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Peterborough (pronounced Pee-ter-bor-row) is a city on the Otonabee River in (Central-Eastern) southern Ontario, Canada, 125 kilometres (78 mi) northeast of Toronto. The population of the City of Peterborough was 74,898 in the 2006 census, while the census metropolitan area (CMA) had a population of 116,570. It presently ranks as the 33rd and smallest CMA in Canada. The current mayor of Peterborough is Daryl Bennett.
Peterborough is known as the gateway to Kawarthas, "cottage country", a large recreational region of the province. It is named in honour of Peter Robinson, an early Canadian politician who oversaw the first major immigration to the area.
The first major events of the 20th Century in Peterborough occurred in 1904. The first occurrence was the village of Ashburnham, founded in 1859 and situated on the eastern shore of the Otonabee River, being annexed to Peterborough. This significantly increased the size of the growing city. This area of the city is still referred to as "East City" by local residents and is regarded as a somewhat separate entity to Peterborough proper. It has maintained an identity within the city and is one of the more well known neighbourhoods. The second occurrence was the completion of the Peterborough Lift Lock on July 9, eight years after construction was initially approved. To this day, many landmarks in Peterborough memorialise Richard Rogers, conceptual father of the Lift Lock, such as Rogers Cove on Little Lake and Rogers Street in the eastern part of the city.
In 1905, Peterborough was incorporated as a city on Dominion Day, with a population of about 14,300. The city's flag and coat of arms were adopted later, in 1951.
In the 1970s, the Ontario Government helped sponsor the building of Peterborough Square with the aid of the Ontario Downtown Renewal Programme (ODRP). The mall was anchored by an Eaton's store until the collapse of the Eaton's chain of stores in the late 1990s; it now houses offices, stores and a food court. The provincial government relocated the central office of the Ministry of Natural Resources to 300 Water Street, kitty corner from Peterborough Square. With two post-secondary educational institution, Trent University and Fleming College, the region has a wealth of research and labour development opportunities. On top of all of the advantageous economic and market-access factors Peterborough is located in one of Canada's premier lake districts—the Kawarthas—providing sport, recreation and lifestyle opportunities. In 2008, a new regional hospital officially opened in Peterborough.
As of the 2006 Canadian Census, there were 74,898 people and 33,042 dwellings (31,204 occupied) in the city. This is up from 71,446 people in 2001 for a growth rate of 4.8%. This is well below both Ontario's overall growth rate (6.8%) and Canada's growth rate (5.4%). The population density of the city is 1,282.6 people per square kilometre. It is anticipated that the city's population will grow to approximately 98,900 by 2017.
The population of Peterborough's CMA, which consists of the city of Peterborough as well as the surrounding townships of Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield, Douro-Dummer, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Cavan-Monaghan; stood at 116,570 in 2006. This positions it as the 33rd largest metropolitan area in Canada (14th in Ontario). The population is up from 110,876 in 2001 for a growth rate of 5.1%. This suggests a trend of greater growth outside of Peterborough city limits. Communities within Peterborough's CMA include Millbrook, Bridgenorth and Lakefield. The population density of Peterborough (CMA) averaged 85.4 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 12.6 people per square kilometre (32.6/sq mi) for the province.
In 2006, the resident population 14 years or younger made up 15.7% of the general population, while 18.2% were 65 or older. The median age for the CMA was 42.8, which is the fifth highest of Canada's thirty-three Census Metropolitan Areas, behind Trois-Rivières, Saguenay, Kelowna and Victoria.
Peterborough's population is predominantly Caucasian, with only 3.1% of the population identifying as Aboriginal and 2.7% identifying as a visible minority; made up of 0.6% South Asian, 0.6% Chinese, 0.5% Black, 0.1% Filipino, 0.2% Latin American and 0.2% Southeast Asian. Peterborough is also primarily an English-speaking city, with 92.5% of the population speaking it as their mother tongue. French is spoken by 1.1% of the population, and other languages are spoken by 5.9% of the population.
No longer the dominant local industry, manufacturing is still one of the key sectors along with food processing, automotive supplies, electronics, aerospace and life sciences/biotechnology. General Electric and Quaker Oats maintain large operations in Peterborough, as well, the city is also a 'bedroom' community for workers commuting to Oshawa and East Toronto. The Peterborough Regional Health Centre is the largest employer, planning to hire 800 more over the next three years, adding to its current employment total of over 2,000. School boards, local government, Trent University and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources are other large employers.
