A Brief History of Cobourg

By
Real Estate Agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

The Victoria Park Garden Clock:

Victoria Park Garden Clock

 

 

Factoid: Cobourg was once on the shortlist of Canada's national capital selections - along with Kingston and Ottawa!

Cobourg was founded in 1798 and known as Hamilton, after the township. The town was renamed in 1819 in honour of the marriage of the Princess of Wales to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saafieldonce. Cobourg has played an important role in the history of confederation, including being on the short-list of cities vying to become the nation's capitol, along with Ottawa and Kingston. In the April 2006 edition of MoneySense Magazine, Cobourg was named the sixth best place to live in Canada - when considering economy, home prices and leisure as measures.

Home to some of Ontario's most prominent citizens, Cobourg continues to attract many of the province's elite. Egerton Ryerson founded Victoria College here (later Victoria University - now part of the University of Toronto's downtown campus) before moving on to establish the groundwork for the education system we know in Ontario today. The former Victoria College building, was designed by Kivas Tully (who also designed Queen's Park) and was officially opened in 1860 by the Prince of Wales who would later become King Edward VII. Now it is known as Victoria Hall and, with it's prominent location in the middle of King Street, Cobourg's main centre of business , the building today houses Cobourg's municipal offices, a museum and a concert hall. Other notable Cobourg residents are: the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto John Strachan; Marie Dressler of silent film fame; frontier artist Paul Kane; and one of the fathers of Canadian confederation James Cockburn.

Along with Cobourg's rich history of famous residents, it is today home to 2006 Stanley Cup winning-goal scorer Justin Williams of the Carolina Hurricans, and librarian and author Ed Greenwood, who co-wrote the original stories the Dungeons and Dragons role playing games are based upon.

With over 250 different stores and businesses, Cobourg's downtown hub is considered the economic centre of Northumberland County. For a list of businesses and their contact information you can go to HodgesLodges.ca and look under "Local Resources" on the left menu bar.

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