Amherst House B&B in Cobourg struggling

Safety, optimism & safe activities going forward

Article by Bill Hornbostel: images supplied

Like many businesses in the hospitality industry, the Amherst House Bed and Breakfast in Cobourg is having a rough time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-owner Ruth Ann Singleton when asked about how business is at the moment, said, “Well, it’s nearly non-existent, to be really honest.”

“For the most part, people aren’t moving about, so it’s dropped off with the no-travelling issue,” she says. “We have had requests for people to stay, but we have not been supportive of people coming from out of the tense areas – Toronto, and where they are red. We have turned down business in that regard.”

Wayne and Ruth Ann Singleton

Singleton is uncertain about the future but still optimistic. “We just don’t know where it’s going to go from here, whether it’s going to pick up. We hope that it will, but as long as the government’s recommending stay at home and don’t travel, our business is severely impacted.”

Singleton states the Amherst abides by all the safety protocols. “All the sanitation, all the doorknobs and light switches, and every surface that anyone might touch is sanitized,” she says. “The wipes and all of that stuff is made available to them in their suites. All of that [cleaning] throughout the house has been done after guests leave, and if it’s more than a one-night stay, it’s done daily.”

“Even when we did open up last fall, and we had guests, we still kept that in place so that people were felt safe and comfortable,” she says. “Up until this last lockdown, we had guests.”

“We just keep hoping that this thing is going to lift and get better,” Singleton says. “There’s no mandate that we have to be shut down from our powers-that-be, so that if people are coming from within a safe area for visiting relatives, or weddings, or wherever they might be coming for, we always ask all the [screening] questions.”

Singleton elaborates on what gives her hope for the coming travel season. She says, “People in the know, that are doing all the surveying, feel that people do want to travel and that it will be a reasonable season. They want to travel safely, but they’re not going abroad. They’re not making the big trip, they’re staying close to home.”

“I think everybody’s doing the best they can do,” says Singleton. “I think that everybody’s trying to stay safe and look after one another. I think that bed-and-breakfast people will go the whole nine yards to try and make it a pleasant and happy time for people, to make up for everything that’s been lost along the way.”

“I know I will,” Singleton adds. “I’ve already been thinking about extra things that we can do to make someone coming have an even better time, a nice weekend, making available picnics and making available things so that they don’t have to be out in the public quite as much, like the trails in the beautiful area that we live in.”

The Amherst House Bed and Breakfast is located at 804 Hudson Street in Cobourg. For more information, you may visit their website,, or call 289-252-1087, and you call follow them on Facebook (@amhersthouse.bandb) or Instagram (@amhersthousebedandbreakfast).

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