DBIA Featured Post: Gentry Apparel


Looking back over the years at the history of Peterborough’s downtown, there have been few stores that have been as constant as Gentry Apparel. Located at 377 George St N., Gentry has the type of longevity that most stores can only dream of with over 37 years of experience at various locations in the downtown core.

Locally operated and owned (including the building) by Delor Damiany, Gentry is a high-end clothing authority in the community. The staff, including Delor's son Andrew and longtime employee Brian Hamilton, have been operating out of the current storefront location on George St. for just over two years now (prior to that, they were in Peterborough Square) and bring exclusive formal/business wear and great casual clothing to our community with an attempt to be as “Made in Canada” as possible.

Andrew & Delor

Andrew & Delor

The store offers a little bit of everything in a new laid back setting that is absolutely welcoming from their great open concept view onto George St. in Peterborough’s Fashion District.

Carrying trusted brand names such as Nautica, Olsen Europe, and Coppley, the store carries a combination of both mens and ladies wear. From suits and sport coats to casual polo shirts, hand bags, classic hats, and shoes, Gentry can have you dressed from head to toe for your next big event.

In the past, the store has taken part in local charity fashion shows and has been a part of the Festival of Trees. They are truly invested in the city’s downtown core and plan to be a mainstay for years to come.

The goal of Gentry is to offer its customers an experience found nowhere else. With specially trained staff that have an eye for custom fashion tailored to suit just about anybody, what you will end up walking away with is a product that is a step above the competition. If you want a product that is going to last, look great while you’re wearing it and perform up to standards, this is the store you should be looking to.

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For more on Gentry Apparel (377 George St N.), go to:

Website: Gentryapparel.ca

Phone: 705-743-9242

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott

Paul Raino Retiring As Executive Director Of DBIA

Read the DBIA release...
After four years as Executive Director of the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, Paul Raino has chosen to retire effective September 28, 2013.
"It has been a pleasure to represent over 400 downtown businesses and work with such a dedicated group of volunteer Board members" Raino said.
As Executive Director, Paul has guided the organization through the re-branding exercise for the Downtown. He was responsible for many new marketing initiatives, such as featuring a different business each week in the media. As well he streamlined the events portfolio, by providing support for many local events and turning over the management of larger events like Ribfest to dedicated service clubs. He worked closely with the City of Peterborough on many issues that affect the Downtown.
Board Chair Dave Madill states “on behalf of the Board and the DBIA membership I would like to thank Paul for his time and efforts that provided many positive results. Paul is the consummate gentleman and his positive attitude and marketing savvy were greatly appreciated. We wish him the best in retirement.”   
Paul and his wife Mary Lou plan to spend more time in Florida in the winter and enjoy their home on Chemong Lake in the summer.
It is the Board’s intention to recruit externally for suitable Executive Director candidates. We plan to conduct a thorough search in an effort to identify candidates who meet the high standards of service and professionalism.


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Read The Speech Mayor Bennett Delivered On Financial Health Of Peterborough

