Managing High Volumes of Visitors at Victoria Beach

One of the things Council has wrestled with in the past year is the ongoing concern in the Town about the use of Cobourg’s Beach.  It is on Lake Ontario and is one of the Province’s best beaches and is wide open for anyone to use – resident or not.  Town Staff and a number of others see Cobourg as a Tourist destination with the beach being a prime attraction but not all residents agree.  After all, maintenance is paid by taxes and there is a debate as to whether beach goers bring a benefit to the Town or even whether they should bring a benefit.  The beach is not crowded on most days but on some weekends in a normal (no pandemic) summer, there are large crowds.  Council referred the issue to the Parks and Recreation Advisory committee and on February 2nd a 13 question survey was put online with the title: “Managing High Volumes of Visitors at Victoria Beach”.

So that you know what questions will be asked and in case you need to think about what your answers might be, I have provided the questions below.

You can access the survey here

You must register first to take the survey.  It will be open from February 2nd to February 23rd.  When it’s completed you will get an email listing your responses.

The Advisory Committee were asked to provide their recommendations by March 1st.

Survey Questions

Beach Use Survey
 

[Provided so you can think about your answers before accessing the actual survey from above link]

Please provide your responses based on a “normal” year – not the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the survey, you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts on how the beach should be managed during the COVID-19 pandemic (assuming it continues into the summer of 2021).

1. Where do you live in Cobourg? Please refer to map above [map not included on this copy of questions].

  1. Zone 1 (10 minute walk)
  2. Zone 2 (20 minute walk)
  3. Zone 3 (more than 20 minute walk)
  4. I am not a Cobourg resident.

2.  What age group do you fall under?

  1. 0-18 years
  2. 19-29 years
  3. 30-39 years
  4. 40-59 years
  5. 60+ years

3. How frequently do you visit Victoria Park Beach during the summer (Victoria Day to Labour Day weekend)?

  1. Daily
  2. Weekly
  3. Monthly
  4. Rarely

4. When do you typically visit Victoria Park Beach during the summer? Check all that apply:

  1. Weekday mornings
  2. Weekday afternoons
  3. Weekday evenings
  4. Weekend mornings
  5. Weekend afternoons
  6. Weekend evenings
  7. I rarely visit the beach

5. How would you rate the following amenities/services?

Beach Maintenance (eg. raking) Adequate Inadequate No opinion
Garbage Collection Adequate Inadequate No opinion
 Paving Stone/Boardwalk Maintenance Adequate Inadequate No opinion
Pavilion/Pergola Structure Maintenance Adequate Inadequate No opinion
Beach Signage Adequate Inadequate No opinion

6. Do you feel there is sufficient enforcement of existing rules?

No BBQs. Yes Somewhat No No opinion
No tents on the beach Yes Somewhat No No opinion
No dogs on the beach Yes Somewhat No No opinion
No littering. Yes Somewhat No No opinion
Beach area parking offences Yes Somewhat No No opinion

7. What activities should be prohibited on the beach?
[Free form Text Box]

8.  Should changing facilities be available at the beach?

  1. Yes, with a user fee.
  2. Yes, free to use.
  3. No.
  4. Other (please specify)

9. Should the Town continue to provide lifeguards on the beach? It costs approximately $109,000 annually for beach lifeguarding provided by the YMCA (7 days per week, approximately 8 hours per day for 11 weeks.)

  1. Yes, keep lifeguarding at the current level of service.
  2. Reduce lifeguarding hours to weekends and special events.
  3. Eliminate lifeguarding.
  4. Other (please specify)

10.  Should the Town do more to generate revenue from beachgoers? Please select the options that should be explored.

  1. Charge a beach entrance fee (this would need to cover the substantial cost of administration, enforcement, security and optional fencing).
  2. Charge a fee for use of the beach washrooms (currently free-to-use; $70,000 budgeted annually for washroom cleaning and maintenance)
  3. Expand food/beverage services, such as food trucks (the Town currently generates about $20,000 per year from the beach canteen lease)
  4. Allow local businesses to operate from the beach for a fee (e.g. paddle sport rentals, beach chair/umbrella rentals, sale of beach accessories, etc.).
  5. Other (please specify)

11. Which parking options should be considered? Check all that apply.

  1. Substantially increase parking fees near the beach and waterfront (currently $2 per hour).
  2. Expand paid parking on residential streets near the beach.
  3. Promote offsite parking at Donegan Park or other appropriate locations.
  4. Provide shuttle buses to the beach during peak times (there would be a cost for drivers, fuel, etc.).
  5. Provide designate parking for Cobourg residents (permit holders only).
  6. Other (please specify)

12. The Town typically allocates $75,000-100,000 per year to advertise and promote Cobourg as a tourism destination. What proportion of the budget and staff effort should be spent on advertising the beach?

  1. None at all – The Town should not spend any of its advertising budget or efforts on promoting the beach
  2. Minimal – The Town should spend a minimal amount of its advertising budget and efforts on promoting the beach.
  3. Moderate – The Town should spend a moderate amount of its advertising budget and effort promoting the beach.
  4. Significant – The Town should spend a significant amount of its advertising budget and efforts to aggressively promote the beach.
  5. Other (please specify)

13. If you own a business in Cobourg, to what extent does your business benefit from visitors to the beach?

  1. Greatly
  2. Moderately
  3. Slightly
  4. Not at all
  5. I am not a business owner
  6. Other (please specify)

PANDEMIC QUESTION

14.  If the pandemic continues into the summer of 2021, what level of public access to Victoria Park Beach would you consider appropriate?

  1. No public access – full closure and fencing (same as July/August 2020).
  2. Beach open on weekdays only – fenced and closed on weekends. (Same as September 2020).
  3. Beach open full-time with ‘household pods’ roped off to facilitate physical distancing. Estimated cost: $xx
  4. Beach open full-time with numbers monitored and limited.
  5. Other (please specify)

Print Article: 

 

 

153 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
IAN
7 February 2021 9:35 am

I’m thankful the survey had options for free text answers. I took the opportunity to simply say I’d like to see some form of system which charges non-residents of Northumberland user and parking fees. Sure, it would mean some form of enforcement. I offered up that Cobourg use a system similar to that in place to access the Ganaraska Forest.

Granted, regardless of what way ahead is chosen, not everyone will be happy, I personally want to see non-residents charged a fee, and if they don’t want to do that, fine. Something tells me that the potential reduction in visitors will not adversely affect the town’s bottom line.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  IAN
7 February 2021 10:47 am

I’m curious: Why do you include Northumberland residents (rather than only Cobourg residents) for reduced rates or free usage? Cobourg pays for everything with no special support from the county.

