At a special Council meeting on Monday, Council passed a motion to close Victoria Park beach for the summer. A fence will be erected on the sand with enough space left for a walkway parallel to the existing walkway – the extra space allows people to pass by each other with proper social distancing. There was no provision for residents to access the beach – everyone will face the risk of a fine for trespassing [Fine $65]. There was considerable public interest and differences of opinion – Council heard 5 delegations and received 26 items of correspondence. My count of these (see below) had 10 who wanted the Beach to stay open (as now – with limitations) and 19 who wanted the beach closed in some form. There were over 200 people watching the meeting online compared to a typical audience of about 15.
Dennis Nabieszko of the CTA presented the CTA petition with 1,662 signatures; Mayor John Henderson said that he had had the largest citizens’ engagement on any subject in his years on Council; several councillors said it was the hardest decision they had to face; several letter writers and one delegation argued that the beach should stay open for its health benefits and several wanted visitors excluded.
The meeting started with the Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Pine Ridge District Health Unit describing Provincial rules and then Council heard from the delegations (see Agenda in Links below).
Letters and Presentations
|Name||Type||Open or Close|
|Paul Pagnuelo||Delegation||Close for summer – maybe allow locals|
|Dennis Nabieszko, CTA||Petition||Close for rest of 2020|
|Dilys Robertson||Delegation||More info – until then open to locals only|
|Anne-Marie Bouthillette||Delegation||Close to Visitors except with paid permits|
|Cliff and Lorie Stroud||Correspondence||Close|
|Caroline Rowan||Correspondence||Close – maybe allow locals|
|Joy Doncaster||Correspondence||Close to Visitors|
|Christina Wilson||Correspondence||Close to Visitors|
|Jim Glover||Correspondence||Close in 2020; charge visitors fee in 2021|
|Lisa Filce||Correspondence||Close to Visitors|
|Anne Rawson||Correspondence||Close to Visitors|
|Rob Jewitt||Correspondence||Close for summer|
|Lawrence James Boyle||Correspondence||Close|
|Kerri Dunn||Correspondence||Close – maybe allow locals|
|Eleanor Hawking||Correspondence||Close – maybe allow locals|
|Linda Walker||Correspondence||Close or limit number|
Two correspondence items were received too late to be included in the Agenda.
The CTA petition was received without comment.
Then Aaron Burchat moved the motion to close the beach and included a requirement for a staff report on June 22 which would recommend actions on parking, how the beach would eventually be re-opened and the costs involved.
Action Recommended: THAT Council receive the report referred from the May 11, 2020 Committee of the Whole Meeting and the Second Report on By-law Enforcement Statistics for Information purposes; and
FURTHER THAT Council direct Staff to implement the closure of Victoria Beach until August 31 2020 and install metal fencing, barriers with emergency access points as necessary and continue with increased enforcement at the Waterfront area in order to continue to make sure residents and visitors are complying with Provincial Orders and complying with Physical Distancing Guidelines as set out by Federal Provincial and Local Health Units; and
FURTHER THAT the Staff provide a further report to Council at the Monday June 22, 2020 Committee of the Whole Meeting with any statistics of Waterfront area activities and any other areas of concern that arise due to the beach closure, and in addition include in the report how the Town could reopen the beach with restricted use, along with the costing estimates associated with the reopening of the Beach for Council approval.
Amendments were added to 1) provide portable washrooms (porta potties) and 2) signage stating that the beach is closed. These to be placed on the 401 and other entrances to the Town. There was considerable discussion on parking and washrooms and the fact that the situation is continuously changing.
The amended motion was passed unanimously with a recorded vote. Since this was NOT a Committee of the Whole meeting, no confirmation is required. Therefore the beach will be closed immediately (Tuesday June 2nd) although the fence and signs would likely not be installed until the weekend. Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf commented that once the fence and signs were installed, there would be zero tolerance.
There were some suggestions that there should also be similar changes with the Campground and Marina but Mayor Henderson in his role as chair ruled these to be not germane to the subject of the special meeting so could not be discussed. In response to a question, Director Dean Hustwick said that there had been no decision made yet about re-opening the campground.
- Council Agenda including correspondence
- Press Release from Town – added 2 June
After all is said and done, Cobourg has no significant tourist attraction other than a beach. The Town is good for a food stopover on the way to something far more interesting. Cobourg is a dismal bore, lacking in imagination. Individuals with creative abilities invariably leave Cobourg. In return, Cobourg has filled itself with aging fuddy duddies that flog the same old tired ideas of the past.
Wally, I guess you just self explained why you still live here, thanks for the clarification.
Lack of creative ability
I just explained why I left. Because of unimaginative people like yourself.
The Town does not require a tourist attraction. It can exist (even for a few months), as the majority of communities do, without one. How many hundreds of communities do not have beaches or harbours or waterfalls or canyons? Your posiion is as preposterous as it is idiotic. Why is it the entire Council, along with over 1,600 petition signatories, absolutely and emphatically disagree with you? Your only hope: mediocrity becomes fashionable and is somehow confused with true creativity or intelligence.
I didn’t say it had to be a tourist attraction. I am saying that there is an incredible lack of creativity in this Town. There are communities that do not have beaches, harbours, waterfalls, canyons, but they have great displays of true creativity and intelligence and earn that valuable commodity called CASH, MONEY, $$$$$. The 1600 petitioners say nothing about creativity here or elsewhere. We have a beach — big deal. Nothing creative about that. What is creative about Cobourg? What is creative about Cobourg? Nothing much and it is reflective of most of the community, and the lack of creativity displayed by the fuddy duddies of this blog.
