Cobourg announces free walking tours

By Cecilia Nasmith

The Town of Cobourg's marketing-and-events department announces a new partnership with the Cobourg Museum Foundation and the Marie Dressler Foundation to offer free Experience Cobourg Walking Tours to all during July and August.

The town's Experience Ambassadors will conduct the free tours Wednesdays through Sundays, beginning at 1 p.m. in the hobby at Victoria Hall (55 King St. W.), the press release said.

Each tour includes an historical overview of the development and restoration of the magnificent town hall, followed by tours of both the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre and the Marie Dressler Museum (where knowledgeable staff and volunteers will greet the visitors).

The Cobourg Museum Foundation (which operates the Sifton-Cook centre) was founded in 1999 with the goal of sharing the area's unique local history. Operating out of the town's oldest limestone building, it welcomes visitors to discover this history through photos, videos and interactive exhibits not to mention the 250-ft. 1/20-scale operating model of the Cobourg and Peterborough Railway running the length of the Ontario Street property.

Marie Dressler is considered one of the greatest comediennes of her generation (yes, that's what they used to call female comedians back in her day), as well as the highest-grossing film star in Hollywood at her peak. She won the 1931 Best Actress Oscar for her role as Min in the hit comedy Min and Bill. Two years later, she became the first actor and the first Canadian to make the cover of Time magazine. Visitors can learn more about this amazing life and career through interactive digital exhibitions on display at her birthplace, 212 King St. W.

The tours begin July 10 in front of Victoria Hall at 1 p.m. For more information, visit or call the Cobourg tourism hotline at 1-888-Cobourg (1-888-262-6874).

AEDs are on the Cobourg waterfront again this summer

By Cecilia Nasmith

From left, Town of Cobourg Experience Ambassador Sam Brown, Northumberland Paramedics Deputy Chief Susan Brown, paramedic Ersie Cornish and Victoria Park Campground attendant Diana May.

For the second year in a row, Northumberland Paramedics are partnering with the Town of Cobourg to station two Automated External Defibrillators at the Cobourg waterfront during the busy summer season.

These portable devices offer immediate medical support to victims of sudden cardiac arrest until paramedics arrive and, as such, are vital for high-traffic areas, paramedics chief Bill Detlor said in the county press release.

In fact, immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in combination with early access to automated defibrillation may increase the chance of survival for a victim of sudden cardiac arrest by 75% or more.

“AEDs allow bystanders to take immediate action that may save a life during a medical emergency,” Detlor said.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with the town to make these life-saving devices available.”

Throughout the summer, one of the on-loan AEDs will be located at the Waterfront Tourism Information Booth near the canteen and splash pad, while the other will be stationed at Victoria Park Campground.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with Northumberland Paramedics again this year to ensure that the waterfront is a safe destination for residents and tourists,” Cobourg Emergency Planner Shannon Murphy added.

“With a significant number of visitors to our waterfront during the summer months, it is important that we have safety measures like this in place to be able to quickly and effectively respond to an emergency.”

Feds chip in $71-million toward improved cellular broadband and connectivity

By Cecilia Nasmith

Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd has announced a Federal contribution of $71-million toward the Eastern Ontario Regional Network's mobile-broadband project.

Speaking in Codrington on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, she joined EORN chair J. Murray Jones to make the announcement. The press release issued afterwards offered further numbers.

Once complete, the project will improve mobile coverage for more than 1.1-million residents in 102 Eastern Ontario Communities, allowing businesses to grow and reach new markets (and, over 10 years, potentially create 3,000 full-time jobs).

For residents and families, it might be as simple as better access to mobile applications on smartphone or tablet, not to mention a more reliable means for people in remote areas to call for help in an emergency.

Phase one of this project involves building 317 new telecommunications towers and an additional 32 local internet access points to improve overall mobile coverage. Phase two will identify capacity gaps that result from heavy user traffic, upgrading equipment to reduce network overloads and improve service quality in rural communities.

It's very much a partnership with the province having recently announced its own $71-million investment to match the $71-million coming from the Government of Canada under the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream of the Investing In Canada Plan. As well, the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus will provide $10-million toward the project, with private partners making up the rest of the funding.

Rudd said in the press release that this is an exciting day, as the broadband gap begins to close.

“We're now seeing a future where every residence and business in this country, no matter how rural or remote, has a reasonable and reliable rate of internet connectivity,” she stated.

“This is something we can all be very proud of.”

Port Hope swimmer excels at Ontario Youth Junior Championships

By Cecilia Nasmith

Sixteen-year-old Abby Teno of Port Hope was at the recent Ontario Youth Junior Championships June 27 to 30 in Brantford at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre and did – as Northumberland Aquatic Club head coach Trish MacNeil put it – a phenomenal meet.

