Check Out The Little Lake Cemetery Web Mapping Application and Story Map 

An interactive web mapping genealogical tool and a new Little Lake Cemetery Story Map which tells the story of the cemetery and some of the early residents of Peterborough is now available.

Residents can explore the updated Little Lake Cemetery Guide and discover something new about their community by using the interactive historical timeline. The mapping application and Story Map can be found here and here.

The interactive map allows users to explore more than 5,500 marked grave sites and provides information on the oldest name and date identified on the monument, a visual location, and a photograph of the marker.

 Screengrab of applications

Screengrab of applications

With the help of student interns supported by Young Canada Works, the map has been expanded and enhanced to include the location and information on more than 10,000 unmarked graves within the cemetery.

With the updates, users now have the ability to submit additional information about interments. City of Peterborough geomatics/mapping staff, heritage preservation staff and Little Lake Cemetery collaborated on the mapping projects.

The Story Map application is an interactive webpage that allows users to explore themes relating to the City’s first burial ground, the growth of garden cemeteries, the development of Little Lake Cemetery, and stories of some historical figures from Peterborough’s past.

With nearly 30,000 burials in Little Lake Cemetery, the current map is not a complete record of interments at the cemetery. The City of Peterborough and Little Lake Cemetery foresee future projects will expand the numbers of graves recorded and the narratives presented on the story map.

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Peterborough-Based Tech Startup Ribitt Raises $600,000 In Seed Financing, Continues To Expand

Ribitt, a local tech startup focusing on rewarding consumers for purchases at local shops in their neighbourhood including Peterborough, announced it has raised $600,000 in seed round funding led by angel investors to expand to new neighbourhoods with its one-of-a-kind collective rewards program for local shops.

Using Ribitt’s mobile app, consumers can pay for purchases and collect Ribitt points when they grab their morning coffee, get a haircut or buy holiday gifts at participating local shops. Consumers can redeem these Ribitt points at any participating shop and for the first time, users do not have to wait to to fill out a full stamp card to use their points. Every purchase, no matter the shop, adds to the consumer’s Ribitt points.

 Ribitt Co-Founders Sana Virji & Ribat Chowdhury

Ribitt Co-Founders Sana Virji & Ribat Chowdhury

RIBITT EXPANDING INTO TORONTO & BEYOND

Ribitt, Co-Founded by Sana Virji and Ribat Chowdhury, has more than 30 shops partnered in Peterborough and more than 100 in Toronto. Earlier this year, Ribitt launched in Roncesvalles and The Junction neighbourhoods in Toronto, and plans to begin its expansion across Canada in 2019.

“The future success of local shops lies in them coming together and leveraging their combined network,” says Co-Founder Sana Virji. “Participating in a rewards program at a single coffee shop is more effort than the value for consumers, so when local merchants in a neighbourhood join Ribitt’s single rewards program, they create huge value for their customers while giving them the competitive advantage of scale that bigger chains have.”

 Screengrap from Ribitt app

Screengrap from Ribitt app

Ribitt’s reward program comes at a time when neighbourhood revitalization and preserving local commerce is a key focus for cities across North America. While Ribitt says there are 27 million “mom and pop” businesses in Canada and the U.S., individually they leave a small footprint and are stunted by the scale of larger retailers and service providers.

“My café and the Ribitt app launched around the same time, so it was a great opportunity to cross-promote each other starting out,” says Lindsay Brock, owner of Amusé Coffee Co. in Peterborough. “Ribitt has been wonderful in terms of gaining awareness for my business and it is a great opportunity for any business that is starting out in a new community or is trying to grow.”

Sana Virji and Ribat Chowdhury.jpg

Ribitt is yet another success story coming out of the Peterborough-based Innovation Cluster. As a client of the Innovation Cluster working out of its downtown incubator, Virji and Chowdhury have been able to grow their team, launch their mobile app, partner with stores in Peterborough and Toronto, and raise investment through the Peterborough Region Angel Network.

They have tremendous momentum heading into 2019 and beyond.

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Parking In Peterborough Just Got Way Easier

The City of Peterborough is making metered/pay-and-display parking much more convenient with the launch of HotSpot’s pay-by-phone parking solution announced on Thursday (November 22nd).

 Photo by Terry Guiel

Photo by Terry Guiel

DETAILS ON THE APP

HotSpot, a Canadian tech company, provides an affordable pay-for-membership mobile app that offers users convenient parking solutions including:

-> Notification when their paid time is close to expiring
-> The option to add more time up to the maximum for the space
-> The option to cancel their parking session early and be refunded for any unused time
-> Access to all metered/pay-and-display parking in Peterborough
-> Consistent service throughout the City of Peterborough and Trent University campuses.

“We are excited to bring this convenient option for Peterborough drivers,” says Mayor-Elect Diane Therrien. “Instead of digging for coins for the parking meter, they’ll now be able to use their smartphone to pay electronically.”

“We see many people who are shopping, getting a hair cut or eating a meal worry about a pending ticket, and those people being able to add a few more minutes with this app is going to be great for downtown businesses,” says Terry Guiel, Executive Director, DBIA. “It’s great to see the city embrace this technology.”

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Trent University’s Newly Launched Bata Library Has Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Centre

Trent University’s Bata Library had a grand opening on Friday (November 16th) to celebrate its renovated space. Community members, donors and partners including the Innovation Cluster were present to celebrate the launch.

The library is now a host of the Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Centre, a collaboration between the university, FastStart Peterborough and the Innovation Cluster.

 Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

The Innovation centre, which is located at the main entrance of the Bata Library, will focus on supporting students aspiring to enter entrepreneurship right on campus. An Innovation Specialist from the Innovation Cluster will be on site every Friday, and over time skills training, workshops and other events will be implemented.

“Through this new centre, students at Trent University will be able to access an environment of entrepreneurship on campus, and have mentorship available to kick-off their initial business planning,” says Michael Skinner, President & CEO, Innovation Cluster.

 Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

"The new Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Centre will allow Trent students to have access to community resources on campus that will both bring awareness to entrepreneurship opportunities as well as implement skills training,” adds John Knight, Manager, Research Partnerships, Trent University.

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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.

Venture-North-960x576.jpg

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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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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Electric (Green) City: Peterborough's 7,205 Streetlights Are Going LED

 Most of the lights on Brealey have already been converted. Photo: Evan Holt

Most of the lights on Brealey have already been converted. Photo: Evan Holt

Work has begun to convert the city’s 7,205 streetlights to Smart technology Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlight fixtures, which will reduce energy use, electricity costs and maintenance costs.

The impact will be as follows…

  • Energy costs reduced by 54%

  • Maintenance costs reduced by 80%

  • Reduced light pollution (the LED fixtures are “Dark Sky Compliant” as all light is directed downward)

  • Better light quality for pedestrians and vehicle traffic

 Each light is made up from numerous Light Emitting Diodes. Photo: Evan Holt

Each light is made up from numerous Light Emitting Diodes. Photo: Evan Holt

It’s estimated that the conversion to Smart technology LED fixtures will reduce annual electricity costs by 54 percent or by $650,000, and reduce maintenance costs by 80 percent or by $187,000.

The City expects to save an estimated 3,618,570 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, a 70 percent reduction compared to the current energy consumption for City streetlights. The reduction is the equivalent of the typical energy use by 375 homes for an entire year. The annual electricity cost is expected to be reduced to $552,800 from the $1.2 million for the existing streetlights, a savings of $650,000.

 The new LED lights will last up to four times longer than the previous High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights which will be removed and recycled at qualified environmental disposal centers. Photo: Evan Holt

The new LED lights will last up to four times longer than the previous High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights which will be removed and recycled at qualified environmental disposal centers. Photo: Evan Holt

LEDs will also help the City reduce maintenance costs by a projected 80 percent because LEDs are a solid-state technology (no moving parts) and last up to four times longer than the City’s existing streetlights.

Maintenance costs will be reduced to an estimated $46,700 a year from the current annual cost of approximately $233,700 for the traditional streetlights, a savings of $187,000.

 Photo by Evan Holt

Photo by Evan Holt

The level of lighting provided by the LED lights remains the same as previous lights. The difference is LED streetlights provide a safer light source with better visibility to both pedestrians and motorists. They offer better clarity and improve the ability to identify colours at night.

The LED Streetlight Conversion Project includes a change from a drop glass fixture to a flat glass fixture, which changes how light is distributed on the roadway and associated area. This change helps prevent light from spilling or dispersing onto adjacent spaces where it is not intended to be.

The new LED streetlights will be networked to automatically notify the City when there’s a light that’s out or malfunctioning, allowing the City to immediately schedule the work to fix the streetlight.

Work to convert all the lights is scheduled to be completed by December 31st.

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Trent University Is First Canadian Post-Secondary Institution To Green Light Digital Transit Passes

Kudos to Trent University, which has become the first Canadian post-secondary institution to green light digital transit passes.

The downloadable show ‘n go pass has eliminated thousands of plastic cards and yearly student lineups. The smart technology, ease and convenience, and the added benefits of a more sustainable option were key factors in Trent taking this initiative.

 Photo courtesy Trent University

Photo courtesy Trent University

This pilot project program is a collaboration between Trent University, the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) and the City of Peterborough.

"Our new digital transit pass is an effort to keep transit service in the palm of student’s hands,” says Brandon Remmelgas, president of the TCSA. “Our goal is to prevent students from having to carry around a different card for each service they need to access, and it has the added bonus of reducing the number of plastic cards being printed on an annual basis.”

Since rolling out in September, more than 4,000 passes have been downloaded from the digital ID card app available on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Created by tech company ID 123, the passes are renewable online each year.

Click here to learn how to download the pass.

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: Learn About Innovation Cluster's CleanTech Program

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Learn About Innovation Cluster's CleanTech Program

Sponsored video post by Innovation Cluster

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Canada Learning Code Hosting Inclusive Workshop For Learning Code Basics At Innovation Cluster

The national not-for-profit Canada Learning Code is hosting an inclusive workshop "Ladies Learning Code: HTML & CSS for Beginners" for anyone to learn code. It will take place inside the Innovation Cluster’s awesome downtown incubator on Saturday, March 24th, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The mission of the workshop is to provide an inclusive opportunity for anyone to learn code, including beginner’s of coding, women, men and others who may often feel unwelcomed to enter the world of coding or are hesitant and intimidated to start. The workshops provide a social and collaborative environment while promoting careers in technology.

llcode volunteers and staff..jpg

The workshop will allow participants to learn HTML and CSS—an essential skill for web development to create marketing materials, company domains and blog sites.

Participants can expect to learn:

-> basic techniques and concepts that are translatable to other programming languages
-> building blocks of how HTML and CSS work together to create richer online experiences
-> how to create a rich website with images, video, and a CSS-defined layout
-> how to create a multi-page website
-> what resources are available if you’d like to continue learning at home.

Register here

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