Developer Paul Bennett On His Vision For Taking Back The Waterfront (Including A 100 Unit Condo Building He's Proposing)

As part of his vision to “take the waterfront back and make it part of the public realm”, Peterborough developer Paul Bennett has a dream to build a 100-unit high-end condo development for Crescent Street on Little Lake near the Art Gallery of Peterborough. He’ll soon be submitting his plans (the building is designed by Lett Architects) to the city for approval.

In this guest post below for PTBOCanada, Bennett—President of Ashburnham Realty, one of the Co-Founders of VentureNorth and interim chairman of the DBIA—writes about his vision for the waterfront and this proposed waterfront property (for years, he’s been buying up enough properties along there to make this happen)…

Lett Architect rendering of condo unit proposed for Little Lake

Lett Architect rendering of condo unit proposed for Little Lake

This project has been many years in the making, and I think it will be a real catalyst to help our City develop in a positive way. We have a very large list of people who are interested in living close to the core in high quality suites/residences. 

This is very exciting for us as we strongly believe in a more urbanized Peterborough that promotes a healthy, active and fun lifestyle. Peterborough is a very special community that we love, and we are looking forward to celebrating this idea of community more with this project and another one we have coming up next year in East City.     

Our waterfront is truly one of Peterborough’s greatest features and up until now it has lacked the attention it deserves. The vision for this project started 12 years ago and aims to take the waterfront back and make it a community asset by eliminating all traffic and creating trails, landscaped areas, art installations and gathering nodes along the Trans Canada trail.  

Larger Cities like Chicago showed proactive and smart planning by keeping the waterfront public and their City has greatly benefited from this vision. We have that same opportunity here—especially once the City is able to complete the full trail loop over into East City.

This coupled with the potential of a Del Crary park rejuvenation and a new world class Art Gallery makes the Little Lake area an amazing location for increased residential density. Our goal is to make Peterborough the best place in Canada to live and we feel this project will help us take a step in this direction.   

The Crescent St building itself will be approximately 100 suites (depending on the final mix of suites and whether clients decide to combine suites). They will be both private residences and luxury rental suites, and there will be a mix of many styles of suites (townhomes, lofts, penthouses, etc.).  

The building will have amenities that will make it Peterborough’s first true luxury community that will cater to those in our community that are looking for high end suites, beautiful views, walkable central location and building services that have yet to be offered in Peterborough. Our City is in drastic need of housing across all spectrums. This building looks to satisfy one of the markets that we see a large demand for.

We do, however, need to find solutions to the apartment affordability issue. We are working with a local housing provider to create a cool affordable project close to the core. We hope to announce this project and timing before Christmas. 

We are all members of this community and we need to find ways to help this City grow in a positive way that includes finding options across the whole housing spectrum. We hope that our upcoming projects will help address many of the areas of the demand.  

Below is a quote from Michael Gallant, who designed the property for us. I think it does a great job of capturing the initial vision I went to Lett Architects with years ago…

"Peterborough is changing. The Ashburnham Crescent street development is responding to the growing desire for housing options that cater to a more urban lifestyle in a central location. The design is inspired by its proximity to Little Lake, with plans to reclaim a section of Crescent street to provide new public park space, trail connections, and the potential to naturalize the shoreline. Many of the units are designed to encourage a relationship with its surroundings, embracing what’s best about Peterborough: its community, its waterfront, and its central area.”

—guest post by Paul Bennett for PTBOCanada

Learn more about Bennett’s vision for Peterborough, the downtown and smart, sustainable growth in this interview he conducted on our show PTBOCanada earlier this year…

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Your Guide To How Peterborough Utilities Group Responds To Watermain Breaks

Curious about how the Peterborough Utilities Commission (PUC) responds to watermain breaks and leaks? Want to know why some outages are short and some outages take longer to repair?

Below is key information about watermain breaks in this special guest post provided to PTBOCanada by the Water Utility VP, Patrick Devlin, written in collaboration with his team...


Watermains are underground pipes that distribute water from reservoirs, pumping stations and the water treatment plant to the homes and businesses of Peterborough.

Watermain breaks in Peterborough are most common within the winter months, primarily due to the low temperature conditions which cause the water within the soil to freeze and expand. This freezing activity can result in increased stress to be placed on the pipe, which can cause cracks and or breaks in the watermain that tend to occur at weak points along the pipe.

Weak points within a watermain can arise for a variety of reasons:

-> External Corrosion (pipe age, pipe material, soil conditions)

-> Improper Installation (bedding material, fitting/valve installations)

-> Differential Ground Settlement (nearby construction)

Peterborough benefits from good soil conditions that do not actively promote external pipe corrosion. The PUC also works to minimize the above conditions through redundant construction inspection processes as well as active monitoring and liaison of construction activities within the Peterborough area.

However, watermain breaks still occur due to underground excavations associated with construction activities. For that reason, Ontario One Call (1-800-400-2255) must be notified prior to any ground excavation activities taking place within your property.


