Remember The Old Monkey House At The Zoo

Way back in the day, the Riverview Park & Zoo's Dobbin Building down at the water was known as the "Monkey House", housing monkeys and various other slithery creatures.

The zoo shared vintage old pictures on their Facebook page of that house that will be a great trip down memory lane for many. Have a look at some pics  ("feeding the carps" not included—remember those nearby?) below...

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Lost In Time: Old Water Fountain Hidden In Plain Sight Exposed At Lift Lock

During the rehabilitation work being done to the earth dams at the Lift Lock, crews found and exposed remnants from the original water fountain on the East side they knew was there from the 1900s (the Lift Lock itself opened in 1904) that has not been used in a long, long time.

Here is what it looks like now after trees were removed from around it...

Image courtesy Parks Canada

Image courtesy Parks Canada

It's literally been hiding in plain sight for many decades under all the tree growth and vegetation...

Image courtesy Parks Canada

Image courtesy Parks Canada

Here is what the functioning fountain looked like way back in the day (date unknown) with kids using it...

Historical image courtesy Parks Canada

Historical image courtesy Parks Canada

Parks Canada tells PTBOCanada they do not know much about the fountain, other that it was a known entity. 

Through the course of rehabilitating that big earth berm, it would be great to see the old fountain brought back to life. Only time will tells what happens from this Peterborough remnant of the past.

[Note that the water is not safe for drinking, as it is ground and canal water.]

Know anything about this old fountain? Email us.

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19 Pictures & Postcards Documenting Market Hall History

Peterborough's iconic Market Hall has a rich history dating all the way back to its origin as a smaller market in 1851 on Water Street.

In 1889, council approved plans for the construction of a new Market Hall—a large two storey building with a four faced clock tower that opened in 1890 at the corner of George & Charlotte. Below are some key historical moments and pictures/postcards provided by renowned local historian
Elwood Jones.

1. The first market hall is visible in the distant right. This is the only known photo of the 1851 Market Hall which famously housed E. C. Hill’s Music Hall on the second floor.

1 F50 10.004.10 Water Street looking toward Town Market Hall.jpg

2. The 1875 Bird’s Eye View map of Peterborough has a clear representation of the first Market Hall, complete with verandah. It also provides useful context for the downtown area.

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3. This 1882 view of Peterborough was featured on the cover of Peterborough The Electric City. Neither market hall is visible, but notice the Bradburn Opera Hall in the centre and the grand civic buildings from St. Paul’s Church, Court House, St. John’s and the Peter Hamilton factory with black smoke contrasting to the countryside feel.

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4. This coloured perspective of the Bradburn Opera House, built in 1875, captures the elegance of a building that housed stores, town government offices and the opera hall. From the Bradburn fonds.

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5. This view of the Snowden House shows the Bradburn Opera House in the distance, but a blank where the new Market Hall would have been; the view dates, therefore, between 1875 and 1889.

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6. The laying of the cornerstone was a civic holiday for school children. Mayor James Stevenson and architect John Belcher are by the tripod where the stone is about to be laid for the new Market Hall circa 1889. The wall of the Bradburn Opera Building abutted the Market Hall site.

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7. This grand picture, circa 1900, shows the joy of winter and a large tree near the corner of George and Charlotte. However, the lineup of three classic buildings sets the corner apart: the Bradburn Opera, the Market Hall, and the Customs Building.

7  F50 2.044a George Street (north from Charlotte St, east side), c. 1890.jpg

8. The Market Square on market day, circa 1900, was a busy place. Notice the Green Terrace, and to the right, the Otonabee river and a spit of land. This corner was incredibly close to the river.

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9. The Market Hall shares the spotlight with the streetcar in this postcard view, c. 1905. Notice the cupola is gone from the Bradburn Opera, and the vacant lands south of the Customs House adorned with Stocker billboards. The Barrie Building (now the Peterborough Inn) was built in 1911-1913, replacing the billboards.

(TVA Postcard Collection, Ken Brown.)

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10. This circa 1920 postcard of George Street shows the area around the Market Hall tower, and the passing zone for the street car at the important Charlotte Street intersection.

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11. The Market Hall viewed from the Customs House gardens gives a good idea of the size of the building which had a rear wing towards the market square. This is one of my favourite Peterborough postcards, featured in Postcards from Peterborough and the Kawarthas (TVA, 2016).