Did anyone see the man interviewed on the news tonight at Cobourg beach? He stated that he was from Toronto and had come to the beach here to swim but was disappointed to see barriers being erected.
Swim in 60 degree water? At least he didnt suffer from hypothermia
I have said iot before and I repeat: Cobourg needs to build a wall around the town and have Toronto pay for it. Then we shall be safe from any and all contamination that comes to us on the 401.
If you believe this is all fake news or a gross overstatement of medical risk try volunteering to clean the beach and marina porta potties, sans gloves and personal protective gear. If you are right you have nothing to fear.
MCGAGA, what is it like to have no imagination of your own?
Where and when did you say this before Eilert Frerichs?
I have not read through the other comments but I was somewhat perplexed and angered when I drove down to the Marina parking lot yesterday and spotted at least a dozen Quebec license plates. Here we are protecting our citizens by closing the beach to locals and out of townees, but then allowing out of province people access to the lake, and the rest of Cobourg. This doesn’t add up!!!
I would imagine those folks from PQ are visiting their boats in the Marina. They’ve been good for the town businesses for many many years.
Its surprising to me that you are “onboard” with visitors from Canada’s covid epicentre, after being so supportive of the Cobourg beach closure, mandatory masks (mask it or casket) and the inevitable second wave – if it is all about the protection of the citizens how does this differ in your opinion? How are Quebec boat owners less risky than non-resident beach-goers? For the record, I think the beach and the marina should be open and controlled.
Scores of people claimed crowds coming together at the Lake of the Ozarks during Memorial Day weekend would lead to a spike in CCP virus cases, but that has not been the case so far, a top health official said.
Another article provided by Dr. Wally from a superb and independent source:
“The Epoch Times was founded in the United States in the year 2000 in response to communist repression and censorship in China. Our founders, Chinese-Americans who themselves had fled communism, sought to create an independent media to bring the world uncensored and truthful information.”
This paper exists because no one else brings truthful information? Nothing from RUSSIA TODAY works for you today?
Poor widdle MCGAGA got a slow comment day — can’t find anything witty to say. B.O.R.I.N.G. There is more wit and creativity in a cinder block than in your comment.
You’re name calling (with childish made up names) and spelling out the word boring and you bemoan a lack of wit and creativity on the part of others?
It was widely reported by multiple reputable media outlets that there were initially no COVID cases reported following the Memorial Day weekend party. There has since been one case reported and it’s linked to a partier who attended several crowded indoor bars and a packed pool party nightclub. It’s important to remember that in ALL COUNTRIES less than 0.3% of traced COVID infections have been from an outdoor environment. It’s worth reading the scientific evidence about how and where germs are spread before shutting down all beaches and parks.
Next delegation to council, Security checks at each exit from Cobourg, we need to keep residents safe, nobody permitted to leave, if they get out they can’t come back in, they could bring something in with them. If guests are dangerous clearly we cant go anywhere.
Somewhere in a recent post the commentator pointed out that sarcasm does not work very well in these comments. Mr. Jones must be using using sarcasm because security checks at each exit from Cobourg would not be very practical. I think that the main problem with opening the beach is social distancing on the beach. There is an article (nationalpost.com/news/world/top-epidemiologist-admits-he-got-swedens-covid-19-strategy-wrong) on Sweden’s strategy of keeping things open. It does not appear to be working from either a human life nor economic point of view. Movement of its citizens could be restricted by other countries. If Cobourg has an outbreak would we be restricted from visiting other towns? That is not very likely. If we can find a practical way to limit the number of people (locals or visitors) using the beach to minimize the risks of spreading the virus then maybe we can open it. There are some ideas in the comments. Maybe the next delegation to council will be on one of these ideas.
If we can control the number on the beach with preference to locals that would satisfy everyone except for those who have an irrational preference for tourists. Kevin, perhaps you could provide a delegation at the June 22 Council meeting to present ideas about how it could be done..
This may come as a shock to you, Dubious, but along with agriculture, tourism is the biggest activity in Northumberland County. Much of our manufacturing is gone, thanks to free trade.
Free Trade with the United States.and Mexico did not cause a loss of good manufacturing jobs.
Trade with China and cheap labour is the real culprit. Manufacturers looking for more profit gave up on countries like ours that produced real wealth. If many lose their shirts pulling out of China I won’t be shedding any tears. Those who stayed made the right choice.
Golly, Deborah, I thought that government jobs and welfare were the biggest sources of income. Silly me!
Let’s be clear about this “big” activity: tourism, as it pertains to Cobourg. What is the “big” metric. Dollars spent or body count.
If the metric is dollars then yes, that segment of visitors is welcome. If the metric is body count the no. The main component of this metric is “beachers”, who spend very few dollars and cause a lot of cost for the local residents. Ask the downtown businesses if “beachers” contribute much (anything) to their trade. The answer will, in most cases, be no.
Where is this main metric of “beachers” as a body count for Cobourg actually published?
Good question Merry Mary.
Ask Deborah or perhaps the Town CAO. I doubt that you will get a useful answer.
The issue I was trying to raise is that statements like “tourism is the biggest activity….” without any reference to the metric or its source contribute little to moving the discussion forward.
The other part of the issue is that the metrics, such as they are, are often products of the SWAG method and not much better than outright speculation. Pick a number, scream it from the rooftops for a lengthy time period and the sheeple will say “Yes! that must be true. How wise they are.
Read this. http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/publications/PR_Northumberland_exec.pdf
Was there something specific in there you wanted us to see Deborah, or just all of it in general. Did you read the whole thing?
