West Headland Recommendations

Since 2017 there have been heated discussions in Cobourg about the West Headland – probably now to be called Waterfront Nature Park. It got mixed up with unpopular plans to expand the Marina into the West Harbour and it’s a natural separation for the natural West Beach. It started with a concern that its official name – Langevin Pier – was no longer acceptable (dare I say not “woke”?).  See the Resources below for more but the short version is that Langevin was an advocate for the residential school system.  But what to name it instead?  Alderville Chief Mowat was not concerned so eventually the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) were asked to decide.  Along the way, there was a push to officially declare the area (including the West Beach) a Nature Park.

West Headland
West Headland

But how do you do that?  Well, if you call it that and put up signs then I suppose it’s done. The agenda for the PRAC meeting on 3 May included a report outlining a whole range of recommendations for the headland including that it should be officially renamed Waterfront Nature Park with signs saying that and their motion to that effect is on the agenda at the Committee of the Whole Council Meeting on May 9. (The sign in the photo at right says “West Pier” as the location.)

As well as renaming, assuming the report on the agenda is accepted, PRAC recommended some specific actions for the “Park” (highlights):

  • Dogs must be on a leash
  • Stay on the designated paths
  • No washrooms, change rooms, bird blinds, Eco Centre
  • No dredger deposits
  • Remove invasive species
  • Construct meandering walkway with occasional benches
  • Build a pavilion at the South end

Some of these would not happen until 2025 and anyway are not yet approved.

These have all previously been recommended in one or more of several plans accepted and approved by Council including the Parks Master Plan (2013) and the Waterfront User Needs Assessment (May 2018).

These are available for download from the links below.


At the CoW on 30 May 2022, Council approved the new name and also the recommendations from PRAC.


Earlier Posts
Note that the list below is representative but not fully inclusive.  Many include additional links worth pursuing.

Other resources

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9 May 2022 8:56 am

All this discussion, opinion and passion about renaming an area that most locals thought was nameless until ~2017. The Indigenous community couldn’t careless and said as much – thank goodness the Caucasians know what’s best for them and took it upon themselves to impose their will and change the name (irony?). With many Municipal projects behind schedule, policies taking 12 months to draft, recruitment for new administrators ongoing, etc.. its hard to imagine a more gratuitous waste of time, resources or energy. Literally – no one cares. But while they are undertaking the difficult yet important job of renaming a nameless park with another name that most locals don’t/can’t recognize, lets also create a new set of rules to fix a problem that didn’t exist. [End rant]

Cobourg taxpayer
8 May 2022 6:45 pm

Here we go again. Instead of fixing the armour stone that has disappeared at the end of West Headland which protects the harbour, our “leaders” are concerned about names, signs, paths and pavilions. Fix the armour stone which will cost a pile of taxpayers money instead of this cosmetic stuff. See what’s left for frivolous niceties after.

8 May 2022 7:19 am

Mr. Draper, dare I say, your “not woke” aside says a lot more about you than it does about those you were attempting to deride with it.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Matt
8 May 2022 3:10 pm

Matt, it says that Mr. Draper is simpatico with most of his readers! I’m disgusted by those who have contributed nothing yet want to eliminate all vestiges of those who created Canada.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
8 May 2022 7:36 pm

Who are you to say who has and hasn’t contributed to this country…and who exactly are you so disgusted with?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Matt
8 May 2022 9:03 pm

A good indication of contribution are the number of statues, buildings and organizations named in memory of our great men (and a few women) over many years. What have those who want to destroy memories of Macdonald, Ryerson and others done to build a prosperous Canada?

Reply to  Ken Strauss
9 May 2022 6:51 am

Many of those statues were erected for the same reason statues have been erected everywhere else in the world, since the beginning of time–to show anyone who might look upon them who’s Boss.

I think this has less to do with your teary-eyed reverence for the likes of Ryerson and Langevin than it does your distaste for those you consider lesser-thans getting “uppity.”

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Matt
9 May 2022 7:55 am

Actually I have little problem with statue toppling and defacement. But I do think the toppled and defaced statue of Ryerson, for example, should have been left in place, not cleaned up, not removed. It should remain in place broken and defaced for future generations as a reminder of the mob activities of our uber educated class going on statue hunts like the mobs of yore burning Salem witches.

the process is called

But no creation. the statue topplers prefer a ++blandscape

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Matt
9 May 2022 8:01 am

Here ya go Matt. this is what the millennial generation has gifted to Canada Book excerpt: The Canada I fell in love with is gone (msn.com)

Reply to  Matt
10 May 2022 12:39 pm

Interesting that people have such opposite (and totally different) interpretations of the disputed sentences in the article.

7 May 2022 9:32 pm

Let’s have a place for the dogs to swim. Hard to do if they are leashed!

Reply to  Beachwalker
9 May 2022 7:50 am

All the dog haters have made their presence known with the thumbs down. How miserable can you be.

Reply to  Beachwalker
16 May 2022 7:19 pm

Is the restriction on dogs an insurance issue? If not then I do not understand the necessity to restrict a particular user group who are so present there and who use the area so heavily.
A determining factor in my decision to move here was the joy of seeing the freedom and respect that was granted dog people in that less developed area. The area is not littered with dog droppings and the walkers are often out first picking up the previous night’s rubbish.

