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The Cobourg Destination encompasses Prince Edward Island and parts of southern Ontario in Canada. Some of the geographical features of the region include Lake Ontario, Rice Lake, Amherst Island, and Prince Edward Island. The namesake of the destination, Cobourg, is a city found on the banks of Lake Ontario. According to the 2021 census, the city has 20,519 people, with 91.4% of the population's racial composition being white. The next largest racial demographic in the city is Aboriginal at 4.4%, followed by Korean and Black at 3.8% and 0.7% respectively.[1] Other areas of note within the destination include the city of Kingston—with a population of 132,485 people, according to the 2021 census—which is a city that was the former capital of the Province of Canada. The original settlement of the city has been dated back to sometime between 1,000 BCE and 500 BC by native people before European settlers reached the area in 1615.[7] Areas of interest within the destination may include various attractions found on Prince Edward Island, including Cavendish, where the Anne of Green Gables books were set; the East Coastal Drive, an extended road where visitors can view multiple lighthouses on the coast; and Basin Head Provincial Park.[2]

What Cobourg is known for

Embodied by parts of Ontario and Prince Edward Island is the Cobourg Destination. Located in the southeastern part of Canada, the destination includes parts of Lake Ontario, as well as cities such as Kingston, Belleville, and the namesake of the destination, Cobourg. Near the city is Rice Lake, as well as Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. Cobourg has a population of 20,519 people, per the 2021 census. Multiple players in the National Hockey League (NHL) are from Cobourg, including Steve Smith and Justin Williams, who was a 3 time Stanley Cup champion and winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014.[1] Prince Edward Island, a province of Canada, is also located entirely within the destination. “The Island,” as locals reportedly call it, is approximately 140 miles long and ranges from 2 to 40 miles across.[4]

Due to the varied geography of the destination, there are a variety of attractions for those visiting the area. In Kingston, tourists can visit the Kingston Penitentiary, which closed in 2013. Guided tours are available throughout the year for those looking to visit the former prison. At the Chrysler Park Marina, tours are offered on sailboats that float along the St. Lawrence River. There are also cabin rentals available nearby if visitors wish to spend multiple days in the area. Additionally, Lake Ontario Park is in the city and allows those in the vicinity the opportunity to relax, walk along the waterfront, or play at a playground.[3]

Other attractions in the area are located on Prince Edward Island. The forefront of these local attractions is PEI (or Prince Edward Island) National Park. Additionally, the island is the setting of the Anne of Green Gables books and, as such, there are various sites in the city of Cavendish that tourists can view that were depicted in the books. Lastly, opportunities for deep-sea fishing are available off the coast of Prince Edward Island. In the town of North Lake, which is known as the “Tuna Capital of the World,” there are charter operations that take tourists into the waters between Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island.[2]

According to the 2021 census, there are 153,331 people that reside on Prince Edward Island. In terms of the racial demographics of residents, the majority of people living within the province are reportedly white, either of Native Canadian descent or European, with the largest minority group being Chinese Canadian at 1.3% of the population. Nearly 94.9% of residents speak English as their first language, and the second most common language spoken is French at 3.5%.[9] In other areas of the region, such as Kingston, the majority of the population is also Canadian, as the 2016 census reports 33.5% of the population is Native Canadian, with English being the second most common ethnicity at 32.2%.[7]

Lake Ontario can be found partially within the region. The lake is the smallest of the Great Lakes found in North America and is also the most eastern of them. New York in the United States is the shoreline on the south side of the lake, and Ontario, Canada composes the northern shore. Within the region can be found parts of the shoreline in Ontario just north of Brockville to the north of Oshawa, as well as part of the St. Lawrence River, which feeds into the lake. The Niagra River supplies the main water source of Lake Ontario, as well as the Oswego, Black, and Genesee Rivers. Lake Ontario’s surface area is approximately 7,340 square miles and is 30 miles across its longest point. [10]


The Cobourg Destination has a variety of geographical features. Parts of Lake Ontario are found in the southern portion of the region, as well as Prince Edward Island, Amherst Island, Wolfe Island, and Howe Island, which are all found in Lake Ontario. Frontenac Provincial Park is also within the destination in the northern area and offers lakes, camping, and forested areas for visitors. The Cobourg Destination encompasses parts of the Province of Ontario, as well as the Province of Prince Edward Island. Cities of note within the region include Kingston; Cobourg, the namesake of the destination; and Belleville.

In Cobourg, summers are generally reported to be "the best time of year" for warm-weather activities, according to those who have previously toured the area. Generally, early July to early September is reported to be the warmest, with average daily highs near 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest time of year is reported to be December through March, with the coldest month on average being January. The average daily low during the month of January is 16 degrees Fahrenheit, with the high being 29 degrees Fahrenheit. The driest month of the year tends to be February with around four days each month having rainfall, while the wettest month of the year on average is September.[5]

As the destination is located on the banks of Lake Ontario, many of the habitats that can be found are conducive for flora and fauna to grow and develop. Groundcover flowers in Prince Edward Island, a province within the region, include fireweed, Queen Anne’s lace, large-leaved lupine, and twinflower. There are also a variety of mosses and fungi which grow in the area, such as fly agaric, smooth lungwort, and varied rag lichen. Common birds of the destination include yellow warblers, Bonaparte’s gulls, and barred owls. Eastern red-backed salamanders, American beavers, zebra jumping spiders, spotted salamanders, and red foxes are also common. [6]


The land that is now known as the Cobourg Destination was originally inhabited by the Mississagua people. In 1798, Europeans founded the city of Cobourg as part of Canada. Over time, the city became an important port city, due to its location on Lake Ontario. In 1852, a new project began in the area to build a railway through the city, which would eventually transport lumber to other areas of the country.[1] Another city within the destination, Kingston, played a relatively important role in the shipment of lumber and wheat, due to its location on the St. Lawrence River. On account of the War of 1812, there was a larger military presence in the area, which reportedly stimulated the economy of the region. After World War II, new industries emerged such as aluminum and nylon factories.[7]

Within the destination lies the province of Prince Edward Island. The island was first used by the Mi’kmap people for fishing and hunting. Vikings reportedly visited the area in about 1,000 BCE. Jacques Cartier was first credited for discovering the island in 1534, although it is likely that explorer John Cabot visited the island in the late 1400s. In 1603, the island was claimed by France, although it was not colonized until almost 100 years later. In 1758, British troops invaded and occupied the island, and Prince Edward Island was officially given to England in the Treaty of Paris in 1763.[4]

The Cobourg Destination’s economy, especially the city of Kingston, focuses mainly on train car production via the Canadian Locomotive Company. Other industries include shipyards, cotton mills, refineries, and machine shops. After the Second World War, the manufacturing industry in the area grew, with companies such as Kingston Cotton Mills, Alcan, and DuPont adding to the industrial base of the economy. Another reported focus of the city of Kingston is education, Queen’s College at Kingston is found within the city, which was originally founded as a Presbyterian church in the 1800s.[7]