Cobourg Beach Now Fully Open

After two months of being closed on weekends and holidays, Cobourg Council decided on Monday to re-open Victoria Beach seven days a week.  First, James Quelch and Rachael Currie presented a petition from 125 residents asking for the Beach to be fully open and then the DBIA provided a report on what Downtown merchants thought.  But it was not a simple “open or not” discussion – Councillors wondered how staff and enforcement would cope with large crowds or even an emergency shutdown mandated by the Heath Unit or the Province.  Nicole Beatty spearheaded the push to open the beach and she was willing to be flexible to accommodate concerns.  Aaron Burchat wanted to fully re-open with no fence but his… Read complete articleCobourg Beach Now Fully Open

Swimming in West Harbour to be Banned

With Victoria Beach closed on Weekends and Holidays and limited to 1200 capacity on weekdays, visitors will be looking for other local beaches.  The West Beach would be a good bet but it’s not groomed and hard for visitors to find.  Another obvious swimming spot is the beach in the Harbour along the West headland.  Locals avoid it because they know that it’s often unsafe because of a high e-coli count caused by water that doesn’t move much and pollution from gulls and ducks.  The main Harbour area on the east side (see picture below) is already a “no-swimming” area because of the danger from boats but Council moved on Monday to also ban swimming in the rest of the… Read complete articleSwimming in West Harbour to be Banned

Managing Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches

Cobourg residents and Councillors have expressed concern about managing the crowds attracted to Cobourg’s beaches – this has been a special concern with the onset of the pandemic but even in normal times, beach crowds can be a problem.  To address this, the Town created a survey and asked the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) to generate recommendations on “how the municipality can manage the popularity of Victoria Park Beach.” Survey results were published in March (see link below to Cobourg News Blog report) – and with the help of Community Services Staff, the PRAC have now published their recommendations and will ask the next Committee of the Whole to accept them.  It’s quite comprehensive but being recommendations and not… Read complete articleManaging Crowds at Cobourg’s Beaches

Move on Council to Open Beach on Weekends

At tonight’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, Councillor Nicole Beatty  moved that the beach be opened on weekends as well as weekdays effective June 26.  She was supported by Councillor Burchat but Mayor Henderson wanted any opening delayed past July 1.  However, before there was any debate, Town Clerk Brent Larmer pointed to a procedural problem:  a previous approved motion closed the beach on weekends until September so a new motion cannot proceed without a motion to re-consider.  He suggested ways to overcome this but they required a two-thirds majority vote.  A more moderate approach would be to go through a process which would delay a final vote for a couple of meetings, but it would allow input from… Read complete articleMove on Council to Open Beach on Weekends

Fish Cleaning Changes proposed

In September 2019, citizens made complaints to Council about the Marina.  There were two main concerns: (1) electric power was cut off when water levels were high (as they were in 2017 and 2019) and (2) concerns about visitors abusing fishing privileges – notably to do with the fish cleaning table (see photo below).  The Town was quick to upgrade the Electrical system – that’s now fixed.  And now at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on 21 June, Town staff are recommending removing the fish cleaning table altogether and banning the cleaning of fish on municipal property.  A survey was conducted of other municipalities and it seems others have had the same problem and now ban fish cleaning.  You… Read complete articleFish Cleaning Changes proposed

Marina Parking Lot Upgraded

On May 10, Council approved repaving and modifying the Marina Parking lot and today the Town announced it would open tomorrow, Friday June 11. So on this glorious June day, I thought I would take a look and see if it was ready.  But by mid afternoon – not quite.   The Parking lot was pot-holed and badly needed re-paving.  That’s been done.  In addition the traffic flow needed re-arranging “to improve vehicular traffic in the area” and to allow easy separation of pedestrians who walk along the South edge – see the diagram below.  On Thursday afternoon a “steam-roller” (do they still call them that?) was still working to finish the asphalt – I can’t see it being ready to… Read complete articleMarina Parking Lot Upgraded

Renaming Langevin Pier

In September 2017, Meghan Sheffield and Nicole Beatty (as a citizen) plus Chief Jim Bob Marsden, then Chief of Alderville First Nation, made a delegation to Council to change the official name of the West headland from Langevin Pier to something that does not recall Langevin’s role as a “chief architect of Canada’s residential school system.” (Wally Keeler then suggested that the “pier” be renamed after Susanna Moodie).  The recent discovery of 215 graves has given a renewed impetus to renaming so at Monday’s regular Council meeting, Meghan Sheffield once again asked Council to look at renaming and once again asked that this be done in “partnership and consultation with the local indigenous community”.  After the original delegation, Council referred… Read complete articleRenaming Langevin Pier

Early summer in Cobourg

The forecast for Cobourg for today – Saturday June 5 – was a high of 29 although if you looked closer, it said “cooler by the Lake”.  With the forecasted warm weather, one would expect a whole lot of people wanting to come to the beach – except that it’s closed on weekends. But the temperature at the beach at around noon, was nowhere near 29 – more like 16.  A couple of blocks north on King Street it was probably 20.  The Beach is closed to keep large crowds from gathering and creating a virus spreading event.  So far, there are no large crowds.  Despite the closure, a number of young families did come anyway – one family told… Read complete articleEarly summer in Cobourg

Beach Now Open – Report on Second Day

Victoria Beach opened on May 31 and on June 1, it could be called an early  summer day with bright sunshine and temperatures around 20 C.  When I visited at around 3:00 pm, there were about 50 people on the beach – nowhere near the 1200 capacity.  I could not spot any enforcement people but then none were needed.  As a result, there were no staff or Police at the entrance or exits. Presumably they would be there if there were crowds and when the Beach is closed.  I didn’t see anyone swimming and everyone was keeping separated.  But it was a good day to just relax and enjoy the beach.  Signage was good (see photos) – they warned of… Read complete articleBeach Now Open – Report on Second Day

Beach to be Closed on Weekends and Holidays

At a special Emergency meeting tonight, Council voted six to one to allow Victoria beach to be open only on weekdays but with capacity limited to 1200. This is effective May 31.  Councillors Burchat and Beatty would have preferred it to be open all days and Councillor Darling wanted an opening delayed until June 14.  Councillor Chorley explained that the public survey indicated a partial opening was preferred and Health advice is to avoid crowds which are more likely on weekends.  The decision taken was essentially the second of three options proposed by staff.  Option one was to keep the Beach closed and Option three was to open it with no restrictions.  The Staff report (see links below) included the… Read complete articleBeach to be Closed on Weekends and Holidays

West Harbour Concerns Resolved

In September 2019, Town staff presented a report to Council called an “Aquatic Safety Audit Report”.  It was conducted by the Lifesaving Society and it recommended a wide range of changes that were strongly criticized by West Harbour user groups. Jeremy Fowlie of the Dragon Boat and Canoe club said that implementing the recommendations would mean the club would need to shut down.  Critics said that it seemed that Staff wanted to limit usage so that the West Harbour could accommodate more boat slips.  Key recommendations were the need to provide a detailed schedule of activities, a powered safety boat should be mandated and a safety manual should be written.  The report was referred to the Parks and Recreation Committee… Read complete articleWest Harbour Concerns Resolved