Update on Major Projects – Feb 2020

Cobourg’s planning department is involved in a number of projects – some move through quickly but sometimes developers are slow to act so projects take many years.   In any event, planning does a good job of putting details and status on the Town’s web site so the public can know what’s happening.  Details are brought to council at various stages – some require re-zoning and can be controversial and others get a lot of attention because they respond to a cause like a shortage of low-cost housing. The Town site has a lot of detail (see link below) and includes details on projects such as the Tannery project, the new strip plaza on Mall property, the new Coastguard building and 17 other projects.  Five of them are on the Agenda of the Committee of the Whole Council Meeting on 18 February (noted with asterisk *).


Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-law Amendments, Plans of Subdivisions/Condominiums

Strip Plaza on Elgin in Mall property * 
Details: This was the subject of an article on Cobourg news Blog here.
Status: Rezoning was passed 10 December 2019; a complete application has been received for Site plan approval and Council will be notified on 18 February.
Comment: This project is moving ahead quickly

DePalma Developments
Details: A Holiday Inn Express Hotel is planned near Home Depot.  See Article here.
Status: The required rezoning was passed 12 November 2019.  No updates since then.

900 Division Street
Details:  A new building on property at South East Corner of Elgin and Division.  The building would be used for a Medical Clinic.
Status: The required zoning by-law amendment was passed 9 September 2019. No updates since then.

425 King Street East *
Details:  Mason Homes plans a residential development of 27 Townhouses.  Described in article here.
Status: On 21 October 2019, Council approved the Draft Plan of Subdivision.  No updates since then.

East Village Phase 5
Details: A major development on King Street East near Brook Road with 333 housing units.  This was the subject of several articles, most recently 12 July 2019
Status: On 9 September 2019, re-zoning and a Draft Plan of Subdivision were approved. No updates since then.

French Language School in New Amherst
Details: This was controversial and the subject of a couple of articles with the most recent one here
Status:  The required re-zoning By-Law was passed on 30 April 2018.  No updates since then.

D’Arcy Street, north of Nickerson Drive *
Details: Leblanc Enterprises proposed 23 bungalows – There was a public meeting and some controversy which was covered in this article 
Status: The draft Plan of Subdivision was approved 26 November 2018. No updates since then.

25 James and 321 John St
Details: 27 Unit rental extension to existing building by Trinity Housing for affordable housing.  Article here.
Status: Re-zoning passed 29 April 2019.  No updates since then.

Also approved: Cedar Shores Estates 18 July 2016; major Rondeau development northeast corner of Brook and Elgin, 23 July 2018

On Hold: Sobeys expansion at Foodland (original info from March 2018)

Site Plan Applications

415 King Street West – Cobourg Creek Lofts *
Details: Redevelopment of property at corner of King West and Tremaine Street (old Cobourg Star building). Two storeys and 26 units.
Status: An application has been made for Site Plan approval; no public meeting is currently planned.

New Amherst 6-plex *
Details: A three storey building with 6 units is proposed for the SE Corner of New Amherst Blvd. & Charles Wilson Parkway.
Status: An application for Site Plan Approval has been received;  no public meeting is currently planned.

114 Division Street – Coast Guard Search and Rescue
Details: The proposal is to demolish the current buildings and build a new, Canadian Coast Guard Marine Search and Rescue Station building in their place. The new building will accommodate Coast Guard activities including offices, a garage, workshop and a two-storey residential module. More in post here.
Status: Under review by the planning department.

311-325 University Ave W and 387 William Street
Details: Balder corporation is planning affordable rental units in a new building of 71 apartments.  Details here.
Status: Conditionally approved

545 King Street East
Details: A revised site plan has been submitted for a supermarket, drive through restaurant and other commercial buildings on the southeast corner of Willmott and King Street East.
Status: In 2007, the owner obtained Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments.  Currently a revised Site Plan application is under review by the planning department.

Other Site Plan Applications received: Golden Plough; Dodge Street, Loadstar Trailers; Habitat for Humanity Northumberland for 22-24 University Avenue West (under construction); 671 Division, Buchanan Storage (under construction).

