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Residents of the Townhouses that face onto the Esplanade are concerned about the traffic in the area – both on Division Street and the Esplanade.  On Division the problem they point to is bad planning of parking spaces and the large number of entrances onto Division between Albert and the Pier.  On the Esplanade, they point to its increasing use as a through road with users often speeding well above the 20Km/hr limit as well as creating unacceptable noise levels.  There is no marked pedestrian crossing on the Esplanade and as Jon Tondeur says in a letter to Council:  “From our viewpoint, many drivers make no effort to stop for pedestrians and there is no indication they should do so”. (Jon is chairman of the board of Condo #50 which is the Condo Corp for the common elements of these units.)

Division Street

These units were built about 10 years ago but since then traffic has increased, especially in the summer and when there are events in Town and it’s exacerbated by the new Beach Walk development which will have 10 new units plus 2 commercial units on the ground floor. There are 28 new parking spaces but some are for Marca's and the two residential units above. The owners are asking for a traffic study to be done although they have a number of suggestions including eliminating the parking spaces on Division immediately north of their driveway. It's now designated for Motorcycles and one car - see photo below.

They have been discussing the issue with the consultant for the Waterfront Project – one idea that they proposed was a traffic circle at the Division/Esplanade intersection. As Jon says in his letter:

While this is a creative idea, we believe that this is both impractical and dangerous. There does not appear to be enough room to build an adequate circle and we cannot understand how this would allow passage of the large camper units using the trailer park. The semiannual need to transport the boats to and from the pier through this intersection does not seem to have been considered and appears prohibitive.


Jon Tondeur says:

The Esplanade was built as a park road, does not have addressed residents, and was not plowed or otherwise serviced in winter for the first years after our Townhouses were first occupied in 2006. It is narrow and curved in design, has a low speed limit of 20km/hr, and seems clearly to have been intended for a slow scenic drive along our waterfront. This concept is good but unfortunately both vehicle and pedestrian traffic growth over the last 10 years has caused increasing problems. Many bicycles, motorcycles, boat and house trailers now use this roadway. Many Cobourg residents and tradesmen also use this road as an east-west alternative to Albert St.  Increasingly, offenders speed excessively and are a significant noise problem. Unfortunately this problem is not isolated to a specific time of day or season……

We are particularly concerned that there is no safe, designated crossing over the Esplanade, from Rotary Park to the Waterfront. From our viewpoint, many drivers make no effort to stop for pedestrians and there is no indication they should do so. Visitors who don't know Cobourg are left to fend for themselves and crossing is often very difficult and dangerous, especially for young families carrying equipment and supplies to the beach. On the curving and relatively narrow road, many oversized vehicles have trouble passing.
During peak season, especially on event weekends, this situation reaches chaos levels. We have discussed with the current Waterfront Plan consultants various possibilities for reducing this problem. Should there be a designated pedestrian crossing from Rotary Park to the Esplanade green area? Should The Esplanade roadway be closed between the end parking lots, either partially or completely, during peak season? Should it be made one -way during peak season?

The letter was presented to Council at the end of the regular Council meeting on August 21 (at the end of a marathon of meetings).  It was referred to Staff for a report.

I think the traffic in this area is of interest to more than just the local residents.  Division Street on event days in this area is chaotic and although the Esplanade was not intended as a through road, it has become one.  The letter from Jon Tondeur is respectful and rational and his call for a traffic study (during a peak period) makes a lot of sense (and no, I don’t live there although I do live nearby).

Download his complete letter.

Esplanade and Division Esplanade and Division

Esplanade and Division Esplanade and Division


Selected Comments

 Copied here in anticipation of being lost with future updates.

It was a very quiet peaceful place when we moved here and was for many years prior to .
Then the down town died and the idea that Cobourg's Eco. Park and beach became the all mighty commercial saviour for the Town. I believe a property tax reduction is due to those property owners
now living in a Commercialized area .

Cobourg's waterfront was slow in morphing into the type of waterfront that was developing in many places. We were lucky. Some other municipalities ended up cutting off the waterfront from public access with private development. And not that long ago, it was a time many people thought living by the lake was too cold and windy.

