The Most Adorable Peterborough Video Of 2018 Might Be These Meerkats With A Halloween Pumpkin At Peterborough Zoo

A cute video the Riverview Park & Zoo recent posted to their Facebook page is getting thousands of views across various social media platforms.

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The zoo thanked all the people that dropped off pumpkins there after Halloween, as the pumpkins are great enrichment for many of their animals. The pumpkins were definitely a smashing success for the Meerkats.

The post has become of our most retweeted of 2018…

Watch the Riverview Park & Zoo’s original video that has amassed nearly 12,000 views so far on their Facebook page…

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Throwdown: Peterborough Police United Way Team Issues Cheeseburger Food Court Eating Challenge

Move over Joey Chestnut, there is a new local food eating challenge on the horizon and it’s all about squads.

The Peterborough Police United Way team have issued an open challenge to all City of Peterborough services, including Peterborough Fire Services and Peterborough Paramedics, to a cheeseburger eating contest at the Lansdowne Place McDonald’s location in the food court on Tuesday, December 4th.

 Image courtesy Peterborough Police

Image courtesy Peterborough Police

Starting at 11:30 a.m. on December 4th when the cheeseburgers will be fresh off the grill, teams will pack away as many as possible all for a good cause—and bragging rights of course. All proceeds from this fun event are going to the United Way Peterborough and District.

The challenge is capped at 10 teams, and this year they must be City of Peterborough services with plans to expand the event next year already being discussed. To sign up your City of Peterborough services team, simply contact the Police Services United Way Co-Chair here with your team info. Each team is asked to make an initial $100 donation to the United Way Peterborough District and anything on top of that is a bonus.

Learn more about the burger throwdown in this video Peterborough Police put out…

—post by Aaron Elliott

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Why VentureNorth Hub Has Quickly Emerged As One Of The Most Innovative & Important Spaces In Peterborough

Startups are at the core of everything we do. An individual’s life is a startup that begins at birth. Every city was once a startup, as was every company, every institution, and every project. As humans, we are wired to start things.” —Brad Feld in “Startup Communities: Building An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City

Since opening in 2016, VentureNorth (270 George St. N.) has emerged as one of the most important buildings—”spaces” is perhaps a better word to describe it—in Peterborough, standing tall in the heart of downtown and symbolizing the city’s path as an innovative, entrepreneurial destination to encourage startups and existing businesses to grow and thrive.

 VentureNorth building

VentureNorth building

Housing the likes of Innovation Cluster, Peterborough Economic Development, JA Peterborough, Community Futures Eastern Ontario, Peterborough & The Kawarthas Tourism and now Community Futures Peterborough, the VentureNorth hub has become a gateway to growth and networking for multiple startups and entrepreneurs, and those visiting or considering relocating to Peterborough. Not to mention it’s just a stone’s throw away from the business-growth, community-minded DBIA and Peterborough Chamber offices.

 VentureNorth lobby

VentureNorth lobby

“We have been very excited about the success of the hub,” VentureNorth Co-Founder Paul Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “Now, Peterborough has a true one door location to start/expand/help a business grow and succeed. What we have seen in the last couple years has been amazing. The success of the Innovation Cluster, PED and JA has been inspiring. With Community Futures joining EOCFDC as part of the VentureNorth team, the sky is the limit for the future of entrepreneurship in our great community.”

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The hub—which overlooks both the downtown and Otonabee River—took inspiration from similar successful models in Waterloo (Communitech), Toronto (DMZ) and Oshawa (Spark). But it has now forged a unique identify itself, fuelling an ecosystem of local leaders and innovators with its own “all-inclusive” ethos of offerings and organizations—a concierge service, if you will, to experts with a wide range of subject experise in various areas with a want to help you succeed.

”When the concept of VentureNorth was first envisioned, the goal was to bring all these great organizations together to help entrepreneurs and showcase the competitive advantage that we believe Peterborough has—the people and the place,” Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “We have an overwhelming supportive community and a way of life that is truly second to none. Once people are able to experience living and working in this great community, the roots get planted very quickly.   

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Indeed, collaboration has been a key ingredient in building momentum in Peterborough for forward thinkers and progress. Breaking down silos (something that can prevent you from thinking outside the box, excecuting on ideas, and just getting stuff done) has shed the barriers to growth, innovation and beta testing.

