Seniors’ Programs moving from Market Building

Currently, there are five seniors’ programs that operate out of the Market Building (see list below) but effective January 6 they will operate at the Cobourg Community Centre (CCC) at the same times.  Staff are working with members currently using the Market Building to assist with transfer of supplies, card tables etc.  There will also be a “Welcome Reception” on December 19 at 10 am at the CCC. The reason given is that when the CCC was originally built in 2011, “the intention was to house all seniors’ programs in this new state of the art facility. While a few programs have remained at the Market Building, during our 2020 budget deliberations it has been decided to move those programs over to the CCC to make financial and scheduling efficiencies and improve customer service.”

Market Building
Market Building

There was also a study conducted in 2015 called “Seniors’ Action Plan” which recommended consolidation (see link below).

Additional benefits of using the CCC:

Our members at the CCC have direct access to staff for questions and assistance and to provide feedback and advice on programming. As the Seniors’ Centre has evolved and our members’ needs have changed, our programming staff have implemented activities to better suit these requirements as well as popular classes that draw growing numbers each week and have facilitated the development of new friendships and bonds. Our Seniors’ Activity Centre at the Cobourg Community Centre is much more than a facility, it is a community of friends.

The letter from the Seniors’ Activity Centre says:

Starting Monday, January 6th Bridge, Camera Club, Partner Bridge and Euchre will be joining the Seniors’ Activity Centre at the Cobourg Community Centre. Programs will be held on the same days and times and will be assigned a dedicated room each week.

For questions please contact Allison Greer at 905-372-7371 ext: 8410.

I confirmed that Tai Chi will also be at the CCC.  There was a rumour that the Market Building will now be used to provide a warming centre for homeless people but Communications Officer Ashley Purdy said that this was not true.  There has been no word on what other functions would be located at the Building.


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frances burton
4 years ago

Where can I find details on the tai chi programme?

Greg Hancock
4 years ago

Several years ago I was the Chair of the Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust, when a manager from Victoria Hall told us that the Town of Cobourg was looking to clear out the Market Building and use it for offices. I contacted the Mayor at that time and he told me that it was just a silly rumour.

There were also other issues regarding the block on which Victoria Hall, the Old Fire Hall , and the Market Building are located. The Town wanted to add another building for a proposed emergency power generator. I was able to remind the Town that the whole block is subject to an easement to the Ontario Heritage Trust, OHT, (part of the Province of Ontario) which forbids any substantial changes without reference to the OHT. The Town then found it possible to buy a portable generator, which did not require a building, and which can also be used elsewhere in case of a major power outage.

The Town has gradually been enclosing the area to the north of the Market Building and making it for “Town use only”. This appears to be symptomatic of their expansion theory, and future use changes may need to be thwarted by further reference to the OHT.

Rob Mikel, in his book “Cobourg , the Spirit of the Place” (pages 97 and 98) records that “Victoria Square contains three buildings designated as national historic sites: Victoria Hall, the Market Building and the Second Street Fire Hall. Jostled together, these three very different “ladies” convivially co-exist on the site”.

Rob additionally recalls that a market has existed on the is site since 1838. The Market Building was designed by Kivas Tully, the architect of Victoria Hall, and it was erected before Victoria Hall.

I hope that the Town will refrain from any plans to occupy the Market Building, and will allow it to continue to serve the public in the same way that it has for 163 years.

4 years ago

Sounds like none of the Senior Groups were consulted and if you think the present Council has nothing to do with this your all wrong if nothing else they are allowing it to take place . I just hope its not for more over sized and underused offices like
the rest of Victoria Hall has become .
So what can be done ?? Do you think the shop owners will complain when
half of us if not more no longer shop on King st as we have no need to be there
I would like to have my Bank move to the Depalma Drive area closer to WalMart
now that I will be shopping there more often as its on route for me to the CCC if I go straight across Elgin .

Ken Strauss
Reply to  sandpiper
4 years ago

Most recent contentious issues covered by Mr. Draper – harbour expansion, travel lift, lengthy blockage of Esplanade with fencing, increasing cost of the CCC, hiring of a consultant with a questionable background, bungled safety audit that harassed canoe lessons, dragon boaters and other harbour users, expensive and ugly new lifeguard stations, a budget increase of over 4 times the guidelines requested by Council, moving seniors out of their long-time facility without consultation and to the detriment of downtown businesses – can all be attributed to a single director. Coincidence? Is this man working for Cobourg’s residents or to further his own agenda?

Shane Maclean
4 years ago

Bridge player
I can assure you that the seniors groups at the Market Building were NOT consulted.

4 years ago

Rarely is amalgamation of anything about the individual users. Its about money, space usage, etc. The second sentence of the Seniors Action Plan (Feb-24-15) “Seniors Activity staff at the Cobourg Community Centre hired a consultant to develop a Seniors Action Plan.” says it all for me. As we’ve seen with Waterfront Master Plan, Parks Master Plan, etc the consultants in many ways are paid to reflect the opinions, desires, direction of those that hired them. I agree with many of the comments below. The Additional Benefits (as stated in Johns piece) reads like a marketing blurb out of the CCC playbook. I for one would like to know what the net efficiencies are and what the improved customer service is; then balance this data against the obstacles inherent with moving the operation to the CCC. I would also like to know how many seniors are/were using the services provided in the Market building.

Reply to  Gerinator
4 years ago

It would appear that senior staff are either incompetent or just lazy in developing their own plan or could it be that they can’t properly defend the plan they would present???

4 years ago

The decision affects seniors but undoubtedly not made by seniors.

Canuck Patriot
4 years ago

It sounds to me that the current Council was never involved in this decision. Is it another classic example of senior staff, in this case Cobourg’s $24 Million Man, making a unilateral decision designed to tick off residents?