Tannery Project

Under the heading “Special Projects”, the Tannery project has been happening in one form or another since 2009. Originally the property that is up near the rail line was the Crossen rail coach factory, it became a Tannery factory for a while (hence the name) but this eventually closed leaving behind some polluted ground.  After some years, the Town took over the property and accepted the idea of making the land available for the development of a model sustainable community.  So far, no developer has stepped up to that despite several calls for proposals.  More recently, a Community Improvement Plan and Secondary plan have been created for the area – including extending the boundaries beyond the original property.  This article discussed the proposal. There is a hope and talk that the project will be given more attention (and progress?) this year (2020).

Additional Link

Planning Applications – page on Town’s web site with documents and status of projects

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Wally Keeler
21 February 2020 2:08 pm

“…the Alexandra Park neighbourhood is (and has been for a long time) a very unsafe, dangerous place. Gangs, drugs and violence would keep you and your family off the streets there after dark.”

The above was written by an individual who hasn’t a clue what they are talking about because they never lived there. They have no personal experience of the hood.

The children, including mine, who lived in Alexandra Park Coop play outside at night. The Coop controlled a two block area with courtyards where children could frolic in safety in the downtown of a city. The area is blessed with nightclubs, cafes, and art galleries, and with the edge of millennials. It was wonderful to walk a block and half to a lively scene at any time of night or morning. Approximately 18,000 people live in the neighbourhood, which the City of Toronto refers to as the Kensington-Chinatown District, The largest part of its population consists of 20-29 year olds. It’s a young place. And exceedingly diverse, more so than many other neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Of course there are many safer places in Toronto. Their inhabitants come down to the entertainment neighbourhood where I lived, many from spiffy neighbourhoods and they bring crime with them — it is not all home-grown, nor neighbourhood grown crime. The residents of that location have to put up with the bigoted smears of Toronto’s other condescending snobs that the neighbourhood is crime-infested. PRZT!

Living in safe suburbs is BORING. Downtown is where the action is and Alexandra Park Coop is in the middle of it. It is a housing solution that provides high density, affordability, and safety to the residents and the neighbourhood in which exists. Don’t let the ignoramuses tell you otherwise.

nuff said.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 February 2020 12:00 am

“Israel exists in a lethal neighbourhood and is an exceedingly wonderful place to live.“ Not just wonderful, but exceedingly wonderful.
“Living in safe suburbs is BORING.“ (note the all caps making you sound hysterical)

The above was written by an individual who hasn’t a clue what he is talking about because he never lived there.

Wally, you’ve got some fond and sentimental memories of your old neighbourhood, that’s good. I do too of my old neighbourhood of St. James Town, but those neighbourhoods were and still are “feces-holes”

And… you still sound very defensive. Relax, have a smoke.

Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas
19 February 2020 10:55 pm

Thanks John. I wish we had such a summary for all of our communities here in Northumberland.

19 February 2020 5:41 pm

The tannery land should be marketed to a developer . The developer will decide how it will be developed,pending the towns approval of course.

John Draper
Reply to  Informed
19 February 2020 5:58 pm

That’s been tried twice with no responses.

Reply to  John Draper
21 February 2020 7:38 am

Thats Incorrect There were at least 2 OFFERS on the property
But the Town decided not to Accept or Counter Offer to the buyers as the Town didn’t
provide feed back to the Buyers after several attempts the Buyers faded away
—- this happened on at least 2 separate occasions
The towns planning Dept. has its own ideas as to what they want there
No Buyer or Developer ideas required here.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  perplexed
21 February 2020 8:27 am

I would have thought that only Council would have the authority to make what is a policy decision. Did Planning Dept. even advise Council of the two offers?

Reply to  perplexed
21 February 2020 9:04 am

There is a plan in place which came about through public consultation with many stakeholders. If the offers meant significantly deviating from the approved community plan it may be an explanation why an offer would be rejected.

Reply to  perplexed
21 February 2020 10:20 pm

And you know this how; please cite sources so that we may be disabused of the idea that you made this up!

19 February 2020 10:31 am

I wonder which supermarket is interested in building on King St East? Wasn’t Sobey’s going to do that before their attention switched to the Foodland property. Any idea, John?

John Draper
Reply to  GailR
19 February 2020 10:49 am

No word on that yet. Remember that they first talked about a supermarket on that site in 2007.