Companies like General Electric have had a major impact on the growth of the city. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of the early 1990s saw a major shift in trading patterns for many Canadian companies. Other innovations like just in time delivery and pressure to produce ever cheaper goods impacted some of the large multi-nationals in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite this, today GE, PepsiCo Quaker, Siemens and numerous smaller manufacturing companies are experiencing significant growth. Minute Maid (Coca-Cola) recently invested $CDN20 million in a new warehouse and product line while auto parts supplier Ventra has doubled in size. United Canadian Malt Ltd. is a manufacturer of a wide variety of extracts of malted barley, and other grains. Manufacturing job creation kept pace with the provincial average from 1991–2001. Lower costs, reliable labour and high quality post-secondary institutions are a competitive advantage for Peterborough. Peterborough was ranked number one location for business in Ontario by Canadian Business magazine in late 2004.
Peterborough is a major shopping destination for the region and is home to three shopping centres; Peterborough Square, located at George and Simcoe Streets, Portage Place at 1154 Chemong Road, and Lansdowne Place at 645 Lansdowne Street West. All have undergone major renovations in recent years, with Lansdowne Place currently in the process of expanding. Both Walmart and Costco have large stores in Peterborough, which draw clients from the surrounding area.
Peterborough is served by provincial Highway 115 (from Highway 401) and the Highway 7 junction, which becomes the Peterborough By-Pass. The eastern segment of Highway 7 was separated from the central segment by 6 km until the creation of the By-Pass. This freeway-style highway runs 12.5 km off Highway 115 with five entrance routes into the city. Its entire length is part of the Trans-Canada Highway. Other Provincial Highways important to Peterborough are Highway 7A, which junctions onto Highway 115 just southwest of the city, and Highway 28, which routes from Highway 7 just east of the city to Lakefield and on further north.
The area is also served by numerous county roads.
There are four road bridges which cross the Otonabee River within the city limits of Peterborough. The most northerly one is the Nassau Mills Road Bridge near Trent University. The next most northerly bridge is the Parkhill Road Bridge. The Hunter Street Bridge crosses the river just north of Little Lake, linking East City with the downtown core. The most southerly bridge is the Lansdowne Street Bridge. In addition, Highway 115 crosses the river near the southern edge of the city. There are also numerous other bridges which cross the Trent Canal (notably the crossing at the lift lock which actually passes under the canal), Jackson Creek and the other minor creeks in the city. There are also numerous other river crossings throughout the CMA, the longest of which is the James A. Gifford Causeway, which crosses Chemong Lake linking Bridgenorth with Ennismore.
Public transit in the city of Peterborough is currently run by Peterborough Transit, providing a total of 12 regular and 5 express routes throughout the city.
Peterborough Transit's hub is a central terminal located on Simcoe Street in the city's downtown core. It also serves as the regional terminus for Coach Canada (formerly Trentway Wagar) routes into the city. Greyhound Lines of Canada operates an inter-city terminal nearby at the corner of Simcoe and Aylmer Streets, with several daily commuter buses to and from Toronto. GO Transit established a bus service from Peterborough to Oshawa starting September 5, 2009.
Peterborough is served by Canadian Pacific Railway. No passenger services currently exist, but the federal government plans to reinstate them and significant progress had been made in 2008. Dean Del Mastro, MP, lobbied for passenger rail to be brought back to the small city, and there has been government funding put aside for a Peterborough–Toronto rail link.
Peterborough Airport is located off Highway 115, just south of the city. It is primarily a recreation and business airport, offering no scheduled flights by any airlines. Its 5000-foot paved runway is the longest between Toronto and Ottawa and sees approximately 31,000 aircraft movements per year.
Otonabee River is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, providing a link from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron. Also, the Trent Canal runs through the very eastern portion of the city and is home to the Peterborough Lift Lock, the highest hydraulic boat lift in the world. The Peterborough Marina is located on Little Lake near where Jackson Creek drains into the lake, beside Del Crary Park and just east of George Street. It contains 90 slips for docking and a host of amenities.
Peterborough is served by the Peterborough Utilities Group (PUG), formerly the Peterborough Utilities Commission, which provides electricity and water to the city and its residents. It is currently 100%-owned by the City of Peterborough. They have been in operation for over 90 years. The PUG has recently started expanding outside of just distributing water and electricity within the city and have begun to develop and operate electricity generation (notably the Trent Rapids project), telecom services, energy equipment rentals, and commercial metering services both in Peterborough and throughout the province.
Natural gas for heating is provided locally by Enbridge Inc.
Peterborough is home to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC), which serves Peterborough, Peterborough County, Northumberland County, the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County and Hastings County. It is located at 1 Hospital Drive and prior to the completion of its new facility in June 2008, also provided some services from the old St. Joseph's site at 384 Rogers Street. The PRHC is part of the Central East Local Health Integration Network, provides 494 beds and houses one of the busiest emergency departments in Ontario.
