The long awaited report from thinc design on the Waterfront Study will be released in the next month or two but one idea from it is being released at the next Council Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) meeting on January 29. The report by Parks Manager Teresa Behan says that “the preliminary findings and recommendations from the consultants, thinc design, focus on enhancing access to the waterfront and recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. They also promote new revenue generating opportunities for the Town.” The specific idea discussed is a “floating playground” that would be located east of the East pier. This type of facility is becoming popular worldwide including some locations in Canada and Teresa reports that “two groups that have submitted proposals are eagerly awaiting to bid on this business opportunity to establish a water-park in Cobourg for the spring/summer of 2018.”
The idea was approved by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and the next step would be a Request for Proposals (RFP).
The experience of other Canadian Municipalities was sought: Montreal, QC, Point-Calumet, QC, Sylan Lake, Alberta, Pentiction, BC, Peachland, BC and Barrie, Ontario. None raised any concerns or expressed any major problems. All have the following rules in place:
- Lifejackets (supplied by company) must be worn at all times
- No children under 5 are allowed
- Children between 5-9 are allowed with a parent
- Children under 3’6” are not allowed
- Operating hours are usually 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
The YMCA, which provides life-guarding services to the Town, did not raise any major concerns but stated that they would need to coordinate with the staff and lifeguards associated with the floating playground.
The photos below show what a floating playground would look like.
This facility would be open to both residents and visitors but it would obviously make Cobourg’s Beach more attractive so the crowds would be bigger.