The City of Peterborough, Ontario is located approximately 125 km East of Toronto on the Trent Severn Waterway and has a population of close to 80,000. Most anyone from Peterborough will tell you that we are a unique community that offers exceptional quality of life for all residents. In fact, the Centre for the Study of Living Standards ranks Peterborough as the 2nd happiest city in all of Ontario and the 7th happiest in Canada. You can view their report here.

Peterborough, Ontario is a beautiful and safe city that really does have it all… You’ll find many of the benefits of big city living to go along with some of the advantages and beauty of our natural world. As you’ll see from browsing this website, there are plenty of things to do and recreational activities for all walks of life, superb health care and excellent schooling from elementary to post secondary.

Tell us why YOU love Peterborough… Leave a comment below!

The Greater Peterborough Area

According to Statistics Canada, a census done in 2011 found the total metropolitan area of Peterborough (or Greater Peterborough Area) to have a population of close to 120,000. The Greater Peterborough Area consists of 8 municipalities in total, which all have their own towns/communities. It breaks down like this:

Image Courtesy of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough

Image Courtesy of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough

Otonabee – South Monaghan

Population: 6,660
Communities: Assumption, Bailieboro, Bensfort, Bensfort Bridge, Blezard, Cameron, Campbelltown, Drummond, Hall Landing, Indian River, Jermyn, Keene, Lang, Mathers Corners, Pengelly Landing, Pleasant Point, Stewarts Hall, Villiers, Wallace Point and Zion.

Douro – Dummer

Population: 6,805
Communities: Centre Dummer, Clarina, Cottesloe, Crowes Landing, Donwood, Douro, Five Corners, Galesburg, Gilchrist Bay, Guerin, Hall’s Glen, Juniper Island, McCrackens Landing, South Beach, Young’s Point, South Dummer and Warsaw

Selwyn (formerly Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield)

Population: 16,846
Communities: Bridgenorth, Chemong Heights, Chemong Park, Connaught Shore, Deer Bay, Emerald Isle, Ennismore, Fife’s Bay, Flood’s Landing, Fowlers Corners, Gannon Beach, Gannon Village, Kawartha Park, Kimberley Park, Lakefield, Selwyn, Selwyn Shores, Stewart Heights, Tera View Heights, Tindle Bay, Victoria Springs, Village Meadowa, Windward Sands, Woodland Acres, Young’s Cove, Young’s Point and Youngstown.

Asphodel – Norwood

Population: 4,041
Communities: Birdsall, Birdsall Station, Norwood and Westwood

Trent Lakes

Population: 5,105
Communities: Buckhorn, Buckhorn Lake Estates, Burleigh Falls, Catchacoma, Crystal Lake, Ewan, Flynns, Fortescue, Kawartha Hideaway, Lakehurst, Mississauga Landing, Mount Irwin, Nogies Creek, Oak Shores Estates, Point Pleasant, Rockcroft and Sugar Bush.

Cavan – Monaghan

Population: 8,601
Communities: Carmel, Cavan, Cedar Valley, Fraserville, Ida, Millbrook, Mount Pleasant, South Monaghan, Springville and Tapley


Population: 4,523
Communities: Ashby Mill, Blairton, Blairton Station, Blue Mountain, Chase Corners, Cordova Mines, Freeman Corners, Jack Lake, Havelock, Kasshabog Lake, MacDonald Bay, Nephton, Oak Lake, Preneveau, Round Lake, Rush Point and Vansickle

North Kawartha

Population: 2,289
Communities: Apsley, Big Cedar, Glen Alda, Rose Island, and Woodview.

Getting Here

Peterborough is very easy to get to from many major Ontario cities. From Toronto it’s a simple drive East on the 401 and South on the 115. From our Nation’s Capital in Ottawa it’s a very easy (but somewhat long & boring) drive West along Highway 7

There are also a number of options for public transit to Peterborough from major urban areas. Coach Canada operates out of Peterborough and has routes to and from major cities. You’ll also find regular routes from both Greyhound and Go Transit. Please visit their respective websites for schedules and more information.

As mentioned already, the City of Peterborough is located on the Otonabee river which is part of the Trent Severn Waterway. If you’d like to travel here by boat and are looking for information on lockage fees and lock times of the Trent Severn Waterway, visit Parks Canada.

There is also an airport owned and operated by the City of Peterborough. It recently underwent a major renovation and is now home to the longest paved airport runway (at 7,000 feet) between Toronto and Ottawa. It’s a full service facility and can support narrow body aircrafts like the Boeing 737 or Airbus 320. Click here for more information about the Peterborough Municipal Airport.

The closest major community to Peterborough (in terms of Population) is Lindsay Ontario which is just a 30 minute drive West.

What’s In a Name?

The name Peterborough is in honour of one Peter Robinson who overlooked the very first major immigration to the Peterborough area.

Peterborough has garnered a number of knicknames from local residents, including:

  • The Electric City
  • Peter Patch
  • The Patch
  • P-Dot

History of Peterborough

It is believed that Woodland Natives inhabited the area from around 1000 BC to 1000 AD. Around 1740 AD it is believed that Iroquois and Mississaugas Natives settled here. Evidence from this era can be found in carvings at Petroglyphs Provincial Park and Serpent Mounds.

The town and area was officially established in 1815 when Adam Scott settled on the Otonabee River and began construction of a sawmill operation. The area was then referred to as Scott’s Plains.

In 1825, close to 2,000 immigrants from Ireland arrived from the city of Cork. This immigration was overseen by Peter Robinson and the name of the area was then changed from Scott’s Plains to Peterborough. It wasn’t until 1850 that Peterborough was officially incorporated into a Town. The population at this time was 2,191.

Peterborough’s first big population growth came later in the 19th Century when it became one of the first places in Canada to generate hydro electrical power. To take advantage of this cheap power resource, large corporations such as GE and America Cereal Company (Formerly Quaker Oats, now Pepsi Co) opened plants within the city creating numerous job opportunities.

Leave a Comment

What do you love most about Peterborough, Ontario? We’d love to hear from you by leaving a comment below!