Very timely data Deborah 2007-2009. All about Northumberland, nothing Cobourg specific. Very useful for critical decision making for Cobourg in 2020.
Merry Mary asked about Cobourg specific data, so my comment that “I doubt that you will get a useful answer” stands
Says $111,700,000.00 spent in Northumberland County. No proof that a single $ was spent in Cobourg.
Generates $3,800,000.00 in tax revenue, but no proof that any of that goes to Cobourg.
Produces $60,500,000.00 in labour income and 1,725 full and part time jobs, but no proof that that any of that benefits Cobourg
Says 1.330,000 visitors annually to Northumberland County but no proof that a single person came to Cobourg.
71,000 visitors to Northumberland for boating, but no proof that any of those boaters visited Cobourg.
69,000 visitors for sports events in Northumberland but no proof that any came to Cobourg.
66,000 visitors to Northumberland for festivals/fairs, but no proof that any came to Cobourg.
59,000 visitors to Northumberland for historic sites, but no proof that any came to Cobourg.
56,000 visitors to Northumberland for cultural performances, but no proof that any came to Cobourg.
34,000 visitors to Northumberland for museums and art galleries, but no proof that any came to Cobourg.
Wally, Your points are well taken. Not only is this study very dated, 2007-2009, but it is also a macro study of Northumberland and offers no insight into the individual municipalities. The $111.7M spent is a highly suspect. The province’s tourism economic model is a “black box” into which some data is entered and the output is $111.7M or whatever amount the operator wants. Don’t like the result, just input some new numbers. There is no information, transparency or accountability regarding how these “feed” numbers are determined. As with most computerized economic models; garbage in, garbage out.
The $3.8M in tax revenue looks impressive but is totally bogus as a benefit to Northumberland. It is provincial and federal sales tax, not property tax.
71K boating visitors! This one is a real stretch. As noted in the study a significant portion of the tourist activity is Northumberland residents travelling within Northumberland. So a boat with 2 people going from Cobourg to Port Hope and back is included in this stat.
You can’t make a case for the benefits of beach tourism without lots of BS! There is a good article in today’s Globe and Mail regarding the harms of tourism in Venice:
Seriously have you ever been to Venice. There no comparison. Venice has been hosting tourism for a thousand years and more. It is a UNESCO site (world Heritage) everywhere.
Venice hosts millons of Tourist annually.
The comparison escapes me Fact checker.
Can you provide your metrics please.
I have been to Venice.
It is a magnificent city full of museums, cathedrals, palaces, architecture, unique shops, canals, culture, arts and yes a beach. But you don’t go to Venice for the beach.
Just for clarity, Sam, I didn’t mention any sort of comparison with Venice. That would be Mr. Strauss, and I think you totally missed the point he was making. What is the point you are trying so hard to make? Provide metrics for what?
Tourism dollars and tourism are two different things. Our beach attracts tourists for no dollars and the taxpayers pickup after them
So isn’t it incumbent on businesses, the DBIA, the Town and new entrepreneurs to figure out how to pull more money from the tourists. Tourism isn’t going away so learn to exploit it.
They can all start by not wasting time, energy and advertising money on beach tourism. Beach tourists are not spending tourists. I’d much rather have a Town that caters to its residents first and supports local businesses for 12 months of the year.
I feel communities like Port Stanley, Wasaga, Picton and Port Dover (among others) have figured it out. Perhaps pursuing a Blue Flag rating would help in marketing the community. Maybe if you could buy tacky Cobourg t-shirts/tourist swag on the boardwalk, an ice-cream truck on the pier, inflatable kids toys at a vendor, a popsicle/snowcones sales in the sand, parasailing being offered and a pop-up bar all summer long…in the winter flood beach for an outdoor hockey rink to compliment the other events…all of which would be available to local residents.
Rob, Cobourg has had a Blue Flag rating for several years so we’ve already wasted money on that. I don’t want to see vendors selling “tacky Cobourg t-shirts/tourist swag on the boardwalk“. What you are suggesting is for Cobourg to imitate Whitby (UK) and other disgusting tourist traps. No thanks!
Rob…I agree but its a complex issue that always seems to fall back on relying on beach tourists to shop downtown.I dont believe there are many of their dollars spent here in relation to the expense the Town incurs
Rob: Totally agree that it is the responsibility of those who benefit to figure out how to maximize their “take”. The Town is NOT one of those. The Town is not responsible for shilling for local business.
As noted by others, it is necessary to divide visitors to Cobourg into two general groups; those who spend money here, the tourists, and those that don’t, the beachers.
“Pay for Play” has been suggested by some and if that plan was implemented, the game would change significantly.
If the problem is defined as “city folk invading our beach and park” the solution would seem to be to charge outrageous parking fees for all the spots in that part of town.
I doubt many of these visitors arrive by bus or train, therefore are vulnerable to high parking charges and would quickly learn the price of coming here to visit our beach.
My 2¢ for what it’s worth.
This morning early 2 portapotties and a hand washing station were put in front of the washrooms at the marina facing the residential condos 50 feet away . The marina washrooms have been open to the men working on the electrical equipment for over a week and I assume they are being cleaned. Now we have rental portapotties right in front of usable washrooms does this make sense to anyone???? If they are needed why can’t they be moved to the parking lot or the side of the marina, there are already some on Third St. When the marina washrooms were built the town put up a screen protecting everyone’s privacy. As is no one has privacy and wonder who and how often are these being cleaned. Would appreciate any comments as I don’t understand this placement at all.
