DBIA proposes trial closure of King Street

On four weekends in the summer, the DBIA proposes a trial closure of King Street so that it becomes pedestrian friendly. The idea is that Restaurants, Bars and Coffee shops can have Patios or extend their existing ones.  Although it might inhibit curb-side pickup to non-food places, these stores have agreed to a trial – for one time anyway.  The initiative was proposed by the DBIA to Council at their Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday June 22.  Although Council agreed, it will have to be ratified at their Regular Council meeting on June 29.  King Street will be closed from Spring to McGill but Division will remain open.  Closures will start on Fridays at 9:00 am and continue to Sundays (or Mondays on long weekends) at 10:00 pm.

The weekends proposed are: July 17 to 19, July 31 to August 3, August 21 to 23 and September 4 to 7.  The closures are not events so there will be no Entertainment provided.  However, some non-food stores may want to put a display of their products outside.

The DBIA agreed:

  • To follow Fire, Police emergency and liquor requirements
  • To apply for Patio extensions for each place
  • To pay for fencing (or barriers) and tables for Restaurants, Bars and Coffee shops
  • To hire a security guard from 11 am to 6 pm each day to promote social distancing and educate where applicable.

According to Councillor Adam Bureau, this idea has been tried in Peterborough and did not work but “Cobourg is different”.  It’s clear that this is a trial.

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27 June 2020 3:59 pm

How about 1 Way East on King … and 1 Way West on University, with Division and William being the start/end points???

Just a thought!

Reply to  cornbread
28 June 2020 9:51 am

How about NOT AT ALL — until this Covid Thing is completely over
If you really need to eat out –Go to Toronto

27 June 2020 10:03 am

Last night the Restaurant on Division at the water front was certainly not in control of the Social Distance guidelines inside or out or on the street with passer byes — seems people get closer with Alcohol and music just like the good old days But I am still concerned about the Testing of our Food handlers and assorted staff in these facilities — for instance look at what has just taken place in Kingston this wk where approx 400 people are now required to be isolated again This was as a result of a single service provided not a full service restaurant where every aspect of your meal , & beverage is handled by many . why is the Health department staying away from this one ?? Smarten up — Stay Safe

Reply to  sandpiper
29 June 2020 10:16 am

Not to mention that Shuck it place on King Street with Live entertainment, which according to the province is not allowed .. the wait staff there is leaning right over into customers faces to hear what they are ordering and no one is wearing a mask .. this is dangerous and is not allowed and should be fined for it immediately, but who is doing the policing of these restaurants in Cobourg ?

Reply to  Jake
29 June 2020 3:37 pm

Below is taken from the Ontario Covid 19 guidelines/ regulations.

“The guidance prepared for restaurants and bars states that both singing and dancing are banned in the outdoor seating areas where customers are currently allowed to gather in limited numbers.“

Town Leadership needs to refocus its priorities and ensure that established Covid 19 guidelines are enforced and not continually sending staff off to do studies on decisions already made.

Reply to  sandpiper
29 June 2020 2:53 pm

Sandpiper – can you tell me where you read 400 people are now required to be in isolation as a result of the nail salon. I hadn’t seen this….

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rob
29 June 2020 3:03 pm

More than 500 customers who visited the salon between June 12 and June 24 are now being asked to quarantine for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms, he said, and get tested if they develop them.

From //ottawa.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-outbreak-declared-at-kingston-nail-salon-less-than-2-weeks-after-ontario-entered-stage-2-1.4999698
among many other sites.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 June 2020 3:28 pm

This just in from CBC News re Kingston – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/kingston-ontatio-salon-covid19-outbreak-1.5631049
The number is now close to 700 to be in quarantine, with 29 confirmed with the virus.

Last edited 2 years ago by jimq
Phyllis Brown
27 June 2020 9:27 am

I think this is a wonderful idea

26 June 2020 9:20 pm

I think this is a great idea. No apparent cost to the town. Not an event so no advertising. Might be a really good space for people to just be out in the community again. The security guard/friendly educator is a great idea.

