More CIP Grants and Loans Approved by Council

Surveys conducted as part of the Downtown Vitalization Study showed that citizens were critical of the state of repair and appearance of many Downtown buildings.  This is also no doubt one of the reasons that many of the apartments above stores remain unoccupied. To help address these issues, Council tonight approved the spending of $136,822 of the 2018 budget of $150,000 on Community Improvement Plan (C.I.P.) grants.  There were seven applications in the 2018 intake – of these, 6 were approved and one deferred pending completion of outstanding work.  Several of the applications indicated that they plan to make apartments available on the second and third floors of their properties.  Critics of Cobourg’s Downtown have said that the addition of more people living downtown would by itself help spur re-vitalization.

39 King East
39 King East

Since Downtown is in a Heritage District, all of the upgrades must follow the Town’s heritage rules – e.g on colours. At tonight’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, heritage awards were handed out and two recipients were recipients of CIP funds in 2017 (Ferreri and Trozzolo). Once again, Lou Trozzolo is a recipient in 2018 at 35-37 King West.

The photo at right is an example of what will be upgraded. It’s a Google photo of 39 King Street East which will be the new home of the Fresh Food store of Market and Smor. Their intent is to paint the upper areas and to add a new sign “Fresh Foods” as well as repainting the spotlights for the sign. This store has been more than 12 months in the making. Lucas Cleveland and Montana DesJardins moved to Cobourg early 2017 and announced their plan for a European style green-grocer. But they had a problem finding a good location – mostly the rents were too high – so they have been operating the beach canteen while working on setting up this location for their store.

Director of Planning Glenn McGlashon said that although the total value of projects in 2018 is almost $1M, the town is providing only 15% of that so the leverage is very good.

Approved CIP Projects

Note that Grants/Loans percent indicates proportion of the total to be spent by owner.

Address Grants/Loans (%) Work Comments
2 King St. W, 239-243 Division St.
(n/w corner of King St. W. and Division St) 
  • $2,500 Study Grant (15%)
  • $8,100 Façade Improvement Grant (50%)
  • $8,658 Building Improvement Grant (50%)
Repairs and Painting No residential tenants at 239 & 243 Division.
In the future, the owner of the property intends to provide between 8-10 rental apartments on the second and third floors of 239 and 243 Division Street.
40 King St W. (Jake’s) $4,000 Building Improvement Grant (20%) New Roof Residential units on second and third floors unoccupied.
42-44 King St. W (Buttermilk/ Peter’s Barber Shop) $2,750 Building Improvement Grant (20%) New Roof Residential units on second and third floors unoccupied
89 King St. W (Royal Spa) $2,500 Study Grant (31%) Study A new residential dwelling unit on second floor (live/work)
39 King St. E (Market and Smor – recently Ginger Thai restaurant and before that McGregors)
  • $18,750 Façade Improvement Grant (31%)
  • $12,500 Building Improvement Grant (23%)
  • Additional grant for properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act: $6,250
Façade Improvement
Building Improvement
Affordable residential units on 2nd and 3rd floors and one vacant commercial unit
35-37 King St. W (Lou Trozzolo, Cheslers)
  • $2,500.00 Study Grant
  • $6,250.00 Rear Façade Improvement Grant
  • $7,500.00 Rear Façade Improvement Loan (total 28%)
  • $12,500.00 Building Improvement Grant
  • $49,714.00 Residential Grant.
  • $25,000.00 Building Improvement Loan
  • $66,286.00 Residential Loan (total 22%)
Refurbish/ Renovate Refurbish/renovate/create 4 new apartment units and related work on vacant second and third floors

Approval for the seventh request was deferred.  It was to repair/replace failing capitals at the top of 4 columns, which are a character defining heritage feature of the building at 323 George (Mansions on George).  Project cost is estimated at $20,000.  Although deemed “quite worthy”, the project was not eligible for a CIP grant or loan because there is an “outstanding Order to Comply to address outstanding deficiencies associated with an open Building Permit”.  Council agreed that approval of the application be delegated to the Evaluation Committee and Municipal Staff in case the applicant addresses the Order to Comply.

Council also approved that new applications would be considered for the unallocated portion of the $150,000.00 in the amount of $13,178.00 and that approval for these would also be delegated.


