Peterborough Profile

Only a 30 minute drive from Highway 401, Canada’s busiest highway that connects us to major Canadian and American cities, Peterborough offers quality of life in an affordable, safe and welcoming city. It is a great place to live, work, and raise children. With first-rate educational institutions, the ideal mix of city and country living, the city has been included in several national top 10 lists.

A Thriving Arts, Culture & Heritage Community

Brazilian dancersPeterborough has a thriving arts community that reflects the diverse cultural history of its residents. The city has a national reputation in the creative arts. This is evident in its many artists, actors, musicians and writers, and the numerous performance venues including the recently renovated Market Hall. There are many seasonal events each year, including the Peterborough Musicfest, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Peterborough Folk Festival, and many others. For information on free cultural, recreational and entertainment activities in Peterborough please visit the City of Peterborough's Living page.

Some of Peterborough's cultural attractions and landmarks include:

  • Peterborough Lift Lock - the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world;
  • Market Hall - a community gathering place for almost 120 years, and a landmark of Peterborough's beautiful downtown;
  • Trent-Severn Waterway - a National Historic Site of Canada;
  • Canadian Canoe Museum - home to the world's largest collection of canoes and kayaks, and full of amazing exhibits.
  • The Peterborough Art Gallery - collection includes over 1400 contemporary and historical visual art pieces from Peterborough, Canada and around the world.
  • The Peterborough Symphony Orchestra – part of Peterborough’s cultural community for over 40 years, it is renowned as one of Canada’s best community orchestras
  • Multicultural Canada Day - Peterborough’s annual celebration of Canada includes multicultural food and cultural performers from all of the nationalities of the people who now call Peterborough home.

For further information please visit the Arts and Culture section of this website.

Downtown Peterborough

Cafe district downtownDowntown Peterborough is the place to go for shopping, food, and to experience the  rich cultural life of the city. The area offers a wide variety of cafes and restaurants offering local and international foods. Entertainment venues, galleries, specialty food, live music, and clothing stores fill the downtown area. The Peterborough Downtown Farmers' Market, which sells locally grown foods, takes place every Wednesday from May to October. Throughout the summer there are multiple festivals in the downtown, including the Peterborough Busker’s Festival (June), the Taste of the Downtown (July) and the Peterborough Jazz festival (September).

An Innovative and Growing Business Community

If you are looking for a community in which to invest and grow a business, the City of Peterborough has much to offer:
  • One of Canada’s leading advanced manufacturing communities for more than 100 years
  • An expanding aerospace and aviation sector
  • Is an economic driver in the Peterborough area
  • A growing research and development sector
  • Industrial, commercial, and vacation locations in the Greater Peterborough Area (GPA)

The Peterborough Lift Lock, the Trent Canal, the Innovation Cluster and the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre are some examples of revolutionary technological work based in Peterborough.

For more information about investing or starting a business in Peterborough, please see the Doing Business section of this website.

Recreational Opportunities

CanoesWith multiple athletic facilities, arenasbeaches, wading pools and a free zoo, Peterborough residents have many opportunities to participate in sporting and recreation activities throughout the entire year. The city’s natural setting also provides its residents with a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities, ranging from skating on the Trent Canal, to walking, cycling or just enjoying over 100 parks, trails, and other recreation areas. For more information about Recreational opportunities in Peterborough see the Recreation section of this website. For information on free recreational activities in Peterborough please visit this website

A Safe Community

Police and new Canadians kidsPeterborough is a safe community. The Peterborough Community Police Service promotes the safety of all citizens and the protection of property, through an appropriate balance of law enforcement, problem solving and crime-prevention initiatives. This is based on a philosophy of community policing that involves working in partnership with all citizens and other community stakeholders. The Police service aims to provide the highest standard of professionalism in partnership with our community. To that end, racism involving marginalized community groups is not tolerated. Peterborough Lakefield Community Police officers are trained to investigate incidents and crimes and work with our citizens to make this a community where we can all work and play in harmony with each other. If help is needed read this pamphlet on how to contact the police.

Peterborough Region

Peterborough is in a region known as Central Ontario. It is an area rich in tradition and history. With opportunities from hiking the trails in the Georgian Bay, experiencing the sights of the Canadian Shield, participating in a “wolf howl” in Algonquin Park or just relaxing at the beach, you may have trouble picking your first destination. Living in Peterborough is ideal for visiting other parts of Ontario. The options are endless as there are sights and activities for everyone.

What is there to see and do near Peterborough?

The area immediately surrounding Peterborough is known as the Kawarthas. The region is full of lakes and rivers that are tied together by the Trent-Severn Waterway. The waterway stretches from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay, and is travelled in summer by yachts, powerboats, and houseboats.

TherBarne are also many exciting places to visit on a day trip. You can experience life in the Kawarthas in the 19th-century at Lang Pioneer Village. Just a short drive from Peterborough you will find the Whetung Ojibwa Centre. The centre includes an art gallery that is open year round, and the Curve Lake First Nation holds the Curve Lake Pow Wow in the fall every year. At Petroglyphs Provincial Park there are over 900 rock carvings dating back hundreds of years.

