Recent Posts

Cobourg Heritage Committee lends support to window replacement

An application to use heritage-style vinyl windows received support from the Cobourg Heritage Committee Wednesday night, but failed to have enough members to give it approval. Cobourg Heritage Planner Stephen Ashton said he would do a phone poll of other committee members and, if supportive, he would give the application staff approval. This means the item will not go before Cobourg council. Vinyl windows have received criticism from some politicians in the past few months. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Bagot Street heritage home faces possible demolition

By Robert Washburn

[singlepic id=7 w=320 h=240 float=right]A historic house on Bagot Street could face the wrecker’s ball, if it is deemed structurally unsound after a fire last spring gutted the building, the town’s heritage committee decided Wednesday night. The town’s heritage planner, Stephen Ashton, said the Ontario Vernacular Cottage, at 139 Bagot Street, built in 1875, was seriously damaged inside the building. The cost to repair is estimated to be approximately $197,000, according to a report brought before the committee. However, the situation is more complex because the report states the building did not have sufficient insurance to cover the cost of repair. There is no town bylaws demanding heritage property owners purchase sufficient insurance to repair historic buildings, Ashton said. Continue Reading →

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Get serious about heritage or go home

The debate over a proposal to install new windows at 14-16 King St. West in the Heritage District in Cobourg represents the very worst of preservation policies and politics Monday night. Landlords Karen and Joan Chalovich were in the public gallery when council received its report from staff about a proposal to replace an old set of windows with some new ones along the main street in the downtown. Joan Chalovich, a former mayor, was one of the people who was instrumental in getting a heritage district for Cobourg. She is also a long-time supporter of Barnum House in Grafton, the county’s museum and one of the most important historical buildings in West Northumberland. Continue Reading →

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LACAC fiddles while Cobourg's downtown heritage burns

First published: April 24, 2005

by Keith Oliver

Without question, the standing committee appointed by town council
to provide it with recommendations on matters of protecting and enhancing
Cobourg’s built-heritage, is clearly failing to do so. That committee is
Cobourg’s Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, otherwise
know as LACAC. The evidence I have is my recent experience attending and
presenting information to three separate LACAC meetings, two of them
special meetings called on 24 hours notice to accommodate the developer of
the Shoppers-Mr Sub project. Based on what I saw, I can say without
reservation, that meeting agendas are poorly constructed; the meetings
themselves are so badly run that they represent little more than pure
chaos; motions are voted on and later left to the secretary to define;
Planning Coordinator and town council liaison Councillor Dean McCaughey is
allowed to have undue influence; and as a result, all the LACAC
recommendations to council that I have witnessed regarding the Shoppers-Mr
Sub project have failed to effectively address the issues of building
massing and location, facade design, its relevant to existing buildings,
and the opportunity the Shoppers-Mr Sub project represents to contribute to
the restoration of the heritage character of King Street at its western
gateway entrance. What we are now headed for is a Brighton-like presence of
a bastardized mall-style Shoppers Drug, totally exposed to King Street over
a 127.5 foot wide open surface parking lot, accompanied by a 40 foot by 40
foot Mr Sub which represents a travesty of heritage design. Continue Reading →

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