Council Decision Requested on old CDCI Property

In September 2022, the Town announced that they would be buying the old CDCI West playing field on Durham Street.  The purchase price was $2M and the deal closed in December 2022. At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 3, staff will ask Council which of two options should they proceed with: 1) Keep all of it as parkland or 2) sell part of it to a developer on condition of including affordable housing.  In either case, changes to the Official plan are not required but residential housing would require re-zoning. The 2013 Parks Master plan would favour a park but the 2016 Downtown Master plan would favour the mixed plan. To help with a decision, staff spelled out rationales for the two options.

The entire lot can’t be used for housing since the “southern-most portion of the property is subject to flooding and water hazard. It is undevelopable and will be preserved as public realm. The northern 1/2-2/3 of the property could be used as parkland, developed, or a mix of both.”

Rationales – summaries


  • Currently, Cobourg has less parkland than similar communities and less than is recommended by the Ministry of Culture and Recreation.
  • Considering future growth there is an even larger deficit
  • The cost of creating parkland from this space would be minimal
  • The Parks Master Plan recommends this space be kept as a Park (see Plan in resources below).

Residential Development

  • Housing supply and affordability is being labelled as a crisis nationally, provincially and also within the Town of Cobourg itself.
  • While the impetus behind the acquisition of 117 Durham Street lands was to secure the beach and boardwalk area, the vacant, developable land to the north of just over approximately 3 acres provides an opportunity for the Town to dispose of lands for residential development in an effort to address supply and affordability.
  • staff would discuss partnership opportunities with the County of Northumberland on making lands available for a county-owned and operated housing project on the subject lands.
  • Should the County of Northumberland not have an interest in all or part of the lands, staff would issue an RFP for the balance of the developable lands. The RFP would explicitly seek proposals that include elements of housing affordability (using Cobourg’s definition), sustainability and accessibility.
  • The Downtown Master Plan recommended low-rise townhouses, low-rise condominium, and rental apartments of different sizes.
  • Sale to a developer would help balance the acquisition cost.

Map of possible development

In 2016, Council commissioned a “Downtown Master Plan” which included this possible use of the School Board parkland – see location labelled 117 Durham St. on map below. The map was taken from page 25 of Downtown Master plan – “The Vision”.

117 Durham

Note that the exact area not subject to flooding still needs to be determined.  The image above shows the whole area being used for residential.

Given that any work on the land would not happen this summer, staff recommend that “as these items are investigated, the community would benefit from access and use of the facility for the 2023 summer season.”

I’d suggest that given the current focus on affordable housing, it’s likely that Council will approve the Residential Option.

It’s understood that at some point there will be public consultation meetings.


Staff Report

Master Plans – hosted on Cobourg Internet

Earlier Blog Posts

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3 April 2023 10:30 am

I’ve said it here before and I still believe it:

Promote the West Beach as Canada’s largest “European-style Topless Beach” (declared legal by various Provincial Supreme Courts long ago) and watch the liberated sun-seekers flock to our town, bringing money to spend on restaurants, accommodation, supplies, snacks…

Put a decent-sized concession stand with washrooms and change facilities at the south end of the property, with all kinds of novel food items from kiosks for visitors that they don’t have to pack from home.

Use the rest of the property for parkland.

Time to decide once and for all whether we are going to be a serious Tourist Town or not, and proceed to make full use of our valuable but undeveloped beachfront assets west of the harbour.

