Campground Decision

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, in addition to the discussion on the East Pier, Dean Hustwick, Director of Community Services also asked Council to give direction on what should be done with the Trailer Park – now called the Campground.  As with the East Pier, Councillor Emily Chorley made a motion to start discussion – see below. Mayor Henderson wondered if the proposal was too narrow and wanted to include the YMCA building (at Centennial Pool) which is nearing its end-of-life (2025).  He also thought that there are too few washrooms overall in the area and wanted an overall plan to be created. In addition, the campground office building could perhaps house public washrooms. Dean Hustwick agreed that other options can be looked at.

Trailer Park Interface
Trailer Park Interface

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee had the following comments on the issue:

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee has observed that the public will seems to be to retain the campground, that service upgrades are a necessary cost and should be adopted but cosmetic upgrades such as the interface improvements require more in depth study before a thoughtful recommendation can be made by this Committee.

In response to a question from Mayor Henderson, Emily explained that the “interface” referred to the recommendation in the Waterfront plan which suggested that a barrier (in effect) be put between the trailers and the beach as shown in the picture above right.  Since 1) the cost would be about $400K, 2) high water means there is now less beach available and 3) there seemed to be little public support for the idea, Emily left it off her motion.

Council Decision

Her motion included the following:

THAT Council instruct staff to procure engineering and other professional services to develop drawings, costs and tender documents for the following:

  1. Essential Campground improvements:
  • Service upgrades (water, sanitary and electrical);
  • Service building upgrades and potential new joint service buildings; (modified from original)
  • Registration system upgrades;
  • Increase rates and revise policies;
  • Review/improve the configuration of campground sites;
  1.  Optional Campground improvements (to be costed separately):
  • General landscape improvements;
  • Extend/expand the use of the campground (for greater all-season use);
  • Provide multi-use trail connection around campground perimeter;

The motion also included direction on funding and that “the procured drawings/costings of the Campground improvements be presented to Council for approval by September 2020 prior to issuing RFPs/tendering”. So construction would start in 2021.

The motion passed.

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7 November 2019 8:50 pm

I cannot believe that the people of Cobourg decided not to develop land that could be more frequently used by the people who actually live in Cobourg. Why do we think the trailer park is for the benefit of locals? I personally would love to pick my kids up from school and take them to a restaurant over looking the beach. We use the beach daily in the warmer months and would love to have a sit down dinner on the beach. There is no doubt in my mind that a development with Cobourg’s beachgoers in mind would be successful, and provide an opportunity for all of Cobourg’s residents to utilize.

Colin Baxter
27 October 2019 2:10 pm

I honestly believe that the “trailer park” is an eyesore. We such an amazing waterfront that has ongoing potential to be even better. Enhancement of that area would be well served by, at some point, having A two story conference centre/hotel with outdoor patios and restaurant(s), and park area. Just my opinion.

Cobourg Patriot
Reply to  Colin Baxter
27 October 2019 3:03 pm

Is the site not on a flood zone thus eliminating permanent structures like a restaurant or hotel?

Reply to  Colin Baxter
27 October 2019 6:30 pm

And who will pay for this the ROI on this investment would be horrendous, that is if the Town would ever sell the land at market value?

20 October 2019 5:49 pm

If taxpayers are On the hook to pay for improvements to our beach area, perhaps council should look at how we can charge outsiders (other than Cobourg residents) for the use of our beach. I was at the CCC on Saturday and a Toronto Tour Bus pulled up around 10am and let off about 30 seniors to use our washroom facilities…gratis…I don’t believe the bus was stopping in Cobourg for an excursion…lunch, etc.We are giving away our town to outsiders…it seems.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  cornbread
20 October 2019 6:12 pm

Apparently this is a common, regular occurence according to those who frequent the CCC on a regular basis.

If bus companies want to use the CCC toilets as as an included feature in their tour or travel packages, there should be a set fee charged to the bus company to cover the cost of cleaning and maintaining our washrooms.

Reply to  cornbread
21 October 2019 9:11 am

Instead of charging fixed-income Toronto Seniors a loo-fee, plant bushes along the 401 exits.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  Albert
21 October 2019 9:32 am

That’s what the ONRoute stops are for.

19 October 2019 1:07 pm

The most beautiful beach in Ontario

19 October 2019 10:50 am

ALL of this is Fine change , maintenance, improvement is necessary
just don’t let Council Take this facility from a self supporting (Buzz word )Financially Sustainable
operation and turn it into another looser that the Citizens have to support with $$$$ ===========
This Council will always spend more than they have and take any viable business operation to the point where it is no longer viable . At present we have an asset that can and will support its self .

