Peterborough residents know the Old West End as one of the city’s most tranquil, beautiful neighbourhoods. For painter Nan Sidler, that makes it the perfect home base to pursue her chosen artform, landscape painting. “I just love the trees in the neighbourhood,” she says. “It’s so gorgeous.” Guests will have a chance to appreciate the
ARTS & CULTURE
Bustling music venues, vibrant galleries, and thought-provoking museums abound in Kawarthas Northumberland
Kawarthas Northumberland is perfectly positioned as a destination for artistic and cultural experiences you just can’t find elsewhere in Ontario. We are just close enough to and just far enough away from Ontario’s major cities, striking a balance between accessibility and uniqueness.
It’s all here for you. Come experience authentic art and culture.
ENJOY A SHOW IN STYLE AND COMFORT
Sit back, relax and enjoy a musical or live theatrical performance in a one-of-a-kind venue. Experience a one of a kind show at the 4th Line Theatre, which has been holding outdoor performances for nearly 30 years. Enjoy a stunning lineup of musical performers celebrating 20 years in Westben‘s custom-built barn. Take in a show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, one of Canada’s only remaining Atmospheric Theatre venues. Discover one of Peterborough’s live music and theatre venues, such as the iconic Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, or enjoy free live concerts as the summer sun sets at Bobcaygeon’s Concerts in the Park or Peterborough’s popular Musicfest, next to the beautiful Trent-Severn Waterway.
The creative arts are thriving in Kawarthas Northumberland thanks to vibrant communities of musicians, actors, bands, singer/song-writers, and artisans.
TAKE THE GRAND TOUR
***The Canadian Canoe Museum is temporarily closed between September 5, 2022 and summer 2023, in order to prepare for the move to a new facility at 2077 Ashburnham Drive. Find out more at canoemuseum.ca***
Book a workshop with an artisan in paddle-carving, pyrography, beading, leather-working, snow-shoe making and more at The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. Enjoy a guided forest experience or a workshop in traditional greenwood carving at the Gamiing Nature Centre near Bobcaygeon. Experience the dozens of unique local legends & artisan studios along the Kawartha Lakes Arts and Heritage Trail. Catch Port Hope’s Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny in April, an unorthodox boating event that brings all kinds of improvised watercraft down the Ganaraska River. Or enjoy the heart-warming hilarity of baby goats with a unique Shmurgle Experience at Haute Goat in Port Hope.
You can plan an Instagram-worthy road trip across Kawarthas Northumberland, snapping photos with stunning murals or giant sculptures such as the Hastings fish Pisces Pete, the giant twoonie in Campbellford, the Hunter Street Bridge Archway mural in Peterborough, or the brightly painted Little Pie Shack in Fenelon Falls.
Trent-Severn Trail Towns offers a self-guided paddle art tour where you can see artistically designed canoe paddles on display in Trent-Severn Trail Town Friendly Businesses, Tourist and Chamber of Commerce offices.
Whatever inspires you, go home with something you made yourself & a renewed sense of creativity and connection.
DELVE INTO LOCAL HISTORY AND ARTISTRY
***The Canadian Canoe Museum is temporarily closed in order to prepare for the move to a new facility at 2077 Ashburnham Drive. Find out more at canoemuseum.ca***
Witness the largest known concentration of Indigenous rock carvings in Canada at Petroglyphs Provincial Park in North Kawartha. Visit The Canadian Canoe Museum, a unique national heritage centre in Peterborough that explores the canoe’s enduring significance to the peoples of Canada through the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft. Immerse yourself in the work of Indigenous craftspeople from the Curve Lake First Nation and from across Canada at Whetung’s Ojibwa Centre.
Nestled along the banks of the historic Indian River, Lang Pioneer Village Museum features over twenty-five restored and furnished buildings constructed between 1825 and 1899. A photographer’s paradise, the Village is complete with lanes and pathways, farm animals, rail and stump fences, vegetable and herb gardens, as well as other authentic details of a 19th-century hamlet. Kawartha Settlers’ Village offers a similar experience in Bobcaygeon with over 20 historic homes and buildings. Or perhaps you’ll choose to visit the Art Gallery of Northumberland‘s stimulating collection of historical and contemporary works of art.
Celebrate the Harvest at
A fall fair
Fall is a particularly sweet season. Every year, the towns throughout Kawarthas Northumberland celebrate the autumn harvest with some of the best and longest-running fall fairs in Ontario.
If you’d like a few highlights, consider these:
- A Thanksgiving Tradition since 1868, the Norwood Fall Fair brings traditional family fun into the picturesque village of Norwood.
- On the final weekend of September, the Bobcaygeon Fall Fair celebrates over 160 years of fall fair fun in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes.
- The Port Hope Fall Fair is epic in scale and down-to-earth in its focus on providing all ages with a chance to learn about our roots in agriculture.
Take a Road Trip
Just east of Toronto, this scenic part of the province offers beautiful backroads and endless arts and heritage, roadside attractions and gastronomic delights. In the spring, colourful lilacs decorate the region. In the fall, Kawarthas Northumberland is one of the best places to see foliage in Ontario.
If you’re a leaf lover, this is the place to be. Driving along the highways and backroads, you’ll be treated to brilliant orange, yellow and red colours rippling across farmlands, hilltops and the iconic Canadian Shield.
The Kawarthas Northumberland blog is the place to go for longer stories and additional recommendations. Browse the articles below to find out more about arts and culture in the region.
“I get most of my inspiration probably within 15 kilometres of where I live here. It’s just not necessary to go much further,” says painter Jane Robertson. Visitors on the Northumberland Hills Studio Tour, which ran September 9-10 in 2023, would probably agree—the region’s expansive landscapes lend themselves to painting. “It’s really about patterns and
Kelly Whyte of Rapley Fields Art Studios doesn’t have to go far to find inspiration. I live just south of Bobcaygeon,” she says, “and we own 100 acres. It’s fields and trails and woods. I ski on it, I hike on it, I snowshoe, so a lot of my scenes come from just my backyard,