Diversity in Peterborough
"As the City of Peterborough Portfolio Chair for Diversity, I am delighted to welcome you to our City and Region. Like many other Canadian cities, Peterborough is a city of immigrants. We proudly see diversity as one of our greatest strengths, providing us not only with a wealth of cultural and social experience, but a decided economic advantage in a global marketplace. In Peterborough, we take a measure of pride in both the welcoming of new Canadians, as well as the ongoing work necessary to bring about their sustained integration. My own family experience is one good measure of the willingness of the City to accept and reward newcomers who make a concerted effort to contribute to community life. As a second generation Greek Canadian, I am indebted to the pioneering work of my parents and to the City that allowed them to thrive and prosper. They are, like so many others, community builders who come to this country and this city to build a better life for themselves and a better community for the rest of us. As we embrace our diversity, it enriches us all." - Dean Pappas, Peterborough City Councillor, City of Peterborough Portfolio Chair for Diversity
The City of Peterborough has a long history of diverse peoples gathering together to build a community. This tradition began with the many different Indigenous nations that would assemble in Nogojiwanong - the place at the end of the rapids - to share knowledge and information.
By the 1800s, Irish and other European immigrants began building the prosperous settler community of Peterborough. Today, by welcoming people from all over the world we continue the legacy of building community through the strength of our differences. Peterborough is a vibrant and diverse community with people from over 50% of the world's countries calling Peterborough their home. As a result of this diversity, Peterborough is home to numerous multicultural organizations and associations.
Peterborough is further strengthened by having a large population of international students who bring their knowledge, skills and talents to our local schools. This includes Fleming College and Trent University, where international students are successful in bringing their backgrounds forward to share and learn with domestic students.
Cultural diversity enriches us by bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and origins. Through diversity, we can compare and contrast different values, beliefs and lifestyles. We can create a framework of common values and beliefs and ultimately celebrate the differences that make us unique as individuals. Cultural diversity is essential for our community to grow and prosper. Diversity has also been recognized as a strong contributor to our economic prosperity.
Within Peterborough many organizations exist to promote cultural diversity. More specifically, the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration (PPCII) was established in 2008 to promote, advance and support coordinated immigrant integration in the Peterborough community. Immigrant integration is essential for long-term social, cultural, economic and environmental prosperity in the Peterborough region.
With so many people from different backgrounds living in the City, the Community and Race Relations Committee serves as an important meeting ground where people work together to promote awareness and positive race relations in the broader community.
To learn more about diversity in Peterborough, please refer to this comprehensive Quality of Life Report compiled by the Peterborough Social Planning Council.
Diversity in its fullest sense includes more than cultural diversity. It recognizes all the ways in which we differ from one another including: age, sexual orientation, gender, ability, race, ethno-cultural background, religion, income, parental status, and more. Peterborough values a strong sense of community and actively works to promote the integration and inclusion of the entire population. Many organizations exist within the city to promote diversity. They exist to promote accessibility, gender variances, sexual orientation, environmental awareness and activism, fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and so much more.
All of these elements come together to create a unique environment in Peterborough, where diversity of backgrounds and perspectives are celebrated. Everyone who lives in Peterborough brings different skill sets, knowledge, and experiences. As such, Peterborough is strengthened as a community through our rich diversity. Whether old or young, single or a family, Peterborough is a wonderful place to find opportunities for personal and collective growth!
For more details on some local diversity initiatives and organizations please visit the links below.