Reply to  Michelle
29 June 2020 12:18 pm

This isn’t the time to be “out in the community again”. Turning King Street into one big wide sidewalk to encourage as many people as possible to eat on small patios; thumb through the same racks of clothing; use the same dressing rooms in clothing shops; etc. is dangerous.

Phase one of covid-19 is still raging – everywhere – and nobody, including doctors and scientists, are able to predict what the Fall will bring, though all agree there will likely be a second phase and that it will be bad, especially considering that schools and colleges will be opening up.

Restaurant patios in Cobourg are already open or preparing to open. I noticed the Buttermilk Cafe is preparing to open its patio on July 1st. George & Orange has already opened its patio. A number of shops on King are also open. Use hand sanitizer and in you go. Perhaps we should wait and see what results from this modified opening before creating a pedestrian mall for 4 Summer weekends, that is open not just to residents but anyone who wants to participate.

26 June 2020 7:00 pm

In principal i think this could be a great idea to bring people downtown. I know it didnt work in Peterborough but it may here with buy in from retailers depending on curbside pickup. I would like to see food and patios extended in a manner that would allow social distancing to remain. I would support this if there was music food and drink. Maybe we could relax some red tape to make it a success.

Merry Mary
26 June 2020 2:19 pm

This is a magnificent concept! I am just pondering how a Security Guard or anyone else will be able to distinguish, educate and promote physical distancing with the dilemma here and elsewhere in Ontario where there is the “allowance of close contact of 10 people, committed to their bubble, in a social circle in public spaces?” I want this idea to be successful.

Reply to  Merry Mary
27 June 2020 8:32 am

Will this push more vehicles into the marina parking lot ?
Why not one lane the Main Street to encourage larger patios AND cruising,,,people want to know what’s happening before they park

Reply to  Jones
27 June 2020 9:56 am

Good point, Jones, about wanting to check out a place before finding a parking space. From my perspective, if a complete closure of the street fails to attract people and business another option would be to keep two narrow vehicle lanes open with one for each direction while removing all street parking in favour of expanded patios. The vehicle lanes hopefully would be an attraction for bicyclists too. (Lots of people including families using bicycles these days! Maybe through lanes just for bicycles as a trial?) Cars could still get through but slowly, any truck traffic would detour. (What about the businesses on Division Street?) In Europe and high density downtowns (where many people also live) a complete street closure often works very successfully but I am not so sure for a downtown that has been quiet. Activity attracts activity. Glad the DBIA is exploring ideas, though.
And, would someone explain to me why it is ok to attract visitors to gather in our downtown but not the beach?

Reply to  MiriamM
27 June 2020 11:35 am

You want to drive vehicles through a narrow lane between patios? I sure won’t be sitting anywhere near such an arrangement, I can assure you.

It’s the classic “go play in the street” situation – an accident looking for a place to happen, seems to me.

Last edited 2 years ago by JimT
Reply to  JimT
27 June 2020 11:47 am


Did this project work? re: patios adjacent driving lanes.

Reply to  MiriamM
28 June 2020 9:10 am

Yonge St is a two lane street in both directions. King is one lane in both directions. I don’t believe it will work here in Cobourg.

Reply to  MiriamM
27 June 2020 12:49 pm

Perhaps because this would be expected to be a financial benefit to the Town businesses , whereas opening the beach would be a cost to the Town? Just giving the possible reasons.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Merry Mary
27 June 2020 9:20 am

Spacing of tables /seating and putting some responsibility on the patrons would be a good start.
I’d sure patio owners are well aware of lesser patrons being better than no patrons and would play their part.
If people aren’t educated by now then there’s something very lacking and the security guard can take care of it.

Reply to  Merry Mary
27 June 2020 9:51 am

Distinguishing and controlling are 2 different things . Our security and town By Law seems to be quite happy looking the other way and if the fines are not going to be Enforced or Collected then who are you kidding when it comes to Social distancing ??

Reply to  Merry Mary
29 June 2020 12:48 pm

It’s a magnificent concept, I agree. But not for the Summer of 2020. Go watch a medvid of a very sick person being intubated. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Except Trump and Pence. That one I would put to music.