For a full list of all the sights and activities in the area, visit Peterborough and the Kawarthas Tourism.

Neighbouring Communities

The County of Peterborough is comprised of 8 Townships.

Douro-Dummer

The friendly community of Douro-Dummer has plenty to offer including service clubs, recreational opportunities, local artisans and a diverse range of religious organizations, all in a beautiful natural rural setting. The Township of Douro-Dummer is a great place to live and raise a family. Stoney, Clear and Katchewanooka Lakes and the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area and Campground offer great recreational opportunities.

The Township borders the City of Peterborough giving easy access to employment, shopping, and services. Douro-Dummer offers the benefits of small town living, with the advantages of urban centres within a short distance.

Havelock-Belmont-Methuen

Centrally located between Belleville and Peterborough and only 90 minutes from Toronto, we are a charming rural community at the southeast corner of the County of Peterborough.

Surrounded by scenic lakes and rivers, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen offers outdoor enthusiasts a host of activities such as hiking, boating, fishing and camping. The scenic rural countryside compliments the waterways with a rich history of early settlements, railroading, resorts and mining ventures.

Asphodel-Norwood

The Township of Asphodel-Norwood is located off of Highway 7 nestled in south eastern Peterborough County. It is home to 4000 residents who experience the charm of the Villages of Westwood and Norwood. For young families, the quality affordable housing situated close to schools, community centre and parks makes the community a great place to raise children. For those who love the outdoors and the quiet of nature, access to the woods, a stroll about the Mill Pond or fishing in the rich waters of Rice Lake are a short distance away. Visitors are quick to feel the warm friendship and spirit of the community.

The community also hosts the Birdsall Wildlife and the Wakefield Conservation areas. Its modern community centre and arena is a great place to enjoy recreational activities. The annual agricultural fair in the fall is renowned for its exhibitions of livestock and crop displays.

Cavan Monaghan

Cavan Monaghan is a strong, sustainable rural community. The Township covers an area of approximately 308 km2, and includes several small hamlets and villages including Bailieboro, Cavan, Fraserville, Ida, Mount Pleasant, Springville, Five Mile Turn, and the Historical Village of Millbrook.

The population in the hamlets and villages is expected to increase, resulting in an increased demand for recreational opportunities. Current land use includes agricultural, employment, rural residential, villages and hamlets and natural areas.

The Township is located approximately 20 km south west of the City of Peterborough, in Peterborough County. The Highway #115 corridor runs through our Municipality, as does County Road #28. Cavan Monaghan is "Open for Business" with a mix of Industrial, Agricultural and Commercial activities and would be more than receptive to any development proposals.

Trent Lakes

The Municipality of Trent Lakes is located in the north-west corner of Peterborough County. The Township has a permanent population of 5,110 and it is 860.26 square kilometres in size featuring 300 km of roads.

The municipality features excellent medical centres, community centres, sports facilities, and a variety of community support organizations. The natural beauty of the area along with the many services combine to enhance the stay of all visitors. The municipality offers an elevated quality of life that is highlighted by the unique Trent Canal System and its many supporting rivers and lakes.

North Kawartha

Residents, both permanent and seasonal enjoy all the benefits of living in our phenomenal community.

North Kawartha is a four season destination that is located within the north eastern quadrant of Peterborough County and easily accessible by Highway 28. There are approximately 765 square kilometres of area comprised mainly of forest, lakes, creeks and rivers which provide for an abundance of wildlife, scenic views and recreational activities for all age groups.

Otonabee-South Monaghan

Otonabee-South Monaghan is located immediately east of the City of Peterborough and approximately 90 minutes from Toronto. Its southern boundary is the north shore of Rice Lake.

A harmonious lifestyle embracing the feeling of community is an integral part of the Otonabee-South Monaghan community. Natural assets, cultures, and the environment, is a cherished and protected framework of this municipality.

Prospering farms and agricultural operations work co-operatively with resort and tourism based businesses. Commercial and industrial operations are located adjacent to highway and transportation corridors.

Selwyn

The Township of Selwyn is a thriving community that combines its rich history, abundance of natural resources and its modern infrastructure to create a great place to call home, operate a business or just visit and enjoy. The urban settlement areas of Lakefield, Bridgenorth, Ennismore and Young’s Point provide all the amenities residents and tourists rely on for daily living.

The Township is located on the northerly boundary of the City of Peterborough and is the largest populated lower-tier municipality in the County of Peterborough within 1 hour travel time to Toronto. It offers a range of recreation activities, local attractions, and community events. There is a wide array of employment opportunities ranging from the education sector and small businesses, to agriculture, telecommunications and small manufacturing. 

Ontario’s Major Cities

Toronto and the CN TowerTake a day, or a weekend, and visit Canada’s largest city. Toronto, with its internationally recognized museums, galleries, theatres and restaurants, is only a 90-minute drive from Peterborough. Spend time exploring the different ethnic neighbourhoods, visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, climb the CN Tower, or go to one of the many theatres in the Entertainment District.

Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is a three hour drive east of Peterborough. Ottawa hosts many festivals and special events, including the largest Canada Day celebration in the country. Be sure to try out a beaver tail – a unique Canadian pastry – when you go to Ottawa.