A memo to Council from Brian Geerts, Director of Community Services, at the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on June 5 will provide an update on what’s happening to the Memorial Arena. In April 2021, an Ad Hoc committee was set up to explore options for what should be done with the Memorial Arena which had been closed in 2019. The first choice was to lease it to the Firefighters Museum which had previously been located in Port Hope. The museum opened in 1984 and closed in 2018 and has been on hold pending finding a new location. Meanwhile, their Facebook page is quite active and they recently announced that “we are now looking seriously at this unused arena in Cobourg as our potential new home”.
Announcement by Brian Geerts
Brian’s Memo includes a lot of detail about Museums but the project update is in this paragraph:
The Memorial Arena remains closed to the public. It is currently used for storage and police training activities. The Canadian Fire Fighter’s Museum has done all the preliminary investigations they can do with intermittent access to the building. The next step in the development of the site is detailed design and initial fundraising and research. As this design and fundraising work progresses, staff will continue development of an agreement or Memorandum of Understanding for long-term use of the site, including the transition to exclusive use and transition of operating costs to the Canadian Fire Fighter’s Museum as sole operator.
Also, Brian is asking Council to approve “the non-exclusive temporary use (up to 12 months) of the Memorial Arena by the Canadian Fire Fighter’s Museum for in-depth non-destructive engineering and architectural work for the purposes of determining detailed plans for museum development”. He is also asking that Council approve their non-exclusive temporary use for fund-raising meetings, tours, and activities for the purpose of generating funds to finance future lease-hold improvements for the site.
Comments by the Firefighters Museum
We are gathering quotes to see what it would cost to make it usable for our purposes and negotiating with Cobourg over the conditions of a lease. At 30,000 sq. ft. it is the right size, but it will require quite a few upgrades to become a museum, open to the public. Wish us luck and stay tuned for more information. If this goes ahead we will need a lot of help and support to get it off the ground.
If this Museum does succeed in re-opening in Cobourg, it will join several others. More about Cobourg’s Museums here.
- Canadian Women in Film at Marie Dressler House
- Sifton Cook Heritage Centre
- Northumberland County Archives & Museum (NCAM)
Previous Posts/Documents on this project
- Ad Hoc Committee provides four options for Memorial Arena.
- Presentation (letter) from “Canadian Firefighters Museum (CFFM)”