With regard to the Porta Potties:-
Teresa Behan, Manager of Parks and Recreation(in 2018) stated in a 2018 Cobourg Town guide to holding public outdoor events in Cobourg that:-
• Organizers are encouraged to keep porta-potties away from residential areas – or at least erect a barrier to stop them being viewed by residences.
Why is that the civil servants of Cobourg can continually break their own guidelines. I cannot imagine that anyone in Cobourg would like to have a porta potty placed 50ft from their dining room table and be able to see in whilst eating.
The health implications are dreadful, these facilities are rarely cleaned on a regular or consistent schedule. There have been numerous complaints about the state of the one on Third street. I cannot imagine this works with the provincial health guidelines. Probably worth checking.
The Town determines the frequency of the cleanings as part of the service agreement.
It was mentioned that the temporary portapotties were there while Lakeland Mutitrade Contractors work on the Marina’s Electrical Issue.
There is a notice on the left hand marina washroom that states “Lakeland Only” The right hand washroom has a notice “Closed at this time”.
I believe that Lakeland have a key to their washroom which is kept locked. I therefore doubt that the intention is for Lakeland to use the portapotties.
On that subject. “Where is Lakeland today?” (June 4)
There are always delays when specific parts or components are in the delivery stage from Suppliers.
Thank you “Merry Mary”. Point well taken.
How can you call this a discussion with so many cowards hiding behind aliases?
Are you more concerned with who said something or what they said? I don’t care who a good point for or against comes from, I just take it as part of the discussion.
On the same note….I dont care if your name is Michal or Michael🙂
There is a long and glorious history of writers electing to write under nom de plums. In the end, an argument, any argument, rises or falls based upon its own merit. Beyond that, many critics and academics believe knowing the author’s name impairs an objective assessment of the work itself. I’ll leave you with Foucault’s thought: “A name makes reading too easy.”
I wouldn’t dignify the commenters here by calling them “authors”. A tad pretentious methinks.
They do not have to be either great or talented writers to qualify as authors, simply writers, per Oxford and other dictionaries.
Some might say to employ a term like “methinks” is pretentious. Eye of the beholder. In either case, I expect a critique by say Alexander Pope would find author acceptable.
Hopefully Council uses this beach closure time to rethink how to stop turning our Victoria Park and Beach into a free GTA getaway beach. There are some good suggestions below like a daily per person user fee for non-residents (at least $10 per person in my view) and a cheap summer pass for residents.I shop on KIng St. and have not found one retail store which claims to benefit from the summer invasion on the beach. Which also results in filling most of the available downtown and residential parking spots for King St. shoppers. I asked an employee at a local store how often she takes her children to the beach in the summer. She told me she has to take her children to the beach after 6:00 PM Monday to Friday because of the GTA invasion during the daytime. How sad is that?
I agree – DBIA, Council, small business and entrepreneurs need to get creative on how to cash in and control the tourist industry. We have a great pier that we use(d) to allow cars to just park on…there is no commerce or creativity in that strategy. Still can’t have a glass of wine and fresh caught fish while overlooking the water. People will gladly pay for goods and services if they are available – but the town has work to do in that area. Tourists aren’t going away – we have natural tourist attractions, a beautiful community and under normal circumstances we offer a full summer schedule. For those who complain about the “invasion” I have to assume they have never went on a vacation, booked a little weekend getaway or packed up the family for a day trip – because they were the “invader” during those times. There are many sleepy Ontario towns looking for new residents…
Old Sailor, I hope that if your suggestion is taken you will not be so hypocritical to visit other places, after maybe the inhabitants of your chosen visit may not like you either!
Public spaces are just that – Public, that means all the public not just your approved visitors!
GTA visitors are welcome here, just as you and I like to visit the GTA! Internal movement in Canada is a constitutionally given right. What’s next in your xenophobia – travel documents?
Wally doppelganger, the Town beach or the Town docks are not purely public property. The Town has domain over their use and can limit aspects of that use as is reasonably required. Beyond that the Town pays to maintain the beach, provide lifeguard protection, clean and maintain washrooms and other common areas, etc. All these expenses are borne by the Town taxpayers NOT the beach goers. Fairness would dictate “Pay-for-Play.” If you wish, as but one example, to camp in Algonquin PROVINCIAL Park, you pay for access. The park belongs to everyone in the Province but to use it you pay. And the fee does not have to be the same for locals, who already subsidize the beach through their annual taxes, versus those coming from outside the Town. Being free to move does not mean being free to use.
Wow! A couple of years ago I suggested the possibility of fencing the Park/Beach area and charging outsiders a gate fee (passes to be issued to residents of “Cobourg”) and was promptly the received of many “thumbs down”…has our collective attitude changed???
Ben, I don’t know about you but I visit the GTA to shop and to dine. In order words I visit the GTA to spend money which supports the GTA’s merchants and restaurants. I don’t go to use a free beach. I don’t go to use a free park. I don’t go to use a free bathroom (are there any in Toronto?).
As you can see, this was all just about the SAFETY.
Obviously not entirely true for businesses in the hospitality industry such as restaurants & motel/hotels.
Not everyone comes to shop but the spin off is enormous.
Thousands of day trippers and hotel guests spending money.
Call me stupid but I thought Cobourg was a Tourist town in the summer and I also thought that is when most of the downtown merchants made any profit.
Now the only good time in 2020 is gone.
Expect lots of businesses in the downtown core to close and King Street to look much worse.
Dear Stupid (you asked), there is no auditable evidence, anywhere that establishes a quantifiable benefit between the beach goer population and patronage of down town businesses. This question has been studied numerous times by both Town staff and outside groups employing people who, in at least one case, would be considered world class at financial and quantitative analysis. In the end, there was zero proof. And simply believing something to be true does not make it so.
