Location of Midway for Waterfront Festival

For several years, the Midway at the Waterfront Festival has been on the East Pier and Rotary liked that arrangement.  In a letter to Council Rotary President Rick Riley  said that “the Pier is the ideal location for the Midway” (more below). But based on comments by Director Dean Hustwick, it appears that the current Midway operator prefers the Victoria Park location although moved a little.  The letter was discussed at Council’s Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday – Rotary wanted to know if they could have their preferred location in 2019 since “(the Midway’s) visibility on the Pier gives a focal point to our Show and to the downtown Festival activities generally, without imposing itself either visually or audibly on anyone.”

East Pier - proposed by Waterfront Plan
East Pier – proposed by Waterfront Plan

This request raised the subject of the East Pier and not only whether it would be ready in time but also that it’s likely that having the Midway there would not fit with future plans for the Pier per the Waterfront Study.  The photo at right shows what the study had in mind and this would not be compatible with a Midway.

Status of East Pier

Since the subject was raised, Gil asked for an update from Works Director Laurie Wills.  She said that:

  • Inspections are currently underway and structural analysis is currently underway;
  • There is still some field work to be done;
  • When field work is complete, a report would be expected within 8 weeks. 
  • So the “report would be a little later than expected this year”. Laurie estimated mid-Fall.  I calculate no earlier than mid-November (that’s mid-Fall).

Based on what is known about how the Town works, the report would be presented to Council at the next available meeting which would be the first meeting of the new Council on December 3.  No doubt this would include an estimate of the cost. Then there would be a decision to proceed, budget discussions/approval, a tender to be issued, a Contract to be let and then work to get done.  It seems unlikely that the work would be completed in time for the Festival on July 1st.

Amusement Contractor

Brian Darling asked what the status was of the contract between Rotary and the Amusement Contractor; he understood it was a 5 year contract now up for renewal.  Suzanne Séguin said that there is no renewal yet and Director Dean Hustwick said that the contractor first wanted to know what the location would be.  He said that he understood that the contractor strongly preferred the Victoria Park Location.

In their letter to council, Rotary acknowledged the need to do work on the Pier and said that if they cannot use the East Pier but must locate in Victoria Park, they

“request that the footprint for the Midway be increased in that location to extend as far north and west to the tree line and east side of the band shell. This is both for safety reasons and for appropriate configuration of rides and other Midway activities. This will extend into some of the area usually occupied by the Lions Club as configured last year, but the Lion’s area should nonetheless be easily reconfigured to accommodate their needs and our request.”

There is no word as to what the Lions think of this idea.

Since the status of the Pier is not clear, no actual decision was made – it was agreed that it would be up to the next Council.

However, apart from the Midway location, it’s also apparent that Council (at least the current one) likes the idea of a pedestrian friendly East Pier.  Maybe when the Pier is repaired it will also be upgraded.


Update – 25 Sept 2018

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Sept 24, Rick Riley, Rotary President, clarified that for 2019, the Midway would occupy the same space as they occupied in 2018.  George Laurencic from Cobourg Lions confirmed the agreement.

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John Draper
5 years ago

Speaking as a taxpayer (I very rarely use that label but will as this point deals with money) I will be horrified if in the first stage of the reno is the Pier isn’t fully serviced for commercial uses. We have dug up many a road for servicing after the road has just been repaved – just look at the messy hole and patch job at the entrance to the VIA station and the three servicing ‘blobs’ on Ontario. If this Council decides to reno with resurfacing and benches it completely ignores the necessary need to get a return on investment for the future. Besides who gets to make the decision to make the Pier passive? Can’t wait for that public discussion!

5 years ago

Put the beer tent on the pier and add a wine bar and music.

5 years ago

I really dont care where the midway will go. My gripe is that the people of cobourg are cut off from the pier during the week when they seem to be doing nothing with it. God knows we cant get near OUR beach during the weekend.

Reply to  Jade
5 years ago

We can’t you get near the beach during the weekend?

Reply to  Jade
5 years ago

Never had any issue getting to the beach with our kids and friends on any day, weekend or not and we go to the beach a lot.

5 years ago


5 years ago

My preference would be to allow cars on the east pier after repairs. A pedestrian only pier is limited to able bodied people, Waterfront Parking is impossible during the summer months which means access to the pier would be difficult. Allowing people to drive up, remain in their car, and enjoy the lake for a while is a very important feature for residents. Aesthetics is important but not the only factor.

5 years ago

As a resident of the Northumberland County and also a participant in the Waterfront Festival at both locations, I found the Victoria Park location to be a far better venue for the Midway, there was better pedestrian flow and more interaction & general participation than just being located on the Pier.