The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB) is the public English language school board that serves the local area. Its headquarters are located at 1994 Fisher Drive, Peterborough. Over 35,000 students attend its schools and it encompasses almost 7,000 square kilometres, and takes the place of the former Peterborough County Board of Education and Northumberland-Clarington Board of Education. It stretches from the north of Peterborough County south to Lake Ontario, and from Hastings County in the east, to the City of Kawartha Lakes and the City of Oshawa in the west. As of 2010, the KPRDSB operates 82 elementary schools, 15 secondary schools and four adult learning centres serving both the urban area and the outlying rural communities. Of those, 16 elementary schools, five secondary schools and a single adult learning centre are located within the city.
The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board is the Separate English language school board for the region. It is headquartered at 1355 Lansdowne Street West, Peterborough and presently operates 33 elementary schools and five secondary schools. Of these, nine elementary and two secondary schools operate within the city.
The Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud is the Separate French language school board for the South-Central region of Ontario, which includes Peterborough. It presently operates 41 elementary schools and eight secondary schools, of which the only school in Peterborough is the elementary school Monseigneur-Jamot.
Established in 1964, Trent University is a small liberal arts- and science-oriented institution. Trent's academic focus is on environmental, cultural and science studies. The main Symons Campus of Trent, located in the city's far north end, is approximately 14.6 square kilometres, over half of which is a part of Trent's Nature Areas, an ecologically diverse wild-life preserve.
Trent University is divided into a series of colleges: Champlain, Lady Eaton, Catharine Parr Traill, Otonabee, Peter Gzowski and Julian Blackburn. Each college has its own residence hall, dining room and student government, except for Julian Blackburn, which consists only of part-time students.
Established in 1967, Fleming College, (formerly Sir Sandford Fleming College), is a multidisciplinary institution with two primary campuses within the city of Peterborough:
McRae Campus is located in a renovated textile mill located on McDonnel Street near Monaghan Road and is home to the School of Continuing Education and Skilled Trades.
Sutherland Campus is located on Brealey Drive in the city's west end, and has recently undergone a massive expansion. The new St. Joseph's at Fleming is the first long-term care facility to be built on a college or university campus. In 2005, the Peterborough Sport & Wellness Centre was constructed to accommodate the college's athletic needs.
The college also operates satellite campuses in nearby Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton.
The Peterborough Mechanics Institute, established in 1868, housed a subscription library that allowed members who paid a fee to borrow books. Mechanics Institutes were established across Ontario to make education universal and accessible to all citizens. In Peterborough, the Institute and the Library were located on Water Street. In May 1895, the Mechanics Institute became the Peterborough Public Library. The library remained on Water Street.
Later, the Peterborough Public Library received funding from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation and the new Carnegie Library located on George Street opened in 1911. This building is currently the Carnegie Wing of City Hall.
In February 1949, a branch library opened in the south end of Peterborough. It was situated above a hardware store and was a room 50 by 20 feet. It was divided into two sections—one for children, the other for adults.
The DelaFosse Branch Library opened officially on December 1, 1965. The Peterborough Examiner declared that this branch at 729 Park Street S., made "south end residents the envy of the rest of the city." Currently, it holds a recreational reading collection of approximately 14,000 hardcover and paperback books for all ages. Recent additions to the collection include a variety of multimedia including CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs and CD audio books. This branch library is named in honour of Frederick Montague de la Fosse, who was the Chief Librarian of Peterborough Public Library from 1910 to 1946.
The Main Library at 345 Aylmer Street N. opened on September 2, 1980. The new library was built on the site of the old fire hall and had about triple the floor space of the old Carnegie building. The opening ceremonies were on September 17 and featured Dr. Robertson Davies, Master of Massey College, University of Toronto, as the keynote speaker.
The Main Library is a full service library with a well-stocked current circulating collection of books, CD audio books, CD-Music, DVDs and magazines. In addition to encyclopedias and dictionaries, the Reference Collection includes a local history collection, government documents, electronic resources and microforms selected to answer the information needs of the community. The Main Library was recently used for the filming of the 2008 American science fiction film Jumper.
Peterborough is home to a disproportionately large number of radio stations compared to centres closer to Toronto. This is due in part to Peterborough's central location in a valley. Peterborough is also home to two television stations; CHEX-TV is a local affiliate to CBC and TVCogeco is a community cable channel provided by Cogeco. Peterborough has two main newspapers, the Peterborough Examiner, which publishes six days a week minus Sunday, and Peterborough This Week, which publishes every Wednesday and Friday.
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