years that I’ve been looking at it – something more aesthetically pleasing would be a definite step up.

Say What?

Those of us with mobility issues would disagree


This comment was meant as a reply to Gayle. I’m not sure how it ended up in the wrong place. My mistake.


Re_allocate funds from the Culture program to the Pier Project!

Nice to versus Need to!


I want to be able to drive out on the pier for the rest of my life…its view of the lake and our town is unique and truly thrilling. It offers a perspective that is not found elsewhere in our area. The proximity to the waves is amazing on windy days and the tranquillity for thinking or relaxing is a boon to our residents. Please make it safe and don’t develop it further except maybe a few more benches.


There is room enough for everyone on the pier. This will be taken negatively but people who want to be healthy and walk should not be neglected the view so people can be lazy and drive out there. People in an advanced age should be encouraged to walk, it is no excuse. If you keep your body moving you’ll be able to walk until the day you die. I realize technically you could walk the pier in years passed but it was about as enjoyable as walking through a Walmart parking lot with cars and hot asphalt everywhere.

For what it’s worth I still advocate the ability to drive out on to the pier but it should be mixed use pedestrian and vehicular.

I sure hope people advocating for a single use, vehicle based pier don’t advocate against single use marina expansion in the harbour, for they would be hypocrites.

Walter L. Luedtke

Seale has a point. Drive-through is getting to be big.
Drive-through churches spreading from Florida to Kansas and Illinois to California. The Minister blesses you through the open car window.
“A wealth of local folk art, unusual collections, antiques and curios, without ever leaving your car. … In the tiny town of Seale, Alabama”.
And drive-through bird watching at Montezuma National Wildlife Preserve in up-state NY.
Maybe a drive-through Cobourg Downtown would do wonders for Vitalization.
Just kidding.
But here is my slogan for today: “A Beer on the Pier”!


Well after the multi-million dollar fix, after the costly evaluation, I can’t wait for the screams to start when all we do with it is to put benches and planters on it. We have to commercialise the place to recoup our investments.


I don’t think anyone would really care. It’s investment in the way of life of Cobourg. We’re a lake side town and nothing embodies that more than the pier. The pier is Cobourg.

Wally Keeler

Commerical exploitation is a good idea, but first we should insist that while repairs are being made, it should also include water and electricity services for future enterprises.


Exploitation of any sort is never a good idea.

Wally Keeler

1. make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).
“500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology”
synonyms: utilize, harness, use, make use of, turn/put to good use, make the most of, capitalize on, benefit from; informal cash in on
“we should exploit this new technology”

Deborah OConnor

How can someone vote down a dictionary definition? It’s not opinion, it’s a fact fer gawd’s sake.

Wally Keeler

How? Because they are stupid.

Bill Thompson

Exploit – use (a situation or person) in an unfair or selfish way.
“the company was exploiting a legal loophole”
The other half of the definition you failed to mention

Wally Keeler

Yes, two halves to the definition. I posted the definition that Tim failed to mention; you just repeated what Tim declared; redundant. Tim’s definition is typical Marxist ideological banter. You and Tim think negatively, whereas I think positively.

Wally Keeler

Put it to you: “make full use of and derive benefit from“.

Do you believe that Cobourg should make full use and derive a benefit from the east pier? Would the CTA support making full use of the east pier and deriving a benefit to the Town? Lets exploit nothing – how pathetic. What a waste of thought


You know very well that I was using the negative definition of exploitation, which is the only possible usage in regard to the East Pier. You keep banging on about commercial exploitation, which is ridiculous when you consider that the estimate given in the study for “East Pier Improvements” is $1.3M of which $700K is for structural repairs. That leaves $600K for the design phase: building a boardwalk, planting trees, installing park benches, trash cans, etc. If, for example, the town could realize $20K a year on this tasteless “beautifying” project you seem so fond of, it would take 30 years to just break even. And that’s not factoring in what we have already paid for consultants to draw up this idiot project. It’s criminal to waste $600K of taxpayers on this nonsense.


It might be good to concentrate only on the structural repairs. Let’s honour the integrity of the pier and not trivialize it by turning it into another walkway with trees when it’s a stone’s throw from Victoria Park.


It’s a glorified parking lot in its current state.

Wally Keeler

Not particularly glorified, just a leftover loading dock.

Rusty Brown

It’s a unique experience not to be found anywhere else around here, seems to me. I like it just the way it is in all its gritty downscale panache. All it needs is a few ice cream and hot dog carts and a place to sit and eat them.

Kim MJ

I’d suggest that it’s uniqueness lies not in its gritty, dumpy look, but in our ability to be able to fully utilize it as citizens, as opposed to it being used for its original purpose. It doesn’t have to look like the abandoned Cobourg Daily Star building for us to be able to enjoy it, and I dare say the majority would enjoy it more if it wasn’t looking so derelict. I love taking photos from there, but I tend to try and edit most of the pier itself out, because it looks so run down.

Deborah OConnor

Well worth the cost. Let’s get it done! I like the timetable too with repairs finished by the end of summer 2019.


I agree with Deborah: git ‘er done. Loud music and noisy cars eliminated from this area would be most welcome. The attached illustration of possibilities is very appealing.