Tourism in Cobourg

One of the issues that people in Cobourg sometimes debate is whether we want Tourists and if so, do they actually help Cobourg’s economy or not.  In 2018, Cobourg hired a contract person, Bryan Mercer, to help increase Tourism – one of his accomplishments was to set up the web site “Engage Cobourg” and another was to get some Tourism metrics (see below).  Increasing Tourism was a strategy initiated by Dean Hustwick, the previous Director of Community Services but since 2018, there has been little follow up. The latest Strategic Plan barely mentions Tourism – “Consider Arts Culture and Tourism Division” gets relegated to “OK to defer” status.  Further, significantly increased parking fees were initiated to help control beach crowds which means we are discouraging Tourists – on the beach at least.

Bryan’s key points were that we should emphasize “Experiences” rather than “Places” and we should learn from what visitors say. He also liked the summer student “ambassadors” that were employed in 2018 (and I believe in 2019) but have since been discontinued.

Summary of Metrics

See the full report on metrics in the Tourism Metrics post in Resources below.  The survey was June 1st, to Labour Day 2018.  About 1200 people were interviewed.

  • Most visitors came for just one day (64.5%)
  • Half shopped (49%)
  • Most ate locally although they preferred canteen food (fries, hamburgers etc)
  • 51% came for the beach, 28% for events, 27% to visit friends or family and 26% made unplanned visits
  • The Sandcastle weekend and the Waterfront Festival significantly boost visitors.

Candidates for Council

But what do candidates for Council have to say about Tourism?

I reviewed (read) all the material on the websites of all Candidates and there were only 3 mentions amongst the 14 candidates:

  • Nicole Beatty – wants to “Invest in responsible and sustainable tourism that generates an economic return on investment by focusing on experience-driven, all-year-round destination development.”
  • Suzanne Séguin – quoted the Strategic Plan goal to consider an Arts, Culture and Tourism Division.
  • Adam Bureau – was assigned  the  Arts, Culture and Tourism coordinator portfolio – he made no other mention of Tourism.

Nobody else mentioned Tourism – the implication being that they think Tourism does not benefit the Town or at least, they believe voters don’t think it does.


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Mr Bigley
12 October 2022 10:25 am

Cobourg initially needs to clean up the streets and sidewalks – it looks shabby – re Engage Cobourg – if the desired cultural centre for the former Brookside mansion is established – Cobourg will not need to worry about tourism or visitors to our town – there will be a good many reasons at the cultural centre to attract people and for many reasons. lets make a dream of many come true. Take a leap Cobourg – its time

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Mr Bigley
12 October 2022 7:12 pm

lets make a dream of many come true.

OK. How many? Ten people could easily be referred to as many. One hundred, ten could be referred to as many. Is it valid to also assert that even ‘more many’ may regard the dream as a blackhole nightmare for tax funding.

However, if the dream ‘of many’ get together to fund raise independent of govt, count me in. I’m not very hopeful, however.

Cobourg taxpayer
10 October 2022 7:43 pm

As a Cobourg taxpayer I see no potential of Brookside.

Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
12 October 2022 2:42 pm

Not seeing the potential in likely the greatest (available) property in Cobourg, sounds like a personal limitation…there is nothing but potential residing there.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Rob
12 October 2022 7:18 pm

Zone it for a casino. Such a business would save the outside structure of the white mansion, restore it to its mansion beauty, gives glamor to the casino. Make it an elite casino. Lots of room for parking.

10 October 2022 7:47 am

That’s because they all know it’s too expensive for the town to buy and develop it.

Wally Keeler
9 October 2022 11:08 am

This is what Niagara-On-the-Lake did: The Shaw Festival is a not-for-profit theatre festival. It is the second largest repertory theatre company in North America. The Shaw Festival was founded in 1962. As of 2019, the theatre company was considered to be one of the largest 20 employers in the Niagara Region.

This is what Stratford, Ontario did with its Shakespeare Festival: It employs about 1,000 people, including 115 actors, roughly three percent of the city’s population, and pumps about $135 million a year into the local economy. This past year, the festival staged more than 600 shows in its four theatres, selling about half a million tickets, some to tourists from as far away as Japan.

