We Lose the Best of Peterborough

Peterborough’s strong linkage between the city and the natural environment is quite possibly our biggest cultural and economic asset.

So why would we squander it? Council seems to want us to be like every other Ontario city. We are not. Peterborough is unique. We have unique challenges and unique advantages. Ask citizens and visitors to Peterborough what they like about the City and you’ll hear one thing time and time again and way more often than anything else:

The Natural Environment

Peterborough is a naturally beautiful city. It is there front and centre on the City’s webpage. One of the key things that sets Peterborough apart from many other cities is how the city and the natural environment are linked throughout the city. Sure, most places have pockets of natural beauty but, from the river that runs through it, to the canal corridor, to our trails network, Peterborough has a more integration between the natural and urban environment than nearly any place we can think of in Ontario.

From young entrepreneurs in the creative sector to successful job applicants considering moving to Peterborough to retirees, it is what attracts many people to Peterborough. Importantly, it is often the last thing (beyond family and friends) that keeps young people here where they were born or raised. When it comes to competing for companies looking to locate or relocate, this is one characteristic where we can compete and win. We may not have close access to big populations or large transportation networks but our natural environment makes this a place people want to live, other factors being even. This is increasingly going to become a factor for companies when predicted labour shortages start to kick in and people are more likely to chose based on “where is it a great place to live?”, not “where can I get the best job?”

For those that do live here, the natural environment is also a big factor of why we like Peterborough. Other cities have all the usual conveniences of urban life (many have more); but few have as good a connection to the natural environment as Peterborough.

The Parkway Trail currently is one of the four big trails in the City and cuts right into otherwise highly suburban areas. It is a greenway that cities all around North America would die for (and in many cases are paying big money for). Why would we give that up and convert it into a glorified sidewalk? Especially when alternatives exist.

As was mentioned at a recent Parkway Corridor EA Public Meeting, “I love living in Peterborough because it is a city that leaves me connected to nature and I can walk through it in peace. I don’t like living here because it is a fast trip to Walmart”.

To paraphrase Joni Mitchell, let’s not pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

Act Now!
If you oppose the development of the Parkway as a road, you must act! While various groups and individuals are attempting to fight the Parkway through the Parkway Corridor Class EA process, City Council has shown it does not always listen to logic and really only responds to one thing: pressure from voters.

Here’s how we create that pressure:

Support public interest groups
Friends of Peterborough Trails [Website] [Facebook Page]
Friends of Jackson Park [Facebook Page]

Contact the Mayor and Council
Write, call or otherwise contact your council and Mayor Bennett now! Indicate how their vote on the Parkway may (or better yet WILL) affect your vote in the next municipal election.

Find their contact information in our Ptbo Politics page or below are two lists you can cut and paste into your e-mailer, assuming it accepts either the semi-colon delimited and comma delimited format.

dbennett@peterborough.ca; dmcwilliams@peterborough.ca; lparnell@peterborough.ca; hclarke@peterborough.ca; jdoris@peterborough.ca; bjuby@peterborough.ca; dpappas@peterborough.ca; kriel@peterborough.ca; lvass@peterborough.ca; arbeamer@peterborough.ca; bhall@peterborough.ca

dbennett@peterborough.ca, dmcwilliams@peterborough.ca, lparnell@peterborough.ca, hclarke@peterborough.ca, jdoris@peterborough.ca, bjuby@peterborough.ca, dpappas@peterborough.ca, kriel@peterborough.ca, lvass@peterborough.ca, arbeamer@peterborough.ca, bhall@peterborough.ca

No Parkway
This is one of a series of posts outlining Why the Parkway is a bad idea.