2 April 2023 12:20 pm

Senior affordable housing – a combination of independent and assisted living. Thoughtfully planned. Many seniors have mobility issues – a balcony. Meal plan for those that require it. Such housing is rare. Mostly we see $3500 and up a month for one person. Would be nice if such housing could be provided for seniors with ability to live on their own and others needing some care. I see minimum wage went from $15.50 to $16.65. The OAS Pension went up 1/2 a percentage point this month – a whopping $3.13! Although costs have risen such generous wages were not paid when seniors were working and any home sales certainly didn’t make them anywhere close to the hundreds of thousands gained today on sale.
To defray costs approach the Provincial government to kick in beyond developer fees. Yes, I know someone is sure to comment there is only one taxpayer. Still instead of the town the entire province would share the cost. Services for citizens in our rush to provide benefits for the newly arrived, people who did not progress beyond Grade 12 and those wishing to have families whose income does not support it. Many seniors today worked beyond minimum and their nest egg, their home brought a comparitive small return to add to retirement savings until death.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave
Reply to  Dave
2 April 2023 1:27 pm

No doubt the need is there but that can get built anywhere.

Reply to  Ahewson
2 April 2023 5:40 pm

How about Brookside then when its fate is decided? With the great need for rental housing the participants lose their credibility as they raise objections to every proposal and ignore obvious needs of a community which has a high proportion of seniors. Council should review the factor of no supply of this kind of housing and make the right decision. You can’t put off needs vs wants forever.
Suggested when Brookside uses came up it was shot down the commetators on this Blog.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave
Cobourg resident
Reply to  Dave
2 April 2023 7:01 pm

I’ve heard Brookside is not inhabitable, but if it is I think that something like that would work well there. Many people want the homeless shelter/drug rehab there…but it’s within close proximity of 3 schools and a Center for adults with special needs. It would be incredibly irresponsible and dangerous to have drug addicts wandering around that area. A spot for lower Income seniors might be a good idea! Although the province owns it so they will decide…and like I’ve said I’m not even sure that anybody can live there.

Reply to  Cobourg resident
2 April 2023 9:52 pm

Cobourg Resident – I am sure once they tear down the old buildings and put up the new there would be no problem. But as soon as it is proposed all I have read here are down votes and desires for parks and entertainment centres.
Funny when I take a walk in Victoria Park in fall and spring I hardly see anyone there nor along the beach boardwalk yet this cry for more parks.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave
Keith Oliver
Reply to  Cobourg resident
2 April 2023 10:22 pm

An individual with urban design experience, supported by three others, has been at work on an urban design for Brookside as a self sufficient all inclusive, energy neutral, zero carbon emission neibourhood consisting of 600+ homes and serving 600 additional existing homes within a 5-7onuye walk of its’ Centre.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ahewson
2 April 2023 10:06 pm


When you saw “get built anywhere” specifically where is anywhere? The cost of land is a significant and often overlooked part of housing costs.

What’s needed are not policy references, quotes from planning or framework documents, but a well thought out detailed urban design plan for the whole site.

Council should not make any decisions regarding the future of 117 Durham St until one or more such detailed urban design plans have been produced.

The physical develpment of the site could then follow a sequence wherein the developer whose plan best meets the goals spelled out for a particular development stage is awarded the land involved at a price that would result in the Town recovering the full price it paid for the entire site.

The Town paid $2 million for the entire 5+ acre site or $400,000 pet acre. The 3+ acres suitable for residential development are easily worth $4 million or $1.33 each. (That’s the cost of land in my area, a 6 minute walk from Victoria Hall.) Any developer who won a competition would be happy to pay the Town for land at a rate that would result in the Town recovering its’ full purchase cost. The Town would then own the 2 acres to be protected at no aquisition cost.

The development of the Cobourg Collegiate West playing field is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and should not be missed.

Last edited 2 months ago by Keith Oliver
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
4 April 2023 11:44 am

Keith, I’m curious. how would the developer use the land after having paid $2M for it? The purchase might be profitable if used to construct several homes with lake views or a quality medium rise condo. Based on the discussion at Monday’s Council meeting some think that the most valuable real estate in Cobourg should be used for unprofitable “affordable” rental. That seems rather like using steak to make hamburgers!

Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 April 2023 12:44 pm

Ken I am sorry you do not see the need for this housing anytime the subject is raised. I also think it odd you think only “Hamburger” locations are suitable.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
4 April 2023 2:02 pm

I have no doubt that some want/need subsidized housing.

