Province contributes to King Street Vitalization

On Monday, Council will be asked to approve receiving a grant from the province for $54,843.19 under the “Ontario’s Main street Revitalization Initiative”.  The money would be used to help with the Vitalization project for King Street.  More details below but the largest amount would be to enhance the CIP project. One option being considered for that would be to direct significant funding to encourage Technology firms to locate in the Downtown core – they would be given an “incentive to lease 1st, 2nd and 3rd story buildings to high tech firms”. Smaller amounts would be provided for cosmetic projects – completion of the Victoria Hall exterior lighting project and extension of the downtown business attraction project ad campaign to include window wrapping and greater advertising.


Victoria Hall - 31 Dec 2017
Victoria Hall – 31 Dec 2017
  1. Completion of Victoria Hall exterior lighting project (estimated cost $6,000). The idea is to illuminate the exterior with “light washing”. Money ($45,000) has been allocated in the budget but an extra $6,000 is required to “upgrade the power supply to the two light poles in front of Victoria Hall on which the light projection equipment will be mounted.” The photo at right was taken on New Year’s Eve 2007.
  2. Extension of the Downtown business attraction project ad campaign to include window wrapping and greater advertising (estimated cost $10,000). A window wrap is a large vinyl sign stuck to the outside of windows.  It is usually used for advertising the business inside but in this case would be used on vacant stores.  Apart from improving the look of vacant stores, it is hoped that it will help with attracting new businesses to these locations. According to the original schedule, we are now at the stage of “implementation”. See link below for more on “Business Attraction Marketing Plan” and details of what’s scheduled to be happening.
  3. Enhancement of the Community Improvement Program (CIP) (estimated cost $41,000). The Town’s budget for 2018 is $150k and it is already intended that the scope will be broader than 2017.  An additional enhancement being considered is to implement the “Infrastructure for Innovation Program” to provide downtown property owners an incentive to lease 1st, 2nd and 3rd story buildings to high tech firms with the purpose of creating a sustainable high tech business hub in the Downtown.”: A onetime grant of $75,000 would be provided – $37,500 when improvements are made and an additional $37,500 upon successful recruitment of a high tech tenant (“High tech” as approved by CFDC).  This program has not yet been approved by Council – or anybody else!


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5 June 2018 8:34 am

I don’t see why window wraps are required….I think the present “art in windows” program is much nicer and attracts more people to the storefronts to view beautiful works of art. Wraps belong on buses and trains.

Wally Keeler
3 June 2018 11:21 am

Window wraps. What organ/committee will be deciding the content of the window wraps? Will the content be open for Cobourg residents to apply their individual talents? Can a Cobourg resident offer to pay for an individual window wrap to display their own work?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 June 2018 1:03 pm

“The Downtown Marketing Partnership Committee is responsible for implementing the Downtown Business Attraction Plan and earlier this year issued out an RFQ to award the design portion of the plan, which included the designs of the downtown storefront window wraps. The RFQ was awarded to inColour Media and we are extremely close to rolling out the campaign.”

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 June 2018 1:20 pm

In Colour Media. Creative Director is Titus Lam. Graphic Designer and Project Manager with extensive experience designing magazine pages, advertisements, brochures, trade show displays, vehicle graphics, billboards, signage and websites.

Specialties: Graphic Design, Web Design, Project Management, CMS, Social Media, Adobe Creative Suite CS5: Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign, Dreamweaver, Acrobat, Quark XPress, photography.

2 June 2018 8:28 am

$51,000 before electricity costs, just to light up Victoria Hall is an extravagance that Cobourg does not need. Street lighting (and that was a big story for Cobourg with a costly town law suit ending) is all we need here in town.

As for the rest of the provincial donation of funds…looks like we need more low cost downtown housing and we have to get the landlords off the dime to provide it.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  cornbread
2 June 2018 11:30 am

Do we really need street lighting?
It’s sort of a frill too.
When folks drive at night, they have their headlights on.
If they want to walk, they can always use a solar powered flashlight.

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
2 June 2018 12:54 pm

You really are getting to be a sarcastic old boy!

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  cornbread
3 June 2018 9:25 am

You folks are so yesterday!
Fight light pollution!
“Much of the outdoor lighting is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded and sometimes completely unnecessary.
Light that is not focused on the actual objects and areas that need to be illuminated is unnecessary. It is spilling into the sky, and the electricity used to create it is being wasted.”
In Barcelona, Spain, street lamps there are fitted with motion sensors which dim the lights when there is no activity.
More here:

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
13 June 2018 5:36 pm

I believe the town formed a company with a light supplier, installed lights on the town, and then wound up on the wrong side of a law suit that cost the town about $40,000 plus legal fees.