PTBOCanada file photoAt the DBIA Breakfast Network at Empress Gardens this morning (June 19th), Mayor Bennett delivered the following remarks...
Good morning.
I come this morning wearing two hats.
As a businessman,
Our operation on Simcoe Street
Has been a supporter of the DBIA for a number of years,
And I appreciate all your good work
In helping to protect and grow the downtown.
As the Mayor,
This is actually the first time
That I have had the opportunity
To speak at a DBIA Breakfast Network meeting.
I want to thank you for your invitation,
And suggest to you that,
If there is value in a more frequent pattern of conversation,
I would be happy to be part of it.
Mr. Raino was very generous
In permitting me some leeway in selecting my topic today.
In recent times,
I have spoken about my Mid Term Report...
In which 86.6 per cent of my 45 election proposals
Had been either achieved or substantially achieved
By City Council...
At the half way point in our four-year term.
I have spoken recently about the Provincial proposal
For a new casino in the City,
And the need to approach that debate
With both reason and caution.
And many of you will know
That I spoke earlier this year
On the economic health of the downtown,
And the substantial investment that the City is making...
And will continue to make...
In its support.
Of course, none of these things
Exist in isolation,
And all of them are dependent for their success...
In one way or another...
On the availability of public sector funding...
Which, in turn,
Speaks to the state of the City’s financial well being.
And that is the topic I want to discuss with you today.
By way of context,
There is no doubt that jurisdictions around the world
Are facing very difficult financial challenges these days.
Just look at the frequency of countries defaulting on their debts, or having to restructure them...
The recent European austerity measures and bank bailouts...
The US Debt Ceiling...
The US Fiscal Cliff...
And the financial instability associated with the Arab Spring movement.
Of course, municipal governments are not exempt.
Just two months ago,
Stockton, California ...  a city of 300,000 people...
Was entered into bankruptcy.
In our own province,
We have some legitimate concerns.
Servicing the debt
Is now the third-largest expenditure in the Ontario budget...
And Ontario’s debt is increasing at a rate
That is more than twice that
Of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
People are understandably concerned
About the state of public sector finances,
As they should be.
The question this morning
Is whether they should be concerned
About the state of finances
In the City of Peterborough...
Or concerned about
Our financial capacity to both manage our current needs,
And meet our future needs.
This is a question that I am asked frequently,
And one in which I take a personal interest.
I ran on a platform
That included managerial leadership and financial efficiency,
And I want to answer that question for you today.
And I will start by telling you that the budget
For my own Office next year
Will be held to a zero per cent increase.
There are five performance measures that I will quickly cover.
First, consider the City’s credit rating...
That is, the evaluation given by credit agencies
Of our credit worthiness...
An evaluation that serves as an indicator to the investment community
Of our financial security and trustworthiness.
Standard & Poor’s credit rating
For the City of Peterborough at the end of 2012
Is AA-/Stable...
A very positive rating
That we have earned consistently since 2008.
This is very good news
And a financial status that we can be proud of.     
In assigning this rating,
Standard and Poor’s
Made two key comments about our finances
That I want to share with you.
First, the City has consistently posted strong budgetary performances,
Because our operating balances
Have averaged nearly 17 per cent of our operating revenues
Over the past five years.
This means that our yearly balances
Are consistently strong and robust.
And second, the City’s free cash and liquid assets
Were about $113 million at the end of 2012,
Or more than eight times our estimated debt service for 2013.
This means that we have a very strong liquidity level.
Again ... an accomplishment in which we can take pride.
A second measure to consider
Is residential property tax increases.
We have been deliberate
In keeping these increases
At modest levels,
In order to help keep costs down for Peterborough families.
For most home owners,
We are judged on the basis
Of our all inclusive property tax increases,
And how they impact real people with real pocket books.
Our annual residential increases so far this term
Have all been at or below 3 per cent...
Including last year,
When we added a special 1 per cent increase
To help fund much needed capital investments.
This is a responsible course
That is supportive of all taxpayers...
Our customers...
That is intended to maintain our services to them
Without being a burden on them...
And a course that we will continue for the entire term.
Third, we have made a conscious choice
To invest in our long term future.
It is tempting for some
To put off the hard spending decisions
About future investments
In favour of spending
That has immediate and visible results for voters today...
Because that can be a popular way to govern.
Short term gain...
Long term pain.
It is not my way.
In order to renew our infrastructure
For the benefit of future generations,
We have invested in a wide variety
Of important capital improvements.
Not all of them are visible,
But all of them are essential for our long term health as a City.
In fact, there are 240 capital projects
In the 2013 capital budget,
Representing an investment of almost $63 Million.
These include:
Airport expansion and improvements, including the Seneca College building;
Major waste water management projects;
Sewer improvements;
The new police radio system;
The new fire station;
The CPR bridge;
Arena renovations;
Market Hall Improvements;
And a large number of road improvements.
Many of these are in the downtown,
And all of them help strengthen a City that cares about its downtown.
Fourth, we have been very careful
In managing the level of our capital debt.
Our capital debt this year, both issued and approved,
Is just under $135 million...
A number that includes the debt of both
The Peterborough Utilities Commission,
And the Fairhaven Long Term Care Home.
The City’s Net Financial Assets Ratio...
A measure of the extent to which
Liabilities can be met from operating revenues...
Has been very consistent
Over the last three years of its calculation.
In fact, according to standards set out in provincial legislation,
The City is using less than half of its debt capacity.
If we wanted to,
We could issue an additional $200 million of debt
For a ten-year term,
And still be within the limit imposed by the Province.
In fact, even with a debt limit we have set for ourselves...
That being a limit of 15 percent of our “own source” revenues,
We are still using only 75 per cent of our debt capacity.
The bottom line is that the City’s debt situation
Has been managed responsibly and with caution.
The cost of our debt servicing is easily manageable...
The City is well positioned to carry additional debt...
And we are living well within our means.
Finally, I do want to say
That the debt picture of the Province of Ontario,
Which I touched on earlier...
Is an important part of our own financial picture.
And the reason is simple.
Increased provincial dollars
Spent on servicing a provincial debt
Mean fewer provincial dollars
Spent on other expenditures,
Including municipalities.
Interest on the Provincial debt
Is projected to cost Ontario taxpayers
$10.6 Billion in 2013–14...
An amount equal to 8.3 per cent
Of the total provincial budget.
And we all understand
That those dollars could be put to very good use in our city...
Which has, like other cities in Ontario,
Become a repository for a number of failed policies
Of the provincial and federal governments.
So here’s the message.
The City of Peterborough is in excellent financial shape.
Our credit rating is positive and stable.
Our residential property tax increases
Have been held to modest levels.
We have wisely invested not only in our present,
But in our future.
Our debt situation is responsible and manageable.
And we look to the Province to manage its own debt
In ways that will ultimately free more dollars
For Ontario cities and regions like our own,
Who are the real engines of Ontario’s growth.
I admire, respect and share
In the determination of the DBIA membership
To bring economic investment, development and renewal
To the downtown.
An essential bedrock of that good work...
For which there is no substitute...
Is a solid record of well managed municipal finances.
That is exactly what we have set out to achieve,
And we all have reason to be proud of the work
Of our City Council and our City staff
In making it happen,
And in our collective accomplishments to date.
Thank you.

