By-laws are being enforced on Cobourg Beach

Perhaps we don’t see it or something but the Town has felt it necessary to let everyone know that the Police and By-Law officers are enforcing Town By-Laws on the Beach.  They are educating but also issuing tickets for infractions.  The usual problem of alcohol is the biggest issue but people are also smoking, using BBQs, bringing their dogs onto the Beach and more – see the list below.  They also issue a lot of parking tickets and make the comment that most people are using the Honk-Mobile app and pay out $20 for all-day parking.  So far the beach has not been over-crowded; further, my non-scientific assessment is that the Beach seemed more crowded on some week-days than weekends so some people probably think it’s still closed on weekends.

Legal Tents - July 2016
Legal Tents – July 2016

What’s Banned on the Beach

  • Liquor consumption or open liquor containers
  • Smoking
  • Dogs
  • BBQs or cooking device
  • Enclosed Tents (especially not with porta-potties) – photo shows legal tents.
  • Trespassing at the Lighthouse
  • Also – no bonfires, no Operation of loud speakers or sound amplifying equipment (without permission) and no littering.
  • And the beach is closed from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am – I suspect there’s little enforcement of this.
  • The Town’s page simply says: “Smoking, alcohol, littering, BBQs, dogs and tents are prohibited on the beach”

The Town’s announcement listed 23 tickets issued for the week August 2 to 8:
8 – Tickets for Open liquor container or possession of liquor
6 – Tickets for smoking on the beach (019-2015 Sec. 2)
3 – BBQ on Beach (022-2016 Sec. 14.1)
2 – Dog on beach tickets issued under (022-2016 Section 30.3 (d))
2 – Tent Enclosure on beach using enclosed port-a-potty and enclosed refuse to open camping style (022-2016 Sec. 18)
2 – Trespass at the Light House – Individual enter premises when entry prohibited” – Trespass to Property Act 2(1)(a)(i)

See Links below for copies of By-Laws

Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf said:

“We have to ensure that Town bylaws are being enforced and that Victoria Park Beach is being respectfully utilized.  Aside from issuing tickets and citations for non-compliance, we are also working collaboratively to educate beachgoers on the rules of the beach, particularly that there are no BBQs, alcohol or dogs permitted as outlined in the Parks Use Bylaw.”

Parking Tickets:

The Town reported that during the week August 2 to 8:

A total of 133 electronic parking tickets were laid. Beachgoers are reminded to utilize the Honk Mobile App to pay and top up their parking fees online. Bylaw Enforcement Officers observed nearly every vehicle was utilizing the app and that the average person was paying the $20/day parking fee.

Reporting Non-Compliance at the Victoria Park Beach

No doubt because the Police and By-Law officers do not see everything, they are asking for input from the public:

Residents and visitors are urged to continue reporting compliance and enforcement issues by calling the Town of Cobourg at 905-372-4301, the Cobourg Police Service at 905-372-6821 or by emailing



Previous related Articles

Print Article: 


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Barbara rusk
20 August 2021 8:55 am

Why does the beach remain open until 11.00pm as I am sure many of the problems are later in the evening.

12 August 2021 1:02 pm

905-372=4301 No one Home

Reply to  Sandpiper
13 August 2021 7:41 am

Hey at least 2 By-law officers are working from home reading this Blog

12 August 2021 11:22 am

What about more fines for those delivery trucks double parked and Blocking private driveways or King and Division st traffic for 20 to 30 Mins at a time , or those 11 + cars an hour going the wrong way on a 1 way st like the Esplanade .

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
12 August 2021 2:13 pm

11 + cars an hour going the wrong way on a 1 way st like the Esplanade

Total fiction.

I use the Esplanade on a very regular business and never saw a car going the wrong way this year.

11+ cars an hour?

That is a car every 6 minutes going the wrong way.

That is 110+ cars going the wrong way daily between 8am-6pm.


Stop spreading misinformation.

Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
12 August 2021 6:52 pm

Wally – you and I agree on a lot of things. You use the Esplanade. I live on it. Sandpiper is not spreading misinformation. I am sitting outside eating my dinner and just watched two within a 3 minute period. And that’s normal. You haven’t seen one this year? I would be amazed if an hour went by and I didn’t see one. Doesn’t happen.
Don’t get me started on the people who treat it like a drag strip. Someone is going to die. An excited kid who just spent an hour in a car is not paying attention to their surroundings. Those complaints fall on deaf ears too.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Michael Sprayson
13 August 2021 12:00 pm

Guess what! You live there and bear witness daily and what have you done about it? Have you approached Town Council to have them install a couple speed bumps to discourage the behaviour of ice car miscreants? If you believe someone is going to die then it behooves you to prevent that from happening, so go to the Town Council and insist on speed bumps. It’s really not a big deal to do. I approached Town Council about different things over the years, and more often than not, my argument prevailed and something was done. If I can do it, so can you.

Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
13 August 2021 1:16 pm

Do you really believe that no one who lives here has ever tried to do something about it? The reason we can’t have speedbumps is (pick one) they will damage cars driving, emergency vehicles can’t get through efficiently (it’s a fire route) they cause damage to snowplows. These are the reasons I and neighbours have been told. We managed to get the town to do something about the lack of sightlines that exist on Division street pulling out from the private drive. They changed that first parking spot to a motorcycle spot. What a difference! It was great. That lasted one year. Without notice or explanation, it was changed back this year. Now, we have to gamble about getting out and not getting hit. It’s usually a truck or SUV that snags that spot. And, anyone who wants to say cars crawl down Division Street is spreading false information.
I would argue it behooves the people with decision-making power as they are well aware of the issue. If someone does lose their life, I would be very concerned about the lawsuit that could result. The issue is well-known and well-documented.
We have suggested discontinuing the through-way on the Esplanade. It would make more green space between the parking lots. Would do wonders for speed and beautification. Doesn’t fit with planning and emergency vehicle needs though.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
13 August 2021 10:18 am

Wally, I live at the Esplanade and Third. I can tell you it is a far more regular occurrence than you let on. I have seen people enter at the wrong drive and go straight through to the other side. Cars enter the correct drive off Third, then travel east along the Esplanade. The only way to really get a sense of the wrong-way drivers would be to have a human counter there for a day or two.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Gerald
13 August 2021 12:12 pm

I’ve driven my bike, when I had one, down McGill Street when a car was coming up the wrong way. I held my ground in the middle of the street. The driver was quite irate that a bike would block his way. He backed up all the way to Queen/Albert. Wrong way driving happens on every street but certainly not at the ludicrous rate of 110 cars a day. (LOL) Sandpiper thought that by grossly exaggerating the issue with false and made-up statistics, he could initiate some kind of action. Accuracy is respected — Sandpiper doesn’t.

So tell us, Gerald and Michael, do you believe that 110 cars a day drive the wrong way on Esplanade. Maybe it is only 50 cars a day, perhaps only 20. But 110? LOL. Do you have any facts that indicate that Esplanade is worse than James Street, John Street or Albert Street?

Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
13 August 2021 12:27 pm

Wally – Do I believe that 110 cars drive the wrong way down the Esplanade every single day? I don’t. Do I think that there are days when that many cars go the wrong way? Absolutely. One summer evening last year, a few of us were sitting out front and just counted for about an hour. It seemed even worse when we were paying attention. We were averaging one every 90-120 seconds. Yes, it was that bad. We’ve seen police cars go the wrong way too. I would agree that if you truly averaged it out, every day (May – October), it would be closer to 50. Still – that’s excessive. I can’t immediately picture James and John Street, but Albert Street is a 2-way street. So no, it’s not the same. They also lack the parking lot layout like the Esplanade has. Difficult to compare the safety issues at play between those streets or any of the one-way streets I am aware of in Cobourg. The irate and aggressive responses become comical sometimes. When you were riding your bike, it makes sense you would hold your ground. I’m sure you wouldn’t have hopped off the sidewalk and stood in the car’s path if you were walking and noticed the same thing. I’m not about to do that either. The part that many of us who live here wonder about is why make it a one-way street if there isn’t actually any intention of holding anyone accountable for using it that way?