MacNeil listed five medals just to start – gold in the 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, with silver in 200 IM (this stands for Individual Medley, a routine that showcases proficiency in a prescribed variety of strokes) and bronze in 100 backstroke. She also placed 7th in 100 freestyle.

“She achieved some personal-best times and qualified in five events for the Eastern Canadian Championships,” MacNeil continued.

“Abby also won the high point award for 16-and-over girls.”

Good performances were also turned in by other club members. MacNeil added - Jack Stratford, Mackenzie Ross, Megan and Rebecca Jones.

“Abby is a pleasure to coach. She comes prepared to all practices and meets and works extremely hard. She is also an instructor in our swim school program,” the coach said.

Rigorous training played a part, Abby said a few days after the meet, but she's also benefiting from a new attitude.

“I have learned that, mentally, I need to have fun. I have been way too critical on myself, put on a lot of pressure. I need to relax and have fun with it more,” she explained.

The daughter of proud parents Terry and Robin Teno, Abby has always loved swimming. But her big sister Sarah – a member of the Northumberland Aquatic Club – inspired her to take it a step further, join the club and get competitive.

Ten years later, Abby is still with the club. Sarah remains with the club, as well, as a coach.

The competitive edge hasn't abated, Abby said, sharing her goal of competing nationally. She is edging ever closer to those all-important qualifying times.

It's not just that seconds matter, she said. Tenths of a second matter - and she will keep whittling away at them.

Downtown festival brings transit detours and changes

By Cecilia Nasmith

When the Food and Music Festival comes to downtown Cobourg July 6, certain detours and route adjustments to Cobourg Transit.

The town's press release gave further details regarding both routes affected.

Route 1 will miss the :44 stop on Division Street and will access the terminal by travelling west on University Avenue, then south on Spring Street to Albert Street. All other stops remain unchanged.

Terminal stops on Route 2 will be moved to Third Street beside the Third Street parking lot, with all other stops to remain unchanged.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the engineering department at 905-372-4555.

Councillors report on graduation season

By Cecilia Nasmith

Cobourg councillors shared stories this week about attending local graduations, but Councillor Aaron Burchat reminded everyone that not every graduating class is from a high school.

Burchat recently attended the graduation of a class of seven Cobourg Police Service auxiliary officers.

“These individuals are just beyond amazing,” he stated.

These new grads were most recently seen working hard alongside the Cobourg Police Service officers at the Waterfront Festival, but have also been spotted at such public-service functions as the car-seat clinics for new parents (and older ones who may not be sure their car seats are correctly installed, Burchat said).

Not all are from Cobourg, Burchat continued. They come from as far away as Warkworth and even Toronto to volunteer for the good of the Cobourg community.

“One of these individuals not only does her full-time job – she is also a volunteer firefighter in Port Hope as well as volunteering for us,” he said.

“I think that's excellent to see. And I would highly recommend anyone who sees these individuals, just thank them because this is all volunteer.”

Councillor Adam Bureau had his own graduation story to share, as he attended celebrations at the Centre for Individual Studies.

“It's really inspiring to see all the adults graduating,” Bureau said.

“The oldest one was 65, and that is just fantastic.”

Handmades for Littles gets bylaw exemption

By Cecilia Nasmith

The Handmades for Littles markets at the Cobourg Community Centre will receive an exemption to the Itinerant Bylaw, following a motion at Cobourg council this week by Councillor Aaron Burchat.

Burchat made the motion in acknowledgement of the revenue to the centre from the rental of the space and the fact that the $2 admission is a charitable donation – with non-perishable food items also accepted.

Organizer Davra Young's request said that the events welcome vendors who offer hand-made wares for babies and children. Their April 28 Handmades for Littles Spring Market brought in 35 vendors and almost 300 shoppers (90% of whom made at least one purchase). As a result, they were able to donate $465.60 to Rebound Child and Youth Services and two large bins of food to Northumberland Fare Share food bank.

Young has two more planned – a Sept. 29 Handmade For Littles Fall Market and a Nov. 17 Handmade For The Holidays Market (which is actually for all ages).

CCC Hockey Camp

By Pete Campbell

The Cobourg Community Centre is a hub of activity with the "Puck It" hockey camp this week.

One of the instructors has pro hockey connections. Ben Boudreau is the head coach of East Coast Hockey League's Fort Wayne Komets and the son of long time NHL coach Bruce Boudreau, currently the head coach of the Minnesota Wild.