7 May 2022 1:46 pm

Its natural alright
Old late night fire pits , beer cans , fire crackers , plastic bags etc blown into the Scrub willow
and everyone that appreciates nature down there like me are to Old to maintain it .
Let the health active youthful generation have a go . PUT some life back into this town .

Reply to  Sandpiper
7 May 2022 5:39 pm

How about calling “the west pier” isn’t that what is is?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Conor
7 May 2022 9:00 pm

Very colourful and inspiring?

Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 May 2022 8:46 am

‘The west pier’ is already the colloquial name. We could name it the Sunsetside Land Spear, but people are still going refer to it as the west pier.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ahewson
8 May 2022 9:34 am

Of course they will, but it doesn’t change the fact that “west pier” is ++bland. Btw your example of “sunsetside” is ++mediocre. Bring me another yawn.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 May 2022 12:20 pm

Wally Keeler Pier?

Reply to  Ahewson
8 May 2022 1:51 pm


Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ahewson
9 May 2022 1:12 am

Susanna Moodie Nature Park.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 May 2022 7:22 am

According to her own writings, Susanna Moodie abhorred much of nature.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  marya
9 May 2022 7:41 am

Not particularly accurate. She lived a ‘dainty’ life in England, then suffered enormously from roughing it in the bush. Much like the weeny whiner snowflakes graduating from our educational factories today.

What suggestions have you made? Nothing.

Reply to  Ahewson
9 May 2022 6:20 am

Following JD’s link under Resources, I found this from ter:

“Why not just name it Keeler’s Quay or Wally’s Wharf and get it over with. That might give him enough of the attention he so wantonly craves.”

Last edited 8 months ago by Frenchy
7 May 2022 12:39 pm

Yes, please keep it natural! It’s one of Cobourg’s jewels, especially given it’s within walking distance of downtown. With our current provincial premier more or less trying to pave over or build highways on every sensitive ecological area in southern ON, we need to preserve bits of natural wildness wherever we can.

7 May 2022 12:29 pm

I love it how it is – natural. It’s true that there will need to be some maintenance so that invasive plants and weed trees don’t take over. It would be wonderful to have a bike path along there.

Reply to  Phunkeemum
7 May 2022 7:30 pm

Ya lets put asphalt, some stone markers, paint and more signs. Geez leave it be.

Reply to  Phunkeemum
7 May 2022 8:04 pm

The compacted granular path there now is ok for a bicycle. The Canada Geese did make me stop and turn around, though. The geese were strolling along the path with their young ones. I had heard years ago that an adult goose can take an adult human rider off a horse, so I did not want to risk being toppled off my bicycle by an angry momma goose on the west headland. I went back another time for a peaceful walk to the southern point.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  MiriamM
7 May 2022 9:02 pm

It’s called wildlife for a reason.

Reply to  MiriamM
8 May 2022 9:27 am

Thanks, I’ll watch for the path – haven’t noticed before.

7 May 2022 8:55 am

Surely this parcel of land can be turned into something more useful than let it be covered over
with so called natural vegetation .
As it is there are plenty of Home less that hide out down there all summer , not the safest
place to be .
The existing beach is over occupied most of the time and Parking has become a long ignored issue in this town . There are plenty of Ideas and uses that come to mind rather than an overgrown ??? Lets put it to better use

Reply to  Sandpiper
7 May 2022 9:21 am

What about telling us some of your ideas rather than constantly being negative?

Reply to  Waterdrummer
7 May 2022 11:20 am

Well — What about a Professional sport Beach where Provincial Volley ball teams and wind surfers could meet & compete , or a place to learn to Windsurf ,. Para sail or Kayak,
How about a indoor Gym & training center with glass facing the south and the waterfront for all the residents and Condo dwellers or Tennis courts very few left in this town in good shape . a Refreshment stand might be nice May be even a nice seasonal Humming bird area with seating they have them in other areas Yes there are a few beach stone but 1 or 2 passes with a farm field stone picker will clean that up in an afternoon

Reply to  Sandpiper
7 May 2022 9:23 am

“…put it to better use”?

Put up a big sign announcing it as Ontario’s largest European-style topless beach (totally legal in Canada for years now) and give the local tourist industry a huge boost.

“If fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”

Last edited 8 months ago by JimT
Reply to  JimT
7 May 2022 10:28 am

A real Nature Park for sure!

Reply to  JimT
8 May 2022 4:09 pm

Certainly worth exploring. 🙂

Wally Keeler
6 May 2022 9:02 pm

A committee decided it be renamed Waterfront Nature Park. How inspiring! Was there an ask of the Cobourg Historical Society, or the Willow Beach Field Naturalists, or the Poets Laureate of Cobourg to make appropoetic suggestions. Anyway, the prosaic prevails.  

6 May 2022 4:45 pm

“…a push to officially declare the area (including the West Beach)
a Nature Park.”

I’m all in favour, especially if it means an end to mowing the natural vegetation there to convert a large area west of Hibernia St. into a temporary parking lot for the Canada Day festivities every year.

Last edited 8 months ago by JimT