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
14 August 2021 7:36 am

Do you have any facts that indicate that Esplanade is worse than James Street, John Street or Albert Street?

Michael Sprayson was right about Albert Street. Throw in James and John Streets and you’ve got a trifecta of 2-way streets, nothing at all like The Esplanade. Not one of them.
Great comparison.
By the way… ever ride your bike or trike the wrong way on a one way street?

Bobby Jo
Reply to  Sandpiper
12 August 2021 3:54 pm

Hey I don’t mind a delivery truck blocking my way down to the beach. I’ll just turn down Second, McGill or Church if it means that small business is staying active and operating. It’s a minor inconvenience in my day-to-day. More things to worry about than these little things

Reply to  Bobby Jo
12 August 2021 5:00 pm

Same here. Doesn’t bother me a bit. I haven’t owned a car since 1983.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Bobby Jo
12 August 2021 6:57 pm

It’s one thing to have to wait on your way to the beach. I agree, no big deal. When it’s everyday and it blocks your car from moving from your home and you have to be somewhere…I’ve personally moved a few of them – they leave them running…it gets old pretty fast. Even if they just left one one of traffic open, you wouldn’t hear anything from me. It’s when they can’t be bothered to think about other people at all. Last week a delivery truck stopped for 20 minutes in the middle of Division. No traffic could get by going north or south. That’s unreasonable, not to mention unsafe.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Michael Sprayson
13 August 2021 12:21 pm

What is interesting is that a truck could block a highway(45) for 20 minutes and no one calls the cops. I guess most ice car drivers decided to opt to go around by deeking onto Swayne, Covert, Buck, Chapel, James, etc. No need to wait for 20 minutes. Why did you wait for 20 minutes?

How did you “personally moved a few”? Did you hop into the cab of the ICE vehicle and drive it back or forward the necessary feet to let you free? Did you have permission to enter their vehicles? Would recommend others follow your example?

Michael Sprayson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
13 August 2021 1:30 pm

Wally – Are you insinuating that I’m exaggerating? The driver was delivering a food order. This does not happen in 5 minutes. How many police do you think are regularly on duty? Today (as of two hours ago) there were 6. I asked. Do you think they are going to drop everything for a traffic report call…when there are stabbings and overdoses going on? #priorities I didn’t wait 20 minutes. I pulled into my laneway, as did many, many others.

How did I personally move vehicles? You know how to drive right? Did I have permission? It’s on my property. If it’s on my property, I’m moving it. Especially after I’ve waited for some time and the driver has declined to do it themselves. Some are trickier than others to drive – some have air brakes so would I recommend others do the same? They can make their own decision. As long as they are willing to accept whatever consequences come, why not? Why should I have to constantly bear the inconvenience of literally not being able to drive away from or pull into my home? If you’re going to block traffic, the smartest thing I would recommend doing (if you don’t want anyone to move your vehicle) is to turn it off and put the keys in your pocket.

Reply to  Bobby Jo
13 August 2021 7:39 am

May be it doesn’t bother you the occasional passer by
but when you have that noise & smell of deasil fuel from an idling truck out side your condo or apartment window / balcony its not pleasant or necessary Its poor planning
and its not safe In fact its contrary to both Provincial and Municipal Traffic laws .
So what you are saying you can break the Rules as long as it doesn’t affect or Bother you on a day to day basis

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
13 August 2021 12:28 pm

Why don’t you approach Town Council to implement an ice vehicle idling restrictions. You seem to complain about a lot of things on this blog and I wonder why you never seem to approach Town Council with your concerns. I’ve approached Town Council and got things done. So can you, if you if you want.

Non-Beach User
12 August 2021 8:20 am

Glad to see the by-laws being enforced as people enjoy the beach. NOw what about directing some of those fine to improving the abysmal state of the public washrooms and adding more (and appropriately designed) garbage cans to the beach and the park so there are sufficient cans to dispose of garbage.