2 June 2018 7:55 am

2nd and 3rd stories could be updated for simple apartments at affordable rent. People living in a downtown make it more vibrant and safer. I also agree that housing for the homeless is a lot more important than big pictures in vacant storefront windows. Revitalization means “bringing back to life.”

Reply to  Jane
2 June 2018 9:28 am

As Jane suggests, if the 2nd and 3rd floors of every building in downtown Cobourg were renovated and rented as apartments they would provide beautiful homes (high ceilings, large windows, good-sized rooms) for many families and it really would revitalize King Street because the people living there would need to shop so stores would quickly follow. Instead, this Council and ones before it consistently reward greedy owners, who are sitting on empty properties waiting for the price of real estate to rise, with tax breaks, ten year interest-free loans and grants to do minimal improvements.
At the same time developers are constructing vile sub-standard apartment buildings that are no more than hutches like the one in Port Hope that burned down recently and you can be sure that that developer was also receiving grants from the government for providing low-income housing. It’s just a blessing no one was killed. We have similar vile structures in Cobourg and similar developers on the take.
It’s time to dust off Cobourg’s building inspectors and fine every King Street landlord until they either fix up their buildings or sell them to someone who will.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Tim
2 June 2018 1:00 pm

” (high ceilings, large windows, good-sized rooms)”

A sure formula for high heating costs.

“people living there would need to shop so stores would quickly follow.”

Simplistic formula. Add a couple hundred people (at most) to the flats above stores and hardware stores will follow, and fresh produce stores of course, and, all sorts of other goodness.

Reply to  Tim
5 June 2018 8:28 am

Tim, I agree with your first sentence and that single sentence only. From there it all goes quickly downhill with lots of assumptions and propaganda. Your arguments have no substantive basis in fact and you make some very serious accusations about people you don’t know without any data to support them. I take everything you write with a fine grain of salt, and so should others in my opinion.

Reply to  Stewey
5 June 2018 9:54 am

I don’t care how you take everything I write. It’s all too true. You don’t need data when the truth is staring you in the face.
I particularly like the small horizontal windows directly under the roof.
And you are right, I don’t know any greedy landlords who extract every nickle they can from the public purse and let their downtown heritage properties rot out instead of renovating them to provide much needed housing, or developers who provide substandard accommodation and at the same time gouge their tenants rent-wise. They’re not my kind of people.

Walter L. Luedtke
1 June 2018 11:26 pm

Found the CTA dream town!
It is Prescot in England in the borough of Knowsley, a bedroom community of Liverpool.
As part of the austerity programme of the Tory Brit government, the municipal budget has been cut in half over the last eight years.
Now that would set the CTA drooling!
Naturally the municipality is desperate for money.
Andy Moorhead, the Mayor of Knowsley, is thinking of selling off Browns Field, Prescot’s Victoria Park, to a developer to raise some cash.
Parks are just a frill anyway.
Stay tuned for more news from Prescot, the lean and mean municipality.

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
2 June 2018 9:49 am

Are you actually comparing light-washing, window wrapping and more government giveaways to the undeserving to the selling of green space to developers?

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Tim
2 June 2018 11:40 am

Nah! Just trying to help you folks out to get going on some real tax savings.

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
2 June 2018 5:31 pm

I pay taxes and I wouldn’t mind paying more taxes if my tax dollars were used for essential projects that benefited the people of this town instead of being squandered on idiot schemes like drenching Victoria Hall in light all night, a cultural study costing $90,000.00 or interest-free loans and grants to greedy, irresponsible landlords who let their downtown buildings rot in a town that supposedly prides itself on its heritage.

Kim Goebel
1 June 2018 11:09 pm

I am with Deb O’Connor on this. Shelter space is seriously needed in Cobourg and to waste money like suggested is a disgrace and a total lack of concern for your citizens who are without a home.

Deborah OConnor
1 June 2018 3:35 pm

How about we take the money and find space somewhere, anywhere, for a proper shelter for our homeless population? We know now that we do indeed have a homeless problem, why not apply this “free money” to that most urgent problem? Otherwise we’re just wasting it on more lipstick that does little good for anyone in a real world kind of way.