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12. The Market Hall clock was undergoing repair in this 1951 photo, and note the well-crafted woodwork details and two workmen above the clock, which allows us to see the scale.

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13. The bus was turning on to Charlotte Street in this 1983 photo of the Market Hall, now next to Peterborough Square. The Italianate details of John Belcher’s elegant masterpiece are highlights of the windows and doors.

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14. This 1974 photo shows the early stage of the demolition of the buildings that had long defined the market square: the Bradburn Building, the Neill Shoe Store, and the Bradburn Opera House.

14 Market Hall losing Bradburn, Neill Shoe, and Bradburn Opera Building, 1974.jpg

15. This fairly modern picture captures the streetscape along the east side of George Street. Nearly all the buildings date from the 1860s to the 1880s, were built of brick, and generally three storeys in height. Peterborough Square was built to complement this historic and unique streetscape. In contrast to earlier plans, and as suggested by the Peterborough Historical Society, the Square opened on to George Street was built of brick and respected the prevailing height.

15 George Street looking towards Market Hall, modern Streetscape.jpg

16. The Market Hall adds interest and architectural variety to this view of George Street looking north from the Empress Gardens (the former Empress Hotel.)

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17. Charlotte Street looking towards the Market Hall. From all directions, the tower points the direction to the city centre.

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18. The Market Hall tower is visible over the main part of the Peterborough Square when viewed from Water and Simcoe.

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19. Artists and photographers have tackled the Market Hall, and this contemporary painting by D. C. Green is perhaps the most picturesque. From 1939 to 1974, the local business community favoured demolishing the Market Hall and replacing it with modern steel and glass emporium. Since then, it has come to be recognized as distinctive and also representative of the ambitions of the late Victorians and the people of today. Today, the Market Hall is a credit to Peterborough and an object of pride. In view of the roller coaster history of neglect and indifference, it is now recognized as a unique market hall, unmatched in design or style anywhere in the province. John Belcher was a master architect and designer.

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Selections and text by local historian Elwood H. Jones, who is an archivist with Trent Valley Archives.

To learn more about the history of the Market Hall, click here.

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Look At These Vintage Millbrook Pictures

We dug up these gems below from the Vintage Peterborough, Lindsay and the Kawartha Region Facebook page of Millbrook way way back in the day. Check out some of the pictures.

Millbrook Post Office in 1935

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W H Byam & Son Dry Goods Store, Millbrook

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Millbrook commercial block including newspaper office circa 1910

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CNR Station and Commercial Hotel in Millbrook circa 1920

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Orange Day Parade Millbrook, 1905

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Millbrook circa 1900

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Millbrook Armoury circa 1927

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King Street/Victoria Hotel Millbrook, 1913

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Dr. H.A. Turner and family in his 1912 REO in Millbrook

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For more vintage photos of Peterborough and the Kawarthas, go here.

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Famous Hawkstone Manor Estate On Stoney Lake Currently Listed For $4,250,000

Ronnie "The Hawk" Hawkin's famous Hawkstone Manor Estate on Stoney Lake near Peterborough, which has been on and off the market over the years at different prices, is currently listed for $4,250,000.

Photo via listing

Photo via listing

This one of a kind waterfront estate and farm property in the Kawarthas—it's described as "Canada's Graceland" on the listing—has over 3,300 feet of lakefront shoreline and is situated on 175 acres.

Photo via listing

Photo via listing

According to the listing, celebrity guests to Hawkstone Manor over the years include: John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Gordon Lightfoot (who wrote his hit "Sundown" at the estate during his many visits there), Kris Kristofferson, Robbie Robertson, Kenny Rogers, Rush, Blue Rodeo, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, and more.

Ronnie Hawkins, Kris Kristofferson and Gordon Lightfoot at Hawkstone Manor in May 2016 (Photo via The Weber Brothers, Facebook page)

Ronnie Hawkins, Kris Kristofferson and Gordon Lightfoot at Hawkstone Manor in May 2016 (Photo via The Weber Brothers, Facebook page)

Most recently, in May 2016, "The Hawk", Gordon Lightfoot and Kris Kristofferson gathered at the Hawkstone studio on the estate to record a cover of "Me & Bobby McGee". 

Photo via listing

Photo via listing

The estate—which is more museum than house with its living history, and is well known among cottagers on the lake and an attraction to boaters and tourists—features 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in the main house, two guest cottages at the shore and a large special events barn.

Photo via listing

Photo via listing

Here are more photos below from the listing...