My point was the absurdity of using the best and last available lakefront locations near downtown for subsidized housing. Either use the school property as parkland for everyone to enjoy or maximize the return on the town’s investment in order to reduce our taxes. Why would you consider anything else?

Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 April 2023 4:40 pm

I wasn’t just referring to the waterfront Ken – no matter where the proposal is for affordable housing whether it be market rent, seniors or RGI you object.
Therefore Ken your reasons are your arguments against valid? Or just based in the facts you aren’t in favour presumably over worry of your property tax payments.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
4 April 2023 5:19 pm

If a developer wants to construct affordable housing I’m all for it. I object to using our taxes for any purpose that only benefits a tiny minority of Cobourg’s residents. How about only spending on projects that will benefit half of our residents?

Since you mentioned affordable housing, do you actually think that spending almost $1M to incent building 4 (or is it now only 3?) small apartments that may be available for a little under market rent? So only 3 of our 10,000 families will get any benefits from spending 3% of Cobourg’s annual property taxes. And there is no guarantee that the benefits will even go to Cobourgeans at the top of the wait list.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ken Strauss
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 April 2023 6:14 pm

Purpose built rentals are not being built and even the market value apartments at that building remain below the equilvalent today available in Cobourg. Apparently this is the only way they will be built Ken. Overlooked for years just as the highways, infrastructure, health care have been. Come one come all, whether illegal refugees or the immigration system – we have no housing or living amenities for you. However we see fit to pay government workers well above private industry rates in pensions, benefits and salaries. I agree it is insane the tax dollars don’t go for the purpose collected.
Besides Ken I can’t think of one affordable build you have not been against anywhere.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 April 2023 11:10 pm


“Why would you consider anything else?”

Answer … Because you’re a normal human being who believes all residents of Cobourg should have reasonable access to the quality-of-life amenities our Town has to offer.

There was a time, before the harbourfront condos were built, that many individuals in vehicles would congregate along a gravel road in the area of what is now the Esplanade, to chat and enjoy the cool breeze off the lake on a summers’ evening.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
5 April 2023 8:16 am

Because you’re a normal human being who believes all residents of Cobourg should have reasonable access to the quality-of-life amenities our Town has to offer.

Precisely, Keith! That is why my favoured option is to use the property ENTIRELY as a park rather than as subsidized housing for a few lucky residents.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 April 2023 10:56 am

Regular visits to Victoria Park and the beach front when the summer visitors are not present has been wonderful Ken. Hardly any Cobourgers using it at all, quite empty. So you suggest we have another park that will be used for the most part by the summer visitors and the rest of the time probably by the unhoused trying to set up their tents just as areas of the present beach front parks are. Sounds great!
You’ll also be glad to know that thousands of buyers have returned to the housing market to drive up already ridiculous prices so your property tax in valuation is about to rise again.
For renters Ontario is going to strengthen renters rights with regard to evictions due to renovictions. Know of a property here in Cobourg, probably others that did just that – evicted long term tenants in an already decent rental to fancy it up – after renovation it is constantly advertised – should have forgot the renovations and kept their long term tenants. 2 apartments.
Don’t build Ken and your property taxes will rise anyway. People need a place to live that is affordable to circumstance. Not the bloated prices by lack of supply.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
5 April 2023 12:11 pm

Dave, your comments indicate that you do not understand property taxes. Taxes are increased by spending increases (the levy) and not by a general increase in property values.

On your other point, strengthening renter’s rights will ensure that no rational investor will fund new rental construction.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ken Strauss
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 April 2023 12:46 pm

Ken in addition MPAC valuation does increase property taxes – the MPAC value is multiplied by the mill rate which is established yes by expenses to run the municipality. The MPAC value created by prices of homes in the area is also a factor. That is why highly priced homes pay much more tax than lower priced homes. And the values are on the rise again. At least for renters they can’t be kicked out despite funding that landlord for years due the landlords’ greed which is enabled by lack of rental building which the Ontario government is working to set right to encourage further builds. The Federal government needs to wake up, multigenerational renting by especially new comers which put stress on area services is becoming much more popular. Reminiscent of how many clowns can you pack in a volkswagon.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
5 April 2023 1:12 pm

Dave, again your comments indicate a lack of understand of the fundamentals of property taxes.

