Shutdown affects Rink and Transit

Just like the general public in Ontario, Cobourg Councillors are confused when it comes to interpreting the rules of the latest Provincial shutdown that apply to such things as the outdoor rink and the Transit system.  Town Clerk Brent Larmer said that until he gets the official Regulations from the Province, he cannot give clear advice – that is, he can’t say what the “rules” are.  He hopes to get those regulations no later than when they go into effect which is midnight Wednesday January 13.  Because of the confusion CAO Tracey Vaughan asked for direction from a specially convened emergency session of Council held at 6:00 pm on the 13th.  In the end, all that could be decided was to close the rink for a few days and limit transit hours.

Outdoor Rink

It seems that the only thing that’s clear is that outdoor groups are now limited to 5 instead of the previous 10 – and even that’s not clear.  In the context of the outdoor rink, skating is allowed since it’s exercise – but are non-skating supervising parents allowed and do they count as part of the 5?  And are monitoring constables and staff counted as part of the 5?  And will people walking to the rink get a ticket for non-essential activity?  And as Councillor Adam Bureau  pointed out, since the rules are not yet known, how can Council decide on what to do/allow?  As Mayor Henderson remarked “We have a lot of grey areas.”  One thing was clear: Councillors were keen to keep the rink open to allow for people to exercise.  Whatever is decided, the Rink would need to be closed for a period to allow reconfiguring – for example for groups to be reduced in size and those with existing bookings to be advised.

After considerable debate, Councillors Darling and Chorley moved a motion that would close the Rink immediately with a re-opening at 10:00 am Saturday with the proviso that this would be subject to possible change by the Emergency Control Group as regulation documents were made available.  Apart from hours and group size, there is also the question of possible other rules such as masks for everyone while on the rink as well as social distancing.  The motion passed.

Update – Jan 15

On Friday, the Town announced that the rink would re-open Saturday but with the only new rule being that masks must be worn while skating.


Three options were suggested by Staff:

Note that currently full Transit Hours are scheduled to start 26 January and current operating hours  are less than that.

Option 1: Conventional and Wheels transit hours remain the same as currently operating OR
Option 2: Conventional transit hours remain the same as currently operating and Wheels transit hours be reduced to summer operating hours  (Monday to Friday 6:45 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, no Sunday service) OR
Option 3: THAT Conventional transit resume regular operating hours as of January 26th per Council’s January 11 resolution and Wheels service continues operating at current service levels.

The deciding factor was that businesses must now close no later than 8:00 pm and workers at those businesses may rely on Transit to get home.  My hearing is not 100% but I heard that Council simply voted to stop Wheels service at 5:45 pm.  There was no other motion on Transit but I think the intent was Option 2 but with an earlier stop for Wheels.  (Transit details – as best as can be determined – are available here. Update: Hours shown on this page are now confirmed – 15 Jan.

According to the Province, this new shutdown is in effect until February 11 (at least).

Since the ECG may change some of the details, come back to this page for updates as they happen (re Rink and Transit only) or go to the “Covid-19 in Cobourg” page here for the latest updates.

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16 January 2021 11:14 am

Current transit hours per are:

Monday to Friday: 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Saturday: 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Sunday: No Service

Pity the hapless fool who actually believes the hours still shown on the official Town of Cobourg “Where’s My Bus” app:

Cobourg Transit Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday 6:15 a.m. 7:45 p.m.
Saturday 8:15 a.m. 6:45 p.m.
Sunday 8:45 a.m. 3:45 p.m.

Someone needs to wake up and give their head a shake.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
Upset tax payer
15 January 2021 7:26 am

Every town and city around us has kept the rinks open with their regular limits. The max of 5 does not apply to these circumstances. I am utterly frustrated that this town feels the need to have so much control over this. Peterborough, Toronto…..ALL OPEN and NOT at max of 5 skaters…those limits do not apply to outdoor amenities like this. As for masking outdoors you can strongly recommend that but cannot mandate it in a public outdoor space.

Reply to  Upset tax payer
15 January 2021 8:59 am

I’m curious for the thumbs down. What’s there to not like about this. The province says rinks can stay open. All of our surrounding towns and the big city have kept them open, so why is ours shut down. If you do not agree with it being open that’s your opinion however when the province says they can stay open giving this post a thumbs down is futile.

Merry Mary
Reply to  curious
15 January 2021 12:46 pm

When there are the options for a thumb up and for a thumb down, the options will be utilized one way or the other way.

Reply to  Merry Mary
15 January 2021 6:45 pm

…by people who habitually try to think with their feelings instead of their intellect.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Upset tax payer
15 January 2021 2:16 pm

Upset tax payer and curious, the restrictions on travel and gatherings are not a perverse plot to punish us but a possibly futile effort to reduce the spread of an often fatal disease. Why is this so hard for some to understand? Why do some consider only their own, selfish, desires?

