The town of Cobourg was founded in 1798. Originally called Hamilton, it was renamed Cobourg in 1819 to honour the marriage of the popular Princess Charlotte of England to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg (now part of Germany).
Today, residents can point to numerous historic buildings that reflect the communities proud heritage.
The town's economy is thriving. Cobourg is nestled along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, midway between Toronto and Kingston on Highway 401. More than 1,000 businesses make up its diverse economic base.
"Our prime location and ready access to the 401 has helped us become the regional hub for the retail commercial sector," says Wendy Gibson, Manager of the Community Development and Tourism office for Cobourg. "We also have a diversified manufacturing base, which we actively work to retain and enhance."
Cobourg offers a wide variety of dining and shopping experiences from the award-winning regional Northumberland Mall, with a variety of shops in an indoor setting, to well-known franchises and big box stores such as Wal-Mart, Staples, Sears, Home Depot and more.
A vibrant downtown shopping centre boasts unique shops, bakeries and business owners offering extraordinary customer service. It is a "people place" where you can enjoy outdoor cafes, quaint shops and unique boutiques.
Manufacturers have long standing operations in Cobourg. The municipality has two fully established industrial parks recently designated as "Premium Industrial Parks". The 146 Acre Northam Industrial Park was recently acquired by the town and contains approximately one million square feet of manufacturing space. Both parks link into main-line CN and CP rail service and have easy access to major thoroughfares.
In addition to being an ideal location to do business, the quality of life in Cobourg is second to none. In both 2006 and 2007, Moneysense Magazine named the town of Cobourg as one of Canada's Top Ten Places in which to live!
"The business community is drawn to Cobourg's small town charm, safe community, skilled workforce and fine amenities," says Mrs. Gibson. "We are also experiencing a boom in residential growth and have a number of major subdivisions under construction."
Mrs. Gibson emphasizes the quality of life in Cobourg and points to the natural beauty of the landscape, as well as golf courses, live theatre and the town's waterfront with its marina and white sand beach as principal attractions.
Local educational institutes include Sir Sandford Fleming College and Trillium College. A new $46.5 Million state-of-the-art regional hospital, Northumberland Hills Hospital, is located in Cobourg. It recently acquired MRI technology.
Cobourg is actively marketed as Ontario's Feel Good Town. More than 100 traditional and alternative health-and-wellness practitioners can be found in the community, employing up to 1500 people.
"We've put together packages that combine wellness services with local inns, bed-and-breakfast establishments and transportation," explains Mrs. Gibson. "Wellness is a popular and growing segment of our economy and is marketed as a total wellness experience, not just a visit to the spa." This tradition of good health goes back to the 1870's, when Cobourg was thought to have the second-highest ozone levels in the world and as a result became a fashionable summer resort for Canadians and Americans who came to "take the airs."
"We are pursuing an expanded role for tourism with new events that take advantage of Cobourg's many amenities. One recent addition to events in Cobourg is our Movies in the Park that have become very popular. We also work closely with the provincial government and other East Ontario Communities to promote the area and attract new business growth," Mrs. Gibson says. "Our volunteer driven Business Retention & Expansion Program shows Cobourg is committed to keeping and growing our existing business base. We are committed to maintaining a strong, diverse economy, while still preserving our friendly, small town atmosphere."