The idea that Arts and Culture cannot generate great consistent revenue for a community is a lie perpetrated mostly by unimaginative bloated bland glands with no vision whatsoever.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 October 2022 11:32 am

Orillia in 2000 accepted the return of the Mariposa Folk Festival, originally started in 1961. The festival roamed around southern Ontario for many years, including once in Cobourg’s Victoria Park (failed). The Mariposa Folk Festival has won awards as a premier folk festival in North America since its return to Orillia. It has featured the greatest folk talent North America has produced. The spin offs have benefitted Orillia immensely, culturally and economically.

Cap’n John
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 October 2022 9:11 pm

As a Niagara resident ( back long before some of the old town streets were even paved) I remember when local residents came up with the idea of creating The Shaw Festival in Niagara. There are many lessons that can be learned from looking at the history and evolution of tourism initiatives like Shaw.
My recommendation is that Northumberland County look at tourism as a County opportunity, share ideas and resources, and take a coordinated county wide approach to building our tourism industry.

9 October 2022 10:37 am

It would be nice to concentrate on expanding our light industrial base, encouraged by tax amendments and utilities cost adjustments instead of this never ending focus on tourism. Does the Town have an actively promoted data base showing industrial zoned property and how much effort is currently focused on recruiting light industry? Should the Town be annexing land to accommodate the need for larger acreages required by manufacturing and light industrial enterprises?
I say no to an Arts, Culture and Tourism Division. Let people discover our town on their own.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Eastender
10 October 2022 9:29 pm

Cobourg had lots of industries until the miserable recession of the 80s. They’re not coming back, so we must look for alternatives. The two biggest revenue generators in the County are agriculture and tourism and they’re not going any where. We need to support both.

Reply to  Deborah OConnor
11 October 2022 8:10 am

Hi, I am an avid supporter of both. The arts included. Industry has radically changed since the 1980’s and there are a myriad of opportunities for the Town. Unfortunately tourism jobs are seasonal and generally low paying. Monoculture ag has few jobs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eastender
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Eastender
11 October 2022 9:11 am

The hugely successful Shaw Festival and Stratford’s Shakespeare Festival are all season. Neither are low paying. Both provide spinoff opportunities for entrepreneurs.

My son is self-employed with a profit last year that exceeded one million dollars. It is an on-line business. The business exists wherever his laptop is — no bricks and mortar.

Those with imagination and creativity will prevail, not those with the same old assembly-line spine worker mentality. There is a need for nimbleness, to change and adapt on a moment’s notice, given the pace of today’s world. In Cobourg’s case, the demographic is pensioners with a growing need for incontinence products and mobility devices — perhaps that is the light industry Cobourg needs to attract. Of course, there is the so-called ‘climate emergency’ so any new industry coming to Cobourg must be exclusively electric.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
11 October 2022 6:45 pm

Cobourg is perfectly situated to benefit from two trends: mostly working from home and internet based businesses. With Bell FIBE available in much of Cobourg we have very high speed internet available. Cobourg is close enough to Toronto for a once or twice a week physical visit to the “office” to be reasonable. Why do we keep lamenting lost manufacturing jobs or even considering promoting minimum wage and seasonal tourism related jobs?

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
12 October 2022 8:17 am

I was told by a few as a newcomer that the mayor at the time made a choice between industry and tourism and this was more recent than the 1980s..
Perhaps some long term residents could shed some light on that.

Wally Keeler
9 October 2022 10:29 am

What does Cobourg have that is unique and distinctive and attractive enough to bring tourists? The commentators to this blog are quite articulate about beach tourism and the preference that tourists roam the downtown. Ok. What ideas do any commentators to this blog have that would attract anyone to this Town to spend $$$$$$ downtown.

Why is Port Hope doing so much better than Cobourg? Who has any original ideas for Cobourg? Where is the creativity amongst Cobourg residents? Why is Cobourg so boring?