Yes, the MPAC valuation multiplied by the mill rate defines the amount of property tax payable. However, if the levy (the amount that Cobourg plans to spend) remains constant, the mill rate will decrease in proportion to any increase in average valuations. The determinant for property taxes is the spending and not the average valuation of properties.

Note that MPAC has not adjusted their valuations since 2016 yet Cobourg’s taxes will increase by over 14% this year. The increase is completely due to increased spending!

If you are still confused, it might be useful to review the MPAC presentation at our most recent Council meeting. Alternatively visit for further details.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 April 2023 2:12 pm

So you are advising that higher priced properties do not receive a higher property tax payment or increase when they are valued higher than Average Ken?
I understand the formula of the mill rate – it is the amount the town requires to bring in to meet expenses. In general is applied against the value of properties and if a home is valued beyond the Average their property taxes will increase.
MPAC values the home – the new value is phased in. To repeat should a home be valued higher than the calculated Average that home, the higher than Average, will have a tax increase.
So Ken what is it I am confused on? I have read the Town and MPAC info previously.

Reply to  Dave
6 April 2023 6:57 am

You have not replied Ken. I have been saying this repeatedly and you have been telling me I am wrong yet I don’t see you refuting this clear statement. I have no idea why you kept saying I was confused.
Higher priced homes will and do receive a tax increase.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
5 April 2023 9:41 am

There was a time, before the harbourfront condos were built,

There was a time well before that when the area was full of coal piles. After dark, cars would park there for premarital and/or extramarital sexual activity. The results could be seen the following day when condoms were floating in the harbour. And there were large ships entering the harbour like floating dinosaurs to unload fuel oil, the pipes vibrating with the flow. The street cleaner would dump their street debris in a pile near the corner of the centre pier. Derelict ferry docks where we would climb as kids. Of course it was dangerous, but it was fun. That was the 50s and early 60s. Hippies would hop out onto the rocky pier to meet at the ammunition vault to smoke some pretty terrible bottom leaves. It had an industrial vibe, an energy, a grimy growl as petrol flowed thru steel intestines to the monster storage drums. That industrial energy has been replaced with the hoity toity, renown for their sedentary boredom except when their landscapers arrive with noisy hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, weed whackers, what an intensified racket! When land values rise, so do the bland levels.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 April 2023 10:46 pm


Please reread my post to which you are replying.

Once the Town has an urban design plan for the site, it invites developers to propose a final design for various stages with the understanding that the developer whose proposal comes closest to satisfying the plans’ goals will be sold the land at price that will result in the Town being fully reimbursed for its total investment once the development is complete.

Incentive for developers is that their land cost will be one half to one third the average price land goes for in the downtown area.

This is a financing technique that governments have usef to control development or incentivize the creation of a specific urban design.

While not a government I believe E P Taylor used land in this way to create the area known as Don Mills on the east side of Toronto which, decades ago, was considered a model community and an option to sunburn sprawl.

Last edited 1 month ago by Keith Oliver
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
5 April 2023 8:12 am

And, Keith, if you were to have read my reply, I suggested that the hypothetical developer might pay $2M or about the cost to Cobourg of the property. And that “The purchase might be profitable if used to construct several homes with lake views or a quality medium rise condo.” Every “affordable” units reduces the profitability both for the developer and in terms of future property tax revenue for Cobourg.

