Waterfront Operations Review – 2020

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, while the sound was off, Director of Community Services Dean Hustwick presented an update to Councillors for his Waterfront Operations Department.  Although what he said is lost, his slides (see link below) tell the story of how the Harbour, Marina and Campground adapted to the pandemic.  Topics covered included Staffing, Covid-19 measures taken, Harbour and Marina issues, Transient and guest boaters, Seasonal Boater survey, Stakeholder Key Performance indicators, Dredging operations and the Campground.  More detail is provided below – or download his full report from the Link below.  He also introduced Marketing and Events Manager Kara Euale who reviewed 2020 events, both past and future – but that will be in a separate report.

Cobourg Marina - 31 Aug 2019
Cobourg Marina – 31 Aug 2019

Here is a summary of his report:


  • Despite the covid-19 limitations, work got done by reassigning staff and not hiring students until mid-June. 
  • The budget was also helped since the Government of Canada Summer Job Programs provided much higher grants than expected


  • The total number of slips was reduced to allow for spacing of seasonal boats and separation of transient boats.
  • Washrooms were closed and portable lavatories installed.
  • Laundry facilities and vending machines were closed. 
  • The usual Covid-19 precautions were taken in the office.

Harbour and Marina – Seasonal Boaters

  • Opened on 13 June. 
  • There was about 50% occupancy of seasonal berths. 
  • Waterfront Operations increased communications with Seasonal Boaters through newsletters and online videoconferences.

Harbour and Marina – Transient and guest boaters

  • Began accepting reservations for transients on June 22, 2020 and opened the Marina to transients on June 26, 2020
  • Boat launch opened with fees on June 26, 2020
  • Although the number of transient slips was reduced in 2020 to allow for COVID-19 spacing, greater use of the seawalls and Centre Pier helped to meet demand and allow total transient occupancy and revenue forecasts to achieve 2020 targets
  • The Marina Building and facilities opened to registered seasonal and transient guests on July 1, 2020

Seasonal Boater survey

The survey asked 11 questions.  Users were generally satisfied except for Marina Security which was rated 2.74 out of 5.  See the full report below for more details.

Stakeholder Key Performance indicators

  • Users were asked “What made you decide to berth your boat at the Cobourg Marina?” – The biggest number said it was because it was closest to home (36%)
  • They were also asked “What are some areas of infrastructure you would like to see improved over the next few years?”  The biggest number was Dock Gates at 47%.
  • Again, see the full report below for more detail.

Dredging operations

  • Completed were Cobourg Harbour mouth, sail path, launch area and a portion of the silted-in west arm.
  • Contract completed to dredge Presquile Yacht Club – $45,000 in revenue
  • Contract completed to dredge Wellington Channel – $100,000 in revenue


  • After being designated as a first-responder relief facility, the Campground started accepting reservations and opened for operations June 26, 2020.
  • Total occupancy for the year will likely be 60% below the 2020 target.

Based on the above plus the Financial numbers provided so far (see this report), it looks like this department is doing well given the circumstances.


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3 years ago

Was a survey, similar to the one given to seasonal boaters, given to seasonal campers in the trailer park?

If yes, what were the most common replies?

If no, why not?

3 years ago

Marina manager Julie Behan-Jones is to be congratulated on a very successful operation in light of the pandemic. She tells the story here – http://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2020/10/06/cobourg-council-waterfront-operations-adjusted-to-covid-this-summer/

Last edited 3 years ago by jimq
Reply to  jimq
3 years ago

So Less can be more over all for Cobougers

3 years ago

Nicest ,most pleasant and quietest yr year since we moved to Cobourg
Just the way it used to be Scerien & Tranquil !
Finally I got to meet and chat with other locals that all said this is the 1st year
in a long time , many years since they were down here for their daily stroll and coffee with their friends . It seems that its been to crowded , noisy , hectic over the last few yrs ..
Now if we could only keep it that way with the beach open .
May be the locals would return to King st as well .

Reply to  Sandpiper
3 years ago

Well…next spring, with any luck, there will still be enough people dying of COVID-19 to allow for another opportunity to cynically parlay it into a serene, tranquil summer in the gated community of your dreams.

You can bet the petition is already being written.

Reply to  Sandpiper
3 years ago

Sandpiper – did you reread your post before clicking *submit*. The “nicest, most pleasant” year since you moved to Cobourg. I have no words to describe this type of attitude….it is, in part, what is wrong with our community today.

Reply to  Rob
3 years ago

If “less is more” for our community, should we conclude that absolutely nothing is the ultimate ideal that we should all strive for?

Last edited 3 years ago by JimT
SW Buyer
Reply to  JimT
3 years ago

In a perfect world where everyone is self sufficient…YES. However, that is not the world we live in. In practical terms, the Town should be focused on their primary business….providing essential basic municipal services. In addition, based on widespread benefit to the Town’s residents, and popular demand, some extras…a few “nice to haves”.

Reply to  SW Buyer
3 years ago

Could someone enlighten me as to whether “out of towners” were charged extra for participating in the Virtual Sandcastle Festival?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Conor
3 years ago

For 2019, https://experiencecobourg.ca/cobourg-sandcastle-festival/ says that the fee was $5 with no mention of a fee difference between residents and visitors. I don’t believe that there was a fee for the virtual event.