Reply to  Ken Strauss
15 January 2021 4:08 pm

It really is about trying to find a balance…hence the Province’s reluctance to define “essential.”

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rob
15 January 2021 6:14 pm

Rob, control of skaters is unrelated to defining “essential”. What do you consider to be the appropriate balance between skating fun and death? Remember, lives are determined by the chosen balance.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
17 January 2021 7:59 am

Fun or death? That is stark. Children and teenagers and youths have the lowest death rates, a mere fraction of one percent. They also recover quickly. Let’s dial down the spreading of bloated paranoia a notch or two.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
18 January 2021 8:59 am

Ken – your comment isn’t supported by reality. Comments like those only fuel a fear narrative for those who don’t take the time to understand what is happening. The same Government and Health Officials that told you to stay home, lock it down, wear a mask and socially distance is also telling you its ok to go for a skate. Why is it that you and others, only choose to believe part of what they tell you?

SW Buyer
Reply to  Rob
18 January 2021 9:40 am

You wrote: …Why is it that you and others, only choose to believe part of what they tell you?…

Possibly by watching the examples provided by the anointed ones. Dougie and his buds, travelling to cottages and southern beaches, Brampton Mayor Brown and his buds, playing hockey at indoor arenas that are closed to the public.
We’re supposed to do as they say, not as they do?
Maybe the sheeple are getting tired of our leaders blowing smoke and are starting to think for themselves.

Last edited 1 year ago by SW Buyer
Reply to  SW Buyer
18 January 2021 11:11 am

SW – you’re right, most Canadians are tired. As seniors are literally locked in their rooms at their LTC facility without a visit from a loved one for weeks on end. As people commit suicide at unprecedented and alarming rates. As alcoholism, substance abuse and mental illness grips many who were already so vulnerable. As the levels of bankruptcy, joblessness, small business closures, spousal and child abuse continues to climb. You are absolutely right, we are all tired of the smoke show!

I’d suggest everyone needs to go for skate…

Kelley Hennessey
14 January 2021 1:14 pm

Grocery and pharmacy allowed to be open later than 8 pm

14 January 2021 10:25 am

The Provincial ‘Stay-at-Home’ order, as published yesterday has 29 exceptions and no mention of enforcement. You can work, go to Walmart, travel internationally, sell your home, move between residences, exercise, walk your dog etc….As for enjoying our rink, you can only do so if permitted. So–it seems like it’s up to the Town to make that all important decision. The rink is in great condition right now.

Reply to  Dunkirk
14 January 2021 1:33 pm

Provincial guidelines regarding the stay-at-home order allow for public skating – and so it should. I trust Cobourg Town Council will follow the guide and allow the public to enjoy Rotary Park as well as continue with its plan to open a second outdoor rink. There is NO reason not to.

Reply to  Rob
14 January 2021 2:46 pm

Weather such as 5 degrees today would be reason not to open sinclair park rink unless its to play ball.

Reply to  Informed
14 January 2021 3:48 pm

I agree – apparently a Polar Vortex is on the horizon …. best to install the small amount of required infrastructure for the new ODR and be ready to flood once the temperature drops.

Reply to  Rob
14 January 2021 4:52 pm

True…maybe it will come together in February when its typically colder.It wouid be nice if some of the time be used for kids to play hockey on the ice.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Informed
14 January 2021 6:33 pm

In my experience the hockey players, mostly boys, aggressively skated to push the others off to the sidelines. Maybe it’s changed since I was a kid but our neighbourhood rink, made in a vacant lot by local men, was overtaken by hockey payers every time it was used. Frustrating and annoyng for small kids, parents and girls who had as much right to be there as the boys did. Hopefully there’s more fairness now. This was early 60s, a very different world then.

Last edited 1 year ago by Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
14 January 2021 9:32 pm

It would likely be the same today. If certain times were made available for hockey,then perhaps a good balance could be struck.

Merry Mary
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
15 January 2021 7:02 am

Exactly right, Deborah, about it being a different world in the 60’s, and as a child even before the 60’s I thought that everyone had a skating rink in their backyards! My family did and so did our neighbours- nothing elaborate on our small yards- just periodically spraying water on top of the grass without any boundary borders. As we became older, my two Sisters and I took over the responsibilities from our Father for spraying and shovelling away any snowfalls. Every day after school we were all outside skating in the backyards and in the Summers we all had lush green lawns. Where are those backyard rinks today?

Reply to  Merry Mary
15 January 2021 9:55 am

Also unlike the the 60’s the girls are very much involved in high level, competitive hockey and can easily play with most boys….

I like the idea of designed times for hockey and/or it would take little effort to have two pads; one for skating and one for hockey. This is a great and unexpected initiative for our community.