I’m unsure about the “option to sunburn sprawl” that you mentioned.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 April 2023 10:18 am

Ken & KO,

The school board also has an interest in maximizing the property’s sale price. I doubt it will sit quietly on the sidelines as Cobourg sells (gives away??) the property with no/minimal profit

Reply to  Dave
4 April 2023 8:55 am

Dave is absolutely Dead on is his summation I ran a retirement home for many years
and he is correct in his perspective of senior life Not everyone worked for the Govt , or the General back in the day General Foods , Electric , Motors the rest were self employed in one fashion or another and the average home 7 to 10 yrs ago sold for $400,000. and less . Most of the seniors in Retirement today need additional income and support to stay there and there is only 1 Golden Plough

Half of this Homeless situation and Affordable housing issue could be solved if the Canadian Govt & Provinces gave 1/2 of the money they spent on Lost causes and correcting Old News
to its Seniors and unemployed etc We Need real cost of living increases from that great CPP fund we all paid into Oh I forgot the Feds. raided it and never replenished the Pot of Gold OAS gets a $3. 00 increase whats that buy today a Pint of milk if your lucky You come to Canada you work . Like I did 60 yrs ago .

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
4 April 2023 9:04 am

Half of this Homeless situation and Affordable housing issue could be solved if the Canadian Govt & Provinces gave 1/2 of the money they spent on Lost causes

Here’s a Lost Cause of the highest order, and 80 percent of Canadians want to do more for the Lost Cause. Finance Homes not War – The Collection & Opinion (

Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 April 2023 11:03 am

hey we are on the same page wars are Causation

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
4 April 2023 2:44 pm

Ukraine is losing and 80% of Canadians invested in it. What a bunch of losers!

2 April 2023 11:58 am

I concur with the general sentiment offered below: No housing development of any kind; no rezoning to residential. Once that box is opened then this Town will have no say in what goes there – Developers have a very, very friendly Ministry as backup; in addition recent Planning attempts (read Balder) haven’t gone well. So let us make the very best green space possible and in perpetuity.

Wally Keeler
2 April 2023 10:05 am

Parkland and only parkland in perpetuity.

The Cobourg Horticultural Society could design a foliage scape for the north perimeter of the land. Perhaps they could be persuaded to make a floral display consisting of flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s poems and plays. Perhaps the west perimeter could consist of 7 different species of indigenous bush and to lay them out in the rhyme scheme configuration of a Shakespearean sonnet: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Add a small gazebo for poetry readings, or other single person entertainment. Park benches with Canadian poetry laser-etched on them. Picnic table tops with epoxied poetry on it. Have all of Cobourg’s Poets Laureate inaugurate the park. Make it a unique and sublime place for the literary class to visit, quiet scented serenity.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
3 April 2023 8:42 am

So much acreage. So few literati.

2 April 2023 8:47 am

It appears that the reason that the Town purchased the property was to secure the Boardwalk only and to dispose of the rest for development and share the proceeds with KPRDSB. What has changed? Why would that be different now? We are not developers, but we get to watch while other levels of Government have 7 figure cost over-runs on a modest ‘affordable housing’ development on Elgin St at D’Arcy….That development and the time/money budget explosions at the new GPL should be all of the local cautionary tales our elected representatives need to stay in their lane…

Once upon a time we thought we were trailer park managers…
Once upon a time, we thought we could run a marina…
Once upon a time, we thought Northumberland Mall would be full of paying tenants…
Once upon a time we thought we could run a new Arena profitably…
Once upon a time we actually thought ‘tiny homes’ were a good idea…
Once upon a time we thought we thought we could buy Brookside…
Once upon a time we had plans to restore Sidmore & The Park Theatre…

If insurance and liability considerations are agreeable couldn’t we just open a portion of the fence to see if citizens actually use it this summer instead of relying on a 2013 Park report to tell us how many soccer fields we need per resident in Ontario?

What by-law would my kids break if they kicked a soccer ball on that field this summer?…

Reply to  Dunkirk
2 April 2023 6:45 pm

“It appears that the reason that the Town purchased the property was to secure the Boardwalk only and to dispose of the rest for development and share the proceeds with KPRDSB.”