IAN
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 February 2021 11:34 am

Greater sense of community…in the same way I support Bewdley businesses when I visit their play structure by the water in the summer with my children, I know of Municipality residents who come to Cobourg for more than a freebie. I’d have to also confirm but I was under the impression that a portion of the taxes collected for Nothumberland is given back to the towns. Not sure, just my impression, so take that with a grain of salt!

Wally Keeler
6 February 2021 11:22 am

With a sufficiently high parking fee Cobourg will gain enough revenue to both maintain the beach and reduce the impact of excessive visitors.

Part of maintaining the beach is the expense of daily morning sand grooming. That, of course, is being done for Cobourg residents. What proportion of this expense should be attributed to outsiders? Why? Part of maintaining the beach is the expense of lifeguard service. What proportion of this expense should be attributed to outsiders? Why?

What impact of excessive visitors? More garbage bins and porta potties have to be put out for the Canada Day event, the Ribfest event, the sandcastle event. Cobourg residents attend those events in mass, so what proportion should we charge the tourists for the increase in garbage bins?

Give us some meat to chew on instead of the baloney that you propose recovering park expenses from tourists. I like the idea of stiffing tourists with high parking fees. Charging usage of the beach requires separating resident from non-resident, I do not think Cobourg residents are eager to have to carry proof of residence to access their own beach. For well over a hundred years Cobourg residents availed themselves of the beach without showing proof of residence.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Wally Keeler
6 February 2021 1:03 pm

The proportion of expenses that are attributed to visitors is irrelevant. Cobourg taxpayers currently pay for everything; visitors pay for nothing. Anything that future tourists pay would reduce the payments by Cobourg residents.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 February 2021 1:15 pm

I hope it would reduce what we pay locally
But knowing Cobourg they would have to hire
6 people with full benefits and Union dues to enforce the
and collect those extra fees and parking $$$
Remember the year of the Toronto Garbage strike

Liz
Reply to  Sandpiper
7 February 2021 2:00 pm

Sandpiper – the issue of union wages and benefits was raised on this blog twice before. The majority of people on the blog fully support the current rate of pay and any suggestions that paying them private industry or freezing wages until they reached such levels was heartily voted down by majority. Comments from many argued they should be paid more than private industry by regular commenters. Plus the next subject about the 12 million for harbour repairs required. If you expect your taxes to decrease you are dreaming.

Last edited 5 months ago by Liz
Conor
Reply to  Wally Keeler
6 February 2021 3:03 pm

Amazing how the subject of the “beach” brings out the best and the worst in people.

Liz
Reply to  Conor
6 February 2021 3:25 pm

Conor – as you are a now out of towner I would be interested in knowing after reading the comments would you still consider visiting the Cobourg Beach charges or not?

Myself, should I be an out of towner, I don’t think I would wish to. I would look elsewhere as to where I felt more welcome and spend my money there.

My partner working Events in Toronto just noted the attenders and eventers refuse left as he drove along in his front end loader picking it up. He never attributed the mess solely to out of towners.

Conor
Reply to  Liz
6 February 2021 4:02 pm

Myself not being a beach person but still liking Victoria Park would definitely visit Cobourg but I would not pay for the park or parking. I would stay in Whitby where things are free. I grew up on Church St. in Cobourg. and walked to the free beach every day when I was younger.

Liz
Reply to  Conor
6 February 2021 7:16 pm

Thank you for the courtesy of your reply Conor. Myself I am rather disillusioned with many of the responses from the residents of our “Feel Good Town”.

Hugh
Reply to  Liz
9 February 2021 11:12 am

I completely agree Liz. Some warm and great people, of course! But too many selfish grumpy old men and women.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Conor
7 February 2021 12:14 am

There was so much happiness just to walk from Chapel Street to the free beach every day when I was younger. Now I do the same almost every day now that I am older and retired. Walk to a free beach without having to carry proof of residence.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Conor
7 February 2021 11:54 am

It certainly brings out the stingy tightwads who have no idea how to be gracious and generous hosts for all the tourists (aka guests). They suffer over nickel and dimes. They are willing to alter a hundred years plus of a tradition that every Cobourg resident born here for generations has enjoyed; free access to the park/beach. It is embedded in Cobourg’s culture. The beach chargers claim that tourists are costly, but then again they do not have a clue about the costs, and as we can see it doesn’t matter to the grinches, all they want is to stiff the tourists enough to pay OUR bills. I have an idea for them — they can move to Baltimore and come into Cobourg to enjoy the public park/beach for free and never again have to go into the bathroom to have a good cry that outsiders are getting a free pass.

Bev
Reply to  Wally Keeler
7 February 2021 1:50 pm

If you’re driving to the beach, you’ll have your license with you to show your address. Also, I don’t see a real problem with taking something to show where you live. Usually people spend money to purchase something to eat. Thus producing a wallet or purse with identification in it.

ben burd
5 February 2021 2:33 pm

It will be interesting when the survey is completed and the finding is that the number of negative answers will be directly proportional to the number of people who identify as living near the beach.

JimT
Reply to  ben burd
6 February 2021 10:51 am

Mustn’t be so cynical, Ben. People will downvote you 2 to 1 in reprisal.

ben burd
Reply to  JimT
6 February 2021 4:02 pm

Actually JimT as of 1539hrs 6 Feb it is 3 to 1 thumbs down, not a record but I do wonder as you do, just how many people on this board get off on shooting the messenger? John should rearrange the comment form to put the names at the bottom of the box instead of the top.

Liz
Reply to  ben burd
6 February 2021 11:07 pm

Ben as you pointed out at one point the votes don’t mean a thing. There are probably people on this blog that vote for supportive commenters and of course you always read the back patting small comments after a major one. Coupled with anonymous non-registered passers through. As you can only vote once per device it would seem possible for registered user votes to be recorded after a subject has concluded by registered name – the others would show as anonymous. I suggested this once but the bloggers voted me down like no tomorrow, they would never wish for anyone to know they consistently vote some blogger down – so draw your conclusions and as you said to me keep saying what you are saying.
Think of this Blog as a form of an “Old Boys Club”. Any idea outside of the theme for the day will not be thought about or considered, just voted down.

Last edited 5 months ago by Liz
Liz
Reply to  Liz
7 February 2021 2:41 pm

I rest my case.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben burd
7 February 2021 12:07 am

I never thought of that Ben. Is it feasible to ascertain such?

Liz
5 February 2021 12:36 pm

I recall when the Wynne government legislatged “New Revenue Tools”. Over the years taxes have increased in many forms.

Beginning – Provincial and Federal Tax
Added:

  • GST
  • HST
  • Land Transfer Tax
  • Environmental Fee – Tire Disposal
  • Gasoline Fuel Tax
  • Employer paid taxes on employee earnings such as health

You may rest assured “new revenue tools” aka taxes will be coming our way but I am surprised how many of you embrace and support them.

