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The Harbour as Symbol

a colour photograph of a mural - in the foreground to the right, in blue slightly choppy water, is a small boat with motor, two sails and two passengers. It has the initials SK on the stern, one sail is red, yellow and green and the other blue. A second, larger sailboat, without sails raised, is to the left. On shore are brown and white condominium buildings with a space between through which can be seen brown Victoria Hall topped by its cupola clock tower. There are two air vents at the top of the mural

Mural by Fred Harrison in the lobby of Cobourg’s Rainbow Cinemas.


The harbour is integral to the Town’s character, past, present and future.  It is widely represented in many different public formats:  sailboats, the lighthouse, the beach, and sometimes simply in an overview. The theme appears in an amazing variety of places including a seniors’ village “pub”, a mall theatre and even on a street piano!

colour photograph of a street scene with the back and side of a piano in the foreground on a tiled sidewalk. On the side of the piano is a painting of Victoria Hall with a blue sky and on the back is a sunny harbour scene with a variety of ducks and swans in the foreground and the harbour entrance with lighthouse in the background. In front of the piano is a piano bench, at the near edge of the street is a large container of red flowers and across the street is a person taking a photograph.

This street piano, painted by Amber Quinn, had a prominent location, just outside Victoria Hall.


There are two symbols repeatedly used to represent the Town of Cobourg to outsiders as well as to itself.  One is the clock tower, or cupola, which stands atop the impressive Victoria Hall.  The other is the harbour/beach.  Both appear in the Town’s official logo.

the word Cobourg appears in large green letters near the bottom with Ontario, Canada in blue beneath. Against a white background a stylized sail in blue outlines a cupola. The sail and three stylized birds, also in blue, are enclosed by a half circle blue ribbon.

Cobourg’s official logo.

the Town of Cobourg logo with Victoria Hall cupola against the background of a multicoloured sail and the words COBOURG 2017 Come Celebrate

Updated logo for 2017.






The harbour and its beach conjure up both memories and dreams. The sparkling new condominiums overlooking a recreational harbour are the content of dreams. The replica of an 1867 ore car located nearby brings the industrial past to life.

blue Province of Ontario history plaque tells the story of the Cobourg and Peterborough Railway in front of a full-size replica of an 1867 ore car, not far from where the original was built

Replica iron ore car – a reminder of the harbour’s otherwise hidden industrial past.


Looking at the proposed development plan from 1988, one can only imagine what the future holds.

black and white Town of Cobourg Harbour Development Plan including lookouts near the end of two main piers, a sculpture garden on the east pier and a hotel complex north of the trailer park

A yet to be realized plan for development of Cobourg Harbour – dated 1988.


As it continues to evolve,  Cobourg’s harbour will always be a vital part of this “feel good town”.