Ruth R
Reply to  John Draper
19 February 2020 11:30 am

I’m betting that Sobey’s will be the supermarket at the Wilmot/King East location and may be the reason they’ve taken no action on the current location. A supermarket in the east end is long overdue – even more so as new home building have increased. Time will tell 🙂

19 February 2020 8:20 am

Done right, The Tannery could be converted into a cool arts building showcasing local artists of all kinds, perhaps set up in stalls. It could offer workshops, events and so on.

Reply to  Phunkeemum
20 February 2020 9:18 am

There is no Tannery building any more to convert to anything. Are you perhaps thinking of the foundry building to the north? I don’t think it’s part of “The Tannery Lands” at all.

18 February 2020 6:32 pm

Tannery property should be made into High density low income housing

Reply to  Mark
18 February 2020 10:17 pm

There’s a recipe for disaster.

Reply to  Frenchy
19 February 2020 7:41 am

Everyone want more low income housing , the land is there
So use it

Reply to  Mark
19 February 2020 4:43 pm

Not everyone

Reply to  Frenchy
19 February 2020 7:46 am

An area devoted exclusively to “high density low income housing” would be a ghetto by any definition. A disaster.
Jane Jacobs (rest her soul) would have a fit if she ever heard of such a proposal.

Reply to  JimT
19 February 2020 7:59 am

It already shows they want high density in the area ,
The city owns the land , they can start with low income house for people who need it
Jim you are saying low income people are ghetto people .

Reply to  Mark
19 February 2020 9:04 am

No, Mark, you are saying that. I said nothing of the sort.

I am saying that creating a neighbourhood of all one type of housing is the wrong thing to do.

Mixed-use, with a range of housing types and costs, avoids creating the areas of isolated uniformity that Jane Jacobs opposed so passionately.

Reply to  JimT
19 February 2020 12:58 pm

Jim – I had understood the new housing on University was to be Affordable Market rent mixed with regular exhorbitant rent. The housing on Munroe Street has quietly assimilated. One building is Affordable Market the other is subsidized. Market rent housing used to be run by the former Metropolitan Toronto. They offered well kept decent housing occupied by people then making to a ceiling of $40,000. They did not deteriorate but when City of Toronto took over after amalgamation they were converted to TCHC and today are not a place many would want to live in.

Reply to  JimT
19 February 2020 1:04 pm

I am writing on the land Cobourg own they should put hosing on it , which should cause other builders to build on the other land
I do not have a low opinion of low income people to say it will become a ghetto like you do
Afford housing is need , there is land available, use it

Reply to  Mark
19 February 2020 9:21 am

“High density low income housing”
Any examples of where this has ever worked for the betterment of that immediate community or the larger community as a whole?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
19 February 2020 2:02 pm
Reply to  Wally Keeler
19 February 2020 3:57 pm

Ah yes, Alexandra Park. Many fond memories of frolicing by and in the large outdoor pool there when I was younger.
After googling it up it’s hardly what I would call a nice safe neighbourhood. Drugs, gangs and violence abound.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
19 February 2020 9:52 pm

Lived there for 27 years. Chair of finance committee, membership committee, capital planning committee, etc. You merely frolicked by; I lived and worked there. I can vouch that it is example of “High density low income housing.” And it worked. It also worked for the betterment of the immediate community and the larger community. It answers your question mon petit ingrate.

“drugs, gangs and violence abound” — much like downtown Cobourg.

Btw mon petit Frenchy, its spelled frolicking, not “frolicing.” Use your spell checker ya lazy troll.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
20 February 2020 9:40 am

OK, Wally, but it’s a co-op development and not conventional subsidised housing.
According to its web site, “Alexandra Park Co-operative is located in downtown Toronto …[and] is the first Co-op built in Ontario.”
As you are no doubt aware, co-ops are non-profits, operated by the residents themselves, so there is no landlord, and “accommodation charges” (never “rent”) are simply the cost of running the place divided among the residents. No profit for anyone.
I agree that co-ops can work very well if properly managed, but the whole subject is a very different matter that really deserves its own detailed discussion on a forum such as this.

