Waterfront Plan: East Pier

About the Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan
Cobourg’s waterfront is a defining part of the town. Previously an industrial port, community and political will has transformed the waterfront into an important community destination focused on recreation, cultural, tourism and the environment. However, this transformation is ongoing. While the industrial past is well hidden, there is still work to be done to address the needs of the community now and in the future.

The Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan (Waterfront Plan), which was adopted by Council in 2018, provides the community with a roadmap for creating a beautiful, accessible and sustainable waterfront. The Plan recommends 83 initiatives in 24 projects to enhance Cobourg’s waterfront over a 24-year period. Each project requires Council’s approval, and the repair and enhancement of the East Pier is one of the first projects under consideration.

Project #1: Waterfront Plan - East Pier
The East Pier is a popular, year-round destination for residents and tourists. Situated on the east side of the harbour, the main trunk of the pier is 400 metres long and 30 metres wide at its widest point. It is largely unobstructed and features a toe rail along the edge and several seating nodes. The coast guard building and dock are at the north end. At the south end, the pier ends and connects to the breakwater which leads to the lighthouse. However, the pier is showing its age. Having been modified and expanded since 1832, the pier now has structural issues and requires ongoing maintenance and repair to fix sinkholes.


In 2018, the East Pier was closed to vehicular traffic due to health and safety concerns following a period of high water levels (Award of East Pier Condition Assessment and Reallocation of Funds). In 2018, Shoreplan conducted an engineering assessment of the pier and provided four options for addressing its structural integrity. Once the East Pier is structurally repaired, enhancements will be made to improve its functionality (nine enhancements are recommended by the Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan).

The public engagement objective for the East Pier is to:

  • Identify the best option for the structural repair of the East Pier
  • Provide commentary on the nine enhancement initiatives proposed for the East Pier
  • Brainstorm ideas and develop a vision for the future of the East Pier

We're looking for your feedback:
To share your thoughts on the East Pier in respect to both structural repair and enhancement please contribute to the following public engagement opportunities below, including:

1. Complete the Survey (repair options)
2. Join our Forum (enhancement options)
3. Share a Story

About the Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan
Cobourg’s waterfront is a defining part of the town. Previously an industrial port, community and political will has transformed the waterfront into an important community destination focused on recreation, cultural, tourism and the environment. However, this transformation is ongoing. While the industrial past is well hidden, there is still work to be done to address the needs of the community now and in the future.

The Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan (Waterfront Plan), which was adopted by Council in 2018, provides the community with a roadmap for creating a beautiful, accessible and sustainable waterfront. The Plan recommends 83 initiatives in 24 projects to enhance Cobourg’s waterfront over a 24-year period. Each project requires Council’s approval, and the repair and enhancement of the East Pier is one of the first projects under consideration.

Project #1: Waterfront Plan - East Pier
The East Pier is a popular, year-round destination for residents and tourists. Situated on the east side of the harbour, the main trunk of the pier is 400 metres long and 30 metres wide at its widest point. It is largely unobstructed and features a toe rail along the edge and several seating nodes. The coast guard building and dock are at the north end. At the south end, the pier ends and connects to the breakwater which leads to the lighthouse. However, the pier is showing its age. Having been modified and expanded since 1832, the pier now has structural issues and requires ongoing maintenance and repair to fix sinkholes.


In 2018, the East Pier was closed to vehicular traffic due to health and safety concerns following a period of high water levels (Award of East Pier Condition Assessment and Reallocation of Funds). In 2018, Shoreplan conducted an engineering assessment of the pier and provided four options for addressing its structural integrity. Once the East Pier is structurally repaired, enhancements will be made to improve its functionality (nine enhancements are recommended by the Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan).

The public engagement objective for the East Pier is to:

  • Identify the best option for the structural repair of the East Pier
  • Provide commentary on the nine enhancement initiatives proposed for the East Pier
  • Brainstorm ideas and develop a vision for the future of the East Pier

We're looking for your feedback:
To share your thoughts on the East Pier in respect to both structural repair and enhancement please contribute to the following public engagement opportunities below, including:

1. Complete the Survey (repair options)
2. Join our Forum (enhancement options)
3. Share a Story

  • Shoreplan Engineering Limited (Shoreplan) was retained by the Town of Cobourg to investigate the condition of the East Pier in Cobourg in response to recent and long-term settlement issues with the asphalt deck on the pier. 

    It was determined that the pier is beyond its design life and the factors contributing to the settlement issues are related to the age and there will be additional deterioration as time goes on. 

    Four options have been presented by Shoreplan giving alternatives for retaining all or some of its functions. 

    Options for repair of the East Pier including cost:

    Option 1 - Pedestrian

    Shoreplan Engineering Limited (Shoreplan) was retained by the Town of Cobourg to investigate the condition of the East Pier in Cobourg in response to recent and long-term settlement issues with the asphalt deck on the pier. 

    It was determined that the pier is beyond its design life and the factors contributing to the settlement issues are related to the age and there will be additional deterioration as time goes on. 

    Four options have been presented by Shoreplan giving alternatives for retaining all or some of its functions. 

    Options for repair of the East Pier including cost:

    Option 1 - Pedestrian only. Closed to Traffic. This option involves naturalization of the pier for use as a pedestrian space and closes the pier to all vehicular traffic. In choosing this option the only permitted use would be pedestrian traffic. Estimated Cost: $440,220.00 (plus design fees & taxes)

    Option 2 - Predominantly Light Vehicle Use. This option retains the current look and use of the pier while addressing settlement issues. Access will be restricted to pedestrians & light vehicles only. Heavy trucks, lifting operations and carnival rides would be prohibited. Estimated Cost: $1,091,420.00 (plus design fees & taxes)

    Option 3- Limited Heavy Use, Along with Pedestrian and Light Vehicle. This option creates a stable concrete deck within the existing footprint for heavier use along a 10-metre wide concrete deck that could allow movement of boats in/out of the marina. The remaining footprint of the pier could be naturalized for pedestrian access. Estimated Cost: $3,795,660.00 (plus design fees & taxes)

    Option 4Predominantly Pedestrian with Light Vehicle Use. This option involves a combination of Options 1 & 2 and allows for light vehicle use on the west side of the pier and pedestrian use only on the remaining portion of the pier. Estimated Cost: $719,180.00 (plus design fees & taxes)

    The Town of Cobourg is asking citizens to express their preference towards one of the four repair options below.

    Take Survey