The Town of Cochrane is a place that prides itself on making residents, visitors and investors alike feel as though they are a part of the fabric of the community. The town offers a strong and diverse set of community services within all four-seasons.
MANAGING THE COMMUNITY SERVICES
The Director of Community Services is responsible for the administration of the town’s ‘customer facing’ services, including parks and recreational programming, cultural programming, festival & events, maintenance of recreational facilities (including facilities, playgrounds, parks and trails), and the Cochrane Child Care Centre.
Detailed information of the town’s community service elements have been spread across a variety of website sections and pages. Some of the tabs below showcase brief summaries, along with a set of quick links that will help guide you to enhanced details of featured community services available in Cochrane.
Daycare & Early
The Town of Cochrane realizes the importance of promoting the well-being of our community’s children. We provide a safe, child-centered, caring and nurturing environment that encourages, stimulates and fosters self-esteem and growth. Our services are offered both in English and French environments at the Cochrane Child Care Centre and Garde d’Enfants de Cochrane, respectively.
We believe that child care facilities should provide the highest quality of child care programs for all children, as a result our qualified resource teachers implement strategies and programs that assist those with special needs.
To learn more about fees, hours of operation, and available programs for Cochrane’s daycare and early childhood services, please visit the education section of our website.
Register your children for daycare or summer camp by downloading the form and submitting it to our child care general manager.
The public library serves local residents by providing access to information and programs that are responsive to the needs of the community of Cochrane and the surrounding area. Dating back to 1917, its rich history has been a staple to the town and continues to be a popular hangout spot for the young and elderly.
FIND IT AT THE LIBRARY
Below is a list of featured services offered by the Cochrane Public Library, to local residents and visitors alike. Can’t find what you are looking for within the list, visit the website to learn more in depth details of services offered.
- Free wireless internet
- 10 public access computers
- Online databases
- Colour printer
- Photocopy services
- Scanner services
- Fax services
- Year Round Book Sale
- Children, Youth and Adult programs
- Local history collection
- Interlibrary loans
- Invigilating services
- Public meeting rooms
- Class visits for schools
- A world of books, magazines, newspapers, eBooks, audio books, DVDs, CDs, VHS, educational games, and so much more
In addition to the many services offered, the Cochrane Public Library also plays host to a variety of adult programs. A great place to learn, meet, and be active. Library memberships are free to all residents, so join today! A visit will get you thinking.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
The Town of Cochrane has an abundance of seasonal festivals and events, perfect for residential families, as well as those who wish to plan a mini vacation to the area. You will find a descriptive list of featured annual events below.
DISCOVER UPCOMING EVENTS
Plan your attendance to some of the best events in Ontario. For residents and visitors looking for a complete calendar list of all upcoming events, simply click on the link to your right. The calendar feature will allow you to filter events by month, location, category, and will give you the option to share to any social network of your liking.
Acclaimed as the oldest of Ontario’s winter carnivals and the largest in Northern Ontario this 10 day festival is a great way to enjoy Northern Ontario’s winter season! You are sure to have a great time at one of the 80 events taking place during the carnival.
Take in the smash-up car derby, the fishing derby, outdoor dance under the stars and the three-on-three pond hockey tournament, right on picturesque Lake Commando. Whether you are testing your true Canadian mettle with the Polar Bear Dip or participating in the many exciting events, the Winter Carnival is bound to delight and entertain.
One night per year, take part in the annual Torch Light Parade. An event that is part of the Winter Carnival, and where the fire department hands the community torches, as people march through town to a massive bonfire, made up of last year’s Christmas trees; saved and dried specifically for this spectacular event.
And, when we say ‘massive’, we are not joking. The fire reaches about two stories high and two garages wide. Once we’re done, everyone shares in hotdogs and hot chocolates for a true Canadian winter event.
Celebrate summer with us in August at the “Live Like a Northerner” Summerfest, held during the second weekend of August. Come celebrate with us on Lake Commando with live music, ATV races through mud bogs, Voyageur boat races, baseball tournaments, children amusement parks, firworks and more.
Experience life as a northerner and send summer out with a bang during the Summerfest celebration.
The past is present during Heritage Days. Watch antique cars and tractors come to life, cheer on modern-day cowfolk as they put horses through their paces, and more. With games for the kids and adults, it’s fun for the whole family.
Revisit history with a stroll down a re-created 1900’s street at the Heritage Village. Visit the second weekend in August and see the village come alive with costumed “villagers” and working equipment.
For the last century, we have played host to the Cochrane Annual Fall Fair. While the adults can take part in events like flower arranging, painting, crafts, quilting and photography competitions, the kids keep busy with all sorts of games and races. It’s an unforgettable experience and a true taste of the spectacle Northern Ontario has to offer.