Sam made reference to “the day trippers and hotel guests” that spend the money during the summer months when the downtown merchants do profit-rather than the “beach goer population.”
There are no daytrippers this summer in Cobourg that will go anywhere here other than our free beach…eat the food they brought and leave their garbage. Maybe get gas but they arent looking for a room. People from the GTA do not come here to shop downtown.If this was ever recognized the Town can shift marketing dollars to get people here that actually spend money.
In marketing dollar news @ExpCobourg is promoting a “Virtual Canada Day” contest where residents compete to get photos of their decorated homes shared on social media. Personally I’d rather see marketing funds directed to finding safe solutions that would allow people to get the health benefits of time outdoors on beaches and parks creating summer memories, rather than more screen time or a gift basket.
It is a sad day, sad summer. It may only take one person to bring the virus but it also takes someone not following the guidelines to catch it. Doing something creative like using an app or tickets to prebook times esp on weekends, establishing a social distance grid system, have overflow visitors go to the park also with a social distance grid. Instead of creative thinking we have fear. Cobourg you should be better than this.
I agree completely – there’s been no creative thought given to finding a solution. August 30th is a long time away and surely in 3 months something better could have been devised rather than blocking the beach off completely to everyone.
I walk the beach most days. I am happy that it is closing. We are in the middle of a pandemic and keeping our town safe is a priority for council. Well done.
I fear for the west beach. Better put a portapotty there too!
Closing Victoria beach will definitely put pressure on the other beaches. There are already larger than usual numbers on the west beach trampling wildflowers, walking off-leash dogs and crossing fragile dunes by bicycle. The parking lot/ beach at the boat ramp is one big cigarette ashtray for people hanging out in cars.
The names of the signatories on the CTA petition should not have been redacted. The names of other people submitting their opinions, for example see above, are clear for the public record. The petition was part of the meeting agenda, a public forum. Address and other personal information could be redacted but not the names of the people who signed.
Council made a thorough discussion based on information available and it was a difficult decision. No doubt Council will need to revisit this topic periodically over the summer.
Miriam, Cobourg’s Procedural Bylaw 009-2019 (https://cobourg.civicweb.net/document/155337) governs how petitions are handled and includes:
Ken, it needs to change to reflect reality of being a citizen in this day and age let alone new needs for a time of pandemic rules. The section you note was likely created with extra caution for a new way of communicating at the time. Petitions used to require actual original signatures. Consider that delegations are even now identified as well as letter writers. Even your face gets recorded on video that becomes available world wide.
Miriam, I agree that Council should consider changes to many areas of the Procedural Bylaw. Some sections are ambiguous but for petitions it is very clear. Good or bad, until revisions are approved the current bylaw defines how things work. Perhaps you can get it right during your next term on Council!
Let’s hope Miriam gets re-elected next time.
We have to change with the times.
Charge a user fee for any use of the beach by non residents. The user fee can be captured back by the user by purchasing local food and merchandise with a booklet of discounts from local participating merchants . This booklet is provided to all beach goers that pay to use the beach, to encourage them to shop locally and save with coupons provided by local merchants.This could be in place by next year.
Or this year?
WHY the Town continually and consistently Markets the Beach to attract people is beyond me
They can’t show any benefit to the Down Town or improvement in the last 6 or 7 yrs of the King st area .
Cobourg’s population has grown and the beach is just the wright size for what we have become .
In any event the beach is usually crowded to the Point the Cobourger’s can’t enjoy it during the prime season not to mention the parking issues and garbage .
If they continue then they should start looking for ways to expand the beach or offend even more of Cobourg by opening and Marketing the West Beach .
Likely the beach is a part of reason people have relocated to our town – they came, experienced the town and all we have to offer and then eventually relocate (sounds like a benefit to me). The beach is also filled with Cobourgers, Perplexed – why do you assume they are all from out of town (and how can you tell). My kids and their friends have enjoyed the beach for years, during prime time. They enjoy volleyball, organized and ad hoc, sunbath, swim, eat and believe it or not even meet NEW people while there….more people should try it.
The point is well made.
Thought this was all about safety from, “this plague.”
Matt. It was. That is why the beach is closed. Most comments here are peoples opinions as how to improve beach access that is fair to the cobourg taxpayer once its opened again and once the GTA gets control of most of the Provinces Covid cases.
As the population in the GTA grows, the problem of overcrowding on Victoria Beach during peak periods is an issue that needs to be addressed long term not just during this pandemic.
There are so many examples from around the world of methods beach towns have used to control crowds (and overtourism) it’s really disappointing that Cobourg has chosen a route that completely shuts local residents out of the city’s most treasured attraction.
Just a few of the many other alternatives include:
– introducing a limit on visitors in the summer season and a ticketing system for access.
– introducing a fee where residents and non-residents pay $5 per visit but residents can purchase a season pass for $10. Limits on the passes apply.
– dividing the beach into a grid of socially distanced sites, with staggered arrival times and morning or afternoon slots. Restrictions allow for half of the beach’s normal capacity.
Most definitely need of a change. There is no reason something cant be in place by next summer.I believe some type of fee is needed to offset the cost to maintain the beach. It would be helpfull to first have an idea of costs and at least operate the beach on a cost recovery basis.