Growth can be accelerated here as Peterborough—with all the amenities of a big city but a small town feel—is primed to become an entrepreneurial region. It has great support partners at the hub and beyond, and Trent University and Fleming College are absolutely key ingredients and partners in training students and talent, many of which will stay here (retention is key) and become entrepreneurs and leaders.

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The concept of VentureNorth from the get-go was to create an ecosystem where entrepreneurs and business people can connect and work alongside each other in open concept spaces to drive success and thrive. Startups and organizations can grow and succeed when they work side-by-side—learn from each other, motivate each other, push each other.

That is happening at VentureNorth, and indeed this hub—itself a startup still in its infancy—has been so successful that it is encountering a problem many startups face: running out of space. “Our struggle moving forward is that we don’t have any more space to offer,” Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “We have had many private businesses (local and from outside town) show interest in being part of this exciting ecosystem, but we don’t have anything to offer them.”

 Rendering of what Phase 2 of VentureNorth Building could look like

Rendering of what Phase 2 of VentureNorth Building could look like

In response to this, the VentureNorth founders have begun planning a second phase to their vision for the building (see renderings above and below), which would bring much needed expanded space along with further aesthetic exterior and interior upgrades to a hub that has a contemporary design and feel.

“The idea would be to extend the same overall concept that was started with VentureNorth but expand to include some exciting private businesses and a banking partner,” Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “Much the way that Communitech in Waterloo expanded, we want to see VentureNorth expand and bring a great deal of life to our business sector downtown. This will hopefully spur more residential demand and supply in our core to see a new level of vibrancy in our downtown.”

 Night rendering of what Phase 2 of VentureNorth Building could look like

Night rendering of what Phase 2 of VentureNorth Building could look like

These are exciting times for VentureNorth, which is helping put Peterborough on the map right up there with other Canadian cities like Waterloo that have fully embraced the innovation and tech economy. They are willing to play the long game to execute on their vision for building our innovation economy.

To further engage the community about VentureNorth and its promising future, there will be an Open House and Christmas Party on December 4th that the public is welcome to attend, where they can check out the building and see some of the exciting new businesses showcased in the Innovation Cluster showcase. More details will be coming on that soon.

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Watch: Our "We Are PTBO" In Conversation With Wayne Ferguson At Black Honey Cafe

PTBOCanada.com in collaboration with our spinoff agency StudioPTBO have launched a new Docu-Series called "We Are PTBO". The series spotlights ordinary citizens in the community who help make this city extraordinary.

 Wayne Ferguson

Wayne Ferguson

The series is produced by Rob "Electric City" James from StudioPTBO. In this show, we chat with photographer Wayne Ferguson at Black Honey Cafe on Hunter Street about all things Peterborough and community, including art/murals, affordable housing and men’s mental health.

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Watch the episode below…

Watch the first episode here in conversation with Amino Yusuf.

Know someone that you think should be spotlighted in the series? Email Rob here.

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Wimpy's Diner... You Rock!

 Sam & Bonnie, Owners of Wimpy’s Diner Peterborough

Sam & Bonnie, Owners of Wimpy’s Diner Peterborough

Each month, PTBOCanada will award someone that is making a difference locally that you nominate. This month, Chad Buchner from Small Change PTBO gave a glowing shoutout to Sam, Bonnie and Tas Shamsuz—the owners of Wimpy’s Diner (1080 Lansdowne Street West).

Here’s what Chad had to say about them…

These people have supported this community for the past two years by serving people free Thanksgiving meals for those who need a small change. Recently, we served over 350 meals and this family welcomed everyone into their restaurant just like it was their home.

Being the Vice President of Small Change Peterborough, I have come to see many amazing people in our community with big hearts but these people do not get the credit they truly deserve.
— Chad Buchner

Know of an unsung hero who has made a difference here in Peterborough? Nominate them for a “You Rock” award and they might receive a handmade token of their awesomeness!

—post and photo by Evan Holt

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: Gauvreau & Associates Launches In Stunning New Space At 150 King Street

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Gauvreau & Associates Launches In Stunning New Space At 150 King Street

Sponsored post by Gauvreau & Associates

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: Great Seasonal Driving Tips Presented By Student Transportation Of Canada

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Great Seasonal Driving Tips Presented By Student Transportation Of Canada

Sponsored video post by Student Transportation of Canada

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Watch: Peterborough Chamber CEO Stuart Harrison On Growing Up In A Town Of 35 People, Leadership, Collaboration, Community & More

On Episode 30 of “PTBOCanada”, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce CEO Stuart Harrison talks to us about growing up in a town of 35 people in Leipzig, Saskatoon where his parents ran a hotel/pub, and where Stu lived above the pub.

