Heritage Plan Review Surprises

At the C.O.W. Council meeting on October 23, Heritage planner Alison Torrie Lapaire presented a review of the Heritage Master Plan which was adopted in May of 2016.  The review included a couple of new (or resurrected) ideas: 1. The possibility of expanding the Heritage districts to include Corktown (East from Victoria Park to D’Arcy and South of Perry – originally suggested in 2007)  and 2.  Organizing a free public event to promote the idea that Heritage is good for Tourism.  In addition, there were several other “announcements”.  The review referenced the Vision of the Heritage Plan and linked Heritage with the small town character of Cobourg. The stated reason for the review was to report on progress, especially on short term action items (3 years or less).

The Vision in the Heritage Master Plan is:

To conserve and enhance cultural heritage resources and manage change so that the community can continue to grow in keeping with the heritage character of Cobourg while also preserving the vibrant small-town feel.

Status of Short Term Action items

Alison Torrie Lapaire - at Vitalization Update
Alison Torrie Lapaire – photo at Vitalization Update

Notable items only – see full report for all items

  1. Consider other areas for possible designation as Heritage Conservation Districts.
    A staff study in 2010 suggests that Corktown may be suitable for designation.  This was after LACAC suggested it in 2007.  Alison asked that this be included in the 2018/19 budget.
  2. Provide information to Property Owners about the benefits of Heritage Designation.
    “The Heritage section of the [Town’s] website includes a page titled Benefits of Designation. This communicates to the public the many environmental, social, economic, individual and community benefits of designating heritage resources. The Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee (CHC) has undertaken to host a free special event in November 2017 which will feature a guest speaker and will invite the community to consider why the heritage of our community is important to protect. Following the anticipated success of this event, the CHC intends to plan similar guest speakers and workshops in coming years, with a view to engaging the community in the protection of our Town’s built heritage.”
    This event is on November 4 in the Concert Hall at Victoria Hall from 2-4:00 pm.  More at this Town link or download the poster directly. The focus appears to be to emphasize the benefits of heritage to tourism and the economy.
  3. Archaeological Assessments
    Cobourg’s new official Plan “requires the protection, conservation or mitigation of sites of archaeological value and areas of archaeological potential”.  An example is the new Legion development on Hibernia which has been delayed while excavations are made.  Apparently they found the foundations of an earlier building believed to be the Calcutt brewery. This was reported by the Cobourg Museum Foundation in their newsletter here.
  4. Branding and Marketing
    This would be aimed at “celebrating the small town character of Cobourg”. For this purpose “Heritage Planning staff will be working with Recreation, Culture and Tourism staff to highlight heritage in the development of a comprehensive tourism strategy in 2018-2019.”
  5. Work with Like-minded Groups
    “Heritage Planning staff are presently pursuing discussions to participate in a province-wide video series to share Cobourg’s history within our own community and other like-minded communities in Ontario. It is anticipated that our participation in this project will be determined this Fall, with a view to the video series being launched in February 2018 during Heritage Week.”
  6. Town should consider re-use of older buildings for expansion of office space
    The Market building was recently modified to accommodate DBIA and Town Tourism staff.  Dressler House will soon be available – no specific plans have been announced for this.
  7. Town should address issue of tax rebates for under-utilized properties
    “Northumberland County is presently undertaking a review of the vacancy rebate program, with consideration possible for phasing it out.”

When the report was presented to Council, John Henderson gave it lavish praise.  Although the report was received for information, it included a number of forward looking statements giving an insight into the thinking in the Town’s Heritage Planning department.  Note especially the intent to educate us more and to participate in a “comprehensive tourism strategy”.  It’s also good to see the term “vibrant small town” being used.  Is that better than “Feel Good Town”?



Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rusty Brown
6 years ago

C.O.W. – what is that? Not everyone knows these acronyms.
LACAC – what is that? Who knows? How to make sense of these reports by those of us who don’t know all these insider buzzwords?
The Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee (CHC) – That’s the way to report it.

John Draper
Reply to  Rusty Brown
6 years ago

I usually do spell out Acronyms but for C.O.W. (Committee of the Whole) I’m reluctant to do that when it has already been spelled out many times on other posts. You can see what LACAC stands for by following the link – it stands for Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee but it no longer exists.

Rusty Brown
Reply to  John Draper
6 years ago

Then you are writing for a select group of readers using insider jargon and ignoring the rest of us who aren’t part of that group. Nor am I willing to take side-trips to other sites to research the meaning of acronyms.
“Think like a customer” as we used to say working in retail in The Big City.

6 years ago

As Shocking as it is to our town Council, not everyone in this town relies on the Tourist Trade, for our livelihood.. Some of us would like to Use the facilities that our taxes pay for, without being Swamped by those that don’t pay into the cost of upkeep.