Reply to  Non-Beach User
12 August 2021 8:42 am

DID You mean fine the town staff that are not maintaining the wash rooms ??

Lemon Cake
12 August 2021 7:58 am

It’s great to see the beach open again. I think these rules are very reasonable and it sounds like they’re being enforced. Personally I find the beach to be pretty weed-free. It’s mostly families and groups of young people trying to escape the heat. The thing I see most are dogs – I walk the beach off season and there are always dog walkers there. At those times of year I don’t find them to be too numerous or to be a problem – I wonder if they are ticketed in the off season.

Reply to  Lemon Cake
12 August 2021 9:52 am

Dogs should never be on a public beach, and only ever on a leash anywhere else. Fines for not picking up dog excrement should be quadrupled and strictly enforced, it is a health hazard.

Reply to  Cindi
12 August 2021 5:03 pm

So is the problem dogs being on the beach, or dogs messing on the beach?

Wally Keeler
11 August 2021 4:35 pm

EarthSky | Perseid meteor shower 2021 reaches its peak
“Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. On the peak mornings in 2021 – in the early morning hours, when the most meteors will be flying – there’ll be no moon to ruin the show.
It used to be during the 60s, before the establishment of the 11pm – 7am curfew, that some of Cobourg’s youth gathered on the beach with a blanket in the ‘wee hours’ and lay there to enjoy the annual celestial show of the Perseid Meteor Shower. No doubt the meteor show will be much less spectacular tonight, given the ever-increasing lightwash from the Town over the past half century.

FORBIDDEN: Lovers taking a midnight stroll down the beach. VERBOTEN

Reply to  Wally Keeler
11 August 2021 6:08 pm

Wally, you went to the beach to smoke weed, quit trying to glamorize it

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Leweez
11 August 2021 7:11 pm

I went to the beach during my teens and youth like every other teen and youth in Cobourg. It was a parent-free zone after 9pm. I do not recall anyone toking weed on the beach. I do recall them toking while sitting on picnic tables north of the bandshell. Those were the summer nights when Hop was playing his guitar on the bandshell stage. Also ‘Moe’ Ewart, a very creative folk song writer and performer. But toking up in the park happened rarely. A young man, nick-named The Bat, was picked up drunk in Victoria Park with a joint in his pocket and he was well punished for it. Soooo, any youths toking pot, would certainly not do it the park. They would meet in the park, then go to a safe space, indulge, then return to the park. Some toked up before going to the beach to go watch a celestial meteor shower. Even at the time, gossip mongers grossly inflated the use of weed in Cobourg for their own mischievous purposes. Sad to see such gossip continuing.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
12 August 2021 8:40 am

So where are they supposed to smoke this now legal product on King st where the purchased it ?

Reply to  Sandpiper
12 August 2021 9:48 am

Not on the beach, in the park or anywhere near other people.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
12 August 2021 1:24 pm

No one tokes pot in the store where they purchased it. Sheeesh, what a stupid question! Let me repeat, no one tokes up in a pot shop.

Last edited 1 year ago by Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
12 August 2021 9:19 am

A valid part of the History of Cobourg in those times that would probably have gone unrecorded except for the occasional comment such as this.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
12 August 2021 1:57 pm

Absolutely correct JimT. I don’t understand the resentment of those who make personal smears in order to demonize lovers taking a midnight walk on the beach, or demonizing all of the Cobourg youths laying on the beach to enjoy a celestial event. Those days are long gone, and all Leweez can do is make a personal smear suggesting those individuals were potheads.

Most pathetic, is the lack of any concern that it is forbidden by penalty of law to walk with your lover on the beach after 11pm. Also no one cares that Cobourg’s youth are forbidden from lying in any of Cobourg’s parks to enjoy the Perseid Shower. Leweez is more concerned with making a personal smear, than she is about local history.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
12 August 2021 5:38 pm

Good comment, Wally, but I admit I’m not sure as to whether “all of the Cobourg youths laying on the beach” is a grammatical error or a Freudian slip.