Reply to  JimT
20 February 2020 1:36 pm

Don’t be fooled JimT. The Alexandra Park Co-op itself might or might not be a well run operation, but the Alexandra Park neighbourhood is (and has been for a long time) a very unsafe, dangerous place. Gangs, drugs and violence would keep you and your family off the streets there after dark.
This whole discussion started with someone advocating for “High density low income housing” in a confined area. Terrible idea that would lead to nothing but trouble. I have experience living in those types of places and know whereof I speak.
You got it right with your reference to Jane Jacobs’ theory of “mixed-use, with a range of housing types and costs”.

Reply to  Frenchy
20 February 2020 7:31 pm

I lived in and was treasurer of a 48-unit co-op in Toronto for a few years, so I know whereof I speak as far as that goes. It was a peaceful and quiet little community in midtown that didn’t cost anyone very much.
The worst part in my experience was the little power-cliques that developed and the rancorous bickering and shouting that characterized every meeting, such that I eventually nicknamed the place “The Collective Farm”.
Perhaps diversity in neighbourhoods to the extent possible really is the answer.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
20 February 2020 9:44 pm

Exactly, Jim. Because it was a coop, each member had a stake in the coop. whereas housing projects run by govt easily slip into a crime infested slum. People like Frenchy don’t understand the difference, which explains his need to smear the suggestion of a coop.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
20 February 2020 10:37 pm

“which explains his need to smear the suggestion of a coop.“

I didn’t smear or try to smear The Alexandra Park Co-op or any other co-op. Some co-ops might be low income properties and some are high priced ritzy places. What’s to smear?
Do you really know what a co-op is, or just the one you had experience with.
I stated that Toronto’s Alexandra Park neighbourhood was, and is, an unsafe neighbourhood and that “High density low income housing” was a bad idea that would lead to trouble.
You were the one who brought up that neighbourhood and co-ops. Don’t be so defensive.

Reply to  Frenchy
20 February 2020 10:44 pm
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
21 February 2020 9:46 am

“Do you really know what a co-op is, or just the one you had experience with?”

What a presumptuus troll you are. The 27 years of lived experience in a coop playing assorted roles. It engaged me with the larger coop community in Toronto. I met with and worked with other coops. I attended. We were part of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. But mon petit Frenchy folicked thru the hood as a youngster, then as an adult he Googles the area and comes to a conclusion. What a shallow and myopic perception.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
21 February 2020 10:10 am

“I stated that Toronto’s Alexandra Park neighbourhood was, and is, an unsafe neighbourhood. Drugs, gangs and violence abound.”

There is a difference between Alexandra Park Coop and Alexandra Park Housing Authority run by the municipal govt. You are abysmally ignorant of the neighbourhood. I provided an example in answer to your question. You replied with a smear against the neighbourhood. There was no discussion of the merits of the concept of a coop being an example of high density low income housing. For one thing coop housing did not contribute to any of the crime in the neighbourhood. Matter of fact Alexandra Park Coop had a beneficial effect on the neighbourhood. When I left the coop about 12 years ago, modifications were being made to open up the paths and walkways of Alexandra Park Housing Authority to mitigate drug dealing, but most of all, a part of it was converted to a coop, giving the people the opportunity to live in a coop. Not all stayed, but many took advantage to take responsibility for their own housing issues, and evicting drug families from the Authority was one, and by controlling who lives there, prevent others from moving in. Cleaned up its act since you frolicked as a child. The Coop was there to set an example of what kind of high density housing will work in a city, even downtown.

Btw, I am not being defensive. I’m being assertive, making sure the facts are shoved down the throat of a gratuitous smear troll.

Israel exists in a lethal neighbourhood. It is a shining example for the rest of the neighbourhood. So too, Alexandra Park Coop.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
21 February 2020 10:59 am


Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
20 February 2020 9:40 pm

the Alexandra Park neighbourhood is (and has been for a long time) a very unsafe, dangerous place. Gangs, drugs and violence would keep you and your family off the streets there after dark.”

Mon petit Frenchy, please roll back the gross exaggeration. The neighbourhood is not Rosedale or Thornhill. It’s a big city downtown. However, Israel exists in a lethal neighbourhood and is an exceedingly wonderful place to live. Your feeble attempt to trash Alexandra Park Coop exposes your lack of knowledge of the people who lived in that coop. I lived there for 27 years. We occupy two blocks. The design of the coop is very protective of children.

