Marine News from the Great Lakes

Cobourg, Ontario

Published: Friday, May 21, 2010 10:30 am
By: Cobourg Tourism

Ontario's Feel Good Town

It's true. There are some things you just shouldn't miss out on. Cobourg is called Ontario's "feel good town" for a wealth of good reasons: a spectacular beach, boardwalk and marina, beautiful parks and gardens, gorgeous tree-lined streets and historic buildings - all with an appealing small-town charm and leisurely pace.

Cobourg Marina & the Waterfront

Cobourg is renowned for its marina, a gathering spot for boaters from all over Ontario and across the lake. The heritage downtown with its unique shops and restaurants is an easy walk from all the fun at the shore. The expansive beach and boardwalk is a vacation playground for boaters, swimmers and anyone ready to soak up the sunshine or kick off their shoes for a dash into the waves where the water is incredible. There's fun for the whole family with a splash pad and play equipment, not to mention the lakeshore boardwalk to the cooling shade under the trees in nearby Victoria Park, the perfect escape from the ordinary. Here, throughout the summer, boaters can enjoy a variety of outdoor entertainment with free concerts in the bandshell Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Movies in the Park on selected nights.


Cobourg puts out the welcome mat year-round, and loves to throw a party! In fact, Cobourg draws thousands of visitors to its festivals every year, so join in the fun.

On Canada Day weekend, come to Cobourg for one of the biggest bashes of the year. An old-fashioned parade with marching bands, floats and clowns starts off the weekend, and a fireworks show fires up the sky over the harbour as a finishing touch. That same weekend, the annual Waterfront Festival is a jam-packed-with-fun family event. All along the waterfront, huge tents are filled with fine arts, crafts and delicacies. There are musicians performing, outdoor barbecues grilling, and a carnival midway along the pier with rides, games and all the sugar you could want with caramel corn, chocolate-dipped ice cream and cotton candy.

If you're an engineer that needs some serious playtime, come and enter the Cobourg Sandcastle festival at the beach in August. Also, shoppers will love the annual Cobourg Sidewalk Sale that features the town's stores and services in the downtown core, some of them family-run businesses for many years. And who can resist a farmers market, brimming with fresh vegetables, fruits, home baking and crafts? Every Saturday, May to December from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. right behind Victoria Hall at the heat of Cobourg, local vendors carry on the tradition of the market.


When the American War of Independence was declared by our neighbours to the south, many loyal British citizens sought out new land to raise their families in peace. Some packed up their belongings and moved to eastern Ontario with its waterways and untouched land for clearing. Families of these United Empire Loyalists settled in what was to become Cobourg in 1798. It was named Cobourg in 1819 in honour of the marriage of Princess Charlotte to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, Germany, which is Cobourg's twin-city today.

Throughout the 1800's, Cobourg saw an economic boom of some significance as many American industrialists located here and built estate homes, many which still line the streets today. Construction of the town hall, Victoria Hall, in the town square, began in 1856. It was designed by renowned architect Kivas Tully and opened with much fanfare by the Prince of Wales in September of 1860.

 The town later became a popular vacation destination and was reputed to have an exceptionally high ozone level for optimal good health.

Come experience the history of Cobourg yourself with a self-guided walking tour. A guidebook and other details are available from the tourism office. Join a guided ghost walk to uncover the darker mysteries of town, or you can also take a guided tour of historic Victoria Hall.


The thrill of the hunt, the delight of the find, and the satisfaction of the purchase... shopping is one of the mainstays of any vacation, whether it's searching out a few choice souvenirs or the perfect handbag, you'll find it in Cobourg - a shopping walkway for antiques, fashion and home décor. When you want to escape the city hustle and really feel that you can browse and take your sweet time, this is where you do it. The historic downtown streetscape is a backdrop to a wide variety of shops and unique finds. When you need to re-energize, stop at a neighbourhood café or tea room for lunch or one of several salon and spas for a treatment.

To complement the downtown sidewalks, Cobourg has a number of retail plazas and Northumberland Mall, a short drive from downtown, for a mix of chain stores and specialty merchants. And, really, no vacation is complete without browsing the shops.


Today's busy world leaves little time for doing nothing. There's so much on the to-do list that taking care of yourself never seems to become part of the routine. A holiday away from it all let's us focus on what we need to feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

Cobourg has a long tradition of wellness. In the mid-1800s, the town was linked with pure air for health and healing. Today, more that 100 practitioners of message, acupuncture, yoga and other holistic therapies provide services in the community. You can unwind with a massage or detoxifying body wrap, be pampered with a moisturizing facial with fruit enzyme treatment, or re-energize with tai chi or mediation. It's all about you!

For more information about Cobourg, Ontario, visit

tags: Destination, Lake Ontario

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