From the large interest and strong opinions there is certainly no doubt that the beach is very important to Coburg. The province is to extend the state of emergency until the end of June so this decision is consistent with the province. It only takes one person to bring the virus to Cobourg which could make life more inconvenient for all of us. We can not know what the results would have been by keeping the beach open in June. So we can not know if this was the right decision. The beach can still be opened for part of the summer. If that is a goal to work toward the best we can can do is to keep washing our hands and staying 6 feet apart. At least we still have a view of the beach. It is not ideal but with this virus what is?
I’d like to believe the beach will reopen in summer but the way I read it the beach will be closed until August 30. The meeting in June is to deal with parking and ways to reopen beyond the closure period.
To quote ” It only takes one person to bring the virus to Cobourg which could make life more inconvenient for all of us.”
That person could come off the 401 to visit McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s etc.
Should we close them down too? That “one person” could spread the virus there or at the Canadian Tire gas bar. Where does this end?
All those businesses you mentioned have protocols in place to limit the number of customers and ensure spacing is adhered to (to the best of their abilities). When spacing can’t be ensured, they are closed down such as the inside of McDonalds and Tim Horton’s. We don’t have a method in place to limit the number of people and their spacing on the beach, so we closed it down. Maybe we can figure it out sometime this summer, or by next summer, and we can open the beach again.
If you think Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Swiss Chalet, Burger King, Tim Horton’s, A & W etc. are going to be closed indoors all summer you need a reality check.
Cobourg has some of the cheapest gas prices compared to the GTA and is a Pit stop so to speak.
To quote ” It only takes one person to bring the virus to Cobourg which could make life more inconvenient for all of us.”
THAT ONE PERSON MAY NEVER GO TO THE BEACH!
Maybe we should close the whole town down?
Closing the Beach may or may not save lives but it sure as heck will kill the downtown.
Anyway you should check Walmart for social distancing.
This virus is not going to stop spreading to one degree or another until everyone develops immunity or we have a vaccine to prevent it. This will be well into 2021 at the soonest.
If things don’t change soon everything is going to go bust.
The government cannot afford to send out $2,000 checks monthly to most Canadians indefinitely. Whose going to pay all the debt back?
Oh I know. The next generation?
If you think Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Swiss Chalet, Burger King, Tim Horton’s, A & W etc. are going to be closed indoors all summer you need a reality check. When are they going to open Sam? If you say soon, I’ll mark that on my calendar if I can find “soon”. Otherwise, what’s the date? I hope they find a solution to the distancing question and open then. If a solution is found, maybe we can apply that to the beach and open it too. Cobourg has some of the cheapest gas prices compared to the GTA and is a Pit stop so to speak. To quote ” It only takes one person to bring the virus to Cobourg which could make life more inconvenient for all of us.” THAT ONE PERSON MAY NEVER GO TO THE BEACH!* May or may not go to the beach. We don’t know. Maybe we should close the whole town down?* No one is advocating that. Closing the Beach may or may not save lives but it sure as heck will kill the downtown.* May or may not? Sounds like a gamble. Apparently you’re willing to gamble with your life but please don’t gamble with mine or someone else’s. Anyway you should check Walmart for social distancing. This virus is not going to stop spreading to one degree or another until everyone develops immunity or we have a vaccine to prevent it. This will be well into 2021 at the soonest. If things don’t change soon everything is going to go bust.* The government cannot afford to send out $2,000 checks monthly to most Canadians indefinitely.* Most Canadians? When did they extend the CERB to indefinitely? Whose going to pay all… Read more »
It seems from the news today that the City of Toronto is now about to open restaurant patios extremely soon.
I realise that the G.T.A. does not have the size, scope or intellectual qualifications as the Cobourg Town Council but we should consider all the facts.
New York state, apart from NYC, have similar plans to TO, only announced today, which should give Cobourg pause for thought!
Florida beaches have reopened weeks ago but apparently all these tourist spots have less wisdom than our Town Council.
By all means let the downtown of Cobourg die whilst, almost everywhere, the evidence is that outdoors, such as beaches and restaurant patios have lesser risk.
Never mind the costs what about the lost jobs?
Hmm. Food for thought?
Are you going to travel to the patios in Toronto?
No, I expect Restaurant patios to be open in Cobourg possibly next week. The Province is also talking about opening up Ontario like New York State is doing on a regional basis.
BTW New York City was the the epicenter of the the Pandemic in the US.
Which Cobourg restaurant patio is worth visiting in the best of times?
What?……… Decent or good patios are at least. Cucina Urbana. El Camino, King Street Bar & Grille, The Buttermilk Cafe The Cat & Fiddle The Oasis, I guess now we all know why you don’t care if the downtown merchants, restaurants and hotels survive. You don’t go there. Biases and bigots are coming to the fore in this debate. Like I said. You don’t understand the downtown economic dynamics. How could you? Do you care about jobs and economics? As the past President of the Cobourg Taxpayers Coalition (CTA) you clearly have a vested interest in the Petition started by the CTA. One of your Council delegates, this week, said and I quote: Of the 1,482 signatures received, 213 are Northumberland residents who live just outside of Cobourg. Several explained that they and their families shop and do business in Cobourg. This is where their hospital, doctors and dentists are. This is where they work and their children go to school. They go grocery-shopping, bank, and go for take-out food and to restaurants when open.” Turns out that that only 1,269 Cobourg residents electronically signed the CTA petition. Some local, but still out of town, people only come here for commercial reasons. Dentists, Banks & restaurants etc. Your signatories do not all care about the Beach. Perhaps, simply keeping GTA residents outside of our Anglo Saxon town. Bias, Bigotry? Today, (June 4 2020) the Mayor of Toronto announced the opening of Toronto’s restaurant patios very soon. You obviously will go there as you do not frequent Cobourg restaurants. Mayor Tory clearly understands economics. Everyone is going bust unless businesses re-open. That is Common sense……. but sense is not that common anymore. BTW I am a senior and extremely very high risk, as you are, but we have to get… Read more »
Sam, to be clear, I am not now nor have I ever been President of the CTA.