The best part of the hood was Theatre Passe Muraille, just around the corner. The grandfather of the Alternative Art Gallery system, A Space, was just around the corner. Factory Theatre is just down the street. The Paddock Tavern, where Trivial Pursuit was conceived, is a block away. It has always been an eclectic neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is Toronto’s Greenwich Village.

Quite frankly, Frenchy does not know a damn thing about Alexandra Park Coop, contrary to Frenchy’s gratuitously bigoted aspersions, that coop worked for the benefit of its inhabitants and for the surrounding neighbourhood. It is a high density housing that works.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 February 2020 12:38 pm

Calling an individual a troll is as stupid as calling an individual a white supremacist, or nazi, if their opinion differs from one’s own.

Reply to  Mark
19 February 2020 12:40 pm

Why build more housing when Cobourg does not have any new mfg. jobs for them.

Reply to  cornbread
19 February 2020 1:58 pm

Cornbread, a lot of people in Cobourg live here and work elsewhere.
Some travel to Toronto on Via rail, some may work in other centres with an hr or so drive.
Not all people work in local manufacturing jobs in their hometown,
But people do need housing and you will see more young families move east to find it.

Reply to  Pierre
19 February 2020 5:57 pm

Build the low cost housing where the jobs are located…Let’s not forget about climate change (travel carbon)…lower cost to get to your job…more leisure time with family…responsibility of taxpayers (industrial mfg cos.) to help get their workers close by. It’s not Cobourg’s responsibility to provide low cost housing for metro & surrounding Toronto to Oshaws.

Reply to  cornbread
20 February 2020 4:29 pm

Its not Cobourgs responsibility to provide local jobs for everyone and try to save the planet by reducing commute times

Reply to  Informed
21 February 2020 12:48 pm

Agreed. What’s so wrong with earning your pay in the Big City and then bringing it home to Cobourg and spending it in the local economy on food, clothing, entertainment, appliances and all the things a thriving household needs?

Reply to  JimT
22 April 2020 5:22 am

A job or a career ? Possibilities are very narrow for a career in Cobourg. You find more possibilities in a city. Then you spend money in a city, train life, car trips, you make the best out of it. You meet different people, enjoy different shows, great library programs, book & music stores, restaurants, health specialists, Lawrence market, architecture, hotels etc.. back home, lovely Cobourg life, sailing and beach becomes a nice balance. Cobourg collects big taxes, donations for tax credits, food expenses, house services. Unfortunately lots of trades are too expensive and poorly executed like painting, plumbing, etc. [ You pay a lot of money, you need to call back.] They pretend YOU spend pocket money 🐒 and it isn’t ! The other problem trade people are rude. Often I called Whitby, Oshawa, or my friends referral. I am not to be blamed. Respect is for all.

Reply to  Informed
22 April 2020 8:47 am

Oshawa without Michael Star building would be a ghost town, even with its car industry. “we are heeere” the famous Chalovich attitude is not an ambassador’s mission for the good of our town.To stimulate the economy you need the boost of government jobs in town. Your downtown could flourish again, your life transformed.

Professions🔇 : 2% of our population has a second degree. Higher education is acquired from elsewhere, very costly. When you’re back , you work hard and your old friends kick you in the face. Interesting inst it ? 🤢
Jobs 🔊 : we need honest people with skills. An entrepreneur is a scarry responsibility, or abusive employers in Cobourg is not a great life. Social welfare is inevitable, alcoholism, suicide. Cobourg school kids are taking jobs over educated housewives. Lots of racism in town. We hate educated people. The abuse reported at the unemployment legal aid office is a busy hot spot. So what do we do ?

We need government jobs and look out for a gvt sector who needs to rebranch. Earning a good living will make us all happier, (training will be) motivated. The mayor should be an astute business man and work for all of us most importantly for your future.

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  cornbread
20 February 2020 12:29 am

We would build subsidised housing then because those under/unemployed workers need it at that point. Everybody deserves a home, and when the family fortune improves they can pay more. Worked for me in Ontario Housing.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
21 February 2020 8:43 am

seems to me that the majority of respondents are well heeled & don’t want affordable housing? (after all if they are able to respond they have internet serve!) OH SORRY they used the library internet?