And to think public washrooms are now under consideration! Greengrass I bet you’re smiling.

Kathleen
5 February 2021 11:20 am

Thank you for posting these questions here first John. I was trying to think of all the beaches I’ve been to in my life – in Canada and abroad. I cannot recall many beaches that come with Free washroom facilities. (Or lifeguards, for that matter). But regarding washrooms… The beaches I’ve been to have either no washroom or ones you pay to use – either through an attendant at the door or through patronizing a restaurant on the beach. (btw – I’m not saying we should build a restaurant on the beach…..or am I?). Anyway, I would think that for the most part, it would be the out-of-towners who would use the paid washroom facilities. I’m not sure how many locals need or want to use them. I’m in for any constructive idea that may help off-set the cost of running the beach to benefit us local taxpayers.

Sandpiper
5 February 2021 9:14 am

It sounds to me that we the locals Love our Beach
We want to be able to use it freely at no cost and why not we pay the Taxes
The issue we face and want resolved at no additional or never ending cost the Town keeps running up due to The continuous repetitive issues of
Garbage , Noise, Crowding and Contamination of all sorts on the beach by fair weather tourists,
Indiscriminate carefree parking congestion without cost or repercussions.
The fact that Tourists are mostly looking for a cheap getaway with the Family and kids
they Spend nothing down town Yes Gas and Fast food but not from down town — other than that they bring the Picnic .
The Town simply has to stop promoting the Beach save that money and really do something to rejuvenate the down town . The problem is that the people incharge don’t know or will not make those hard decisions to bring about change .
The Town alikes to appear to be busy and yet beats up the Cobourg residents every year
over the same dam issues .

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Sandpiper
5 February 2021 2:19 pm

The “undiscovered” (?) gem of Lake Ontario with its white beach is far from that claim these days with the Feel Good Town motto becoming more questionable. .
Prior town council leaders chose Tourism as being the road to go to with any industry etc leaving and not returning to any degree.
It must be very disappointing for any of upcoming younger generations to stay.
with very little options.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
5 February 2021 6:31 pm

absoluely

JimT
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 February 2021 11:00 am

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can’t complain that people don’t spend money at the beach if you don’t provide adequate facilities for them to spend their money at.
Our beach is almost a food desert, so little choice is provided, and all of that in one little service window in one spot, with a constant lineup.
How many visitors would gladly pay to have food prepared for them, even at a premium price, rather than having to make it at home in advance and pack it in to the beach?
Get real, people.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  JimT
6 February 2021 12:56 pm

JimT, you are probably correct about food although I suspect that many visitors are attracted by the low cost for a day’s entertainment and would strongly resist premium priced food. However, I don’t want our beach to look like Brighton (UK) or similar beachside tourist destinations. Also, some claim that beach tourists benefit Cobourg’s downtown merchants which obviously untrue.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
6 February 2021 11:49 pm

It;s true about merchants. Tourists have no interest in merchants anywhere in the world, except those that directly cater to their wants and needs. What a pity that no merchant knows how to extract $$$$$ from the many tourists who attend events on the main street. I’m sure that bars, patios, restaurants and entertainment venues appreciate the extra top up they get from tourists, including some beach goers in the early evening.

Liz
Reply to  JimT
6 February 2021 11:23 pm

Who knows Jim. I once suggested more variety in what was being sold. I received a torrent of annoyed replies saying that only healthy food should be served.

marilyn
4 February 2021 3:10 pm

People if you read this it is seeking input not during a pandemic, but during normal times. We live in a town that has a tourist attraction being our beach and waterfront. We should be encouraging tourists to come to our town and help out our local businesses. I would hate to ever see our beautiful beach fenced with a gate and charging a fee. If you don’t like the crowds on the summer weekends then stay away. We have our sandcastle competition which attracts lots of visitors and thousands flock to our Canada Day celebrations. Do people not like those crowds either? These people help our local businesses and survive during the winter months. If you start charging visitors to go on the beach, people will not bother coming when they can go to other beaches at no cost. Embrace the fact that we have a beautiful town and beach that people want to visit.

Merry Mary
Reply to  marilyn
5 February 2021 6:10 am

In checking the online information regarding “the most popular beaches in Ontario” other jurisdictions do charge fees ranging in fees from $20.00 – $50.00 a carload for their beaches and parking (and also dependant on whether the carload is local or non-local).

Liz
Reply to  Merry Mary
5 February 2021 6:50 am

Merry Mary – Sounds like they are Provincial Parks – which beaches are you referring to?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 10:13 am

For one example see https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/9283289-the-cost-to-park-at-innisfil-beach-park-and-near-lake-simcoe-is-going-up/Council voted to increase the cost to $7 per hour up to a daily maximum of $45, year round.” I believe that parking for Innisfil residents is free.

Liz
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 February 2021 10:48 am

Ken you are talking parking, not actual fees to enter the beach. I reviewed Ontario Municipal beaches and parking charges yes, but beach access charges no. This blog seems more about many residents that have complained about visitors to the beach and prefer no one visited the beach from out of town at all during COVID, pre-COVID or after COVID.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 12:14 pm

Charging for parking (with free parking permits for residents) is far simpler than fencing the beach and charging visitors for admission. With a sufficiently high parking fee Cobourg will gain enough revenue to both maintain the beach and reduce the impact of excessive visitors. If a $25 parking fee is insufficient to achieve these goals then increase the fee until it works.

Merry Mary
Reply to  Liz
6 February 2021 7:58 am

In many cases Parking and Entering the Beach are synonymous for Visitors.

Merry Mary
Reply to  Liz
6 February 2021 6:28 am

The beaches are outside of Provincial Parks and can be found by googling “the most popular beaches in Ontario.” Apologies, I am not savvy enough to place the link or any photographs in this location…

Merry Mary
Reply to  Liz
6 February 2021 7:12 am

Bay Beach aka Crystal Beach, Fort Erie, urban Sauble Beach, Port Stanley Beach and Nickel Beach. Another interesting notation attached to Cobourg Beach in the listings is the “bonus that it is Dog Friendly” while other Beach listings state that “no dogs are allowed.”

Like many online postings the information might be outdated.

Liz
Reply to  Merry Mary
6 February 2021 8:04 am

Sauble Beach on the Indian managed side does charge but the public beach does not. Port Stanley only mentions paid parking. Another information Note Merry – Bay Beach closed except to residents but it turns out it is illegal to do so, Nickel also was residents only but concerned about lawsuits it remained open to the public.

The ones that charge sure charge the residents enough to visit their own beach. But if people here are happy with paying more that is up to them, wonder if the struggling downtown will have parking fees increase or if not if there would even be any spots available? Myself I don’t need parking.

