About Our Branch

The Cobourg Branch and the East Northumberland Branch were merged in 2014. Advocating for architectural & cultural heritage through education, collaboration and community.

A Short History of East Northumberland ACO

The Architectural Conservancy East Northumberland branch was formed in 2007 in an effort to rescue the local historic Presbyterian Church from demolition. Although great effort was put forward, the local committee was not successful. The next project turned out to be the classic 1915 Brighton Public school which was being replaced by a new school being built adjacent to the old. The problem of it being on the same property made it very difficult to persuade the School Board that it should be saved and repurposed.

Consequently, despite 4 years of continual effort by our group, it was demolished in early 2012. However, despite these failures our group has certainly raised the importance of saving historic buildings. We are pleased to amalgamate with Cobourg ACO which has been very successful at heritage preservation.

A Short History of Cobourg ACO

The Cobourg Architectural Preservation Foundation was formed in 1987, which in 1998 was transformed into the ACO Cobourg Branch. On August 3, 1894 the Toronto Globe wrote “No town in Ontario of the same size contains so many beautiful residences as does Cobourg.” The downtown and a large part of the inner residential core of Cobourg have been designated as heritage districts, and this is indicated by special street name signs funded jointly by the Town and ACO Cobourg Branch.

The ACO Cobourg Branch has focused on education, outreach and awareness building. The branch has put on lectures, walking tours, tours to other towns, displays, posters, postcards, notelets and newsletters. In 1999 the branch established the ACO Cobourg Heritage Fund which gives grants for restoration work to qualified recipients. ACO Cobourg funded an architectural imaging program that was featured at the 2006 Heritage Canada Foundation Conference. An example may be viewed below with the youtube link.

For 2010 the Town of Cobourg was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership. The 2011 Ontario Heritage Conference was held in Cobourg.

Through education and advocacy, to encourage the conservation and reuse of structures, districts and landscapes of architectural, historic and cultural significance, to inspire and benefit Ontarians.