There isn’t always time to inform residents of an outage. Once the break has been controlled, there will be a written or verbal notice given to residents informing them of the predicted timelines for repairing and reinstating their water.

Some breaks may cause longer outages than others.

There are two classifications of water main breaks: Category 1 and Category 2. Category 1 breaks are low risk breaks that maintain positive flow during excavation and have no evidence of contamination of the watermain. Generally, Category 1 breaks can be repaired quickly with limited implications to the customer.

Category 2 breaks pose a potential risk of contamination and are usually more severe breaks. These breaks are reported to the Ministry of Health (MOH) as well as the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Spills Action Center (SAC). If this type of break occurs, the outage will be longer due to the increased repair and testing procedures required.

There are also a number of other factors that can impact the duration of water service outages due to a watermain break:

-> Size and material (concrete, PVC, cast iron)

-> Location (limited access, high density)

-> Traffic

Overall, the City of Peterborough’s water distribution system is built of varying pipe sizes. If a break occurs on a large diameter trunk main, it may require heavy machinery onsite, as well as larger scale cleanup and traffic control efforts. Access to the watermain can be difficult in some locations which may also lead to increased outage times.


There may be instances when you see and are near a possible water main break. It is important that you keep your distance to ensure your safety. Water from the break may have washed away subsurface soil under paved areas or saturated the soil causing unstable conditions to occur.

If you see a potential hazard, be sure to contact the PUC at (705)-748-9300.


-> Determine and locate the problem.

-> Control the leak to reduce the risk to public safety and property damages by closing valves and isolating the damaged length of pipe.

-> Contact emergency locate services to ensure no other utilities will be hit while the excavation for repair of the watermain occurs.

-> Once locates have been received, pinpoint and excavate for repair taking all precautionary measures to minimize trench material entering the watermain.


Some outages are planned in advance to allow us to repair, replace, and make improvements to our water system. Some outages may be individual residences so that staff can perform work requested by customers such as replacing water services or installing meters.

Each year the PUC repair watermains through the process of cement mortar lining, structural lining and complete replacement.

We make every effort to schedule these outages to be as short as possible and to affect the least amount of customers.

Affected customers are contacted over the phone or by hand delivered notice in advance of scheduled outages. We can have problems notifying people if their contact information is out of date. If you haven’t already done so, please contact us with any updates to your contact information. You can email your updated information to

Our staff is dedicated to responding to outages quickly. Your call will be answered 24/7 and Peterborough Utilities staff will work together to get your water back on as quickly as possible, while remaining safe. We understand that outages can be a major inconvenience and we work hard to minimize these disruptions to you. —guest post by PUC

[Related: Guide To How Peterborough Utilities Group Responds To Power Outages]

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Concrete Work Is Progressing Well At Healey Falls Lock 17

Since October 2016, Parks Canada has been working on repairs to the west wall at Healey Falls Lock 17 on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site. The work has been progressing well and contractors are on track to complete repairs prior to navigation season in May 2017.

The contractor has recently poured the second level of the west wall on Lock 17, completing approximately 65 percent of the wall reconstruction. Next week, they will begin backfilling behind the west wall to reinstate the bank between the lock wall and Canal Road.

In order to keep up this pace of work while maintaining public safety, Canal Road will remain closed through to April. This will allow contractors to operate machinery and equipment freely to complete backfill, erosion protection and site restoration next to the lock.

Healey Falls Locks were built in 1910—66 years after the original construction of the Healey Falls timber dam. The flight of two locks were erected as part of the lower Trent River development created to accommodate power generation expansion. In 1913, a new concrete dam was commissioned and elements of the old dam were removed in 1915.

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Otonabee Region Water Response Team Says Level 2 Low Water Conditions Being Experienced

Otonabee Region Water Response Team Says Level 2 Low Water Conditions Being Experienced

You're encouraged to voluntarily reduce water use by 20%

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Peterborough Offering H20 Mobile Drinking Water Station For Events

Your summer event can now include a PTBO H2O water station that shows up and provides refreshing, cold tap water.

The accessible mobile station has eight water fountains and eight water bottle refill stations. This picture below is similar to what it will look like—but Peterborough Utilities tells PTBOCanada it is in the final stage of construction and will be digitally wrapped with their branding.

Image supplied by PUC

Image supplied by PUC

The PTBO H2O Mobile Drinking Water Station serves as a fun and practical way to educate people about one of our most valuable resources—drinking water.

Those interested in booking the PTBO H2O Mobile Drinking Water Station can contact Peterborough Utilities Service at 705-748-9301 (ext 1258) or email You can also find more info on their website.

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PTBOCanada Feature Post: 5 Ways Peterborough Is Becoming Hub For Water Tech In Ontario

PTBOCanada Feature Post: 5 Ways Peterborough Is Becoming Hub For Water Tech In Ontario

Sponsored post by Peterborough Economic Development

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