Miriam Mutton
19 October 2019 9:49 am

I concur with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and Council’s direction on this and including the Centennial pool is a good idea. The Town also owns a small parking lot accessed by the street running along the north side, Charles Street I think, and perhaps this piece could also be included in the planning. This was a former location of the Town greenhouse. Why not a building over top the parking?

19 October 2019 8:37 am

I am not sure how much revenue is generated from the campground for Cobourg but in my opinion this little campground should moved elsewhere and this beautiful lakefront property be used as community parkland and incorporated with Victoria Park to be used as public space or partly designated for public parking.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Barry
19 October 2019 9:46 am

partly designated for public parking.

Good idea. Parking only on the southern edge of the campground so that the beach and water vista can be enjoyed by car owners, especially in the off-season. The Town need to pave a path to the parking area and pave the parking area as well. That will cost some coin. Then there will be the need for snow ploughing in winter, and that also costs money. Of course the revenue from the campers will no longer be coming in to pay for the maintenance, so that will leave the cost to the taxpayers.

There is already a gate at the entrance of the campgrounds. Charge $$$$ to enter that parking lot. There is no reason the Town should be in the investment of services that only benefit car owners whether local or from outside Town.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 October 2019 1:13 pm

$$$$s to park (in the trailer park) during downtime (6 mos) seems like a good idea. This would help offset the cost for the Town crews to create parking ‘spaces’ along the railing facing the beach. It is open, airy, easily accessible (to users and cops alike) and can be closed down sometime in the evening to avoid the seemingly increasing (my take) vandalism. Finally would provide a 12 month revenue stream.

19 October 2019 8:32 am

Congratulations to the council for getting it right.
The campground is a valuable asset to the town and brings in many tourists to our beautiful town. We who live in the area also get to enjoy the campground.The campground with the mentioned improvements and a few more tweaks can be a first class destination.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  David
19 October 2019 9:56 am

Absolutely thumbs up for that.

Jim Thomas
Reply to  Wally Keeler
21 October 2019 6:51 pm

My perception is that the campground brings in only a very limited number of visitors, considering the large area of prime property involved, and that we locals don’t get to “enjoy” the place at all.
Am I missing something here?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Jim Thomas
21 October 2019 10:03 pm

I’m a local and the campground is something I enjoyed. During my teens and youth, it brought young girls/women from out of town. Flirting, dating, ensued. For a few years a friend camped there and I enjoyed campfires and burgers there. I haven’t had that regular pleasure since. I enjoyed that once last year and once a few years ago. So I get to enjoy the place. I can still recall the campground in the 1950s and the kind of tin can trailers that were there then, and now we see bloated buses. Talk about prosperity on overdrive.

19 October 2019 8:17 am

Finally, someone mentions the Centennial pool building. There are many of us who enjoy the pool and Aquafit classes each morning in the summer. The interior of the building and washrooms are disgusting. Who is responsible for the upgrades that are necessary? Is it the town or the Y?

Reply to  CIW
19 October 2019 8:43 am

Like any other “Club” the members of the YMCA should be on the hook for renovations, not every taxpayer in the town.

Reply to  cornbread
19 October 2019 9:16 am

Then keep the public out and make it only available to Y members who pay for the upgrades.

Wally Keeler
18 October 2019 2:41 pm

The trailer park is a unique feature of downtown Cobourg and downtown Cobourg is unique amongst towns. Clustered downtown is a premier park, a sandy beach, a campground, an old retail street, a harbour, a natural west beach, boardwalk and meadow, all within a few minutes walk from each other, DOWNTOWN.

I have, over many years, friends and relatives who have parked in that campground and enjoyed the use of a campfire, the smell of burning wood and carbon emissions was part of the wonderful ambience of the evening, and flavoured the burgers just right. A breeze caressing us. Small pleasures. Much less expensive than Breakers or Best Western or … And the Town profits from the campground – that is a very good thing.

Deborah O'Connor
18 October 2019 2:30 pm

I propose that people must live here for at least 10 years before being allowed to express their opinion on anything. Sick of city slickers mouthing off, trying to destroy our longstanding traditions and sensibilities.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
18 October 2019 3:31 pm

At first I thought you were joking but it appears you are serious. I for one have lived here my whole life and dislike the trailer park. Where does that place me on your hierarchy?