Full Memo from Staff on recommendations


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16 August 2018 8:26 am

In my life I have seen foolish men take an old rusted car and restore it to its original much earlier new condition…at great expense. And what do they wind up with…an old car, an old gas guzzler, not very safe, etc. etc.
Perhaps some of our old buildings instead of being fixed up, should be torn down and new modern, fresh, efficient, safe & secure buildings put up in their place.

John Lee
Reply to  cornbread
18 August 2018 8:54 am

An old car restored is known frequently as a “CLASSIC”.
CLASSICS can be worth a fortune.

Reply to  John Lee
22 August 2018 8:22 am

Worth is not always determined by money.

Walter L. Luedtke
14 August 2018 10:41 pm

Nicely done Council and Staff!
A well-leveraged investment in our Downtown.
And how predictable that the dumb and dumber subset of the CTA get their knickers in knots over what amounts to knickles and kdimes in the total budget picture.
First they moan over the state of our ‘stinky’ downtown and then they moan over any attempts to improve it.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
15 August 2018 1:25 pm

“Leverage is an investment strategy of using borrowed money — specifically, the use of various financial instruments or borrowed capital — to increase the potential return of an investment” ..
Potential ….key word In otherwords a gamble with public money .In this case individual private owners.
How did the CCC project “leverage” work out on the gamble …..
What is it costing the public per annum?
Somewhat like the next extreme gamble continually desired by the town on potential marina expansion/ boat lift for benefit of all the taxpayers.!? Definitely not.
Clever gamblers usually stop when they lose continually but not in this town’s case.
If the gamble fails …….same people who it did not benefit still pay………the public.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
15 August 2018 2:33 pm

The construction of Victoria Hall was a gamble that Cobourg residents have been paying for ever since. It’s been a good deal and will remain so for generations to come.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
15 August 2018 3:37 pm

It was going to be a gamble …..and in later years the people stepped in and saved it from destruction if I read correctly. .What was going to be put in its place if the town council had been successful ?

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Bill Thompson
15 August 2018 3:54 pm

The CTA would have wailed over every nickel spent to save Victoria Hall!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
15 August 2018 4:07 pm

Too shallow. Dig deeper into the history. Cobourg took a gamble to build Victoria Hall and almost ruined itself paying for it, and Cobourg residents have been paying to maintain it from the day it was built to today. Non-stop. Today, that building is a place of enduring local pride.

The same will apply in regards to the CCC.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
16 August 2018 11:53 am

And the Frink….

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Rob
16 August 2018 3:32 pm

When I saw the first drawings of The Frink, I was opposed to it based on its mediocrity. But it turned out much better than the initial drawings, and the sound of skates and children and families voting with their presence proved that the Frink was/is a hit with Cobourg residents.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
15 August 2018 4:13 pm

What was going to be put in its place if the town council had been successful ?”

The question is moot. One Town Councillor tongue-in-cheek suggested a parking lot. To assert that it was a “town council” desire is mistaken. The “town council” rejected the suggestion. This is when Town citizens organized themselves to restore the building. I worked on the restoration. The Old Bailey courtroom once had a wooden ceiling. Building bylaws forbid it being restored as such, so now there is soundproof tiles.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
15 August 2018 7:49 pm

The town council rejected the suggestion … from whom ?

Reply to  Wally Keeler
16 August 2018 10:40 am

A gamble by townsfolk to invest in our town, not a give-away to private enterprise.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
16 August 2018 11:41 am

Private enterprise was well paid with tax dollars to construct Victoria Hall. It also was in the best interest for private enterprise to construct such an elaborate and expensive building to represent their current success and future success. Private enterprise stood to gain from the construction of such a town hall. Do you honestly think municipal govt wasn’t catering to the upper class, business class at that time, and that it was taxpaying citizens that put up the $$$$. Who voted for the Hall? Do you really believe that Victoria Hall was what the people of Cobourg wanted or what the moneyed property owning class wanted, who eventually prevailed and the taxpayers paid dearly for the arrogance.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
16 August 2018 3:28 pm

Bill Thompson said, “How did the CCC project “leverage” work out on the gamble …..
What is it costing the public per annum?

I have been replying to the CCC issue by referring to Victoria Hall. Your red herring comment that it was about private enterprise is moot.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
16 August 2018 3:45 pm

A gamble by townsfolk to invest in our town, not a give-away to private enterprise.