In fact the waterfront in Cobourg was planned (there is a secondary plan appendix to the Official Plan, somewhere in archives now) to be lined with commercial and retail on the ground floor with residential above ... like on King Street and also a revitalized Albert Street. There were hopes for a hotel on what is now Harbourwalk 1 and 2. A new street was planned between Albert Street and the marina.

The waterfront in changing from coal piles and fuel storage tanks was planned to be, first, to attract people ... a public people place. Residential condominium development became too big a component but a tax benefit for the town.

So, no, I do not support your suggestion that a property tax reduction is warranted for people who feel they are living in a commercialized area. And, it might be helpful to think of Cobourg planning as European ... more like those lively culturally rich destinations many people tend to visit and enjoy when they leave town on holiday. I am a baby boomer, connected to Cobourg originally by birth, and the last place I want to be is in a boring, over regulated and socially stratified community.

Thank you for reading to the end of my rant. I think Cobourg overall is moving, slowly, in the right direction.

And, I tend to agree with Ewok's observations below.

Simplest answer here folks - change nothing about this particular part of the roadway aside of enforcing existing by-laws and traffic laws. On weekends, holidays, warm summers evening, spring afternoons and cooler fall days this is a thriving and vital part of the community. If you bought or built and are now complaining (about noise, traffic or people) my advice is talk to your agent and hang a for sale sign in your window. If you’re a NIMBY, there are plenty of beautiful, quaint communities and hamlets in wonderful Northumberland County, Quinte West or PEC maybe it’s time for a relocation. As for the picnic tables at the ice-cream parlour, seriously get over it. It impedes nothing and provides a great little spot for young and old to sit, in shade, have an ice cream and people watch. I'd recommend the owner(s) of Harbourlight Delights apply for a variance to allow for those tables to remain every year.

Personally, I'd like to see all vehicular traffic permanently banned from the pier all together; cover it with grass, a boardwalk, trees, benches and swings...perhaps someone should lead this project. 

I have to agree with the idea of making the pier pedestrian only. It does have nice views to enjoy and encouraging people to park their cars and walk is a benefit. It would also have the secondary bonus of reducing congestion at times in that area.

An event park in another area of the Town would also take pressure off Victoria Park. Events such as Ribfest to me can be relocated to an area purpose built for events such as that. Having a small amphitheatre there would be an asset. Of course location would be challenged by the NIMBY crowd.

Getting a little tired of the usual comments bashing the people who dare to live by the harbour (starting to sound like sour grapes!) although we have a great view of the lake and harbour we also overlook a (in season) very busy car park, we knew that when we purchased and have no complaints, also don't complain about the chaotic congestion on holiday weekends and Canada day celebrations!
What does concern me are cars speeding along the Esplanade with so many young families loading and unloading their cars, we have seen several near misses with excited children running into the road.
There is also an issue with noise, we accept that living in this area will always be somewhat noisy but the noise levels created by the cars, trucks and motorcycles with modified exhausts speeding on and off the pier is quite ridiculous, it's bad enough on the Esplanade and it must be terrible on Division.
Finally, Ben, we do enjoy a drop of wine and love lake gazing so if you and the plebs want to continue enjoying yourselves in front of our (very expensive) property that's fine by us.

If you were to restrict vehicle access on the pier good cut down on a lot of that traffic down Division. Summer vendors and a walkable pier would be fabulous. I agree a crosswalk makes sense between the parkings lots on the esplanade and we have a responsibility to make it safe. On one hand we complain that folks don't visit downtown ; on the other we want to take away even more parking? The reality is in the summer everyone wants to be by the lake. I too lived down there and saw the traffic and people as just another part of living downtown, like you would anywhere.

In 2015, Harbour Delights was informed by by-law enforcement officers that the picnic tables and umbrellas in front of their store violate the boulevard by-law as well as constituting a safety hazard by obstructing sight lines.
The picnic tables are still there.
As far as the Esplanade is concerned. It has been my experience that people buy premium properties that have an unobstructed view over public lands.
The next thing they want to do is to prevent the public from using those public lands citing safety concerns - always a favourite - 'None Sense' (sic) noise and another favourite - garbage.