A desire to get the “world economy back on its feet” doesn’t change the fact that Cobourg patios lack good food or ambiance.
“Past president of the Cobourg Taxpayers Coalition…CTA” ?? Dubious?? Lydia Smith is the past president.
“Your signatories do not all care about the Beach.” You know this how ?
“One of your Council delegates“. The speaker was the current CTA president
“Turns out that that only 1,269 Cobourg residents”
The final tally is Cobourgers 1,370, Northumberlanders 241, Others 51, Total 1,662
“1,600 signatures out of 21,000 residents“
I wasn’t aware that children were able to participate in a petition. A better metric is 1,667/6480 voters (2018 municipal election)
Some due diligence is suggested
No not likely even now restaurant patios are likely to open next week in the GTA and probably all of Ontario. As a senior, even at today’s low gas prices I still can’t afford the drive and the parking. Besides, as a Cobourger, the GTA is highly publicising “THE COBOURG BEACH CLOSURE” in both the The Star, CTV, CBC and The Sun I might be run out of their cities. This works both ways and might harm the name of Cobourg for a long time. Think about that!
Besides, I would rather shop & eat locally. For example having bought GM vehicles all my life I will never buy GM again. Why? Because they have bailed out of Canada (small plants excluded) and put Canadians out of work.
That is not bias. Just practical.
If the closure has been widely publicized in the GTA that is great news! There will be few beachers to turn away this summer and, with luck, Cobourgians might be able to enjoy our beach next summer.
Downtown is not going to die because the beach is closed. The beneficiaries of beach tourism are limited to the LCBO, the Beer Store, No Frills, a few gas stations and maybe three restaurants. The first two are here to stay and the gas stations and No Frills do well with the locals throughout the year.
Cobourg no longer has the cheapest gas. Most of the time it is much higher than both Port Hope and Peterborough.
If the Town wants tourism it needs the right kind. Look to Port Perry and Bloomfield where the tourism draw are the unique craft and clothing shops and upscale restaurants. To be successful local businesses have to appeal to residents twelve months of the year.
Beach tourism may draw large crowds but that does not make it profitable when the season is a short three months and people come because it is free.
Cobourg is not a tourist town like out east in PEI or the Picton area where cottage rental is a prime source of income. Perhaps it would be wise for Council to use the opportunity this summer to ask residents for their thoughts on the type of community they would like Cobourg to be.
Right or wrong, the residents always know best.
Paul a few points Debating Gas prices defeats the point. Lots of travelers on Highway 401 exit for gas & food at the various fast food places in Cobourg or shop for things near the exit ramps. As for Mcdonald’s etc. They have TODS signs on the 401 to bring them off into their locations. We should have these signs taken down to ensure out of towners do not stray into Cobourg. Should we pass a by law to prevent our residents travelling to the GTA to work or for pleasure? They may be bringing the Virus back! Better still we should prevent residents shopping in Peterborough, Bowmanville or Oshawa. Particularly at a busy Costco? Should we consider a full lock down, like Wuhan in China, complete with welded shut doors on houses and NO TRAVEL IN OR OUT? Do the Citizens always know best? Surely if that was the case the people that signed your petition could have avoided the Beach themselves. 1,600 signatures out of 21,000 residents (or more) does not seem to be a majority to me. Far from it. I wish you knew more about the downtown economic dynamics. It is profitable only in the Summer. There are thousands of tourists who eat sleep, drink and shop seasonally in the downtown. Check all the hotel prices in summer compared to the winter when demand collapses. Ask the owners of the Breakers, The King George Inn, The Woodlawn Inn The Lotus Motel and the downtown restaurants why they close down for several days a week in the winter or else shorten their hours. Ask the downtown merchants if they rely on our tourism. Why does the Town (rather poorly) promote Tourism at all? The LCBO is another story. There was a By-Law preventing the LCBO from moving… Read more »
It seems strange that you don’t consider 1600 signatures out of 8788 households significant. Yet you feel that a motel and a couple of mediocre restaurants should determine the desirability of the town being plagued by tourists crowding onto a free beach.
You then ask “Will the Banks be allowed to move next?”. The last that I heard Canada was a country allowing private firms to do anything not prohibited by law.
Firstly 1600 signatures is out of 21,000 or more PEOPLE population. You seem to be mixing Apples with Oranges to prove a point I suggest.
Actually there is already a Cobourg By-Law about the banks being required to stay downtown so that may prove a point. that Cobourg is not a democracy.
Please do not respond about ScotiaBank in the Mall. That was to help the Mall and begs the question why the LCBO was allowed to locate the new store there? We know the Mall itself is a dog as many Malls are these days but they have ample land to develop and the LCBO surely helps the LATEST owners of the mall to survive at the expense of the Downtown.
BTW a few years back there was more than two THOUSAND people objected to the “The Frink”. Check it out.
Guess what? The Town Council ignored THOSE THOUSANDS and carried on with project. Could be something to do withe fact it is now ROTARY Park?
Another point “The Cobourg Taxpayers Coalition” now appears to be turning into an Advocacy Group. I don’t mind that, but let’s call a spade a spade to avoid confusion.
We do need more democracy in Cobourg, Ontario and indeed Canada but 1,600 persons signing a petition in a group of citizens over 21,000 strong is NOT democracy!