As Peter Truman said, ” That’s not News, but that too is Reality”

6 years ago

It might also be of interest to note that the Town is following up on its intention of preserving its built heritage by starting the process of designating the last remaining structures of Cobourg’s industrial past, the Certo Building and the two ancillary buildings.

6 years ago

Does anyone realise that the area from the East side of 3rd Street along Albert st on the south side right up to Victoria Park and then south to the lake IS NOT IN A HERITAGE AREA?
This has been brought up several times over the years but with no response. I wonder why it was not included originally?
The L.C.B.O. for example is not in a Heritage District but this will be demolished before long as the LLBO is slowly letting it die despite protests to the contrary.
Does someone have vested interest in keeping THE “Heritage Harbour” out of a Heritage District?
What a farce.
On a similar subject why does the Town not pay (at modest cost) for TODS signs on the 401 like Port Hope & Port Perry have done for years. Check it out. They would not be hard to apply for and erect before the the next tourist season. This has been mentioned to the Town’s Economic Development Office on several occasions but……..

6 years ago

“small town”? More a “large town” or “small city”. Dryden became the “City of Dryden” with a population under 8000. Wikipedia says the demarcation between “town” and “large town” is 20,000.

Tommy Chong
Reply to  Tom
6 years ago

Conversely a place like Oakville still calls itself a “town” at 200,000.

Rusty Brown
Reply to  Tommy Chong
6 years ago

I don’t want to live in a city. That’s why I moved here after 40 years in TO. I like living in a town. What we choose to call ourselves can affect how we feel about ourselves.

Troubled waters
6 years ago

If you want something to Attract Tourism and turn the Down town around and will go along with our Town slogan as we now have
Canada’s Largest Marijuana Operations
in the Kraft Plant as was announced last wk. by our Mayor
Try putting a couple of Marijuana Bars or what ever they call them on King st and one on the Beach for summer . The THE FEEL GOOD TOWN will come to life and and we should surpass Devere’s reputation and tourist $$$ by this July

Reply to  Troubled waters
6 years ago

Sadly, you may have a point. Although, it certainly isn’t the direction I would like to see Cobourg go in. I am all for creating jobs for the people of Cobourg, but I do hope that the town’s reputation does not suffer in the long run.

Rusty Brown
Reply to  Susie-Q
6 years ago

Our reputation as a “feel good town”? What’s wrong with that. Come to Cobourg and chill out at bit. Cooler near the lake. Relax and enjoy, then tell your friends all about it. Bring money.
While we’re at it: declare the derelict and abandoned West Beach to be a topless bathing and sunning area for all for those who want to experience the freedom. Provincial Supreme Courts have long ago declared that, if men can do it, so can women. Call it Southern Ontario’s biggest European-style beach.
What’s so wrong with creating our own “feel good town” here and becoming known for open, relaxed living within all legal restraints?
We might even lead the way for this country to get over its Puritan element and approach the level of personal freedom that has characterized European culture for generations.

Reply to  Rusty Brown
6 years ago

Now that’s one of those creative, out of the box ideas that some have been clamoring for.

Rusty Brown
Reply to  Frenchy
6 years ago

Thank you for mentioning. It gets lonely here “outside the box” sometimes.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Rusty Brown
6 years ago

Cobourg Feels Good Like a Small Town Should, etc … https://youtu.be/ae1gKyofmrY

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Rusty Brown
6 years ago

Pity that you missed out on the 60s in Cobourg. It was pretty much just like you described how you’d like it to be. There were irregular group skinny dips after the Pav dances from the sandy beach at Victoria Park. (That was before the video surveillance) The Perseid meteor shower was an occasion to spend the night laying on the beach staring up at the cosmological light show, sharing some fine Panama Red or Manhattan Silver. (That was before the curfew) The “derelict and abandoned” west beach was rich with nooks and liaisons. Reporters from the Globe&Mail came to Cobourg to report on the hippie scene in Cobourg. The Peterborough Examiner headlined a story in 1965, “Beer, Sex and Reefers Available In a Quiet Place in the Hills.” There were so many drug busts (all pot) one summer that a special court day was set up for a few days just to deal with the pot trials. It was a great time, freedom, long hair, weed, rock and roll, the 401, love love love blah blah blah. Exhale.

6 years ago

In my opinion, given the recent sale of the old Kraft property , doing away with the term “feel good town” may be a good idea.

Mr Ahewsonator
Reply to  Susie-Q
6 years ago

Please divulge.

Rusty Brown
Reply to  Susie-Q
6 years ago

Disagree entirely. Oh, for the good old days when our mantra was “What’s so bad about feeling good?” and “if it feels good, do it”.
Young men – and women, too, these days – no longer have to live their lives as totally-disciplined soldiers-in-waiting ready to abandon all individual identity and become uniformed army-ants at the drop of the next declaration of war. Relax: you have been liberated from all that by the invention of the atomic bomb and the InterContinental Ballistic Missile. Enjoy your new freedoms.