Like most Towns and Cities, Cobourg has four categories where you can shop:
- Northumberland Mall
- A Big Box centre
- Multiple strip plazas and isolated stores
This page will critically view each of these but does not attempt to list all individual stores. Check links provided for more information. Where there are no links, Google works well.
Although there is an active Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), the Downtown area (centred on King street West) struggles to attract shoppers despite scheduling regular events and contests to attract traffic.
Downtown stores include major banks, barbers and hairdressers, several restaurants/ coffee shops, a Shopper's Drug, gift and furniture stores, pet grooming, several clothing stores – mostly high-end – and several medical services (optical, tele-health & tests, hearing). But there are also closed and vacant stores – some of the vacant stores are in poor shape with high rent or selling asking prices. There is a nearby thriving summer Saturday Farmers’ market and winter outdoor skating surface. It’s a short walk to the picturesque Marina and popular Beach. It is also home to Cobourg’s historic Victoria Hall.
Several tenants have moved out (Hallmark, 5-pin Bowling and more) but management has recently changed and remaining tenants are hopeful. Hart replaced Sears when they shut down in Canada. Before the pandemic, Rainbow Cinema was talking about expanding but is now offering a reduced program. Although mall management have not announced any overall strategy, some changes are visible. The anchor supermarket (Metro) has recently been renovated and is clearly aimed at the higher end of the Market – and doing a good job of that. The outdoor locations include Staples, a pet food store (Pet Valu), a car accessories/parts store (Car Quest), Dollarama and Giant Tiger. The area includes a relatively new and large LCBO, Boston Pizza, A & W and two strip plazas - one of which includes a Starbucks.
Big Box Centre
At the north-west end of town across from the Mall on Strathy Road, it's anchored by a large Walmart and a Home Depot. The area includes Winners, Dollar Tree, Showtime TV and Stereo and many others. There are also several restaurants, notably CJs, Swiss Chalet & East Side Marios.
Since Cobourg is the largest Town in the County, these stores also cater to shoppers from nearby Towns – they are always busy.
Strip Plazas and other
As well as a number of strip plazas with convenience stores and specialty stores, there are many individual stores and businesses. Large ones include:
- Home Hardware – stand-alone
- No-Frills Supermarket – in a plaza with an IDA drug store and others
- Victoria Place Plaza – includes M & M’s, Bibles for Missions Thrift Store and more
- Canadian Tire and Marks Work Wearhouse – adjacent to Mall
- New Car Dealerships: Ford, Buick, Chevrolet, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Kia, Chrysler
There are also others
- Tim Hortons – 5 locations
- Other Thrift Shops – On Munroe Street: Petticoat Lane; On Covert Street: Beyond the Blue Box, Humane Society & Horizons of Friendship
- Other restaurants: Mr. Sub, Subway, MacDonalds, Burger King, Wimpys, Dairy Queen and KFC and several Pizza chains (Google your favourite)
There are also locations worth a visit.
- Rainbow Cinemas – at the Mall - program here.
- Concert Hall at Victoria Hall
- The Cobourg Loft, some live shows plus vintage movies
- United Church – choir and other live shows
Overall, for people who like to do in-person shopping, there is no need to go elsewhere.