1 June 2018 2:22 pm

I think if the Town wants high Tech firms to establish downtown, maybe they can had wifi downtown and at the harbour for citizens to use

Reply to  Wifiken
1 June 2018 7:21 pm

A high tech employee without a data plan is not a high tech person.

1 June 2018 2:00 pm

It’s a disgrace.. We’ve seen it all in other communities and government money should never be spent on this kind of cosmetic nonsense. Light-washing does nothing more than turn a building into a stage set and $51,000.00 to drench a building in light is insane. Window-wrapping to the tune of $10,000.00 doesn’t improve the look of a building it merely points out the extent of unoccupied stores on what is becoming an increasingly dreary street. And now, they want to turn King Street into Silicon Valley and reward landlords who’ve neglected their properties for years. The thousands and thousands of dollars they intend to squander on these pathetic projects would be better spent on lawyers to bring charges against well-off landlords to force them to bring their properties up to code and do proper renovations or they should be fined. These landlords should be giving the Town money, not the other way around.

Mrs. Anonymous
1 June 2018 12:02 pm

Although not a big fan of Doug Ford, when he talks about “finding efficiencies” , my guess is that this kind of handout could easily be one of the first things to be cut and no one would really notice.

Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
1 June 2018 12:59 pm

I have seen the window wrapping used in Europe and it greatly enhances storefronts that have been neglected by owners. It works, and brightens up the area.
We deserve as taxpayers a healthy and vibrant downtown.A nice environment to walk and shop.

Reply to  Pierre
1 June 2018 1:33 pm

I’ve seen window wrapping used in Europe, too, and it genuinely turns my stomach. A bunch of over-sized pictures on a store window does not make a healthy and vibrant downtown. Too many and it gives you that old familiar feeling of camouflaged urban decay.

Reply to  Tim
1 June 2018 5:40 pm

Doug Ford has no idea what he means when he talks about efficiencies. It’s simply jargon to cover up the fact the PCs don’t even have an actual platform.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Tim
3 June 2018 9:32 am

Agreed Tim!
But we have an example of window wrapping at York Super Pharmacy right here in Cobourg!
Huge multi-racial photos of happy folks with their mouths open.

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
7 June 2018 4:28 pm

That is genuinely funny!

Reply to  Pierre
1 June 2018 7:17 pm

Making building look marginally better does not result in a “healthy and vibrant downtown”. For that you need businesses that supply a desirable product that is available when people wish to shop.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Pierre
2 June 2018 1:16 pm

I’ve seen the same Pierre, especially in Poland, specifically, Lodz-Kaliska, where a group of artist activists turned tenement buildings into art and brought some vibrancy to an otherwise dull vacant hole of depression. I had worked with this group during the Cold War.

Locally, ‘poetry in C{obo}urg spaces’ had window wrapped a store window with poets and their poetry. It was called a window anthology, three volumes. A lot of Cobourg residents read the window. A couple months later a book/game store moved in and has been prospering ever since. Window wrapping in this instance caused no harm.

Critical Mass in Port Hope put up marvellous window displays of their collective creativity, which expanded to other creative endeavors and placed them into the downtown public domain. Port Hope’s retail downtown appears to be doing better than Cobourg, insofar as the number of empty stores are concerned. Critical Mass recently opened a gallery in downtown Port Hope. They are the antithesis of institutional galleries.

Artists may be the most effective and articulate agents of creative window wraps that illuminate homelessness.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
3 June 2018 8:55 pm

“Artists may be the most effective and articulate agents of creative window wraps that illuminate homelessness.”
hey 007, what does that even mean?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
4 June 2018 1:15 am

Someone suggested money go to help the homeless. I suggest artists could use their talent to shine a light on homelessness. A remedial reading comprehension course would be an advantage for you.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 June 2018 8:14 am

I get it now, I guess I was confused because the word homeless doesn’t appear anywhere on this thread. Maybe you should have added that thought under Deborah’s thread from a few days ago or at least try to tie the two threads together for those of us who are challenged. It’s doubly hard for anyone challenged to comprehend writing that is Dr. Seuss or Ned Flanders-like with made up silly words.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 June 2018 2:13 pm

Poetry and art may be uplifting for the soul, but what our homeless need first and foremost is a roof over their heads that won’t leak! Once that is achieved we can worry about their souls being uplifted.

In the meantime the Town should concentrate on meeting residents’ needs, not creating more lavish recreational activities for a few.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
5 June 2018 8:01 am

Poetry and art are great means to transmit the message of homeless needs. Boring prose (righteous as it may be) doesn’t motivate (uplift) as effectively .