Cobourg's East Beach was not always as it is now. This beach is the main one and is very busy on a hot summer day; it attracts tourists from Toronto and other locations.

Beach 1972 It has washrooms, a refreshment kiosk, a children's play area and  lifeguards who make sure no-one gets into trouble while swimming. The sand is wide and has a boardwalk which provides a border to a large well-kept public park. But it was not always like this.

In the 1800's and well into the 1900's, the area occupied by the park was at the rear of hotels which fronted onto King street. (More on these hotels here - use search to find more references) The most notable of these was the Arlington which was home to the gentry who came to benefit from the "air" in Cobourg. Once these hotels were demolished - in at least one case due to fire - the town took over the land and turned it into Victoria Park. But as late as 1974, there was no boardwalk nor any of the other facilities but there was a building on the beachfront known as the Cobourg Pavilion which held dances on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer for teenagers.

The photo at right is the beach as it was in about 1972. The building on the left in the middle of the photo (half hidden by trees) was the Pavilion.