Old Sailor
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 October 2022 1:31 pm

Hi Wally: If Cobourg had a hotel and playhouse/theatre in the downtown area, I would, when I was not a Cobourg resident, be drawn to events at the playhouse/theatre. A short fun trip from the GTA. Consolidate our entertainment facilities to the extent possible. A big request, but not on the scale of creating a Shaw or Stratford Festival in Cobourg.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Old Sailor
9 October 2022 3:06 pm

We have Northumberland Players. They are a great cultural gem for Northumberland. Think of the Art Gallery of Northumberland. What has it done? It’s sequestered on the third floor, very much out of sight of the public domain. How much money does Cobourg pay for this Northumberland ‘attraction’? How much money does Northumberland contribute to the AGN? Is attendance growing or is it abysmal? Is it worth the money that Cobourg taxpayers sink into it? How is it worth the money? Think of the Trash to Treasure project, the painting of trash cans by Cobourg student artists. The first year there was virtually no publicity, no pics of the student artists standing beside their work on social media that they could link, if any one of them wanted to pursue an art career, or a link to send to grandma in Manila. Another year goes by, more trash bins painted and again, a lack of respect to the artists by not posting social media images of the artists standing by their art. The AGN is run by an arts professional. That is Cobourg’s full time consultant in artistic and cultural matters. Yet when it comes to painting Seven Feathers on a crosswalk, we had a Town Administrator and a Mayor (experienced in art and culture LOL) bloated with ambitions to virtue signal, presuming they knew enough about cultural sensitivity to paint such a deeply profound cultural icon onto a crosswalk where filthy tires run over it 24/7/365. What dignity is there for that iconic art piece? It looked shamefully shabby all summer long for tourists to see. The AGN does nothing in the public domain, whereas the artist-run Critical Mass in Port Hope delivers art experiences in the public domain regularly. For example, people all over Port Hope do the… Read more »

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 October 2022 12:52 pm

Further to the carved pumpkin display along the lane next to Critical Mass on the eve of November 1st in Port Hope, why can’t the Art Gallery of Northumberland organize a similar event in Cobourg? Invite everyone to bring their carved pumpkins to Rotary Park where they could line the circular walk for everyone to enjoy, then truck them to a composter.

Sam Westcott
Reply to  Old Sailor
13 October 2022 12:19 pm

Old Sailor:
As an “old sailor” I assume you go down to the Marina/ Harbour and frequent the Yacht Club?
There is a Hotel in Downtown. It is The King George Inn and is bigger than Woodlawn was and The Waddell in Port Hope. Nicely decorated and on the Harbour.
You really must get out and view the town. It has been there for over 20 years. Near Rotary Park. Near Northumberland Players. Kitty Corner to Victoria Hall and hosts many guests who have weddings & functions there. Near enough to The Waterfront Festival & the Sandcastle festival. On the Harbour and close to the beach at the corner of Albert & Third Streets. It is not a novelty hotel and has 22 rooms

Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 October 2022 5:37 pm

We moved to Cobourg 7 years ago. We patronized The Woodlawn Inn many, many times before it closed. Dinner theatres, jazz bands, anniversaries…. It was a true Gem. We bragged about it and brought our City friends. They were envious. Then Poof, it was gone.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
11 October 2022 7:02 am

Port Hope has a thriving fishing industry while Cobourg criminalizes fishing.
Port Hope has a thriving food and beverage scene while Cobourg is a bit behind on that front.
Port Hope has the Capitol Theatre while Cobourg has the Sidbrook eyesore.
Port Hope has reasonable parking rates while Cobourg gouges both residents
and non-residents.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Eastender
11 October 2022 9:46 am

Most important of all, Eastender, is that Port Hope has a thriving community of creatives, exemplified by Critical Mass, and supplemented by many others in the arts and culture domain. There is a pathetic mindset in Cobourg that regards such creativity as fluff. People with that mindset are commonly referred to as bores.