Notice the picture of Ronnie with Bill Clinton

Notice the picture of Ronnie with Bill Clinton

And the breathtaking view of Stoney where Gordon Lightfoot wrote "Sundown" is pretty epic...

You can watch a great video giving you an idea of the scope of the beautiful property here.

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66 Feet Of Separation: A Peterborough Woman Writes About Her Amazing Personal Discovery On Her Street

Last year, the City of Peterborough proudly announced the digitization of its historical directories, with the oldest volume dating back to 1858.

"It's wonderful that the City can use modern technology to make these valuable historical resources more widely available," said Mayor Daryl Bennett. (City of Peterborough Media Release - July 19, 2016)

Having an interest in local history and being new to Peterborough, my husband, Rob, and I were curious about our property. Now, I have to start by admitting that the online directories are easier to research having attended the Open Doors event at the Peterborough Museum & Archives last spring.

In addition to tours of the state-of-the-art facilities, the knowledgeable staff at the Archives showed residents how to look up information in these directories. Using the same techniques, we went searching for the original owners of our home on Albertus Avenue.

This is when something completely unexpected happened. I noticed a familiar surname from my family tree. What were the chances, having just moved to a City with no known family connections, that a relative was living across the street?

Albertus Avenue

Albertus Avenue

A Google search found a newspaper article from the 1930s with my grandmother's family visiting relatives in a community not too far away. A shout-out via social media to my sister, who has spent years researching the family tree, confirmed the local connection.

In a short space of an afternoon, my neighbour and I learned that we are the direct descendants of cousins who immigrated to Canada in the 19th century. Just like those who are still coming to Canada today, they traveled to this country seeking a better life and opportunities for their families.

Pictured in photo:  the Stainton cousins—E.J. Rath, Catherine Hawley, Diane Werry and Brian Lee at a Christmas gathering on Albertus Avenue.

Pictured in photo: the Stainton cousins—E.J. Rath, Catherine Hawley, Diane Werry and Brian Lee at a Christmas gathering on Albertus Avenue.

That's another example of the power of open data in the digital age: It can even transform a name on a family tree into a neighbour.

—guest post by Eleanor Rath

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Here Are Pictures From The 1980s At The Peterborough Zoo

Did you visit the zoo during the '80s? Then feel the nostalgia as you slide into these pics provided to us by our friends at Riverview Park & Zoo...

PTBOCanada Co-Founder Evan Holt at the zoo in 1983

PTBOCanada Co-Founder Evan Holt at the zoo in 1983

[Related: 1970s Pictures At Zoo]

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Riverview Park & Zoo Has New Totem Pole Crafted By Jody Paudash Of Hiawatha First Nation

On Sunday (October 2nd), there was a Totem Pole Re-Dedication Ceremony at the Peterborough Zoo to celebrate the brand new totem pole that replaced the old one that had to be removed a couple years ago.

Photo of re-dedication ceremony

Photo of re-dedication ceremony

"The original totem pole was erected 43 years ago (almost to the day) on Saturday, September 29th, 1973," Zoo Manager and Curator Jim Moloney tells PTBOCanada. "It was generously donated to RPZ/Peterborough Utilities by Whetung Ojibwa Crafts and was given as a symbol of friendship between our communities. It was carved by Norman Knott of Curve Lake First Nation. Unfortunately it had to be removed in 2014 due to safety concerns (it was damaged by carpenter ants and wood rot)." 

New totem pole

New totem pole

"We felt it was important to replace the totem pole as an ongoing symbol of the area's diverse heritage and friendship among our communities," adds Moloney. "The new totem pole is approximately 12m (40') in height and features 12 hand-carved and painted totems artfully crafted by local artist Jody Paudash of Hiawatha First Nation. The project has taken more than a year."

Photo from re-dedication ceremony

Photo from re-dedication ceremony

As one person remarked on the Zoo's Facebook page, "I so missed the old totem pole in the park but am now loving the new one. Thanks Jody and the Zoo for bringing back great memories and erecting the new totem pole for future memories to come."

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Amazing New Book Postcards From Peterborough & The Kawarthas Released

Amazing New Book Postcards From Peterborough & The Kawarthas Released

Long before Instagram, there were postcards

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The City Has Digitized Its Historical City & County Directories Dating Back To 1858

The City Has Digitized Its Historical City & County Directories Dating Back To 1858

You can now search online for topics related to City history and family genealogy

Read More