Welcome to Cobourg, a historic town located in Southern Ontario, Canada. Situated 95 km (59 mi) east of Toronto and 62 km (39 mi) east of Oshawa, Cobourg is home to a vibrant community and a rich cultural heritage. Its nearest neighbour is Port Hope, 7 km (4 mi) to the west. Cobourg is the largest town in and seat of Northumberland County and is surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of Lake Ontario to the south and Hamilton Township to the north, east, and west.
Cobourg has a fascinating history stretching back to its founding by United Empire Loyalists in 1798 within Northumberland County, Home District, Province of Upper Canada. The town was originally a group of smaller villages such as Amherst and Hardscrabble, which were later named Hamilton. In 1818, the town was renamed Cobourg in recognition of the marriage of Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. By the 1830s, Cobourg had become a regional center due to its fine harbor on Lake Ontario. In 1835, the Upper Canada Academy was established in Cobourg by Egerton Ryerson and the Wesleyan Conference of Bishops. On 1 July 1837, Cobourg was officially incorporated as a town. In 1841, the Upper Canada Academy’s name was changed to Victoria College, and in 1842, Victoria College was granted powers to confer degrees.
Cobourg is also known for its railway history. The timber and other resources of Cobourg’s large hinterland were identified as the key to its prosperity. By 1835, there was active discussion about building a railway up to what later became Harwood, but instead, the townspeople invested in a plank road. By 1852, there was considerable enthusiasm for the railway project within the town, and a 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) long bridge across Rice Lake was built to take the railway right up to Peterborough. However, all the revenue had to be ploughed into building an ill-fated bridge, using hundreds of wooden trestles, 31 Burr Truss spans, and a center-pivot swing bridge to allow boats to pass. The railway reverted to linking Cobourg harbor with Harwood and the Rice Lake water traffic. In 1865, the railway was bought by a consortium of Pittsburgh steel manufacturers, who had already bought the Marmora Iron quarries north-east of Rice Lake. They established an iron-ore supply route using barges up the Trent River and across Rice Lake to the railway at Harwood. From there, it was brought along the Railway to Cobourg Harbor for shipment across Lake Ontario to feed the steel mills of America. This provided a steady income for the railway and the town until the ore ran out in 1878.
Cobourg has many attractions for visitors to explore. Victoria Hall stands at the heart of the downtown, a building that now serves as the town hall, as well as home of the Art Gallery of Northumberland, the Cobourg Concert Hall, and an Old Bailey-style courtroom that is now used as the Council chamber. Heritage Center is one of the oldest buildings in the town and is now open as the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre. Cobourg Jail, originally referred to as The County Jail, is now a tourist attraction called the King George Inn with the jail still intact to see or stay in. Cobourg also boasts a beautiful waterfront, home to a stunning sandy beach and a boardwalk that connects the harbor and the beach. Cobourg’s downtown is also home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, and galleries.
Cobourg has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The town is easily accessible via Highway 401 and Northumberland County Road 2 (formerly Highway 2). County Road 45 (formerly