1860 – A gamble by townsfolk to invest in our town,
2018 – not a give-away (of tax payers money) to private enterprise. (to solely promote and further that enterprise.)

14 August 2018 3:40 pm

I agree with Old Sailor. Let’s support positive endeavors like Market & Smor and forget the constant naysaying.

14 August 2018 3:39 pm

I agree with Old Sailor. Let’s support positive endeavors like this and drop the naysaying.
Good luck to Market & Smor. Looking forward to our first visit.

Rusty Brown
14 August 2018 11:01 am

Didn’t I read somewhere a while back that one building owner downtown wasn’t allowed to replace the old wood-framed windows in his “heritage” building with new, modern factory-made ones because they weren’t “authentic” enough? If so, then how is anyone supposed to maintain those old buildings on King St.?

Reply to  Rusty Brown
14 August 2018 10:42 pm


Rusty Brown
Reply to  Albert
15 August 2018 7:20 am

Vague recollection from a while back.

Rusty Brown
Reply to  Rusty Brown
15 August 2018 7:29 am

“…Council overturned the Heritage Committee recommendation because heritage guidelines state, where possible, original windows should be repaired rather than replaced. However, the owners of the King Street East property said repairing the wooden windows would cost three times more than replacing them with vinyl windows…”

Reply to  Rusty Brown
15 August 2018 9:06 am

Sooooo replacement windows are allowed. Whew!!!

14 August 2018 10:13 am

has all its recipients as well as its own
out in full force to support the recent hand outs
judging from the like and dislike responses .

Old Sailor
14 August 2018 9:44 am

If we want to support existing downtown businesses, one of the best methods is to attract new high quality stores like Market & Smor. It will draw more people downtown to the other stores. The owners of Market & Smor will have way more money at risk/invested than the town’s grants.

Reply to  Old Sailor
14 August 2018 12:19 pm

What does a produce store need a 12 foot cooking hood with all new fire protection for?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
14 August 2018 3:17 pm

Why does a pharmacy sell food stuffs? Why can’t a produce store also include some cooked goods for their customers? Do you believe that once a produce store always a produce store? Perhaps they don’t fit your idea of a produce store, but plan to make it unique rather than meet your standard of mediocrity. But feel free to ask the proprietors; they can sometimes be found at their beach enterprise. Do your friendly stuff.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
14 August 2018 6:14 pm

But that pharmacy store didn’t ask for a freebie from the citizens of Cobourg to do so.
That’s the difference.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
14 August 2018 9:01 pm

You didn’t ask for the difference. You asked why a produce store needs a cooking hood. I explained it.

Reply to  Frenchy
15 August 2018 8:57 am

Ah Frenchy, maybe they want to have coffee and small prepared meals, it’s about diversity today.
I welcome new stores and support restaurants and stores in Cobourg.
People want the downtown to survive and then complain or don’t shop downtown.

Bill Thompson
14 August 2018 8:44 am

The financial return to the public coffers from the owners of the grants (using public funds) to become private landlords is ………………?

14 August 2018 8:43 am

The Town Planners Idea of good leveraging is surely suspect
can he tell us the position of our security and the total amount of debt
our loan security falls be hind on each applicant ?? I Doubt it — Are the Loans in a superior position
such as Tax debt that comes ahead of Mortgages and Bank loans / liens etc.

Small Town Lover
14 August 2018 8:42 am

So, will the taxpayers receive a portion of the rent charged as a form of payback or will all the money charged for rent go to the building owner? Also, will the building owner be allowed to charge what ever he wants or use the facility as an Airbnb? Airbnb’s are very popular now and Cobourg already has a few of them.

14 August 2018 7:34 am

My house needs new shingles as well! Where do I apply??

Reply to  Dice
14 August 2018 7:49 am

We (taxpayers) are on the hook for every roof in that downtown, CIP catchment area. Silly.

Reply to  Frenchy
14 August 2018 1:34 pm

Geez, after all that negative feedback, i thought I better take another look at my statement to make sure I got it right. It turns out I was wrong! Cobourg taxpayers aren’t on the hook for that dough, Lakeshore Utilities customers are vis a vis the Holdco Slush Fund!
Cobourg Municipal Council allocated a total of $150,000.00 in the 2018 Municipal Budget (via the Holdco reserve) for the implementation of financial incentives as part of the Downtown Cobourg Vitalization CIP.