[Speech sent to us by David Goyette in Mayor's Office.]


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DBIA Featured Post: Sam's Place

Sitting comfortably in the heart of Downtown Peterborough’s Café District is Sam’s Place, known as "The Best Dan Deli In Town!" Locally owned and operated by Sam Sayer and Dan Fitchko, this eatery has been satisfying food cravings for almost 3 years at its current location on 188 Hunter St.

A graduate of PCVS and Trent University, Sam is a sandwich aficionado, while Dan hails from Etobicoke and has brought with him a flare for Ukranian delicacies. When you combine these two key ingredients to the business, you have one of the trendiest casual dining restaurants in town.

Serving vegetarian, vegan and even celiac friendly items, Sam’s Place gives you zero reason to be unsatisfied because it has something for absolutely everyone.

As a deli should be, Sam’s is a meat specialist. They cure, smoke, and process all meat on site, and source it locally along with almost every other item they use to create their sandwich masterpieces.

Sam’s specializes in creating some of the most delectable sandwiches you will ever eat. From the BBQ Beef Brisket and Reuben, to the Pulled Pork and Mike Taylor special (which you will have to ask about), this place has something for everyone.

Combine the sandwich with a freshly made salad, handmade perogies or Ukranian style Borscht soup (among others) and you have yourself a meal fit for a hungry king! Desserts are also an option—if you think you have room left.

Sam’s Place caters to every kind of mood, and whether it is a sit down meal or a quick bite to go, they do it all. Specializing in sandwiches has allowed Sam’s to also become a successful catering business. All of this info can be found on their great take out menu, or on one of their many social media accounts (see below).

Being somewhat new to the downtown core, Sam’s has quickly developed buzz through a loyal customer base which has used word of mouth to spread good reviews about the deli. We suggest you give it a try and then join the growing number of satisfied customers spreading the good news! Be sure to check them out this summer at the Hootenanny on Hunter, too

For more on Sam's Place (188 Hunter St.), go to: 

Phone: 705-876-1900
Twitter: @sams_place_deli
Email: samsplacedeli@gmail.com
Facebook: Sam's Place

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott

DBIA Featured Post: Runner's Life

Have you ever wondered where many of Peterborough's top athletes go to get their performance gear? Well Runner's Life is that place and it's located at 174 Charlotte St in downtown Peterborough.

