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Monthly meetings are held in Cobourg's Victoria Hall.

Cobourg and District Historical Society Meetings are held every month except May, June, July, August and December.  Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday in the Month.  Meetings start at 7:30 pm but coffee and cookies are available starting at 7:00 pm.  Meetings are $5 for non-members and free for members of the society and students. 

More on our About page.

Harbour, Waterfront and Beach

Cobourg BeachCobourg BeachCobourg is known for its harbour and beach.  The harbour was once used by large ships - at least by Lake Ontario standards and it was originally used as an industrial port but is now purely for leisure craft.  Medium sized craft can visit or call us home since Cobourg now has its own dredger to keep the harbour deep enough.

Cobourg's beach is known as the best from Toronto to about 2 hours East of Toronto and crowds on hot summer days attest to this.


A History by Percy Climo

The early settlers in the Cobourg area made use of water transportation for the movement of goods, chattels, products of the farm and forest and people. The crescent moon-shaped bay with sandy beaches, approximately one and quarter miles in length, attracted newcomers in season for overnight camping, and a resting place while en route to inland locations.

In calm weather, larger boats anchored in deeper water while goods and people were moved in small or jolly-boats to and from shore. Stormy weather made such landings very difficult if not impossible. The movements were cumbersome even under favourable circumstances.

A Short History

CYC was formed in 1964 by local men and women, with a mission to provide boaters and visitors with a place to gather and share their love of sailing. (More on the formation in Addendum below).  As the membership grew, improvements were made to the first clubhouse. In the early 1980’s, with an increased interest in boating and a change in the purpose of the harbour area from industrial to pleasure, plans were made to build a new clubhouse. Together with a BILD grant, donations and hours of CYC member volunteer work, the current clubhouse behind the marina was completed. The original clubhouse continues to be a sailing centre for the sailing school and centreboard craft.

On the waterfront; a look back at the history of Cobourg's waterfront

Cobourg harbour's early days had booms and busts - Aug 2/2005 by Vince Versace, Staff Writer, Northumberland News

COBOURG - Stand at the end of the Division Street pier, close your eyes and listen closely. The serene waterfront sounds of today are a far cry from the rumble of rolling coal cars, ship whistle shrieks and train engine roars which once defined golden ages of activity in Cobourg's waterfront.

Soot, sea and slime, Cobourg harbour 1950-1980 

Aug 9, 2005 by Vince Versace, Staff Writer, Northumberland News

COBOURG - There are now no reminders of the coal piles and oil drums which made Cobourg's waterfront a utilitarian place from 1950 to the early 1980s but not all industrial day memories are dull and dreary.

"We used to ride our bikes up the coal piles to see who could ride up them the highest," says Bill Fraser, Victoria Hall building maintenance supervisor. "Boy, you would get so dirty after playing in them and you would hear it from your mom when you got home."

Cobourg waterfront renaissance

Aug 16, 2005 by Vince Versace, Staff Writer, Northumberland News

COBOURG - From seafaring ships to leisure yachts and from oil tank fields to upscale condominiums, Cobourg's main harbour is far from the industrial wasteland it once was and the future of its downtown is staked on this renaissance.

In 2010, a group of Cobourg Citizens started the Cobourg Beach Society with the intent of making the West Beach open to all from the “traditional waterline to the water” despite the fact that there is still one landowner who insists that their property deed extends into the water and have fenced off their portion so that you are trespassing if you walk the full length of the West Beach.  That group disbanded in 2013 but before they did, they commissioned a Video which talked about the history of Cobourg’s Beaches.

See the video below.

Cobourg's East Beach was not always as it is now. This beach is the main one and is very busy on a hot summer day; it attracts tourists from Toronto and other locations.

The birth of Victoria Park in Cobourg

By: Ciara Ward, B.A.H., MLIS - archivist with CDHS Archives - Northumberland News, March 3, 2011

The story of how Cobourg became a town is intertwined with the story of how Victoria Park came to be.

Cobourg is generally agreed to have been founded in the late 1700s when settlers began to move in and clear lots of land to build their homes. The earliest record we have pertaining to Victoria Park dates back to 1824, when the land was mentioned in a collection of reminiscences. The description outlines the usage of the beach and harbour fronts as a camp site for the numerous British and Irish immigrants who were waiting to clear land to build their own homes.

In 1857, Edward M. Hodder, Commodore of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, published in Harbours and Ports of Lake Ontario a short description of Cobourg Harbour complete with directions to it and a sketch of its layout.