Only problem is do you really think that the Town would get a realistic price? Waterfront property is going for for approx $12000 a foot – that value was estimated from recent sales of teardown houses on Lakeshore Rd. Add the possibility to that of a higher density residential development and the sale price should be multi-millions. Whomever would buy it for that price would want to realise the greatest value that means a maximum of four storeys but we know the developers of the Legion building busted that open so maybe six storeys? Anybody for another highrise condo on Hibernia?

As stated here the likelihood of having affordable housing placed there is nil. Leave the asset alone, develop the land for passive parkland and sit on the value. Besides until we know for sure where the ‘floodlines’ and environmental setbacks are going to go we cannot guess as to how much development is possible.

Let it sit and cut the grass.

Last edited 2 months ago by ben
Reply to  Dunkirk
3 April 2023 8:45 am

“…open a portion of the fence to see
if citizens actually use it this summer…”

Sure we could. And call it “Needle Park”.

Last edited 1 month ago by JimT
Pete M
Reply to  JimT
3 April 2023 9:31 am

Absolutely Jim T,
A hole in the fence means whole lot of tents.
Poof! Cobourg West Campground for the summer and beyond…

Pete M
Reply to  JimT
3 April 2023 9:40 am

I expect to see the small cabin experiment move from the Memorial to this location as its permanent home.
Get it properly serviced- water, sewer hook up, natural gas, wireless fibe for the little community
What do you think Melissa??
Call it Cabins by the Lake
Think of it as respite for the homeless from Toronto and Greater GTA

Reply to  Pete M
3 April 2023 10:14 am

No matter what you name it, everyone will call it Shanty Town. Which is what it will be.

Reply to  Pete M
3 April 2023 10:39 am

Sounds – back to the future, when I arrived in Cobourg 50 years ago there was a collection of cabins by the Lake on Durham St.

1 April 2023 9:49 pm

Move the trailer park there.

Reply to  Beachwalker
2 April 2023 6:38 am

Yes Please!!

1 April 2023 8:21 pm

I would like to see a big ecological garden,garden ponds, different bird feeders etc. A great place for a field trip for students in public school

Reply to  Informed
1 April 2023 9:31 pm

Great ideas also. Could get pretty creative with with different bird feeders, houses, etc. Would also be neat if they could somehow incorporate a place for the woven artwork that’s being created along the chain link fence there.

Reply to  Ahewson
2 April 2023 3:23 pm

Art is very subjective.

Cobourg taxpayer
1 April 2023 2:31 pm

I have no idea what staff is thinking with option 2 and presenting that to council as a good idea. This is prime waterfront property. If low rise townhomes are built there they will be some of the most expensive in town. And if the issue of supplying subsidized units is actually enforced I suspect most developers would run the opposite direction. Also any profit on the sale of the property has to be shared with the school board so is town staff going to recommend a stupidly low sale price? How about the planning staff figure out why no one develops the former tannery property and solve that issue. Parkland sounds like a good idea but I can imagine the parking issues that would cause in that area. Residents are going to love that. I’d love to see a huge native wildflower and other native vegetation garden to help butterflies and migrating birds. No barbecues or picnics allowed. Or better yet no people other than to maintain the plants. As a volunteer I’d love to be involved.

Last edited 2 months ago by Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
1 April 2023 3:49 pm

That’s a great idea. I would add to that that there could be a circular path of grass so people could at least walk through this meadow/grassland of sorts. Something simple.

Previous to your comment I was thinking the Ecology garden could be extended westerly as they’ve just about used up all the space they have. That’s assuming they want to take on more land!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
1 April 2023 6:24 pm

Or better yet no people other than to maintain the plants. As a volunteer I’d love to be involved.

As a former Chair of the Cobourg Ecology Garden, they’d love to have another volunteer.

