Until today, I had not heard of the “Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust Fund”. That’s not the Architectural Conservancy group nor the Victoria Hall Volunteers. It’s a trust fund dedicated to preserving Victoria Hall and today they donated $10,000 to the Town to “aid in the restoration and refurbishment of the parapet and front pillars at the King St. entrance”. If you have ventured Downtown recently, you might have seen work being done at the front entrance of Victoria Hall. In 2017 they paid $5000 towards the work done to spell out what needed to be done – see Links below for Restoration requirements drawings. In June this year, Council approved a tender for the work from Colonial Building Restoration Ltd in the amount of $275,000 (plus HST) – the $10K will help defray this cost.
What is the Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust Fund?
See the Links below to download a copy of their information sheet describing what they do but in summary, they are a committee that manages money left over from the original Society for the Restoration of Victoria Hall. President of the committee is Edward Cunnington and there are seven others – some of them also in the Victoria Hall Volunteers group. Since their establishment in 1988, the initial $60,000 has grown to a balance in December 2019 of $112,000. In addition, during those 30 years, $110,042 has been donated to the Town of Cobourg towards a variety of heritage maintenance projects including major repairs to the clock tower in 2013 and 2014 as well as chimney repairs.
The cheque presentation was not pretentious – Edward gave Mayor John Henderson an envelope containing the cheque and there were no speeches! The only other politician present was Councillor Nicole Beatty. Although not required outside, most people involved in the cheque presentation wore masks.
Today was also the first day of an experiment to try to get some life back into Downtown. King Street was closed to cars but open to pedestrians – and will be all weekend. At around 11:00 am, the street was mostly empty but several restaurants had patios set up – see photos. Some stores were also expanding onto the street. To my knowledge, no entertainment was planned.
- The Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust Fund Handout
- Restoration requirements drawings
- Downtown Facebook page with info on “Welcome Back to Downtown Cobourg”
- Victoria Hall Volunteers
Update – 18 July 2020
Most restaurants were busy on Saturday around lunchtime and some peaceful, quiet demonstrators congregated outside Victoria Hall protesting about masks to provide a distraction if not entertainment. Their signs included:
- Masks Useless and Dangerous
- Freedom over Fear
- Mandatory Masking, Tracking & Vaccinations is based on incomplete Science that serves Political interests and violates individual liberty
Democracy and free speech at work.