Economic Development First Annual Report

When Wendy Gibson retired from her position as Manager of Economic Development in the spring of 2019, she was not replaced. Soon after, the Economic Development Advisory Committee was dissolved and it was thought that the County’s efforts would be enough.  But in October 2022, our (relatively) new CAO Tracey Vaughan hired Daniel Van Kampen as a Manager of Economic Development and he has been quite active; at the next Committee of the Whole (CoW) Council meeting he will present his first Annual report.  His office is in Venture 13 space and he works closely with them but he reports to Director of Planning, Anne Taylor-Scott.  This will be the first opportunity taxpayers have had to see what he is… Read complete articleEconomic Development First Annual Report

New Annual Report by Planning Division

In 2020 CAO Tracey Vaughan commissioned a Service Delivery Review followed by an organization review which resulted in comprehensive reports with recommendations – some of them contentious.  One of the results was a re-organizing of the Planning Department.  The simultaneous retirement of its long-time Director – Glenn McGlashon – and the hiring of a replacement – Anne Taylor Scott – allowed for some fresh thinking.  Economic Development was moved under this Division and a new manager hired (Daniel van Kampen). Planning was then split into long-range, under long-term incumbent Rob Franklin, and Development Review (approving applications etc) under new hire Vanessa Reusser.  Also new is an annual report on activity in this division – including a review of external factors… Read complete articleNew Annual Report by Planning Division

What’s Happening at the Mall

The short answer is “Not much”. I called the Mall Leasing VP and all I got was “No we’re not planning any residential”.  If you look at what they say online, you’ll see that Michael’s is coming soon, that another “pad” is planned next to the LCBO and that there are a lot of vacancies.  Before the pandemic, Rainbow cinema was planning an expansion but right now they are working on reduced hours with two shows on 4 days, one matinee on Sundays and closed Mondays and Wednesdays.  Although many spaces are empty (but not all), some others are getting renovated (see photos below).  It’s not clear where Michael’s is going: Trinity’s map shows them on the East side of… Read complete articleWhat’s Happening at the Mall

Taxi Fuel Surcharge Approved

As reported two weeks ago, Council approved new higher fares for Cobourg’s Taxis – but they deferred a decision on a fuel surcharge.  Taxi owners are struggling to break even and gas at around $1.70/litre is not helping. At the Council meeting on March 14, Council asked staff to report back at the next Committee of the Whole meeting (CoW) and that was tonight (March 28).  Brent Larmer provided the report but left a decision to Council.  His report said that only a few municipalities on the East Coast have implemented a fuel surcharge but that if a surcharge were to be implemented that taxi meters should be recalibrated and the recommended $1 should be added to the pick-up charge. … Read complete articleTaxi Fuel Surcharge Approved

Council Approves New Taxi Fares

In January 2020, Council approved new rates for taxi-fares – but they were only a minor change.  The senior’s discount was reduced from around 30% to 10% and the wait charge no longer required being stopped for 2 minutes.  But at Monday’s regular Council meeting, Kelly Paton, owner of Cobourg Cabs, made a passionate plea for an increase in fares.  She said it was not to make her rich but a matter of survival.  She said she took only $100 a week in wages for herself.  She said that she employed 9 drivers with 3 licensed cabs.  The increased cost of insurance, increases in the minimum wage and currently high gas prices made her business not viable.  Choices are increased… Read complete articleCouncil Approves New Taxi Fares

Kraft Property Sold

The property once owned by Kraft has been sold – although subject to some unstated conditions.  Kraft closed operations in Cobourg in 2008 and sold the 64 acre property – it was bought in 2014 by a Cannabis company now called FSD Pharma who promised to create the world’s biggest indoor marijuana grow-op. This idea faded and FSD Pharma is now in the healthcare business and had no use for the large facility.  They listed it for $19.9M but it sold for $16.5M – that’s $258K/acre.  The new owner has not been named but seems legitimate since they have made a $660K deposit.  The deal is expected to close on May 31, 2022.  On the property is the Certo building… Read complete articleKraft Property Sold

Netflix back in Cobourg

In 2019, Netflix came to Cobourg’s Downtown and filmed parts of season 1 of Ginny and Georgia and from February 22 to 25, they will be back again – filming parts of Season 2.  In October 2019 Kara Euale made a presentation to the DBIA about filming; she provided details of the benefits of this kind of disruption – her Powerpoint is in Resources below.  It’s not just the fees paid but also the publicity which attracts tourists.  This time, there will be approximately 120 crew members, 100 background performers and 40 production trucks.  They will film in Victoria Park, in front of Victoria Hall and along King Street West from Third Street to Hibernia Street.  Some roads will be… Read complete articleNetflix back in Cobourg

Staff Propose Licensing Developer Sales Trailers

When moderate sized developers want to sell their homes, they will often park trailers on their land then use them as model units, construction offices and/or sales offices.  Two Downtown examples are the failed development on the “Quigley Lot” at 202 Second Street and the failed development of expansion of the John Lee Jail property.  I’ve labelled them “failed” since there have been no units constructed at those sites.  But the trailers for those projects have overstayed their original purpose and citizens have complained about them – calling them an eyesore and “being a place for individuals to trespass and shelter”.  Staff have now proposed that these structures be licensed so that they can be managed and they will present… Read complete articleStaff Propose Licensing Developer Sales Trailers

Starbucks Cobourg – Now Hiring

Last November, it was announced that Starbucks was coming to Cobourg.  They will occupy a store (officially a “coffeehouse”) on the Mall property with a frontage on Elgin (County Road 2).  Included is a drive thru plus an indoor space.  Construction was delayed a bit by the pandemic and they did not make any public statements on the matter so there was speculation that maybe they changed their mind.  But no, they are now hiring.  There are two positions advertised on Workopolis – see the links below.  The jobs are entry levels but hourly pay is a little above minimum wage and unusually, there are fairly generous benefits (see below) plus perks like training to learn all about coffee and… Read complete articleStarbucks Cobourg – Now Hiring

New Employer Coming to Lucas Point

A company called Audcomp is an IT company that also invests in Real Estate and they have offered to buy about 3 acres of land in Lucas Point Industrial Park at the north west corner of Dodge and Thompson Streets for $40,000 per acre.  Their offer was accepted by Cobourg Council at their C.O.W. meeting on Monday night, 29 March (subject to ratification at their regular Council meeting next week – Update:  It was ratified).   Audcomp plan to construct a building of approximately 8,000 ft2 to 14,000 ft2 to accommodate their tenant, Davey Tree of Canada who plan a National Distribution/Logistics Centre for their Canadian operations.   They are a US based company and plan more than 50 new local jobs… Read complete articleNew Employer Coming to Lucas Point

Update on FSD Pharma and Kraft Building

The company that bought the old Kraft building had big plans at first.  They wanted to be the biggest grower of Marijuana plants in Canada and they floated their shares under the ticker HUGE.  But in July 2020, they announced that they would be giving up on that idea and selling their Cobourg facility with an asking price of $19M.  They moved out and are now based in Toronto.  Work is now focused on developing medications and when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, they aimed at using Cannabis compounds for its treatment.  Their latest announcement is that they have a licence agreement with an Italian company to “develop U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved veterinary drugs for the treatment of… Read complete articleUpdate on FSD Pharma and Kraft Building