Tuesday, October 23, 2012

All things Peterborough

Peterborough, Ontario is one hundred and sixty two years old. Originally settled by Irish immigrants from Europe. It's first major employer was the Canadian Canoe Company which for awhile created a quarter of Canada's canoes. Over the years other big employers move in starting with Johnson Motors which still has a major toe-hold in the boating engine market. This was followed by General Electric and Quaker Oats. 

THe canadian Canoe Company's manufacturing building has become a museum and though I have not as yet been in it I have been told that it holds a rather thorough display of early boating items. In my desire to reaquaint myself with what was my home for fifteen years I have decided to compile a list of places I would like to visit and things I would like to do.

I had not realized how hard it would be to write for quantity not quality. Oh I supose I should tell you why that is important. If you have read any of the previous entries you will have noticed a desire repeated over and over again in my notes, that is to write a book of my very own. Two actually, one of short stories and one of poetry. November is National novel writing month and I want to participate again this year. I am trying to figure out about how long it would take me to write 1068 words which is the minimum I have to write daily to meet the target of 50'000 words in 30 days. This is my first trial run and it's purpose ti to find out just what 1068 words looks like, thus the history lesson.

Within Peterborough itself there are two distinct parts East City & the rest of Peterborough. East city though almost a community unto itself is on one side of the Otonabee River which flows through the centre of Peterborough, sometimes above ground and sometimes not. To get to East city one must cross the Hunter Street bridge or go around to Monaghan Rd and through the Lift locks. 

Peterborough has a very unique geology. It is a group of seven hills through the base of which runs a river, there is nowhere you can go in this city without either climbing up at least one hill or going down one. Which is why a lot of people drive here. When the city was younger everybody used to walk to get most anywhere because it was only an hours walk to go from the extreme west to the extreme East or from the extreme North to the extreme South. As it has been pulled into the 20th century more & more cars have appeared and what was once a city of the fit has become a city of the obese. Parks which used to be busy in every season now sit mostly idle and the trails see very little traffic. The last time I followed one of the trails I noticed how overgrown it had become, which tells me even the city does not care enough to maintain them any more.

Still there is a definite shift in the attitude and demenour of the residents since I was here last, almost a lightening of spirits. Perhaps it was already here a year ago I just didn't notice because I was so deep in my own gloom. There are still a lot of empty buildings but at least Peterborough Square is beginning to pick up a bit. This is important not only because it sits in the centre of downtown but also because it was the first mall ever built here and as such holds a lot of history.

Ok concentration might be a problem. I have become so used to multi-tasking that I always have several items open on my computer at the same time, right now I have Evernote, Chrome, Firefox, Sticky Notes and a file folder open , each of the browsers have four tabs open. I was just reading about Peterborough in the Peterborough Wiki, can you beleive it we have our own Wiki entry and whoever did it knew a lot about Peterborough. I figure it was probably some one from City Hall that added it, either that or one of our historians.

Anyway it seems that Peterborough has a reputation as a art community which shouldn't surprise me but does a bit. It is probably that atmosphere which has prompted my own longing to make a contribution to the arts either by written word or other art form, like the dolls. Hmm I think I need another coffee, as I write this last word before I go get it I am at word seven hundred and eighty nine

Of the attractions here there are several that are on my must see list:

1) as I mentioned already I really want to go check out the Canadian Canoe Company Museum

2) Peterborough Museum & Archives

3) Spend some time at the Cenotaph and in the park around it

4) The Lift-lock Museum and if possible a chance to see the lift-locks up close and personal while they are in action

5) Peterborough Art Gallery

6) Little Lake  Music Fest

7) Riverview Park & Zoo

8) Artsweek

9) Downtown Countdown (New Years Eve)

10) Emergency: Festival of New Dance

11) Festival of Trees

12) Peterborough Folk Festival

13) Peterborough Pride Week & parade

14) Peterborough Kinsmen Santa Clause Parade

15) Multicultural Day

These are the city sponsered ones and of course for 2012 I have missed most of them since they are held during the tourist season but there are many other things to see & do including several small museums in the old homes of the founding fathers, the biking/hiking trails and of course live theatre.

There is also a skateboard park and skating rink if I want to get a bit more active. There are two library branches and though I've been to the Main branch lots I would like to check out the De La Fosse as they have art classes there. The libraries are quite active in promoting literacy and have many special events, they are the main host for the weekly writ-ins for NANoWriMo and so are high on my list of places to go and things to do.

There are also several groups I would like to join such as the Fibro Support Group and Toastmasters but that is a topic for another day


Word Count: 1080

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