Video – Extensive Search at Former Sidbrook Hospital in Cobourg

In Local

Emergency services spent several hours searching for anyone who may have been in the former Sidbrook hospital on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

Emergency services were called to the location in Cobourg’s east end after they were notified there was a possibility of one or more people inside the vacant building.

No emergency services are allowed inside the building due to the unsafe condition of the building due to deterioration.

Numerous police, firefighters, bylaw and engineering department were on site.

Police set-up a perimeter around the building in case anyone came out, while fire department used chainsaws and other equipment to open up doors to look inside.

A ladder truck was called in to look in areas of the second floor.

A person with the engineering department brought a drone to search inside the building.

Cobourg Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf said it’s a derelict building that has been boarded up, but people have still got in the building.

“It’s a very resource heavy call, but collectively our team is doing the right thing. We’re all there making sure that anybody in there that needs our help, can get our help. And if there is trespassing or other issues that we manage that accordingly.”

VandeGraaf said that when there is an emergency all services are appropriately deployed.

“That means other things aren’t done. That means other issues in our town, other issues like road safety are just not done. And we’re starting to encounter that with other issues around the encampment. And when we’re really focussed with spending a lot of our energy there that means we can’t do a lot of the great proactive stuff our team want to focus on.”

VandeGraaf believes there are approximately 60 people at the encampment with an increased security presence.

“But the weather and everything does make it a very busy time for us. Our Dynamic Patrols have been very active, we continue to enforce bail, we continue to enforce probation orders, we continue to return shopping carts and everything in between.”

After an extensive search taking several hours there was no one found inside the building.

Later in the afternoon, steel fencing was installed around the perimeter of the building.


Press Release from Cobourg Police

 The Cobourg Police Service and Cobourg Fire Department have cleared the scene at the old Sidbrook building on King Street East. No one was located inside the building.

Town of Cobourg staff are on scene to secure the building.


COBOURG (May 3, 2024, 8:30 a.m.) – The Cobourg Police Service and Cobourg Fire Department are currently on-site at the old Sidbrook building on King Street East, addressing a situation involving trespassers. Police and Fire Services will remain on scene until the building is cleared and secured.

Police remind residents of the significant risks associated with entering abandoned structures:

▪️ Structural Instability: These buildings may have compromised structural integrity, making them unsafe.
▪️ Hazardous Materials: There is a potential presence of asbestos, lead, or other harmful substances.
▪️ Lack of Emergency Services: In case of an emergency, it may be difficult for rescue services to access the building quickly.

An update will be provided when the scene is cleared.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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