Fact Checker
Reply to  Liz
6 February 2021 8:49 am

Liz:
You wrote “……Bay Beach closed except to residents but it turns out it is illegal to do so…..” and “..Nickel also was residents only but concerned about lawsuits it remained open to the public..
What is the statute that makes this so?
What is the source regarding “lawsuits”?

You also wrote “…The ones that charge sure charge the residents enough to visit their own beach….” Which Towns and beaches?. Doesn’t this contradict your prior statements?

Please clarify.

Liz
Reply to  Fact Checker
6 February 2021 1:16 pm

Google Nickel Beach Fact Checker – you will find the info there about re-opening to the public. Google the others and you will find the charges. I did not provide links as I knew Merry Mary to whom I was replying had already looked them up.

Fact Checker
Reply to  Fact Checker
6 February 2021 2:15 pm

Liz:
You didn’t answer any of the questions and the online sites don’t either.
What is the statute that you claim makes it illegal for Bay beach to be closed to non-residents?
The online info regarding Nickel Beach did not provide information about “lawsuits” as a reason for it to be open to the public. Please specifically indicate your information source.
Also note that Nickel Beach is a Pay for Play facility.

Liz
Reply to  Fact Checker
6 February 2021 2:29 pm

I found them first search Fact Checker and I am no “google master”.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Merry Mary
6 February 2021 9:22 am

Merry, Cobourg Bylaw 022-2016, sections 30.3 and 30.4, prohibit other than service dogs on our beach and in our parks.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Merry Mary
6 February 2021 8:43 pm

The beach is definitely not dog friendly ..even in the barren days of winter.
..If more dog owners were responsible and complied with picking up after their charges there should be no reason for them not being allowed there in Autumn and winter.
The dogs aren’t the problem ,.some owners are however, resulting in the majority being deprived of a perfectly natural opportunity for exercise for both dogs and owners,

Merry Mary
Reply to  Bill Thompson
7 February 2021 6:56 am

Thanks, Ken and Bill, for the confirmation about “No Dogs on Cobourg Beach.” The amount of online outdated information is troubling. Perhaps once the Beach Survey is completed the information might change in regards to Cobourg/Victoria Beach…

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Merry Mary
7 February 2021 9:22 am

Of course, as Mr. Draper wrote here a few days ago, removing online access to the official versions of Cobourg’s bylaws doesn’t help to combat misinformation. You should contact the Town Clerk to obtain copies of any bylaws that interest you.

Beachbum
4 February 2021 10:08 am

Hello. I am a Cobourg resident who lives within walking distance to the beach and visits the beach daily with my family, all year round (we are happy to stay away during peak use time, and tourist focused activities, like Canada Day, festivals etc.). I am an open water swimmer, my partner surfs, and we love the beach and lake, and the natural environment. My greatest fear is putting a gate around Cobourg beach, and controlling who gets access (and having the beach closed during lockdown periods). I know there are very strong emotions around the use of Cobourg beach and that this current survey is focused on ‘normal’ beach use, and not Covid-time use. I want to understand the issues that are of concern so that we can better manage the services offered, but not at the expense of the Town of Cobourg and budget. I am genuinely curious why the Town of Cobourg wants to “mitigate the high volume of visitors to Victoria Beach” when at the same time there is a tourist budget to draw people here, and a town slogan of “the feel good town”. Let me rephrase. The town is asking for resident and local business input of how we can reduce people coming to our town and using the beach? Is this really the question that the survey should be asking? Should we maybe be asking (again, just curious and trying to get a better grasp on the issues being discussed, and I am currently waiting to hear from Cobourg Parks and Rec with the issues that have been put forward by both town and residents): How can we mange the impact of visitors because the town/local businesses are not making money from out of town beachgoers? Or how can Cobourg leverage the tourist… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Beachbum
beach lover
4 February 2021 9:43 am

It’s really disappointing to see that after almost a full year, the city is still “researching options” if the pandemic continues. There must be some way to allow residents to enjoy Victoria beach in a safe way ( many many suggestions were made last year) and it’s time to actually introduce a process so we’re not shut out for another full summer.

Informed
Reply to  beach lover
4 February 2021 12:03 pm

Very true but I applaud the Town for starting this now during a pandemic and not waiting.

marilyn
Reply to  beach lover
4 February 2021 3:01 pm

This has nothing to do with during the pandemic. It is during “normal” times.

Eastender
4 February 2021 9:14 am

Our beaches are both an asset and a resource. We should charge a daily and seasonal fee. Victoria Beach maintained in its current form.Opening, grooming, raking and adding sand to the west beach (while reserving a nature area adjacent to west pier) would give us an expanded area for events, more space to relax, swim, and play and provide an area to locate and rent beach chairs/huts. I am sure 75-100 huts or more could be installed. Money generated could be used to maintain boardwalk, and more. Cue the howls.

Last edited 6 months ago by Eastender
Greg H
Reply to  Eastender
4 February 2021 2:39 pm

No. Leave the West Beach alone.
It is perfect as it is, and it does not need developing or monetising.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Greg H
4 February 2021 6:48 pm

Doubleplusditto

Reva Nelson
4 February 2021 8:49 am

Thanks for doing this survey!

Informed
4 February 2021 8:04 am

Nice to see the Town being proactive and addressing the beach controversy. Regardless as to the reults of the survey I believe the Town has a duty to protect residents here from people coming from Red zone areas during a pandamic. Prepare for the worse and hope its not needed and we can open the beach as close to normal as possible.

Last edited 6 months ago by Informed
Conor
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 9:39 am

Protecting residents from coming from a red zone. That’s interesting. So nobody from the Cobourg area has contacted the Covid 19 virus? Very simple thinking here.

Informed
Reply to  Conor
4 February 2021 10:44 am

You can look at the daily cases counts Conor and see where most cases are on a daily basis and make inferences as to who makes most use of the beach in Cobourg on the weekends.You are right….its simple

Beachbum
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 11:19 am

Just to clarify, this forum is discussing the survey as it relates to non-Covid times.

But if we are discussing beach use during lockdown periods/high community spread periods, well we can rent that big ole fence again, and residents can show some ID. Public health for the majority of the pandemic has said that preventing community spread should be the focus, and this was federal messaging for controlling the spread of Covid….first wave. This is one reason I was so upset (angry if I am being honest) that the beach was closed last summer, when the option of ‘residents only’ would have been a great option to promote the mental and physical health of our friends and neighbours (I still swam almost everyday, and was told by a police officer that it was legal to do so, as long as I didn’t put my feet down on the bottom at any point in the swim, or exit within the fenced/illegal entry areas 🙂

I think it is great the town and Park and Rec is discussing the Cobourg controversy, I just wish I knew what the controversy was truly about. Managing services and resources of the beach, or keeping people away?

