Architectural Technology students from Durham College were asked to produce practical designs for potential development locations in Downtown Cobourg. Their teacher Ali Taileb gave them a choice of one of two locations on Albert Street: either the land adjacent to Rotary Park which is now a parking lot or the land on the South West corner of Albert and Division – now occupied by buildings. They had to resolve issues that would come up for site plan approval and were briefed on that by Cobourg’s Planning Department. As a result they worried about issues such as preserving one of the trees, moving buried water mains, parking requirements and more. They also had to comply with a requirement for a mixed residential and commercial development. They then presented their designs to the public on Thursday in the Civic Forum.
Each team of students had different choices and different solutions – some analysed the commercial viability and worried about the cost of removing asbestos from the old buildings on the corner; others were specific about what would be suitable businesses. For example, since there are nearby bicycle trails, a bicycle shop would seem a good choice. At least one team suggested including a building that could be used to house the farmers’ market in the winter. And of course, they were conscious that their design should harmonize with existing Downtown buildings.
The Town’s Partnership with Durham College goes back several years – below the photos are links to reports on student efforts in 2014, 2015, 2016.
Since there is a lot of creativity shown by the students, one would hope that a developer would pick up some of the ideas but so far that has not happened.
The photos at right and below are of just some of the student teams. In the last photo, Mayor John Henderson is talking to one of the teams and Councillor Nicole Beatty is talking to Professor Ali Taileb. I was there around 1:45 pm – the event was open from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. I didn’t see a lot of residents although that was probably because of the short notice of the event (24 hours).
Note (March 2022): Links were to articles on Cobourg Internet site and now lost
- Architecture Students have fresh ideas for Downtown – 4 December 2014
- Downtown Renovation Ideas – 10 December 2015
- Fresh Ideas for Downtown – 14 December 2016