1 April 2023 12:43 pm

Someone is objecting They must know something the Public doesn’t

1 April 2023 11:58 am

,Does anyone remember a deal at time of sale with the school board that any profits of sale of land would be shared with the school board?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Core
1 April 2023 4:19 pm

If so that seriously tilts things towards the all parkland option since selling the property will be of minimal benefit to Cobourg. Perhaps I missed it but sharing profits with the school board does not appear to be mentioned in the staff report; it should have been fully discussed. Is the omission an oversight or a deliberate effort to deceive Council?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
1 April 2023 7:10 pm

Thanks for the link, John. Wouldn’t it have been much better to have included the details of profit sharing with the information now being presented to Council? Not everyone remembers the details in staff reports from months ago.

1 April 2023 11:08 am

Does anyone know why in one of the last Council meeting the Engineering Dept asked Tax Payers for $30 to $50,000.– to do a Sanitary Flow test and Study for a Private Property on Strathy Rd. when all the other Private ownership lands had to pay for their own studies and review . The most recent being DePalma Developments . Some one special here ? or is our Town catering to a certain Planner once again ?

Reply to  Sandpiper
1 April 2023 2:23 pm

Is it because of the provincial government changing the rules so developers no longer have to pay any development?

1 April 2023 11:00 am

As usual our Staff reports are completely off base and unfounded
Ridiculous in fact yet our Council will receipt the fact they are Not Planners and Engineers and must rely on Staff reports for Direction .
Have you ever checked out the Credentials and backgrounds of our staff ??
Scarry !
The fact anyone would suggest low density and affordable in the same breath is Ludacris. Not to mention the Complete lack of Sanitary sewage capacity and gradient in the area make s it a hugely expensive property to develop
The Tax Payers will be flipping a huge bill for some lucky developer .
or its higher end Housing / Condos that the developer can get a return on .

Reply to  Sandpiper
1 April 2023 2:14 pm


Given the Town’s botched up attempt at “affordable” apartments (Balder), it seems highly unlikely the former school yard will be developed as “affordable” housing.

Further, as others have noted, the economics are poor: expensive land, high development costs, high construction costs, high interest rates.

Purpose built “affordable” rental projects are not very profitable compared to “condos”. Developers will try to maximize their profit.

31 March 2023 11:11 pm

Rental housing is needed desperately. Not just in Cobourg but everywhere. We are told we must prepare for the 300,000 coming to Ontario under the generous immigration processes that will only make rental housing even more scarce. Think of the expanding transit lines that will bring futher population from other centres as well.

We can either ignore the shortage of rental housing, pretend it does not exist or build it. Too bad government policies all for increasing the population either through immigration or providing parents with $7200 for each new born until they are 18. People need a place to live. I like Cobourg as it is/was but you can’t halt the changes of time. Reality intrudes.

Current rentals will only become more grossly inexpensive eating peoples incomes and keeping them from being able to invest in purchases in Cobourg’s local economy.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave
Reply to  Dave
1 April 2023 2:34 am

Correction to: “grossly inexpensive”, meant to write grossly expensive – watch the ads – just in 6 months even the lowest rentals have added a couple of hundred bucks to what they want to rent them. They are going up in price rapidly. Demand – no supply.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave
31 March 2023 6:42 pm

Make it a tent town for the homeless

31 March 2023 4:13 pm

It’s not like new houses are not being built in Cobourg; look at the East and West sides. So it’s not like Cobourg is not helping with Ontario’s perceived housing needs.

Having said that – Bill 23 now provides that infrastructure costs previously passed on to the Developers are now to be absorbed by the municipality or in other words taxpayers – you and me.

It is my view, at the end of the day selling this land to a Developer will generate zero profit/gain to the Town if not perhaps even a loss. The land should be retained as recreational, and with some thought into it by Council/Staff perhaps events or activities could be held that would generate revenue.

Last edited 2 months ago by Rational
Reply to  Rational
1 April 2023 10:52 am

Space for a waterfront restaurant?

31 March 2023 3:50 pm

Keep this property as parkland, locate affordable housing on the tannery property, build units with no basements, therefore no soil contamination issue

Merle Gingrich
Reply to  Leweez
1 April 2023 9:17 am

Make it into a pickle ball park.