Reply to  Durka
18 October 2019 10:17 pm

I will second that and I have 63 years in Cobourg.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
18 October 2019 4:55 pm

Sounds pretty elitist.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
18 October 2019 8:51 pm

Do you harbour the same sentiment when it comes to newcomers to Canada, or is it just newcomers to Cobourg that irk you?
On Monday, newcomers to Canada who have lived here for as little as 3 years (I’m sure I will be corrected if wrong) will help us pick our next federal government. Not just have an opinion about who should lead our country, but actually help us choose who.
That thought must scare the begeezus out of you.
You sound like “you know who” when it comes to born, and your (supposed) hierarchy of, Cobourgers.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
19 October 2019 8:46 am

I think Deborah took the book “Brave New World” to heart. Some are more equal than others!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  cornbread
19 October 2019 9:50 am

cornbread, please note:
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. A proclamation by the pigs who control the government in the novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell.
Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
19 October 2019 11:39 am

Thanks Wally, long time since I read the book. Now I remember.

Reply to  cornbread
19 October 2019 9:55 am

Or was it “Animal Farm”?

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
19 October 2019 8:49 am

Wow what a misguided comment. The logic is not the Canadian way. We all should have a voice.

New Cobourg
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
19 October 2019 8:50 am

I am one of those new owners (moved in over the summer). We bought here because we loved the town atmosphere, the picturesque beach, and the historical significance of the town. I have chosen to learn about that history including the campground.
I run through the beach walk pretty much every morning and love the views as well as saying a “good morning” to those in the campground. I think it’s quaint and endearing to the town. As an added bonus, it brings in revenue.
By the way, I pay my taxes just like every other home owner and I WILL have my say, as well as defend any other taxpayer to have his or her say, even if it differs from mine. Cheers!

Reply to  New Cobourg
19 October 2019 9:16 am

New Cobourg…well said.
Many of us move here for the some of the same reasons.
Enjoy Cobourg & welcome.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  New Cobourg
19 October 2019 10:11 am

double thumbs up for that

Jim Thomas
Reply to  Wally Keeler
21 October 2019 7:14 pm

I remember back in the 50s when this town was notorious for being unwelcoming to those who moved here. It was a distinct feature of the place way back then (when D.O. and I were neighbours on Ball St.) but I am astonished that such sentiment still exists.
Not sure where that leaves those such as myself, born and raised here, then gone for decades, then back again. Am I now one of “those”?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Jim Thomas
22 October 2019 11:08 am

Not sure where that leaves those such as myself, born and raised here, then gone for decades, then back again. Am I now one of “those”?

Good question. I left downtown Cobourg for downtown Toronto to realize my ambitions. I did visit friends and family in Cobourg every two or three weeks, but lived elsewhere for 37 years. Although there is a condescending crank who hates it whenever someone mentions that they are Cobourg-born — sticks in their craw for some stupid reason or other.

When I was young living in Cobourg I had two mentors, both of them from outside Cobourg. Peter Kolisnyk, internationally recognized minimalist artist, and Foster Russell, editor and publisher of the Cobourg Sentinal Star. Being born and raised here, gives one the advantage of having known and experienced Cobourg on the 50s, 60s … It doesn’t make one better than any other Cobourg resident, but it doesn’t make them a Neanderthal either.

Being born and raised in Cobourg is one of the luckiest things that has ever happened to me. I’m not proud to have been born here because it is not an accomplishment, just a happenstance, but I sure am happy for that happenstance and I value the Town as a consequence.

I especially value those that chose to come/live here. Almost all appreciate their choice to live amongst those of us who had no choice (born) but are happy as heck to live here.

Reply to  New Cobourg
19 October 2019 10:21 am

We camped here for 10 or more years. We liked to so much we moved here. We have now lived here for 5 years and do not regret it one bit. We also still use the campground on occasion. We love this town.

Reply to  New Cobourg
29 October 2019 8:28 am

I am new to Cobourg too, only 5 years. Love the town, the campground, the beach, the friendly people, the downtown shopping, market. I have put a lot of money and time into shopping and socializing local and have every right to my opinion on the town I love and chose as my home. To have an opinion that we keep quiet unless we have lived here for 10 years is ridiculous. I certainly did not wait 10 years to support local economy.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
19 October 2019 10:56 am

I bought here three years ago and moved here last year from halfway across the country. As Canadians we have the right to live anywhere in the country we wish. Get over yourself.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
19 October 2019 3:10 pm

Wow, how rude. City slickers pay taxes, too!

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
20 October 2019 4:34 am

56 thumbs down. I think that is a record.
Way to go Deb.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
20 October 2019 10:19 am

I use to enjoy your comments as I believed they offered possibilities. However, after this tirade, I will pass you by. I am tired of all of us “city slickers” being defamed by myopic and selfish thinking. You have shown your true colours, Ms. O’Connor. Pity.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
20 October 2019 1:24 pm

As Einstein once said, “Stay away from negative people – they have a problem for every solution.”