Runner's Life is a running and triathlon focused store. Whether you're looking for a new pair of running shoes or a wetsuit, a stop watch or athletic clothing of any type, they've got just about everything! Brands such as Saucony, Asics and New Balance are just a few that you will find inside.

The shop has been locally owned and operated by Dave Dame for 10 years. A triathlete for 25 years himself, he took his passion for the sport and created a store where people with similar interests could come and purchase great gear while also getting outstanding service and information at the same time.

What you get at Runner's Life is specialized service. Each and every employee is well versed in the race world being racers themselves. Dame has had an Olympic athlete and athletic scholarship winners work alongside him over the years.

This unique situation of having experienced athletes selling products they actually use creates a great advantage over generic box stores selling mass produced items. To Dame, it isn't just about the sale: Their goal is to teach and advise each athlete how to get the most out of what they purchase, creating maximum value.

Over the years, Runner's Life has sponsored many events based in and around Peterborough. Most races that happen in our community have Runner's Life backing them up, whether they are major competitions or fun events for kids. They also take pride in having a used shoe drive each year that sends athletic shoes around the world to those less fortunate. To date, they have collected close to 3,000 pairs!

From advanced athletes to people looking for a start in running, each experience at the store is a genuine one and they welcome everyone to check it out!

For more on Runner's Life (174 Charlotte St.), go to:

phone: (705) 876-8960
Facebook page

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott

DBIA Featured Post: Peterborough Inn & Suites

Nestled in at 312 George St N. between Charlotte and King St in the downtown core, Peterborough Inn & Suites makes for an amazing overnight experience. Locally owned and operated since 2009 by Jasleen Sahni and her husband Brij, the hotel offers 32 rooms that make you think you never left home. With a smaller size compared to your run of the mill overnight destination, the hotel can concentrate on the little things necessary to make your stay memorable.

With its proximity to the center of town, the hotel is within walking distance to everything you want to see in Peterborough! This brings in customers who are at events being held downtown as repeat customers all the time. The relationships built are often lasting ones with their guests.

As an added bonus, along with free parking, the hotel offers a discount card which can be redeemed at one of many downtown restaurants. The list of 21 restaurants is second to none and shows the sense of community the hotel shares with its downtown business family.

New this year and something to watch out for is the hotel being a sponsor of Peterborough Musicfest, setting up a booth at each event. At the booth, they will have all the info and reasons you'll need to make the hotel a future destination of yours!

For more on Peterborough Inn & Suites (312 George St N.), go to:
Twitter: @ptboinnsuites
Phone: 705-876-6665

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott

DBIA Featured Post: The Pasta Shop

Located just on the edge of downtown Peterborough at 165 Sherbrooke St, the Pasta Shop is a hidden gem that needs to be discovered!

Locally owned and operated by "Pasta" Paul and "Saucy" Sue Leroux, the shop is in its 8th year of business. The Pasta Shop is exactly what it says it is—a Pasta Shop! It offers up to 80 different dishes that are ready for you to take home and enjoy. From fresh to frozen, this store is an Italian food lovers dream. Locally sourced poultry, eggs, and beef dominate the menu and help keep the feeling of community very much alive within its walls!

The shop is open 5 days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday and you will almost always find Paul in the back working away and Sue up front. They aim to be a "homemade with lots of love" type of experience. You can see the passion they have for what they offer in everything they create. This passion can also be experienced at downtown restaurants as The Pasta Shop is an important supplier to many.

As a smaller venue, they depend a lot on word of mouth and have been serving many of the same loyal customers for years. People come regularly from as far as Toronto and Ottawa to take advantage of what they have to offer as an alternative from the big city selection.

Paul and Sue absolutely love Peterborough and its downtown community. From its rivers and lakes to restaurants and entertainment venues, they think this city has everything to offer.

If you haven't been to The Pasta Shop yet, you're most certainly missing out!