To your point those 1,600 signatures could represent only 400 households, for all we know, out of your number of 8788 Households. That is no where near a majority on that basis.
Might I suggest we keep the discussion as logical as possible.
Several points, Sam:
Please provide the number of the bylaw that prohibits banks moving from downtown. Can the banks move to Port Hope?
Who is “The Cobourg Taxpayers Coalition”? I haven’t seen that group mentioned in earlier discussions about the petition.
There are nowhere near 21000 in Cobourg who are even able to read (many are young children and some even post here) much less understand a petition. Looking at the names who signed the petition (the Town Clerk included the unredacted list in the agenda) those that I checked were one per household and not four.
If the majority were ignored in a past petition about the Frink that says only negative things about the Council of the day and is no justification for future decisions.
Hi Dubious, Not sure what you mean by the quote below: “There are nowhere near 21000 in Cobourg who are even able to read (many are young children and some even post here) much less understand a petition”. Are you personally stating that the vast majority of Cobourg Citizens are illiterate and ignorant fellow residents? With this inexcusable bias, (many are young children) please don’t bring children into the situation. Check the statistics regarding the Town’s demographics. You must know that we have a huge elderly population. The town is hardly overrun by kids! Check the Towns by-laws regarding Banks. For the Cobourg Taxpayers Coalition (CTA) you should ask Paul Pagnuelo. I am surprised you don’t know him. Paul has been a prominent member of the CTA since it was founded. Nothing bad to say about Paul or the CTA whatsoever but the CTA brought this petition. The petition is here and instructions attached: https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/petition-to-keep-the-beach-closed/Each member of the household with a different email should sign the petition. Share this with others, your friends, your neighbours, and ask them to sign the petition. Take a few minutes to send members of Council an email and call them expressing your concern and demanding the beach be closed. Contact information for Councillors can be found here: Council Contact Information BTW on the CIVIC web all the signatories to the petition are redacted. (That means BLACKED OUT to the apparently illiterate 20,000 other Cobourg residents. Just a legal point. Do we have any verification of the “alleged” 1600 people who signed this online petition? Ken Strauss said this to Miriam Mutton above: “Miriam, Cobourg’s Procedural Bylaw 009-2019 (https://cobourg.civicweb.net/document/155337) governs how petitions are handled and includes: 26.3 The signatory’s names and personal information will be redacted from the information published in the agenda. Council or… Read more »
I apologize for referencing difficult concepts such as the actual population of Cobourg. The 2020 population of Cobourg is not 21000 but 19088 according to StatsCan and about 12.5% of the population are 14 or under.
How about the number (or link to) the bylaw that you repeatedly mentioned that prevents banks from moving out of the downtown.
From a strict legal sense who “owns” the beach?
That is, on what legally binding grounds is council able to make this decision?
If the decision was challenged legally, would it stand up in court?
Don’t care. Good decision in tough times. Avoids prospect of harmful outcomes with interactions of people who are outside the community and don’t care. Trinity Bellwoods Park is an example of same.
Agree Gerinator. Now is not the time to have our young citizens “networking” 😉 with the youth from the GTA. They will have to “frolic” amongst themselves. 😉😉
Frenchy – please look at the statistics regarding who is contracting the virus and where the hot spots are….Long Term Care homes. I’m unsure how many LTC homes are planning day trips from the GTA to Cobourg beach. The fear mongering has to stop. Protect the most vulnerable and open the Province (cautiously)
Absolutely on point!
The question should not be “How many LTC home residents will visit the beach?” but “How many LTC home workers and suppliers and relatives of residents will visit the beach and infect LTC home residents?”.
Stop perpetuating fear, Dubious….Covid isn’t going away – protect the most vulnerable as best as we can but your narrative has to stop.
wink😉, wink wink😉😉 Rob. It was just a little play on words.
It is a public beach and WE own it, “we” being the tax-paying property owners and tenants who are residents of Cobourg. That is the beautiful miracle, that people banded together to guarantee that waterfront lands in Ontario are mostly in the public domain.
Thanks for your reply. I don’t have any legal background, hence honest question!
I suppose I really am looking for definitive legal interpretations. For example, if the beach is in the public domain then we can’t exclude out of town residents and its public space. Whether or not I want to go to Trinity Bellwoods in Toronto is altogether different from whether I am legally permitted to. The point is that any talk of making the beach locals only can be supported by action……….
On the other hand, if the tax payers of Cobourg are “tenants” under the “ownership” of the town, on what legal grounds can the town restrict access to our “dwelling.”………..
My point is, what legislation (municipal, provincial, federal) has jurisdiction over these matters? What declarations (ie, state of emergency) override these rights………..
My hope is that anyone who down voted my questions was referring to their opinion that closing the beach isn’t the prudent thing to do given an evolving health crisis and not that such questions should remain unasked…………..
Knowledge of legal rights does not have to mean exercising of them……………
I remain optimistic that the highly risk averse closing of the beach is to create time to manage the real (and perceived) risks to health and that more dialogue about allowing controlled, physically distanced access will be had.
What legislations covers all of this?
“I remain optimistic that the highly risk averse closing of the beach is to create time to manage the real (and perceived) risks to health and that more dialogue about allowing controlled, physically distanced access will be had.”
The smart thing to do, and they did!! Well done!
46 thumbs up, pretty cool. Does anybody know the record for most👍
I bet I can beat the record for the thumbs down any day!!!!!!! up or down not worth a tinkers damn
Just having a little fun Ben.
Did I win a prize????
Kindly pass it along to the Mayor and our Cobourg Town Council for having the good wisdom to do the right thing!