Peterborough & the Kawarthas offers an amazing volume and variety of experiences that ring true, and that won’t break the bank either. Our rich mix of heritage city, cottage country and flourishing farmlands makes living and visiting here something out of the ordinary.
Just 90 minutes northeast of the Greater Toronto Area, the vibrant City of Peterborough is right in the heart of famed Kawarthas cottage country. It’s a regional capital and university town brimming with heritage and culture, just minutes away from more than 151 lakes and charming towns and villages.
Peterborough is home to the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock, a must-see location along the Trent-Severn Waterway. It is also the home of the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft in the world; the Canadian Canoe Museum.
Long known as a leader in the local food movement, the region is home to more than 350 restaurants, many of which are dedicated to serving up the fruits of our centuries-old farmlands. Pair that with award winning craft beer and wine, an eclectic mix of international cuisine and a farmers’ market every day of the week and you have a food scene that rivals Ontario’s most well-known locales.
With more than 600 festivals and events a year, there’s always something happening – whether it’s free outdoor concerts all summer long overlooking Little Lake in downtown Peterborough, camping at a country music festival or experiencing our rich First Nations history and culture at a Pow Wow, there’s something for just about everyone, all year round.
First Nations people came to the area more than 11,000 years ago, and named the Kawarthas after an Ojibwa term meaning “The Land of Shining Waters”. The region includes two First Nations communities, and contains the largest known concentration of aboriginal rock carvings in Canada, at Petroglyphs Provincial Park.
The city’s close proximity to the surrounding rugged rural terrain makes this region one of Ontario’s most popular vacation destinations. Our lakes are lined with family resorts, and peaceful B&Bs, and the city is home to a handful of trusted chain hotels.
Outdoor activities abound, with some of the best fishing in Ontario, hundreds of kilometres of recreational trails, signature cycling and paddling routes and plenty of opportunity for motorized recreation by boat, snowmobile and ATV. The winding country roads make for some of Ontario’s most stunning fall drives, and are the reason this destination is touted for having some of the best motorcycling roads and routes in the province.
Many of Canada’s great literary icons, such as Margaret Laurence, Catharine Parr Traill, Susanna Moodie and Robertson Davies have called this place home. You can learn about their time here at the Lakefield Literary Festival, or at Lang Pioneer Village Museum, which is also home to two of only a handful of authentic Jacquard looms that can be viewed in North America.
If you’re looking for a place where the people are down-to-earth, the beauty is breathtaking and the activities are endless, come out to Peterborough & the Kawarthas.