 The town of Leipzig where Stuart Harrison grew up

The town of Leipzig where Stuart Harrison grew up

We also cover what brought Stu to Peterborough four decades ago, what being CEO of the Peterborough Chamber (he is celebrating 15 years there) has meant to him, the impact of his Business Beat column, where we’re at now as a community, and how a recent health scare with something called Transient global amnesia gave him even greater perspective on life.

 Stu Harrison on “PTBOCanada” show

Stu Harrison on “PTBOCanada” show

Watch the interview with Stu below…

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Downtown Soap Shop Simple Not Reopening After Fire

 PHOTO COURTESY SIMPLE

PHOTO COURTESY SIMPLE

Simple (370 George Street North) has been closed since a fire hit the building on November 17th, 2017. Their neighbour Natas who were also affected have since reopened, then opened a new location at 382 George Street called Cork & Bean.

Simple had opened a temporary location at the Peterborough Square but have decided not to re-open.

 PHOTO Of TEMPORARY PETERBOROUGH SQUARE LOCATION COURTESY DBIA

PHOTO Of TEMPORARY PETERBOROUGH SQUARE LOCATION COURTESY DBIA

Owner Alex Fitzgerald posted the following note to customers on their Facebook page

Happy Fall, everyone!
I’ve had a much longer hiatus than I’d originally planned, but I hope everyone had as great a summer as I did.
I’ve had some interesting opportunities come up during my downtime and I think I’d like to take advantage of them rather than reopen the shop. It was a hard decision to make, but I’m going to make a huge left turn and become… a travel consultant.
I’m as surprised as anyone, it sort of manifested itself. I had some stress-related health issues this summer, so it’s been a good time to rethink my lifestyle. I’ve always known that travel is important (there’s no one that tries harder to get out of the snow). Now I’m sure that wellness travel is a great way to continue the same thing I’ve been doing for a couple of decades – helping people get better, healthier, practical choices. But now with margaritas 😊
I will miss the shop though. I’ve been very lucky to work downtown my entire life. I can’t think of another environment where you get to be a part of so much community involvement. It’s always been inspiring to be around so many exceptional businesses that put their product over profit and genuinely care about their customers.
Everything’s always ultimately about people. I’d like to think we provided a good product, but it was actually you guys that made our shop a welcoming place that was great to work in every day. Inclusive, unpretentious, authentic… everything that I was proud of in the shop came directly from and was enabled by our awesome customers. You made a great space, thank you. (While I’m thinking about it, I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank you for almost 2 decades of enduring my awesomely horrific soundtracks.)
It has been my absolute pleasure serving you.
High Five
— Alex

—post by Evan Holt

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3rd Annual Electric City Hackathon Taking Place At Trent University

Ingenuity will be the name of the game as more than 300 creative students from across Canada descend on Peterborough for Trent University’s 3rd Annual Electric City Hackathon event.

The Innovation Cluster will again sponsor the event, along with over a dozen tech supporters. It takes place between November 2th to 4th.

 Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Electric City Hacks is a 37-hour student run event in the Trent Student Centre in Trent University’s Symons campus. This Hackathon will challenge student innovators to create innovative products with software and hardware, solving problems for communities.

“Electric City Hacks is a great opportunity for students and hackers of all skill levels and experience to come together to learn and invent products that solve issues within communities,” says Nicholas Barnes, president of the Trent Computer Science Society. “It promotes innovation, creativity and cooperation in a welcoming and inclusive environment, allowing participants to network with tech companies and one another.”

 Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

All post secondary and high school students interested in the development, innovation and progression of technology are encouraged to join. It will also be a fantastic networking opportunity as many representative scouts will be on hand to scout student talent in the tech industry.

“We are extremely excited to support the 3rd Annual Electric City Hacks,” says Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “This hackathon will be a great opportunity for students to expose talent, grow, recruit and bring new innovative companies to Peterborough.”

 Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

The hackathon will offer workshops, games, prizes and other activities to give hackers a break from their projects throughout the event.

To register for the event, click here.

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