31 Fun Facts About Peterborough

1. On May 24th, 1884, Peterborough became the first city in Canada with electric street lighting.

2. The Peterborough Lift Lock, constructed in 1904, is the highest hydraulic lock in the world with a rise of 65 feet (19.8 m).

Historical pic via Trent Valley Archives

Historical pic via Trent Valley Archives

3. Trent University celebrated its 50th anniversary in Peterborough in 2014, and Fleming College will celebrate its 50th in 2017.

4. The Hunter Street Bridge across the Otonabee River was, at the time of its completion, the longest span of un-reinforced concrete in Canada.

5. The Centennial Fountain at Little Lake is the highest jet fountain in Canada. Installed in 1967, the water shoots up 76m (250 feet). (That's really high.)

picture by Evan Holt

picture by Evan Holt

6. Canada’s first nuclear power generator was designed and built by Canadian General Electric in Peterborough.

7. Peterborough is named after Peter Robinson, an early Canadian politician who oversaw the first major immigration to the area.

8. Lester B. Pearson spent his childhood here when his father was the minister of George St. United Church. He attended the iconic PCVS.

postcard via Trent Valley Archives

postcard via Trent Valley Archives

9. Quaker Oats invented rolled oats at its Peterborough headquarters.

10. Peterborough has the oldest public cemetery in Canada.

11. The Peterborough Petes have sent more players to the NHL than any other minor league franchise in Canada.

12. The "Electric City” moniker comes from the long association of Canadian General Electric Corporation with the city.   

Stompin' Tom

Stompin' Tom

13. Stompin’ Tom Connors got his nickname in Peterborough for the way he pounded out the beat on the old wood floors of King George Hotel.

14. The floor of the City Hall foyer is an accurately scaled map of the region rendered in polished terrazzo concrete with brass inlays. It is believed to be the only floor like it in Canada.  

15. For many years, Fisher Gauge Limited supplied the playing pieces to Milton-Bradley’s game Monopoly.

16. Wayne Gretzky played three games for the Peterborough Petes. He never scored a goal for us. Ohwella.

17. The Petes have participated in the Memorial Cup tournament nine times in their history and won it once.

Sir Sandford Fleming

Sir Sandford Fleming

18. Sir Sandford Fleming lived in Peterborough as a young engineer, moving here in 1845. Fleming is the inventor of standard time, was the chief surveyor for the Trans-Canada Railway and oversaw the laying of the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable.

19. David Fife invented Red Fife Wheat in the 19th century here, a variety of wheat that was highly resistant to the harsh Canadian climate. Red Fife Wheat is credited with making Canada the “bread basket of the world”.

20. Robertson Davies was the Editor of the Peterborough Examiner from 1942 until 1965. He wrote several of his famous novels while living here and used many of his experiences in the city for the creation of characters and plot lines.

Iva Fallis

Iva Fallis

21. Senator Iva Fallis (1883-1956) was the second woman ever appointed to the Senate. She championed women's issues, human rights, and equality for men and women.

22. Jim Balsillie, born and raised in Peterborough, was co-founder and former co-CEO of the Canadian company Research in Motion ("BlackBerry") which reshaped the global telecommunications market as we know it.

23. In 1615, Samuel de Champlain traveled through the area, coming down from Lake Chemong and portaging down a trail—approximated by present day Chemong Road—to the Otonabee River.

24. In 1818, Adam Scott settled on the west shore of the Otonabee River and soon began construction of a sawmill and gristmill, establishing the area as Scott's Plains. The mill was located at the foot of present-day King Street and was powered by water from Jackson Creek.

25. The Peterborough Canoe Company was founded here in 1893, with the factory being built on the site of the original Adam Scott mill.

26. By 1930, 25% of all employees in the boat building industry in Canada worked in the Peterborough area.

27. Peterborough was one of the first places in the country to begin generating hydro electrical power (even before the plants at Niagara Falls). Companies like GE and Quaker Oats opened to take advantage of this new cheap resource.

28. In the 1970s, the Ontario Government helped sponsor the building of Peterborough Square with the aid of the Ontario Downtown Renewal Programme (ODRP). The mall was anchored by an Eaton's store until the collapse of the Eaton's chain of stores in the late 1990s.

pic via Ashley Dolan

pic via Ashley Dolan

29. Peterborough's topography is largely defined by land formations created by the receding Wisconsian glaciers 10,000-15,000 years ago.

30. The Peterborough Skateboard park is one of the largest skateboard parks in Ontario. It includes several half-pipes as well as multiple ramps and rails.

31. Peterborough, known as "the gateway to the Kawarthas", totally rocks and is an awesome city. But you knew that.

 

Email us more fun facts/sources here for future Peterborough lists.

[Sources: City of Peterborough; Wikipedia]

 

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