Victoria Hall, beautiful and stately, was officially opened in 1860 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. The hall is regarded as one of Ontario’s great treasures, as a noble edifice and the centre of public activity. The area was first cleared by Loyalists in the late 1700s, and grew quickly to become a hub for commerce and education. By the early 1900s, its location on Lake Ontario made it a popular spot for Americans to vacation and build opulent summer homes. Many of the grand homes still stand, and the tourism tradition continues!
It’s a world away experience…close to home.
Free guided tours of Victoria Hall are offered daily in July and August.
You can also explore the rich history and architecture with a free guided tour of the heritage district and waterfront on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in July and August. Or embark on your own self-guided tour of the historically-designated buildings in town.
Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre tells the story of Cobourg’s military service and railroad boom times. Visit the exhibit hall, a restored limestone building known as the Barracks, one of the oldest in town, and an accompanying vintage workman’s cottage. Open May to mid-October.
Your next stay at one of our heritage inns will give you the best of the elegant past and plush modern comforts. The Woodlawn Inn, built in 1835, was originally home to town leader Ebenezer Perry. Many of the architectural details are still preserved, like the dramatic Regency-style entrance. The Della Casa family has run the inn since its 1988 restoration, and the award-winning dining room (and 3,000-bottle wine cellar) has hosted the celebrations of several generations of returning clientele. Dinner theatre and live jazz nights are also a draw.
“I have a real rapport with my guests,” says Stephen Della Casa, also an accredited sommelier. “It’s about making people happy…Cobourg is unique, it’s not cookie-cutter, with the water, the rolling hills, the greenery. You can have a great experience in a very special part of Ontario.”
MacKecknie House Bed and Breakfast was the dream home built by a woolen mill operator Stuart Mackecknie in the Greek Revival style. The beautiful mansion, with its high ceilings and equally high windows, reportedly housed Scottish artillery in the 1860s. Host and professional caterer, Cathryn Thompson, is renowned for her gourmet breakfasts and “very strong, very very fresh” coffee! Private cooking classes available, along with prized culinary secrets.