This is 2019. There is no place in civil society for those who believe they are above or better than everyone else.

It matters not how long you have lived here or where you are from. My experience is that Cobourg embraces everyone who choses to live here because they picked a little bit of Paradise as their home.

Hurtful attitudes like Deborah’s are relics of the past.

manfred s
Reply to  Canuck Patriot
20 October 2019 1:39 pm

Canuck P., I think Deb is talking about the ones that feel their own version of “paradise” is better than the one they moved to, and are out to renovate it to their own liking.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  manfred s
20 October 2019 5:23 pm

Where is your evidence or hers that it is the newcomers to Town, the so-called “city slickers” that are out to renovate the Town as they like it.

The only person I can think of who could possibly fill that description is our Director of Community Affairs, Cobourg’s 24 Million $ Man with his grandiose plans to transform the Waterfront into something residents, old and new, don’t want.

I would suggest that most people who moved here in the last 10 years did so because they liked Cobourg the way it looked and felt.

I’m not aware of any “city slickers” who would like to change the waterfront into a two-tier pier and turn it into a Coney Island. But I do know of one old timer who thinks it would be great.

Manfred, this is not about being politically correct or obsessive with self-righteous. Believe me I’m far from being the politically correct type. But I do believe that certain fundamentals apply in a democracy. And telling people they are less of a citizen of Cobourg because of how long they have lived here is insulting and arrogant.

manfred s
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
20 October 2019 1:33 pm

I get your drift Deb. Seems so often that folks come here for what’s here and THEN want to do some personalization to also add what they miss about back home that they left behind. Sometimes makes you wonder why in hell they even thought they’d be happy here. As for all the negative responses, goes to show just how self-righteous and ‘political correctness’ obsessed some folks are, and how INtolerant they actually are of nakedly honest commentary. Can’t you just imagine the struggles going on in their own heads trying to be something they’re not? Who needs ’em!

Reply to  manfred s
29 October 2019 9:54 am

Seems so often that folks come here for what’s here and THEN want to do some personalization to also add what they miss about back home that they left behind. Sometimes makes you wonder why in hell they even thought they’d be happy here.

You mean stuff like the Highland Games or Oktoberfest or St. Paddy’s Day?

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
29 October 2019 10:15 am

Take a pill Deb… the last time I checked, we pay taxes and have the right to state our opinions just as you do. I did not move here to make another “Toronto”! I was tired of city living and came here to enjoy my retirement, support local business, walk the boardwalk, enjoy Victoria park and generally contribute to the health and well being of Cobourg. How dare you insinuate we are lesser citizens because we are ‘outsiders’. This is not 1950. Your prejudice is only surpassed by your arrogance.

18 October 2019 1:16 pm

What a wasted opportunity. As I’ve stated before, if there wasn’t a campground there to begin with, would anyone support putting one in now? It’s a dreadful use of land. It should be park to the south, northern edge developed (there are already buildings adjacent), and a view opened up at the foot of Division with vista of parkland, beach and water. But there is no imagination it seems, and we will continue to look at a fenced in compound of trailers. Great.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Durka
18 October 2019 5:25 pm

During the off-season, the campgrounds could be opened for those with the deep need to drive cars, a place to park and enjoy the vista of the beach and water. That way the Town can make their $$$$$$ from the campers, then during the off season the Town can charge $5 for each car to enter the campgrounds to park and enjoy the vista to their hearts content. There is no parking on the pier in winter, so the southern strip of the trailer park would be ideal to check out the winter vista. The nominal $5 charge will cover the snow ploughing expenses for the precious car owners. It just took a little imagination to ideate that.

You assert that the northern portion of the campgrounds be “developed”. Ok, developed to what? What does your imagination say should be developed there? And will it make money for the Town? Will it look good?

Reply to  Durka
19 October 2019 8:32 am

no one gave me an answer on a former question i had?
my understanding was that that property was bequeathed to the town with the stipulation that it remain a campground in perpetuity?

John Draper
Reply to  greengrass
19 October 2019 9:20 am

CAO Stephen Peacock told me a few years ago that it’s simply not true – there is no requirement that the campground remain as such. But it’s a common story spread around town.

Reply to  John Draper
21 October 2019 8:49 am

I heard another story
…that the land was bequeathed to the Town, yes, but the words, “to be enjoyed by all” was in the Will. With the amount of discussion around this topic all the time, I’m surprised that nobody has researched the actual facts regarding the land. It would be nice to know the real history and then one day, maybe let ALL Cobourg citizens have their say in a Referendum vote.