Waterfront Festival is Back

The last Festival was in 2019 but the Festivals for the next two years were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Like a lot of activities that are resuming, the Festival may be less exuberant than previous Festivals because some people are still reluctant to venture out.  This includes vendors – judging by the pleas coming from the Lions for vendors, there will likely be fewer participants.  With no sales for 2 years, it’s likely that some vendors are out of business. But the Entertainment has been booked (program below), a Midway is promised, the beer tent is organized and the Rotary Tent planned. The three day event on the Canada Day long weekend is jointly run by the Lions and… Read complete articleWaterfront Festival is Back

Expanded Museum in Dressler House

Friday saw the grand opening of the new/expanded Museum in Dressler House – it’s now called the Canadian Women in Film Museum and as well as Marie Dressler, features early Canadian women movie stars Mary Pickford and Norma Shearer.  It was conducted on Zoom and featured speeches by Minister David Piccini, Mayor John Henderson, MP Philip Lawrence, Cara Krmpotich Associate Professor of Museum Studies at U of T, Cari Beauchamp of the Mary Pickford Foundation and Darin Barnes collector and Curator for Norma Shearer.  In the audience were other supporters and people like Michelle Wright (more below) who were involved with project.  The Design of the Museum, was done by students of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto –… Read complete articleExpanded Museum in Dressler House

Cobourg Considering Regulating Airbnb

At Monday’s Council meeting, concerns about Airbnb rentals were raised by correspondence from Cobourg resident Anne-Marie Jackson; she complained about problems from an Airbnb establishment on Blake Street (which is within walking distance of Downtown).  Anne-Marie said that “We have seen a notable increase in transient visitors, an increase in on-street parking – often 4-5 vehicles at a time – parties with loud and disruptive guests, documented drug and criminal activity, and as a result, increased police activity.  Further “During documented criminal activity, drug activity and noise complaints where police were called, residents have made attempts to contact (the owner) to address their concerns through the Airbnb ‘Contact Your Neighbour’ portal, but the attempts have gone unanswered. Complaints submitted to Airbnb,… Read complete articleCobourg Considering Regulating Airbnb

Is Tourism good for Cobourg?

Not everyone agrees that Tourism is good for the Town and for its businesses and last Fall the Town decided to try and resolve this question.  With some Federal funding, consultant Laridae Communications Inc was hired to do this and their results will be presented in a report to Council at their Committee of the Whole meeting on March 8.  Kara Euale, Manager of the Marketing and Events Department in the Community Services division views the effort as a way to “evaluate our current marketing tactics”.  Staff are working on the premise that Tourists should be attracted although they see the report as a way to “measure the level of impact tourism has on our local economy”. The staff memo… Read complete articleIs Tourism good for Cobourg?

Town and DBIA preparing for Cobourg’s Christmas in 2020

Plans are underway for a different kind of Downtown Christmas celebration this year – there will be lights as usual but no turning-on ceremony; instead of the 65th Santa Claus Parade there will be floats but only three of them and they won’t move – but there’s more.  The “downtown corridor” (presumably King Street) will be lined with trees that are to be decorated by the merchants. And residents are not left out – they will be challenged to decorate their homes and the Town will produce a “drive-by map” so others can enjoy.  These ideas were presented by the Town’s Marketing and Events manager, Kara Euale, at a presentation to Council on October 7 and briefly mentioned on my Post… Read complete articleTown and DBIA preparing for Cobourg’s Christmas in 2020

Beach and Parks to open in Cobourg starting May 23

Some will require a day or two more for Town staff to prepare but the Town is now following Provincial Guidelines and opening up the Beach and Parks as long as social distancing is maintained. The Provincial rules allow reopening of “Outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters”.  The Town is therefore opening tennis courts and pickleball courts although organized sports are still not allowed.  Still closed are outdoor playgrounds, play structures, outdoor splash pads, swimming pools and “all communal facilities intended to be used by persons using outdoor sports amenities”.  The beach will be open for “non-contact unorganized sports”, plus sun-bathing and presumably swimming, although non-family groups can be no… Read complete articleBeach and Parks to open in Cobourg starting May 23

Council Debates Fencing the Beach

The Beach is closed for most activities but not fully closed.  So when there are crowds, it’s difficult to enforce Covid-19 social distancing, “park” rules and generally keeping everyone safe. On a recent warm weekend, there were reportedly hundreds on the beach. It doesn’t help that there are few signs – I saw a small one at the main entrance at the bottom of Division St – see photo below.  So at Monday’s Committee of the Whole (C.O.W.) Council meeting, staff suggested that fencing the beach would be useful.  It was thought that most people would then stay off the beach and the few who jumped the fence could be warned or even arrested for trespassing. But Councillors worried that… Read complete articleCouncil Debates Fencing the Beach

Progress on New Museum for Dressler House

Marie Dressler Foundation is planning an expansion of the museum at Dressler House to include sections for the other two Canadian female Oscar winners: Mary Pickford and Norma Shearer and at Monday’s Council Meeting, the team working on this gave a progress report.  Toronto University agreed to offer the project to students in their Master program for Museum Studies and 5 students accepted: Michelle Wright, Enya Barbeau, Karen Cheung, Natalie Heaton and Emma Myers.  They presented a brief overview of what the museum will look like and talked about the great access they had to experts who are knowledgeable about the two stars plus thousands of artifacts – mostly photographs and film clips.  It appears that this will be the… Read complete articleProgress on New Museum for Dressler House

Christmas Lights Changed for 2019

Due to popular demand, this Christmas, Cobourg will expand the lights to include Victoria Park and the lighting ceremony will be more extensive than previously.  There will be 180,000 lights stretching from Victoria Hall, through Rotary Park, along the waterfront and into Victoria Park.  The lights go on at 6:30 pm on November 22 after a countdown at Victoria Hall then everyone will be invited to walk to Victoria Park where there will be a 30 foot Christmas tree with 3000 lights and Mayor John Henderson will welcome all at the Bandshell.  Santa will then arrive for the kids and DJ Dominic will play festive music.  The walk will highlight a connection to downtown with a variety of displays throughout… Read complete articleChristmas Lights Changed for 2019

Filming in Cobourg

With Murdoch Mysteries once again filming in Cobourg on October 30, and Netflix filming twice recently, citizens are asking “How does Cobourg win from all this?”  Most of the filming takes place in Cobourg’s historic downtown so it’s not surprising that the DBIA (Downtown Business Improvement Area) asked the same question.  At their September 5th Board meeting, the Town’s Marketing and Events Manager, Kara Euale, was asked to make a presentation on the subject and I thought others would be interested in what she had to say.  Cobourg has policies on the subject, requires approval from multiple departments and has fees that must be paid.  Basically, filming is encouraged because the Town believes it can “provide both direct and indirect… Read complete articleFilming in Cobourg

Canada Day: Cobourg – 2019

Summer finally arrived for a perfect day to end the Waterfront Festival and celebrate Canada Day in Cobourg.  The Parade was short but sweet – it moved steadily without delays and, this year, seemed to be a showcase for our diversity – the Hispanic group seemed to be especially enjoying themselves and it was contagious.   I don’t have any way to verify it but it seemed to me that more spectators of the Parade were wearing red – yes I know that’s expected but it was more noticeable this year.  With the world’s troubles, are we happier than ever to be Canadian?  The parade finished at Victoria Park where the Waterfront Festival was in full swing.  Entry to the Lions… Read complete articleCanada Day: Cobourg – 2019