Informed
Reply to  Beachbum
4 February 2021 11:57 am

I dont need you to clarify my comments Beachbum. If you were angry that the beach was closed for the safety of eveyone during a pandemic than i assume your anger is due to the fact you were personally inconvenienced. I believe the survey is prudent at this time so there is time to prepare for the summer. Guess what? No one knows what that will mean yet.

marilyn
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 3:13 pm

The survey says very clearly during “normal” times.

Beachbum
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 7:03 pm

I didn’t say I was clarifying your comments, but instead clarifying what this forum discussion is about. I believe it is important to discuss beach use during Covid times, but this is not the topic being discussed on this blog, and you are introducing a new thread which is a separate discussion altogether. Creating a new topic of conversation is not truly helping to learn more about the normal beach period concerns being discussed.

Your assumption is completely wrong. I was not personally inconvenienced, as three extremely kind neighbours allowed my family to use their private beaches and access whenever we wanted throughout the summer. And we did. It felt wonderful, privileged and sad all at the same time, as I knew hundreds of other families with small kids couldn’t access this fairly safe and beautiful natural resource in the summer heat. I know many families who hung out and swam at the West beach, but as a mother with young kids, the deeper drop-off at the shore, and the lack of lifeguards makes it a more dangerous option. It would be devastating to lose anyone to a drowning on any beach, anywhere.

So let’s stay focused on the question being asked in the survey. I truly believe there are creative solutions to be found that make money, and protect the rights of all humans to enjoy the beach and protect the natural environment…..and this is a good space to put them out there! Again, I just wish I knew why Parks and Rec wants to mitigate tourists………

Old Sailor
3 February 2021 9:30 pm

For me, reducing the number of beach users is the best solution to the problem. And reducing visitors means charging say $25 or more per non resident car or “small” family plus parking. Not some goofy amount like $5 for beach use. That hopefully would mean that all the parking lots within a kilometer of the Victoria Park/downtown area are not filled with visitors who do not spend a nickel in town but take up all of the parking spaces. Which results in reduced parking and local shopping for residents. Permit parking only on residential streets on the weekend could also help local residents have friends drop over by car.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Old Sailor
4 February 2021 7:49 am

OH but the Town has convinced everyone over the last 10 yrs they do spend down town .

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
4 February 2021 10:39 am

And they produced a survey revealing that visitors do spend downtown. They don’t buy insurance policies or furniture or …

SW Buyer
Reply to  Sandpiper
4 February 2021 1:51 pm

The Town has tried to convince everyone of this myth. Fortunately, many Cobourgians are able to think for themselves and critically assess the “evidence” Further, they ask the ones who do know…the downtown merchants.
There are several concepts at play here:

  1. beach goers spend little downtown and contribute little if anything to the profitability of most downtown businesses.
  2. it costs the Town, and therefore the Town’s property tax payers, to maintain the beach and provide “beach” services.
  3. many Cobourgians do not use the their beach because it is crowded.
  4. parking is an issue because it is low cost by GTA standards. In many cases free if your willing to walk a few blocks. This creates problems for downtown shoppers who can’t find convenient parking and local residents whos’ streets are clogged with beachers’ vehicles parked for free. Solution: expand the paid parking area, up the fees and provide resident passes.
  5. Attracting “downtown” tourists is good. Attracting beach-goers…..not good.

This survey is reasonably well done. The questions are relevant and fairly objective. It does not have the blatant bias of previous “beach” surveys

Conor
Reply to  SW Buyer
4 February 2021 3:14 pm

Do you have the statistics to prove that beach goers contribute little to the Cobourg economy?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Conor
4 February 2021 3:31 pm

Do you have the statistics to prove that they do contribute? By observation there are few customers wearing bathing suits and flip-flops in downtown shops.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 February 2021 7:59 pm

The Town is in possession of the survey that does prove they contribute.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2021 8:36 pm

Strange that the results of Dir Hustwick’s survey is not supported by those who best know the answers….the downtown merchants.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
5 February 2021 1:25 pm

I asked A M Hall if tourists buy a lot of jewelry. Nope. I asked two insurance brokers — nope, no tourists buy policies. I asked a couple furniture dealers — nope no tourists. Ask all the banks — nope, tourists don’t open bank accounts. Same for the financial retailers. Tourists don’t avail themselves of the downtown medical clinic. Tourists don’t utilize any of the pet grooming businesses. So tell us the downtown merchants to which you were referring.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 3:09 pm

Wally:
You just listed a number of downtown businesses that do not benefit from “beacher” shopping. You did exactly what I suggested.
If you had expanded your canvasing to include the law/accounting firms, clothing shops, 2nd hand stores and the restaurants/coffee shops, you would have found, in most cases, the same story. Beachers do NOT make a significant contribution to the financial well being of the downtown businesses.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
5 February 2021 4:58 pm

Beachers do attend restaurants and coffee shops and patios and entertainment venues. Why would a tourist of any sort at any time in any community devote any attention to the businesses that I listed and you listed. Those businesses can do without tourists. Their businesses make or break it regardless of tourist numbers. Your argument is without merit because there is to need to charge tourists just because they don’t buy an insurance policy nor take out a mortgage. Tourists don’t do that in any municipality and to think that they should is ludicrous.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 5:14 pm

Wally, this is where your argument is flawed.
Few beacher goers go to the downtown bars/restaurants/patios. For proof, just ask the owners of the bars/restaurants/patios as I suggested.
I have done this and, like me, they will tell you that they get little if any trade from the beacher goers.
End of discussion.

JimT
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 February 2021 9:03 pm

I find it difficult to imagine that people spend their day frolicking on the beach and then get dressed and go up town to shop afterwards. Seems unlikely.
(I do believe that they would spend lots of money if they had picnic tables and a variety of food vendors and such on site. That’s a different situation.)

Last edited 6 months ago by JimT
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Conor
4 February 2021 7:57 pm

The stats that prove they do contribute was in a study the Town conducted 2 or 3 years ago. SWBuyer says says they are “blatant bias” but that is not so.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2021 8:32 pm

The survey was managed by the former parks Director, Dean Hustwick. He refused to make public the questions, results data and methodology.
I can’t imaging why.

Frenchy
Reply to  SW Buyer
4 February 2021 9:57 pm

The survey was managed by the former parks Director, Dean Hustwick.

It’s more likely that the survey was massaged by the former parks Director, Dean Hustwick.

Last edited 6 months ago by Frenchy
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
5 February 2021 1:30 pm

Sure because Dean Huswick is a sleezy, selfish, self-centred deplorable. It is just as likely that he did not massage the numbers. Do you have any proof whatsoever that he massaged any number? One thing Dean would never stoop to do, and that is to publish other peoples government account numbers. I have proof of that.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
5 February 2021 1:26 pm

I saw them.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
4 February 2021 7:16 pm

beach goers … contribute little if anything to the profitability of most downtown businesses.