Healthy & Active
The Town of Cochrane promotes an active style of living and is proactive in providing many recreational activities that allow our residents to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle. To learn more about available recreation in Cochrane, make sure to visit the Recreation section.
Below is a menu that will guide you through specific sectors of the website that promote our recreational programs and active living. For quick access to information centered around recreation and living that healthy lifestyle, simply click on the links below.
As one of the fastest growing communities in Northern Ontario, the Town of Cochrane continues to expand with development projects that enhance residential living and community experiences to be had within the town and surrounding areas.
LAKE COMMANDO DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
This project is led by the Cochrane Recreation & Special Events Board with the goal to establish a long term vision to rethink how we plan around people and cars and to create an attraction for residents and tourists to enjoy Cochrane’s natural beauty.
THE INITIAL VISION
In 2013, Town hired an architect and an engineering company lay out the initial vision and costs of the Commando Park Project. At a very high view, the goal is to tie together Norman Lake at the Polar Bear Habitat to the south and Lillabelle Lake to the north providing for expansive walking, biking and touring trails. These trails would be centered by Lake Commando and the downtown core of the community. At the same time, developing Lake Commando to have well-lit and easy to walk on trails, majestic lookouts and gathering places, strategically located docks, fountains, colourful vegetation, transplanted mature trees, all centered by an iconic structure and interpretive center right on the peninsula.
SECURING THE DOLLARS
Since the initial concept has been presented, the municipality has been able to secure provincial and federal dollars to implement the first phase of the Lake Commando Development project, namely the peninsula development. In order to ensure the proper development of the structure on the peninsula, the Department of Economic Development has been directed to undertake a second round of public consultations to create a user-needs based report in regards to the peninsula project.
FOCUS GROUP SESSIONS
To capture the needs of the community in relation to the peninsula, the Department of Economic Development has, since November 2015, entertained focus group sessions and one public Open House session. Several groups that currently use the peninsula were asked to participate in focus group sessions. The most recent session was held on December 2, 2015, and invited the population at large to participate in an Open House. At the Open House members of the community were able to ask questions and clarifications in relation to the project and were invited to give their comments, ideas and opinions on the project by way of a questionnaire. Members of the community who did not attend but wished to complete the survey, were invited to download the survey, complete and submit it before December 18, 2015. The surveys in addition to the information gathered from the focus groups sessions will be tallied and used as raw data for the purposes of the report.
On January 12, the Peninsula Development Project Report was presented to Council. Following deliberations, Council suggested an electronic survey be created and directly emailed to clubs and organizations, in an effort to increase public participation in the consultation process. An extended deadline to complete the surveys was established for January 21, 2016 at 4pm.
THE UPDATED REPORT
The Economic Development Department recalculated results from this public consultation process and presented an updated report to Council at the Special Meeting held in Council Chambers at 12pm on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The updated report showed minor variances in the new results but none that directly contradicted the first intake of completed surveys. Council moved to accept the report and move to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) based on the report for a design-build of the Peninsula Development Project. Recommendations of the RFP will be subject to review by Council.
THE SELECTION PROCESS
After several deliberations, Council moved to work collaboratively with the selected proponent, CGV Builders, to move the project along to completion.
On April 18, 2017, Council approved to go ahead and the Town has been authorized to sign an agreement with CGV to build the project.
Construction will start right after May long weekend and the project is scheduled to be completed in September.
On the Right is the new final designs.
There are two buildings instead of one which offers a little more practicality but still meets the needs and requirements of the funders providing $1.5 million. The Gazebo (Open Building) is all open with “roll up” glass doors to manage inclement weather. It has a high-tech closed in kitchen and serving area, all high end wood finished interior and stone exterior, built in heating, and holds upwards of 500 people. There is talk about adding a scenic deck on the lake side that will provide a “café” style resting area on the lake (this will need to be funded separately in the community).
The stage is designed to be seasonal, with some possibility of winter use (there are berries being designed for the side walls. It also has a kitchen and bathrooms for added capacity and impact, a built in sound system control center, and is finished in weather proof glue-lam wood beams. There is talk about making one of the pillars a totem pole (possibly the one carved and sitting at the entrance of the park).
The new design is built from all the communications and surveys done with the community, including all the volunteers, and has the buy in of the great majority of council.
Fundraising will start ASAP with the hope that the community members will continue to be a positive influence on this development and help out with community engagement and fundraising.
This will be another legacy architecture symbolic of our communities drive to be progressive and rise above small town challenges, to responsibly provide a higher standard of living.