Cobourg has the poetential to become Canada’s Poem Town. That is the vision. AND it won’t cost the Town a cent. Eloquence can fill our parks. Wit will grace our community spaces. It will be an attraction that is year round, will attract high quality tourists, and cost the Town nothing. How can that be done? If anyone has any degree of imagination, they’ll know how it is done.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wally Keeler
Reply to  Eastender
11 October 2022 2:15 pm

Fishing is better policed in Port Hope. As an experienced fisherman I have noted so many times snaggers and gutters practised by out of towners and people I know are from Cobourg. Fishing in the sanctuary from the bridge also in such plain sight. That is a crime to allow such blatant offenses and so little done. Although I was in Port Hope witnessing the invasion of people visiting the north end fish sanctuary. Despite signage declaring fishing there illegal clearly visible were many a fisherman further along the river. It has fallen to local police to enforce as the M&R are severely under funded with few game wardens spread over a great area. Mostly they ignore you when you tell them yourself. Just like the bad drivers on the highway they enforcement of the rules.

9 October 2022 10:29 am

Let’s face it , Cobourg council has always been focused on out of town guest. Never to the actual residents that live here. Housing unaffordable but to retirement people that sell their home for a million, come here and buy overpriced homes . Parking is outrageous, no places for rent , and if there are , it’s over 2 G to rent. Nope , can’t work for the actual residents. And don’t get me started on guest spending money on restaurants and attractions. Doesn’t happen ! Maybe focus on the real issues we have … drug addicted, homeless, and the courts here in town. Stop visiting judges and get a real judge to sit and actually care about the crime here.
Just stop with the never ending attractions to draw in guest and do something for the actual residents here. There isn’t a person on council now or in the future that seriously wants what’s best for the residents. Plain and simple

Sam Westcott
Reply to  Jade
13 October 2022 12:25 pm

Jade, I guess you don’t frequent the downtown of Cobourg in June, July, August & September. The newly built Restaurant patios are packed with Tourists and so is the Hotel at Albert & Third.

9 October 2022 9:41 am

I met a couple of California “tourists” recently at Taps ad Corks patio. They were in town with their son who was playing hockey at CCC. Apparently there were hockey scouts in town. They raved about how pretty our downtown was. I gave them a few suggestions for restaurants. They did say that they had a hard time finding a place to stay, “the hotel was full”, and they found an AIRBNB. They also wanted to shop at the mall and I suggested that they shop downtown instead. Tourists are an important part of Cobourgs economy. Be an ambassador for the town and make them welcome. They don’t all come for the beach.

9 October 2022 9:31 am

I think the Beach is well known and thats obvious by the crowds
Now how can you get them to the Down Town in their Bathing suites with all the Kids
or can you NOT LIKLEY . The come to the beach for 2 reasons 1 its a cheap family day out
except for the Parking fees , which the town has cashed in on .
Secondly is Shopping actually Buying ?? Show me !
I have asked this Town and its Economic Development office since the days of Wendy Gibson to produce the studies they are known for and let us know the Turn over and Survival rate of all the small Restaurants and Touristy shops that open and close along with the reasons from the owners for their failure with out the Towns spin on it .
We have a huge turn over here not just because of Covid .

9 October 2022 9:27 am

Spending Municipal budget dollars on anything related to ‘Tourism’ plans, historically, has proven a mistake for many communities. Like accepting a ‘free’ Arena that we can’t afford to run, or welcoming a provincially regulated ‘casino’; tourism is not a magic bullet to prosperity for the Towns that advocate and invest in marketing it. Even in communities like Banff, that swell in visitor numbers far beyond their population level–the real beneficiaries of the activity tend to be the income and consumption tax coffers in urban capitals far away. The private sector tourism take the risk and the municipalities budgets twist in the wind with infrastructure expenses to support the very temporary/unreliable economic driver.

Candidates for Council; stay in your lane and please don’t mention tourism….
If you’d like to get a tourist’s view of our town, consultants are not needed–just ask any/all of our Town employees as most of them are ‘daily tourists’ to Cobourg happy to direct our strategy from elsewhere without any vested commitment.

With that said–here’s another quick web tool provided by the Ministry of Heritage, Culture and Tourism which can also eliminate the need for a year-long, 6 figure consultants’ report:

You’re welcome. Happy Thanksgiving.

9 October 2022 8:28 am

It always seems to me is that Tourism in Cobourg is “How do we increase the restaurant business in town”. Just advertise “Cobourg on the Lake” a bit and word of mouth in the “Horseshoe” will do the rest. Let’s not destroy our town with too many tourists.