I agree with most of Ben's Comments but you have to take into consideration that the Taxes
for a Harbour front Town House are more than double that if not more than those at Oxford Court and those are equally as nice town homes without the Nonsense, Noise and Garbage. The Water front owners do pay for the location in more ways than one . But the respect for Tranquility and peace full enjoyment which we are all entitled to is no Longer It went out the window with the Towns failing downtown rejuvenation
Not to mention we don't have any garbage pickup or anything else supplied for that matter .
and yes the idea of Commercial Mix it should be the correct mix . You don't see any family homes in the middle of the CNE do you .
As for bicycles , skateboarders etc please use the Bike path that was built just for you not the road or the sidewalk

First of all this a Town problem dating back to the idea that condos should prevail and then failing to plan for the development. For instance if the required commercial/mixed residential zoning had been followed instead of being creatively manipulated by the planning department and the developer the developer would have been responsible for a more reasonable parking plan that would have coped with the recommended commercial space.

But now we have NIMBY problem, the Town owns the land and filled it up with parking spaces, now the laws of unintended consequences kick in and all kinds of problems exist.

Really if all the parking garages are on the North side of the condos why do we need a road and parking here after all? Perhaps the Yacht Club should petition the Town to loan them the money to buy the travel lift they want and then the condo owners can have peace and quiet. But only if the picnicers that would populate the area would keep quiet, after all we don't want the wine drinking and lake gazing, of the afflluent (this is not perjorative but truthful who else can afford a million dollar abode) to be interrupted by sounds and sights of 'plebs' enjoying themselves, do we?

I don't know, I am down in that area most days. Either jogging, cycling or with my wife and small child. I have yet seen anything that would cause any concern to my safety or that of my child. As for fending for myself, again I have never had an issues crossing. Sure a sign or crossing would be helpful. If you want to see kids getting hurt frequently go to the splash pad and watch their heads bounce on the ground as they slip on the yellow raised half circle in the pad. Town has been made aware of that.


As a condo resident on the Esplanade for 9 years, I have witnessed young children running out on the road and thank God there was no speeders at that moment, experienced such vehicle noise that I have had to leave my balcony with its spectacular water view and retreat to the indoors....doors and windows closed and witnessed the east parking lot parkers throw diapers, garbage and constant foul language and arguments. Please restore it to parkland and consider building a PARKING GARAGE. I am very pleased to see this issue addressed....hope to see huge changes sometime in my lifetime.

This same parking lot delema also applies to the WEST PARKING LOT OFF THIRD ST.

I feel for this situation but it's a little like moving beside train tracks and complaining about the noise. I believe the Esplanade predated the development but maybe I'm wrong?

All great comments
A one way st. in front of the Town home s running east to west would be an excellent Idea that way more traffic would circulate to the north when they get to the end and up to King st to all those businesses that the Town is bringing Tourist here for.
Yes the Parking on the west side of Division now for Micro cars needs to be addressed and eliminated not safe as it is .
Food Delivery and Construction Trucks a night mare makes Division a 1 lane st. and lets not to forget those weekend Busloads of Tourist ( 6 on average ) that park and off every AM and reload PM in front of the Town Homes for lengthy periods of time its down to 1 lane there as well .

Then there are all those families with Children that haul everything from Carpets now instead of the old beach blanket,coolers , cases of water, toys , beach chairs and umbrellas and sun huts , basically they bring the living room .
As for Sailor's parking I have been here a long time it was industry and Coal yard Private and full of Pot Holes --- properly pave and grade the rest of the lot by the Yacht Club ,
The Noise from all sources is a real issue not only for the Town home and condo owners across the water front but also the ones on Division st so it just goes to show the Towns Newly imposed Noise By Law is not enforced
and they are slow to react to any calls and complaints both the By Law enforcement and Police especially after dark.
The Town has basically ignored the chaos it is creating between home / condo ownership ,peaceful enjoyment and the ali mighty tourist dollar

As a condo resident on the Esplanade for 9 years, I have witnessed young children running out on the road and thank God there was no speeders at that moment, experienced such vehicle noise that I have had to leave my balcony with its spectacular water view and retreat to the indoors....doors and windows closed and witnessed the east parking lot parkers throw diapers, garbage and constant foul language and arguments. Please restore it to parkland and consider building a PARKING GARAGE. I am very pleased to see this issue addressed....hope to see huge changes sometime in my lifetime.