Most Cobourg residents contribute little to the profitability of most downtown businesses because they flock to Strathy Road, Northumberland Mall to satisfy their retail needs. Free parking and all, lotsa space. When did you last see a hardware store downtown? Or a full range grocery store? Or a shoe repair shop? Cobourg does have a wide selection of cafes, patios, bars, and entertainment downtown that Cobourg residents attend. Likewise, these are the same businesses that visitors often frequent. Why do you expect out-of-town guests to shop downtown, when your fellow residents hardly shop downtown?  

Frenchy
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2021 10:01 pm

Most Cobourg residents contribute little to the profitability of most downtown businesses

then

Cobourg does have a wide selection of cafes, patios, bars, and entertainment downtown that Cobourg residents attend.

Huh, which is it?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
5 February 2021 1:41 pm

Are “most downtown businesses” cafes, patios, bars and entertainment? Nope. A false equivalency

Most downtown businesses consist of banks and financial institutions, barber shops, clothing stores, shoe stores, sporting good stores, variety stores, paint stores.

It is stupid to contend that most business are “cafes, patios, bars and entertainment”, which I did not.

And once again most Cobourg residents shop at Northumberland Mall and Strathy Road businesses. A fact of life. Get used to it.

Frenchy
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2021 10:16 pm

When did you last see a hardware store downtown? Or a full range grocery store? Or a shoe repair shop?

Well there might be enough room for a shoe repair shop, but where would you put one of today’s hardware or full range grocery stores? Parking?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
5 February 2021 1:47 pm

I’d put them in the mall of course. That is where many of Cobourg’s downtown businesses went and Cobourg customers followed, because they preferred convenience. Meanwhile downtown became less and less vibrant. And I am right to assert that there is no hardware store, grocery store, shoe repair downtown. Most Cobourg shoppers avoid shopping downtown for the exact reason you stated, parking.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 11:01 pm

Then, Wally, exactly who is keeping these downtown businesses afloat? Its not the beach goers. You claim it’s not Cobourgers. So who?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
6 February 2021 12:02 pm

No body. That’s why there are so many downtown businesses crash and burn. The downtown has become decrepit and we are lucky to have the trees to conceal the blight. It might make some imagination to entice tourists to walk the two blocks to downtown. And when and if they do go downtown, what is there to appeal to them other than restaurants, patios, bars and events? Imagination and creativity would be soooo helpful, but there is a paucity of that sort of thing amongst the aging fogies of this Town, and especially of this blog.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
4 February 2021 7:25 pm

it costs the Town, and therefore the Town’s property tax payers, to maintain the beach and provide “beach” services.”

The beach is daily groomed for the benefit of Cobourg residents. Lifeguard services are provided for the safety of Cobourg residents. Garbage pick-up is provided for the benefit of Cobourg residents. The canteen services are provided for the enjoyment of Cobourg residents. None of that is done exclusively for guests to our ‘feel good’ town? 

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
4 February 2021 7:45 pm

many Cobourgians do not use the their beach because it is crowded.”

What a crock of post-nutritive disposal substance. 365 days in a year. The beach is crowded on the Canada Day weekend, on the Civic Holiday Weekend and the Labour Day weekend. A whopping nine days a year. That leaves 356 days when it is NOT crowded. Many Cobourgians use the beach on crowded days also, especially young Cobourgians. I have used the beach when it is crowded, and enjoy the experience of so many families frolicking with their children.  

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2021 9:00 pm

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded”.
— Yogi Berra

Frenchy
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2021 10:03 pm

That leaves 356 days when it is NOT crowded.

Yeah, but those January picnics just don’t feel the same.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
5 February 2021 1:53 pm

There is April, May, June, September, October, for picnics, in case you didn’t know. Even so, it still number far higher than the measly 9 days a year, and even those three long weekends do not CROWD the beach every day. I have attended the beach on almost every one of those crowded days and never felt paranoid or intimidated to rub elbows with multiculturalism on the beach. Aside from those meagre 9 days, the beach is open for all the majority white folks.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 3:24 pm

Shame on you Wally: playing the race card.
While you’re spending weekdays frolicking on the beach, many Cobourgers, not as privileged as you, are busy at work and not able to spend a weekday at the beach frolicking.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
5 February 2021 5:07 pm

Try again SW Buyer. So asserting that I enjoy the multiculturalism of the tourists is playing the race card? Your accusation against me is nothing more than post-nutritive disposal substance. Try a better argument than the mush you have been posting here. Shame on you for making unsubstantiated loose tongue accusations.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  SW Buyer
4 February 2021 7:49 pm

“Attracting “downtown” tourists is good. Attracting beach-goers…..not good.”

Attracting ‘downtown’ tourists is good. Attracting beach-goers also good.

Rob
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 10:12 am

Wally – I agree with EVERY single point you have made – thank you for making them. I’m growing tired of the groaning from the anti-tourist/anti-visitor group who where so clearly happy the beach was closed this past summer. One of which said, this was the best summer they could remember in some time. Those who purchased homes/condos within walking distance of the beach and now complain about noise, parking, traffic and “those people”. This feel good town needs a vaccination – an injection of young families, living in and earning a decent income right here in Cobourg, taking full advantage of everything it has to offer and bringing their young friends with them. Our beautiful downtown begs for attention, investment and resident/tourist spending but make no mistake, retail isn’t and will never be the same. It will require creative elected thinkers and private dollars.

Liz
Reply to  Rob
5 February 2021 11:09 am

Thank you Rob!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 1:56 pm

Rob thanked me.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Rob
5 February 2021 1:55 pm

Emphasis on CREATIVITY, something lacking in most of the posters to this blog.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Rob
6 February 2021 11:50 am

Cobourg young people take advantage of the tourists. They play volleyball to keep their young bodies strong and healthy, and display their health. Mix and mingle. Some of it involves Cobourg youth in their last year of high school meeting with outsider young people and kicking up a relationship, so Cobourg youth can caboose with another outsider student to share digs for college or university. A win win. Cobourg youth has always exploited the situation into their advantage. More tourists provides more opportunity for Cobourg youth.

ben burd
3 February 2021 5:38 pm

“but on some weekends in a normal (no pandemic) summer, there are large crowds.”

If the Town refused to put on special events that take up the beach – volley-ball and sandcastles to mention a couple then the overcrowding of the beach might silence the nay-sayers!

Sandpiper
Reply to  ben burd
4 February 2021 7:47 am

Those club , corporate , and social events could easily take place at the west beach If the
the powers to be over there would allow it . Thus reducing Parking and traffic congestion and easier access for those with equipment and event tents .
This would prevent conflicted activities from interfering with each other . The event holders could also be made accountable for clean up after words or at least provide a fee for service .