Reply to  cornbread
9 October 2022 9:51 am

The downtown is slowly becoming a Commercial center rather than a Tourist destination .
Partially due to the Banks and cheaper rents etc as the landlords have suffered from great Vacancy numbers and low business survival rates There have been several Medical groups , hearing and eye specialists move in– Now the Law Firms & Accounts are coming . slowly changing King st to a 9 to 5 Monday to Fri location . The Parking lots are all all under redevelopment applications . So there won’t be any .
So the volume of downtown visitors will have to decrease , or walk long distances / be bussed in at the Tax Payers expense , and for who and what reason . ? Or will the Town Chew up the Remaining Green space south of King I am sure Ms. Beatty will call it a Sustainable measure once again.
Besides all that– Cobourg Beach the same as Wasaga beach is a 3 to 4 month Tourist season.
If your a smart operator Make your money save it & Close your doors the same as the Rice Lake Tourist resorts do.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
9 October 2022 10:40 am

Sandpiper asserts, “Or will the Town Chew up the Remaining Green space south of King

Donegan Park is south of King and I don’t see any chewing there. Victoria Park has actually expanded by squaring itself between Church and McGill. Peace Park is south of King and there is no Chewing there. Monk’s Cove is south of King and no chewing there. What green space has the Town chewed up south of King Street already, as you assert, and what green space remains that they want to chew up?

Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 October 2022 11:45 am

I wonder what will happen to the old school playing fields near the West beach that the town is apparently negotiating to buy?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  GailR
9 October 2022 12:15 pm

Is that being chewed up?

Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 October 2022 1:29 pm

Even if it is “chewed up” it has not been used as a real park or greenspace. It’s essentially a field or nothingness. You haven’t even been able to access it for years.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
12 October 2022 8:22 am

The Town has its eye on the harbourfront area but won’t openly admit to it
the green area will badly chewed up after all the heavy Equip and Pile driving that will be taking place to restore the north wall . A few yrs back Stephen Peacock CAO of the time had a plan for this but not the $$$$$ or authority
to spen that much on his own
at the time ..

Reply to  Sandpiper
12 October 2022 9:27 am

The Town has its eye on the harbourfront area but won’t openly admit to it”

so what’s the secret plan Sandpiper?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
12 October 2022 7:02 pm

the green area will badly chewed up after all the heavy Equip and Pile driving that will be taking place to restore the north wall.

Do you seriously think that that ‘green area’ will not be restored to what it was, once the pilings are in?  

Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 8:25 am

Half of them spent money here. Likely downtown where we’ve seen too many businesses fold over the last 2 years. How is this not good? Why is this even a debate? Look, I love Cobourg but our hotel and culinary scene is dominated by the Best Western and burger row on Burnham. We have a trailer park smack in the middle of our beachfront. Aside from a couple good restaurants the carpet is rolled up at 6. If Cobourg wants tourism, there’s a lot of work to be done to make it a draw from Port Hope and PEC both of which have invested a lot to make their downtowns a destination. But sure let’s keep debating whether tourism is good for the town… meanwhile another strip mall is going up on prime land to offer more burgers… oh sorry…I think it’s fried chicken.

Reply to  Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 8:49 am

Spot on!

Reply to  Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 11:11 am

Fried chicken and another bloody pot shop I’m told. Like we need more. Cobourg “the feel good town” with pot shops everywhere

Reply to  Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 1:38 pm

And consider the type of tourist who visits PH or The County.
These are people looking for fine food and wine, healthy cuisine, active outdoor activities, art galleries and people who generally appreciate an atmosphere of elegance in the places they stay. That is to say they have money to spend!
I am not sure Cobourg cuts it as a competitive destination. No Royal Hotel here, no Drake, no winery, no refined or uniquely positioned gift shops.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 4:05 pm

burger row on Burnham.”

On Burnham? Burger joints?