Noise? It is quite regular that yard maintenance trucks pull up in front of the condos, and the harbourfront fills with the noise of power mowers, power hedge trimmers, power leaf blowers, power grass trimmers. There is also the constant clanging of sailboat ropes. I do recall the quiet before the condos came; it was sublime.

What about the noise from from the Rochester Car ferries? Sublime too?
ONTARIO No 1 was fitted with berths for 90 people, buffet facilities, a music room, and what were by the standards of the car ferries, ample public accommodations. She was licensed for 1000 deck passengers.
In the off season, the ferries carried freight.
Must have been noisy business.

They were not around when I was romancing.

How do you (or others) cut the grass, trim the hedges, blow the leaves and trim the grass around your home? Push mowers, rakes and manual clippers?

We live in the area and have witnessed numerous close calls with young children exiting their vehicles in the two parking lots along the esplanade. My preference would be to close the roadway between and have grass from Rotary Park to the bike path. Alternately barricade the roadway between the two parking lots and open them only to transport boats during spring and fall when boats are put in and taken out 

  • Wally Keeler Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The trailer park is empty at the same time that the yachts are removed from the water. They could easily be stored in the trailer park. This is an idea that Manfred Schumann suggested.

  • Marelar Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Has anyone considered using bollards at each end of the Esplanade? Most bollards that I have seen are fixed -- but in Europe (France, e.g.) there are retractable bollards at each end of wide streets that have become pedestrian walkways with shops, etc. I saw a delivery truck which must have had some kind of electronic "gizmo" activate the bollard to retract into the pavement so that it could pass. I know there is a cost to this - and probably the retractable ones are even more expensive -- but a bollard system might (?) alleviate some concerns. BTW, the retractable bollard system was used in snow-belt areas. I don't know how reliable or what maintenance issues are involved....or what kind (if any) fee should be applied to residents, boaters, businesses using a retractable technology is feasible.

  • Old Sailor Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The parking area in front of the town houses used to be for boaters who are paying around $3,000+ for a summer slip - which is supposed to include parking in those two lots. With all the activity in the park, beach and tourist community the lots are full on nice summer days and the boaters have nowhere to park. The town house owners must be beside themselves with the constant traffic. Which will get worse. Perhaps the trailer park should be a parking lot as no new lots were provided when the townhouses were built and park activities increased.

  • Mike Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Not really amusing Bob, we should be proactive and not wait for a potentially serious accident to occur. The car park facing the harbour is particularly dangerous with young families loading/unloading their vehicles alongside the Esplanade, and we have seen a number of near misses with young children running into the road. Division is not much better with (extremely loud) cars, trucks and motorcycles being driven off the pier at high speed through an area congested with pedestrians.

  • Charlie Tuesday, 29 August 2017

All the more reason to move the Trailer Park further East or West

  • where is Cobourg Sunday, 03 September 2017

What trailer park?

  • Frank Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Last evening around 6PM while sitting on the benches at the ice cream parlour with my wife and grandson, a large black pickup sped past noisily on lower Division street on its way to the pier. There were many people enjoying the late summer evening in the area at this time. I have no hesitation in saying this is a dangerous situation, and it's not the first time we've seen this type of careless activity. I do not live in the area.

  • Frenchy Monday, 28 August 2017

Add this into the mix.
Exiting Charles St. is testy with that large tree trunk blocking the view looking south, not to mention all the bodies that congregate in front of the ice cream parlour.

  • Bob Monday, 28 August 2017

Amusing how the term dangerous is used to describe traffic in the area. A quick check of police records over the past few years should be reported to either validate or discredit.


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