Reva Nelson
Reply to  Sandpiper
4 February 2021 8:52 am

Oh, I DON’T like the idea of suggesting more people go to West Beach. That’s where I (and many other residents) go on the weekends when the sandy beach is too crowded. It’s such a beautiful, quieter and more natural area.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Sandpiper
4 February 2021 1:59 pm

Why do the “events” have to be held at “the beach”. It is my understanding that some of these events used to be held at Donegan Park. Why not spread the joy (pain??) of hosting these events throughout the Town. Perhaps Clr Darling would appreciate having a carnival ride operating just outside his back fence until 11pm.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
4 February 2021 8:05 pm

Those club , corporate , and social events could easily take place at the west beach

They cannot because their is no infrastructure to service such activity and no infrastrucure is gonna happen there because the Town will not permit it. GOOD.

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 February 2021 9:20 pm

GOOD to say the least. EXCELLENT.

Mark
3 February 2021 4:49 pm

They should gate it off and charge to use the beach from Victoria Day to Labour , no charge for the park , it would pay for lifeguards and clean up
Here a link to what they charge in NJ ,
https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-shore/ultimate-jersey-shore-beach-guide/

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Mark
4 February 2021 11:17 am

40 beaches listed, only two are free access. 38 charge everyone, including local residents.

Liz
Reply to  Mark
4 February 2021 11:54 am

Sauble Beach is the only beach in Ontario on the Indian side that charges the public beach is free that I know of that charges for access. Even Toronto the only fee you pay is parking. Toronto Island – the ferry you pay for access to the Islands no charge. Port Hope free parking, free access – what other beach in Canada aside from the Provincial Parks charge?

JimT
Reply to  Liz
4 February 2021 9:23 pm

What…?
My brain hurts trying to make sense of that first sentence. And others.

Last edited 6 months ago by JimT
Liz
Reply to  JimT
5 February 2021 6:58 am

I’ll try to be perfect Jim otherwise I am sure I will hear from you.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 2:02 pm

You don’t have to be perfect; no one here is. However, composing a comprehensible sentence helps everyone.

Liz
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 2:13 pm

Yes Wally, that is one of my poorer postings. You got me. User Fees are just another name for taxes. In reading the other postings here most state they want more user fees thinking it will save them taxes or could it be they just don’t want non-residents at the beach?

Over the years I have heard many people complain about tourists coming to the beach period.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
5 February 2021 2:01 pm

Sauble Beach is the only beach in Ontario on the Indian side that charges the public beach is free that I know of that charges for access.

This is one of most incomprehensible sentences I have ever read. There is no sense in it. What a waste of time.

JimT
Reply to  JimT
6 February 2021 11:05 am

“What…?
My brain hurts trying to make sense…”

Hey! Who cast the downvote on my comment?  

Frenchy
3 February 2021 3:46 pm

Good idea to post the questions here John. Having a bit of time to think things out before you make your mark is a benefit for all.
Fill it out and have your say. Let’s see if we can’t get a couple of dollars of value out of the $12,000.00 “Engage Cobourg” Bang the Table thingy.
In the forum section, Lori has a good post with 6 thumbs up and 4 agreed comments. She might break a volume record for EC-BTT by the time it’s all over.

Conor
3 February 2021 3:26 pm

Interesting survey although I am not entitled to participate as I don’t live in Cobourg. I guess that classifies me as “out of towner”. Be interesting to see the results. Although I don’t use the beach I do like Victoria Park so I guess I will have to save up extra money for parking if I can’t get one of the free spots I usually find.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Conor
3 February 2021 11:37 pm

I can arrange a parking space for you that is very close to Victoria Park. For free. Bring lots of family or friends, and we’ll go down and crowd the scene together.

Informed
Reply to  Conor
4 February 2021 9:10 am

Pay for parking in Cobourg and at least know you contribute a little to the Town for use of its free beaxh and park.

Liz
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 11:48 am

Perhaps revenues in other ways is the best choice, parking charge increase, beach chair rental, others? but the beach and park free access as it is. Otherwise perhaps we could change the slogan “Cobourg, the feel good town, for those that can afford it”. User fees when taxes are applied already to cover such cost as beach maintenance. Visions of uniformed personnel stopping one and all – are you a resident or a visitor? Never seen it anywhere. What a discourager in a tourist town.

Informed
Reply to  Liz
4 February 2021 12:01 pm

Like i said before Liz. The Town has a revenue problem .The beach is a Golden Goose.At the very least i would like to see it revenue neutral.

Liz
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 12:30 pm

I don’t get you Informed – did I not just say that? Businesses offering chair rental would be good and have nothing to do with taxes or beach charges, you yourself suggested increased parking fees. I have often referred to it as a golden goose and in your prior comments on other subject blogs you have strongly promoted a charge for beach access. Now you have changed position.

Last edited 6 months ago by Liz
Informed
Reply to  Liz
4 February 2021 12:54 pm

I didnt disagree with you Liz . On another note i dont believe i ever promoted increased parking fees but did advocate for some type of user fee on weekends

Liz
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 1:36 pm

Informed – I reviewed your post back to December thinking I may be mistaken. On the beach you commented regularly replying to other about “enjoying the free beach” and giving away our golden jewel, in your words, as they were declared out of towners numerous times. You suggested User Fees regularly.

Was wondering what made you change your mind to the other end of the pole?

Informed
Reply to  Liz
4 February 2021 3:29 pm

Now im confused lol.

Liz
Reply to  Informed
4 February 2021 4:52 pm

Informed – don’t know why YOU’LD be confused, but I am. remembering your prior comments for several months – you stood on the opposite end. Went back as far as December but you made many more previously. You were so strong about user fees and the fact the beach is presently free which you were not in favour of – it was your total turnaround that has surprised me. What made you change your mind?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
4 February 2021 5:04 pm

The problem with user fees is the logistics for collection: you need an unsightly fence, you need gate keepers, you need to accept credit cards/debit cards/cash, you need to accommodate exit/reentry, etc. Parking fees of at least $25 and maybe $50 or more coupled with resident passes would be easier and more effective to recover some of the costs of maintaining our beach. This charge is less than the cost of accessing provincial parks. Ticketing and towing would strongly encourage payment.

Liz
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 February 2021 8:00 pm

Ken – I have never believed in Beach User Fees. I was questioning Informed as I recall so many of his prior posts making remarks to out of towners about enjoying our “free beach”, as if we should charge for it! And recommending user fees. Now when Informed posts he states the exact opposite.
Taxes are paid here, put to use and I don’t see any reason to have Beach Users Fees. Double taxation.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
4 February 2021 8:47 pm

Now I’m confused, Liz. Cobourg taxpayers pay to maintain the beach. Should visitors then use it for free? If so, you sound like Conor!

