Ontario’s Feel Good Town
Waterfront / Marina
Arts + Culture
110 km east of Toronto
145 km west of Kingston
420 km from Montreal
295 km from Ottawa
2 exits from Hwy 401;
472 at Burnham Street, 474
at Division Street
"We didn’t see the ghost of Lena Field Fisher, who walks through
Victoria Hall at night. Next time!"
The Cobourg story / Celebrating our heritage and historical landmarks
Cobourg is a thriving community, expanding with new housing developments, industrial parkland and business incentive programs. Progress and growth are balanced by a strong commitment to preserving the town's rich and colourful heritage.
Architectural sites, tree-lined roads and notable town landmarks give Cobourg its character and charm – they are must-sees on the self-guided walking tour booklets available at the tourist office and kiosk. These streets are made for walking!
You can’t miss, of course, the palatial Victoria Hall at the heart of town, with Grecian columns and a rising clock tower overlooking the lake. This 1860 National Historic Site, faithfully restored to its original glory in 1983, houses the court, municipal offices, a gallery and concert hall, and sets the stage for visitors. It was named in honour of Queen Victoria, and her son, the Prince of Wales, attended the official opening ceremonies and grand ball, cementing Cobourg’s reputation as a centre of education and commerce along the waterway of Lake Ontario. Guided tours of Victoria Hall are offered year-round.
The town’s early days began with the United Empire Loyalists clearing land in the area in 1798. They had left their homes in the American colonies for war and revolution, and Cobourg is reported to have been a military post during the War of 1812. A limestone building downtown, known as the Barracks, may have served as a soldiers’ post, and is now the site of the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre museum filled with artifacts and photos. The settlement was named Cobourg in 1819, marking the marriage of Princess Charlotte to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, Germany, which is Cobourg’s twin city today.
Development and prosperity followed as British immigrants and American industrialists built estate homes here, many of which you’ll find along the quiet residential streets. Victoria College, constructed in 1832, later became one of Canada’s first universities to grant degrees.
By the early 1900s, Cobourg was renowned as a fashionable resort town, famous for its good air quality to promote health. American tourists travelled across the lake by boat or the popular ferry from Rochester, and many built lavish summer residences. The social scene blossomed with polo matches, garden parties and the prestigious Cobourg Horse Show.
The resort tradition continues with a world-class marina and beach, music and garden tours, a hub of wellness practitioners, and much to see and do.
Check out the events listing or give us a shout at 1-888-262-6874.
A thriving community with a gorgeous beach you don't have to hop a plane for, Cobourg has that perfect mix of small-town hospitality and urban sensibilities.
The heritage downtown has sidewalk cafes, great shopping and entertainment, all within a short walk from the lake. There are biking trails and rolling countryside to explore in all four seasons. And getting here is just an easy drive from Toronto and Kingston, perfect for a day or weekend getaway.
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