For more on The Pasta Shop (165 Sherbrooke St.), go to:

Phone: 705.745.6080
on Twitter
Facebook page

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott

DBIA Featured Post: Plush Boutique

Anchored directly in the middle of downtown Peterborough’s “Fashion District”, you will find The Plush Boutique at 384 George St N. Locally owned and operated by Mike and Shelby Watt, Plush is the second of three stores this successful entrepreneurial couple has opened on George St (the others are Flavour Fashion and Save Our Soles). Coming from out of town to study at Trent University, Mike decided to stay and put down roots. After opening Flavour in 1999 to a great response, he would open Plush Boutique as a store for young professionals looking for quality clothing that makes them stand out in a crowd.

Offering brands and styles not found anywhere else in the city, the aim of the store is to specialize, be exclusive, and offer quality clothing that not only shows impeccable craftsmanship but respects the heritage of the brand being presented.

As the face of the brand, you will find Mike at one of his shops at least 3 to 4 days a week. When he isn’t on the floor advising on style, he is in the office or on the road finding new looks that suit each of his shops. His always friendly and welcoming staff is specially trained to help with detailed looks that customers are trying to put together. Often you will find Plush holding “fit clinics” for brands where brand reps will be on site to provide info to interested buyers. These are always a hit.

Plush is also involved with charity work in giving proceeds of sales at various times of the year to various local causes. As a locally owned business, Plush realizes the value in assisting the community it operates in and working to sustain it while pushing for growth in all aspects. Buying local has a very deep meaning for everyone involved.

Learn more about Mike Watt and Plush in this video.

For more on Plush (384 George St N.), go to:

@plushbtq on Twitter
Facebook.com page
Phone: 705.741.1812

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott

DBIA Featured Post: Silver Bean Café

Located in Millennium Park along the Otonabee River just off the intersection of King and Water in downtown Peterborough, the Silver Bean Café (100 King St.) is known as “Your waterfront cottage in the city”. Owned and operated by Andrea and Michael Vanderherberg (parents of 1 1/2 yr old son William, pictured below being held by Andrea), and along with 10 staff, the Silver Bean has become a sort of community hub and gathering spot for locals to sit back and enjoy great fare and company along the river.

Purchased in 2003 by Andrea, the café has recently acquired a 10-year contract with the City of Peterborough at their location. By doing this long-term lease, it has encouraged them to upgrade and expand their products—most recently, they put in an ice-cream parlour based on a survey they put out last season asking their customers what they wanted.

They offer a wide variety of quality food, which is locally sourced as much as possible, from simple sandwiches and salads to great espressos and other drinks—all of which can be viewed on their website.

They gladly host baby showers, birthday parties, weddings and theatrical events, and are open for business during Ribfest and the Purple Onion Festival. They aim to please and to make customer's experiences memorable. The Silver Bean Café opens for the season on May 1st, so head on down to discover this secluded gem in the heart of downtown Peterborough.

For more on The Silver Bean Café (100 King St.), go to:

on Twitter
Phone: 705.749.0535
Email: andrea@silverbeancafe.com

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott

DBIA Featured Post: The Pita Pit


Locally owned and operated by Doug Fisher, The Pita Pit (347 George St N) has been a mainstay in Peterborough’s downtown core for just over 16 years now, having opened on April 4th, 1997.

The goal of the Pita Pit is to offer a friendly environment that serves a healthy fast food alternative for people on the go. They are proud to be part of a vibrant, bustling and ever changing downtown.

The Pita Pit is always happy to be involved in the community and takes part in many local events such as the yearly Taste of Downtown, as well as selling their product at Wakestock on Little Lake.

Recently, the business entered the catering market and provides great meals for luncheons and meetings, a side of the business which has really taken off for them. They have also set up an Elementary School lunch program which offers kids relatively inexpensive healthy meal choices when offered. The Pita Pit is also happy to offer intermittent customer appreciation days, with great deals on product which usually pop up unannounced. These days are well appreciated by their customers.

For more on The Pita Pit, go to Pitapit.com or call 705-745-9119. They are located at 347 George St N.

For more on Downtown Peterborough and the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), click here.

By Aaron Elliott