Miriam Mutton
8 October 2022 2:19 pm

In my view, tourism can be an economic driver for a community. I agree that a year round approach is important.  However, tourism needs to be understood in context of a community which addresses the needs and wishes of local citizens first i.e. make it a place, attraction or event local citizens enjoy and value, and then welcome visitors to share in the experience of our town.  In addition, tourism planning would benefit from coordination with the County.  There is much to be shared among communities in Northumberland County.  In Cobourg make it, arts culture and tourism, work for citizens. For example, who should be in charge of a master events calendar? We are very fortunate here that there are many cultural organizations and initiatives, often organized and run by volunteers, which enrich our community.

Lemon Cake
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
9 October 2022 8:51 am

Tourism to help support our downtown and add new businesses and jobs should be a huge priority. And yet our council continues to navel gaze on this issue. We have an over abundance of pot shops and strip malls and drive throughs. Meanwhile our main mall is fast becoming a derelict shell. Arts and culture are great – sure, whatever – but I’d like to see fewer words and more action.

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 9:45 am

The Town of Cobourg and other municiplities across Ontario attempted to address issues like those you have raised with regard to urban design. The effort resulted in a major challenge to then Ontario Municipal Board which slowed down approvals of Official Plans in many municipalities, including Cobourg. Efforts were made to address the consumer popularity for drive-throughs. For example, on drive-throughs (from a Toronto doc ):
“This type of site plan arrangement,where cars are encouraged to cross from the road into the lot en masse, lacking sufficient built form at the street edge and visually dominated by cars, results in an uninviting pedestrian environment along the public street. Adverse effects associated with this use such as traffic, noise, air and light pollution and litter need to be mediated to ensure drive-through facilities enhance and do not detract from a vital public realm. Beginning in the 1990s municipalities including the City of Chicago, Town of Oakville and City of Mississagua responded with new statutory regulations and/or design guidelines to mitigate the effects of drive-through
development. The City of Toronto amended its Zoning By-laws in 2002 (upheld by the OMB in 2004) to define drive-through facilities as a use and establish areas
where drive-through development is permitted. The Urban Design Guidelines for Sites with Drive-through Facilities complement the Zoning By-laws, assisting proposed drive-through developments take the next step in their evolution to meet the goals of the
Official Plan respecting built form and the creation of a safe and high quality public realm where pedestrians, cyclists and transit use are encouraged.”

Reply to  Miriam Mutton
9 October 2022 10:58 am

Lets not Compare ourselves to Toronto We are not a Toronto or a Petersburg
Try and Visit other Communities Cambridge , Bracebridge Bobcaygeon , Port Perry , they got it Wright or at least have made Significant improvements and changes on their own, that have put them all way out in front of Cobourg
No- Burg as many Investors have called it .
Not to mention Developers like Vandyke or the DePalma group where they have been trying for 7 yrs +++ to get their new Hotel built or the
Age in Place Retirement facility , or the affordable Town homes etc . — 6–7 + yrs to get approvals on the King & Brook Rd corner where the Burned out Toms Motel stood and both the O P and Zoning were existing & correct. Yes you can hide behind the Mighty OZ in Toronto — official plan but there are ways around it if the Town chose to do so . Others have and in a timely fashion .

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Sandpiper
9 October 2022 11:30 am

Sandpiper, you know as well as anyone that the bigger municipalities have more resources and can better challenge at the OMB (or whatever it is called these days) and the resulting changes in policies can be informative to smaller municipalities in learning from the mistakes and innovations of others. Using comparables like the places you mention is also useful but even they do not stand still. The plan has to adapt over time and that is the main reason I suggested get it right for local citizens first. This includes many aspects of strategic planning for the community, not only arts, culture and tourism.

Reply to  Sandpiper
10 October 2022 6:44 am

Once again you have used examples of poor developer planning; not enough capital, an over-reliance on the perceived ability to bulldoze poor planning on the planning department to make spurious claims. Stick to the facts and admit that it is not all over-regulation that causes delays. BTW where is the progress on the 30 year old site-plan recently revived on Elgin St by the Y?

Lemon Cake
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
9 October 2022 11:24 am

Yup – I love drive throughs. I’ve got my 2 little kids in the back seat typically so it’s a great way to grab my coffee or some lunch. Yay drive throughs….However you didn’t really respond to my comment highlighting the broader issue of urban sprawl, the derelict mall (would not want to be living near that place in the condition it’s in), and the stasis on making a plan to support businesses downtown through a clear commitment to promoting Cobourg as a great place to visit and spend money. This is a massive issue for many younger families in Cobourg – the state of our downtown is also a big issue for me. I don’t get the sense council is listening at all.