Reply to  Merle Gingrich
1 April 2023 2:07 pm

Not a good idea, and selection in residential areas requires consideration (hint to council and staff). Vancouver is having all kinds of trouble with the pickle ball courts and players. Google it for more articles. I have attached one below.

Reply to  Leweez
2 April 2023 7:53 am

That is probably the silliest idea 🤣

look at the billions of dollar being spend in Port Hope , because people decades ago just buried it, and thought it be OK ,
you can’t see so it is ok
The town should try to get the Feds to clean it up
Spend the money and just get it clean up so it can be useable

Reply to  Mark
2 April 2023 8:54 am

Mark, I thought the ‘tent town for the homeless’ idea was sillier. Or maybe you are just referring to the part of Leweeze’s idea for the tannery district. The radiation levels in Port Hope are lower than some natural background radiation levels. It is my understanding the ‘clean up’ is more of a make work project than a safety issue. Proper testing of the soil in the tannery district should be done before building on it. Why is it still empty land? The former CDCI West property, due to location, is good for expensive condos, not affordable housing. Park land seems to be a popular option.

Reply to  Kevin
2 April 2023 10:45 am

Yes Kevin, let us give our seniors, workers below house purchase level and RGI housing the crummiest of location and the cheapest box like structures to live in. Afterall that is all they deserve! Apparently according to some on this blog.

Reply to  Mark
2 April 2023 11:45 am


Why would the Feds pay to clean up the Tannery lands. They didn’t make the mess and it’s not in their jurisdiction to clean up. The Tannery lands were (are??) industrial lands

Note that in 2009, the Town created a CIP for the Tannery District. To date there has been no development and no developers have stepped up. It’s a brownfield area and the unknown clean up costs and potential liability are significant developer deterrents.—July-2009.pdf

The cost of the Town owned land has not been disclosed. I would not be surprised if the Town’s “Tannery” cost it is similar to that paid for the CDCI sports field.

Reply to  Mark
3 April 2023 9:09 am

The Tannery Lands are not radioactive. Big difference.
Pollution is one thing, radioactivity is quite another.
Your “silliest” accusation is over-the-top and quite inappropriate.

31 March 2023 3:24 pm

Any development on this land will NOT be deemed anywhere close to affordable and will not add to the housing inventory in any substantive way. This will be a multi-story condo development, with parking issues as all the parking will need to be above ground. Hold the decision for the time being and develop a beautiful multi-use green space with a million view of Lake Ontario, for all residents to enjoy. Selling the land provides greedy, short term gain, which the Town will likely squander away with no positive outcomes for the vast majority of Cobourg taxpayers.

Similar to farm land, God ain’t making any new park land.

Old Sailor
31 March 2023 2:03 pm

Keeping that land as a park for Cobourg residents is a no brainer. Our Victoria Park Beach area is overrun with non residents in the nice weather. Housing of any type can be located on less expensive land In Cobourg versus on irreplacable waterfront property.

Reply to  Old Sailor
31 March 2023 4:40 pm

Absolutely agree with what you said, Old Sailor!

Concerned townie
Reply to  Bill
1 April 2023 5:49 pm

Here we go again. Have we learned nothing from the past and this current Town Councils yet? Has the Town learned nothing about these newly downloaded Development fees and botched affordable housing partnerships (Balder).? This town council has better wake up and stand up to Balder and others so the taxpayers are not left on the hook for any council’s shortcomings in their decisionmaking to date. People and Citizens here are watching your every move and decisions with even great scrutiny Mayor + Team, on these very important issues… and more and more people are taking notice too. Let’s show some “green” initiative. I agree that at the end of the day selling this land to a Developer will generate zero profit/gain to the Town if not perhaps even a loss. The land should be retained as recreational, and with some thought into it by Council/Staff perhaps events or activities could be held that would generate revenue.