Liz
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 February 2021 6:54 am

Ken – try visiting Sauble, Toronto beaches, Port Hope if that is the argument as other jurisdictions do not charge, they are covered by the area tax payers so why would we charge visitors? Name me one beach other than Provincial Parks that charge in Ontario. Cobourg, the feel good town where nothing is free – our new slogan?

Last edited 5 months ago by Liz
Frenchy
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 9:08 am

Liz, I’m not sure why you separate Provincial from community beaches in your argument. What’s the difference?
Why does the Province charge for use of their beaches?

Liz
Reply to  Frenchy
5 February 2021 10:56 am

Frenchy Municipal beaches in other regions do not charge, they are day use just like here in Cobourg. Most Provincial Parks offer overnight camping requiring more governance and further facilities. Cabins, camp sites small store, wildlife such as deer and bears that live within their bounds requiring rangers.

I am surprised so many feel their tax dollars will go down should User Fees come in – they won’t – everyone will just pay more. The Town is looking to increase its revenue rather than put in more cost effective solutions.

Frenchy
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 11:09 am

Bit of a stretch to go from an afternoon at the beach to cabins, stores, bears and rangers. (that was fast)
Why do they have a single day charge? I assume people visit the park or the beach just for the day.
And… I don’t think my taxes will go down if user fees are introduced, rather some of that money could go to more deserved uses. User fees just might cut down on the number of beachers though, avoiding some overcrowding of the beach and adjacent streets.

Last edited 5 months ago by Frenchy
Liz
Reply to  Frenchy
5 February 2021 1:52 pm

Yes Frenchy there may be some day visitors to Provincial Parks, they would be charged even if just for the day as more services are provided and must be maintained and paid for as I outlined regarding cabins, overnights, etc. unlike municipal parks where one strolls through the park, swims at the beach and goes home at the end of the day leaving the park maintenance to the already covered town parks personnel.

However there are Events – maybe fees for people presenting at events could be increased as people are mad here about seeing more charges thinking it will make their taxes go down – it will just mean richer pensions and salaries for those in municipal employment which already exceed private industry. Efficiency and cost saving?? Apparently User Fees are the name of the game.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 12:18 pm

If only visitors are charged for parking then residents will actually pay less then now. Why do you think that we will pay more?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 10:22 am

Please see my earlier post about near-beach parking in Innisfil. It is $45/day.

To answer your question: We should charge non-residents for using our beach to defray some of the costs. Having large numbers of visitors impacts the enjoyment of our beach by Cobourg’s taxpayers and provide few if any benefits to locals.

Liz
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 February 2021 11:02 am

Just like everywhere else Ken. Visited the beach and Toronto Island often when I lived there. Never was I charged for beach use. Much larger area, many more visitors.

Now event charging fees – recall my partner regularly worked these events. One in particular – he would drive a front end loader to pick up the garbage after across the event field, ignore attenders who looked him in the eye then threw their garbage down in front of him, the year the crew had to be taken off in police boats – shots, fired, stay inside they were told.

Perhaps the town should consider charging eventers, not the public, more for services for events instead just like many of the other towns and cities.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 February 2021 2:32 pm

Having large numbers of visitors impacts the enjoyment of our beach by Cobourg’s taxpayers and provide few if any benefits to locals.”

For the meagre 9 days of crowding, I enjoy the excitement, the buzz of so many multicultural people who are essentially integrating into our society by coming to this beach. Unlike so many others here I welcome them, matter of fact I also welcome to return again and again. A lot of Cobourg young people enjoy the multiculturalism, because it gives them an opportunity to learn things from people other than the vast demographic of old white Anglos.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 February 2021 2:22 pm

Yes, visitors can use it for free. That is why Victoria Park is a public park. There are public parks in every municipality. I feel absolutely find visiting a Whitby public park for free. I have enjoyed the facilities of numerous public parks across Canada, USA, and Eastern Europe for free. I even got to Enjoy Central Park in NYC for free. I extend reciprocity to all outsiders to enjoy our public park and beach for free.

Liz
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 February 2021 10:31 pm

Ken – so many people that don’t want tourists, Perhaps they could move to Lost Highway, Highway #7 where there was nothing there but a broken down gas station and a few homes, everyone else had fled the area and certainly no tourists would ever visit. The beach has been well maintained here, no tax increase this year and tourism whether they like it or not has been a major industry. Certainly very few jobs.

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 February 2021 11:05 am

If the Town decided to charge for entry to beach( at least on weekends ) then there would be more time to work on ideas and the logistics.Maybe it wont work but the idea should be explored,in my opinion.

Liz
Reply to  Informed
5 February 2021 11:12 am

Perhaps Informed but one highly placed elected official advised me confidentially the well to do taxpayers call the shots here and they are afraid to offend them by going against them. Often these taxpayers are the ones that actually form the policies.

To the general public and lower taxpayers – put another nickel in, next year it will cost you more.

Last edited 5 months ago by Liz
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Liz
6 February 2021 11:31 am

“… one highly placed elected official advised me

Hmmm. That leaves out all of the regular councilors because they are not “highly placed” compared with the Deputy Mayor and Mayor. Is that correct Liz; that it’s either Susan or John who told you that only the well-to-do “call the shots” in Cobourg?

Liz
Reply to  Wally Keeler
6 February 2021 1:27 pm

Wally as a former newspaper man I am sure you are aware of the rule “don’t reveal your source”. Don’t forget we have had prior Councils as well. Could be anyone Wally. Offered to me in confidence so mum’s the word. Once thought of going into investigative reporting as people often tell me things but felt it was an ethical issue. So I went into payroll and benefits with close communication with employees keeping their secrets as other employees asked me pointed questions that went unanswered about their fellow workers just as this will be.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Informed
5 February 2021 2:35 pm

Work out a plan first, instead using Cobourg residents as pawn for some kind of experimentation. Get an idea, something creative.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Liz
5 February 2021 2:13 pm

Informed is quite the flip flopper. He expresses resentment to those outsiders who use the entire park for free.

Informed
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 4:02 pm

I have to know..was “flip flop” being used as a pun?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Informed
5 February 2021 5:16 pm

“flip flop” I never used the phrase flip flop. Why did you put it in quotation marks? It certainly is not a quote from me. Quit putting words in my mouth. Try to be accurate in your postings.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Informed
5 February 2021 2:11 pm

Take note that Informed resents outsiders using the entire park for free, not just the beach..

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Informed
5 February 2021 2:08 pm

Oh so now it is the park. Informed doesn’t like out-of-towners using the entire park for free. Pathetic.

Informed
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 February 2021 7:46 pm

I think you need a hug. 🙂

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Informed
5 February 2021 9:24 pm

I think you need creative intelligence.