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 1:17 pm

Lemon Cake, it is obvious you care about your town and see where issues are and could arise. But where in your previous comment to which I replied did you refer to the broader issue of urban sprawl?

And, there is the issue of municipal council jurisdiction when it comes to the mall which is privately owned and operated. Malls everywhere are being reinvented because that business model does not work well anymore.

Urban sprawl happens when we do not focus on creating strong cores as part of balanced growth, and as a community grows new cores ie. village centres with focus need to be created also. Along with meeting everyday needs like a small grocery/corner store, arts and culture can help provide focus. A council can have say on the approval of planning items like official plans and secondary plans. A challenge is that the build out will likely happen several councils later since each have only four year terms. For example, New Amherst was a plan when I was a member of Cobourg’s Planning Advisory Committee in the 1990s and has a methodical build out still underway.

Contact me directly if you would like to continue this conversation further. Contact info at my election campaign web site

Reply to  Miriam Mutton
10 October 2022 6:47 am

“For example, New Amherst was a plan when I was a member of Cobourg’s Planning Advisory Committee in the 1990s and has a methodical build out still underway.”

But still no “village amenities” a failed concept that contributed to urban sprawl and higher density. Something later Councils should have held the developer to.

Last edited 1 month ago by ben
Miriam Mutton
Reply to  ben
10 October 2022 9:24 am

There is still hope, although timing was not ideal in my view. The designated village centre lands are still mostly to be built upon. Not sure the concept has ‘failed’ as you suggest. Perhaps some unintended consequences and results, though. Residents of the area tell me they can walk to a major grocery store (Metro) and area big box stores and mall, and, when in their vehicles at Highway 2 they feel a closer and easier connection with downtown Port Hope than downtown Cobourg!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Lemon Cake
9 October 2022 4:15 pm

I’d like to see fewer words and more action.

Fair enough. What particular actions would you like to see happen? Do you have any creative ideas that should be actioned? Please share.

Reply to  Miriam Mutton
9 October 2022 9:41 am

In my opinion you get it. Always plan everything for the citizens to enjoy. It should enrich our lives first and it will create attraction. Someone mentioned port hope and the county, attraction has not hurt them they are booming. I love going into stores that I know the owners and they know my name. I don’t deny there is a need for the big stores but they cannot replace the experience of shopping in places like Somerville’s or dining in the buttermilk as a couple of examples. Hopefully tourists get the same experience we need their dollars along with ours to keep these places going. Never doubt the economic benefit of tourism it’s not all about the beach.

Reply to  Miriam Mutton
9 October 2022 11:51 am

A month or so ago there seemed to be an effort afoot to create a master events calendar again. But I haven’t seen anything about it recently. It really is essential that we have one so major events don’t clash.

8 October 2022 2:15 pm

Summer season the town there are always more people. Restaurant patios fuller or full. The statistics prove people shop here 49% – perhaps more afterall I’ve never been asked for my postal code when shopping unlike the LCBO. The trailer park is open all season I would be surprised if these people didn’t often go to local restaurants.

As for people eating hamburgers and fries when I was a kid I remember a lunch packed for such a day out as fried chicken. Once there we would buy french fries and later ice cream cones. My mother did buy a large salad but then that is what mother’s do.

As for increased parking fees the town hopes to cash in as much as possible and cited all about others areas charging various fees.

With a beach like Cobourg has tourism is a natural but now the pandemic is not getting the attention many will resume off shore holidays. Yes I think tourism should now be promoted so people don’t forget the good times to be had here in their rush to return to former vacation plans.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Dave
9 October 2022 10:30 am

I think the term “tourism ” has been changed over the years as it is very evident the majority come to Cobourg solely for the beach & referred by some as “beachers” ,not tourists visiting historical history sites there are very few here.
Economically, comparing town costs to financial gains I think the former far outweighs the latter dramatically not to mention the associated difficulties locally with the sheer numbers.