My suggestion would be for the affected groups to contact members of Council. This is a policy not an operational issue and Council should be the decision makers.

4 years ago

Its was rumored I don’t believe we were ever approached officially this time just sent a letter as the town already knew our position on the CCC usage from discussions 3 yrs earlier
Just one of those 13 Ways to Kill your Community thats the title of the book if you can find it Displacing the remaining people from the Center of the Down Town core
they are Killing . We , shop , bank , eat , see our eye or hearing specialist ,barber etc etc
and attend our club We made a day of it We just had our Christmas party at the Buttermilk Cafe where we usually have lunch or dinner before going to our clubs Now there is no reason short of banking
Lets move the banks to a place where we can Park getting to the TD banks is a real problem these days
For our Club the parking is not close enough at the CCC , the lot is slippery , the attendant staff don’t know that much , they can’t control the lights in independently in every rm
which the Camera club needs Wash rooms are a bit of a hike in some rooms
where will we store our Equipment where it will be safe & we have no assigned
room or location from my understanding .

Reply to  sandpiper
4 years ago

At least someone a na- sayer at the town is reading these articles
and voting them down

MaryRose England
4 years ago

I’m concerned about the future use of the historical building. It needs to be used for a positive purpose that those living near it, and walking passed it into town, can still enjoy it being there and feel safe. Could it be of use to the Cobourg Band who entertain all of the town? Just one of many ideas that serves a positive feeling to our tax payers!

4 years ago

Having thought about it – but not for very long, it would appear that the best speculation for the future use would to be to recall the last denial by Town Hall for a use and that was the rumour about the Admin and CAO wanting more office space.

You can kiss public use for this historic building goodbye if the ‘rugrankers’ ever get a hold of it!

Deborah O'Connor
4 years ago

How sad, and it all makes me wonder if users of the Market building were even consulted about this huge change. The way I see it, few even wanted the CCC built, but it was “free money” so now we’re stuck with it, along with its yearly deficits. That and an empty, perfectly usable arena closer to downtown, with the historic Market building following suit. SHAME!

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
4 years ago

Memorial Arena is well passed its prime, to call it “perfectly” usable shows you have no idea what you’re talking about. Drive to any other community Cobourg’s size and look at their arenas. Also, do you think Memorial didn’t run at a deficit? That’s just the nature of the beast with these things. Further to that, Memorial itself would need millions of investment to carry on, the guts rebuilt and it would also need to be brought up to accessibility standards for which it fails (failed) horribly. The town had 2 choices really, spend millions (far less than the CCC mind you) to bring Memorial up to modern day standards, with the understanding that it would still be somewhat obsolete, or build a modern facility that can serve the community at a very high standard for decades to come. I mean…

All that said, I disagree with taking programs from the Market building. We’re supposed to be building a walkable and busy downtown core, this move would have the opposite effect.

Miriam Mutton
4 years ago

It is sad that the groups are moving out. Having groups of people gather for activity at a downtown location like the Market Building especially during daytime hours contributes to life and energy in the downtown.

citizen cyclist
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
4 years ago

I agree with needing more not less life downtown. In Europe most centre- villes are pedestrianized encouraging senior active transportation. and shopping.My spending in the downtown will be reduced.
This is a bad decision lacking any consultation.

4 years ago

I guess the original objectors to the move have all become older and have lost the urge to fight, pity!

Old Sailor
Reply to  ben
4 years ago

The original objectors carry no weight in this decision. As a former user of a Market Building group activity, I know that a lot of the users attended as they could walk to the Market Building but cannot walk to the CCC. So their group’s involvement will diminish. A gorgeous warm historical setting will be exchanged for a cold sterile room. For what purpose?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Old Sailor
4 years ago

Given the condition of the RR crossing on Darcy Street, fewer with mobility scooters will risk the chance to attend the CCC.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 years ago

Just try driving a car over our RR crossings. I need new shocks and springs, they are so so rough…just like Tremaine St.has been for almost 20 years. Don’t see these basic needs in the 2020 budget but I do see a little needed Kerr St extension $$$ in the budget

Reply to  Old Sailor
4 years ago

How about being displaced for a Homeless shelter or a warming center
feel better now

Reply to  perplexed
4 years ago

Perhaps Canada needs a few “Work Farms” where able bodied people who refuse to work can be placed and learn how to take care of themselves…and not become the responsibility of cities and towns in this country.

Bob Robertson
Reply to  cornbread
4 years ago

As as a member of the Senior Camera Club meeting at the Market Building for about 18 years, I for one, think the decision to push these Seniors’ groups out of the Market Building is just plain MEAN. Our camera club has tried to use the CCC before. We tried using the Seniors’ room, there is no switch to turn off the lights to see projected images. Originally we were going to use the TV, in the Seniors’ room, but then it got mounted in a corner of room beside windows without blinds making it very hard to see. Then the noise from the gym though doors without any sound abatement was so overpowering we couldn’t hear anyone speaking. So we moved back to the Market Building. New members joined our group leadership, they encouraged us to try the CCC again, this time to another room, again the noise from other activities made us return to the Market Building.
Now we being told that we MUST move to the CCC if we want to remain as CCC program.
Obviously the CCC was not designed with quiet, dark, warm,
Seniors’ sedentary activities in mind. One option suggested is that maybe meetings in the morning would be quieter, but as a group of “55 years and up” we still have some employed members who would be unable to attend then.
Meanwhile I was told the Market Building would be available for use by non-profit groups (such as our Senior Camera Club), but for a fee of $107.00 for a 3 hour block of time. Much too high a cost for a group of Seniors.
That’s my 5 cents worth! (no pennies anymore either)