Known as the “Electric City” back in the day, as it was the first city in Canada to use electric streetlights, Peterborough is one of Canada’s recreational cities today, perfectly located between two of Canada’s largest cities - Toronto and Ottawa. Its scenic walks, kid-friendly attractions, beautiful parks and art museums offer lots to do both indoors and outdoors. Join me as we go explore Canada’s Peterborough!
1. Riverview Park & Zoo
The Riverview Park & Zoo is one of Peterborough’s most popular attractions for kids and adults alike, especially since it is open year-round and the admission is free. The zoo is home to over 45 species of animals, including Emu, Wallaby, Two-Toed Sloth, River Otter and has the most diverse playground in the city, with a splash pad, a frisbee golf course and a not-to-miss train ride.
Riverview Park & Zoo
Address: 1230 Water St, Peterborough, Ontario K9H 7G4, Canada
Phone: +1 7057456866
Website: Riverview Park & Zoo
2. Jackson Park
One of Peterborough’s natural gems, Jackson Park is perfect for a relaxing walk or a picnic near the creek. Make sure you don’t miss the Pagoda Bridge, one of the park’s landmarks and a popular spot for small wedding ceremonies. Sport enthusiasts can also try kayaking in Jackson Park or running, cycling or hiking on one of the park’s many trails.
Address: 610 Parkhill Rd W, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 6N6, Canada
Phone: +1 8557383755
Website: Jackson Park
3. Canadian Canoe Museum
At the Canadian Canoe Museum you’ll get to see a different side of Canada’s history, told through the canoe. This family-friendly place in Peterborough is a must-see for all water sports aficionados. During your visit you will get to see a wide collection of canoes from the earliest ones that are a hundred years old to modern canoes including the ones used in the Olympic Games. There are also info boards with interesting facts placed throughout the museum making your visit a fun learning experience.
Canadian Canoe Museum
Address: 910 Monaghan Rd, Peterborough, ON K9J 5K4, Canada
Phone: +1 7057489153
Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm & Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Website: Canadian Canoe Museum
4. Art Gallery of Peterborough
Whether you are an art enthusiast or you are looking for free, indoor activities in Peterborough, check out the Art Gallery in the city. The non-profit public art gallery has a permanent collection of over 1,400 art pieces, from paintings and sculptures to photography and prints. In addition, you can also check out some of the temporary exhibitions, take part in the on-site workshops or shop for local works of art at the gift shop.
Previous visitors have appreciated the Art Gallery of Peterborough as a place for all ages (kids included), with lovely art and fun activities.
Art Gallery of Peterborough
Address: 250, Crescent St, Peterborough, ON K9J 2G1, Canada
Phone: +1 7057439179
Hours: Mon - closed, Tue-Sun 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Website: Art Gallery of Peterborough
5. Peterborough Lift Lock
The Peterborough Lift Lock is not only a gem for the city, but one of Canada’s engineering marvels, as it is the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world. The boat trip will take you on an interesting and fun experience where you will get to witness the whole process and listen to historical facts so make sure you include this on your list of things to check out while in Peterborough.
Peterborough Lift Lock
Address: 353 Hunter St E, Peterborough, ON K9H 7B5, Canada
Phone: +1 7057504950
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am - 6:00 pm & Sat-Sun 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
6. Petroglyphs Provincial Park
A trip to this part of Canada would not be complete without a walk in the Petroglyphs Provincial Park. The park is home to around 1,000 rock carvings that are believed to be over 100 years old. Besides the historical significance of these “Teaching Rocks”, the park also has great opportunities for hiking, relaxation or wildlife viewing.
Don’t miss the McGinnis Lake, one of the few meromictic lakes in Canada. You will be amazed to see the lake’s layers of water and how they don’t intermix.
Petroglyphs Provincial Park
Address: 2249 Northeys Bay Rd, Woodview, ON K0L 3E0, Canada
Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Website: Petroglyphs Provincial Park
7. The Publican Craft Brewery
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
After all the sightseeing and exploring, you will definitely feel hungry and thirsty, so the best place to stop is the famous Publican Craft Brewery in downtown Peterborough. Here, beer aficionados will be delighted to try some of the finest brews in Ontario. With focus on quality and freshness, their beers are all made of natural wholesome ingredients. Beer is not the only thing customers appreciate here; food is very tasty and the staff is friendly, so it might be better to make a reservation beforehand, since this place is likely to be full.
The Publican Craft Brewery
Address: 300 Charlotte St, Peterborough, ON K9J 2V5, Canada
Phone: +1 7058745743
Hours: Sun-Thu 11:00 am - 11:00 pm; Fri-Sat 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Website: The Publican Craft Brewery
8. Millennium Park
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Right on the water, Millennium Park is where many city events take place. If you’re not in town for the Purple Onion Festival or the Ribfest, you can just take a walk and relax at the waterfront Silver Bean Cafe in the park. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and one of their delicious sweets. People who have been here recommend their ice cream, if you’re here in the summer time, or the tuna panini if you come for lunch.
Address: 1 King Street, Peterborough, ON
Website: Millennium Park
9. Peterborough Museum & Archives
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Besides being a city for relaxation and recreation, Peterborough has also been an industrial city for decades, with production and different industries flourishing here. The best way to get a sense of Peterborough’s role in industry is by visiting the Peterborough Museum & Archives. Here you will get to see artifact and archive collections containing everything from ceremonial items, clothing and tools to maps, personal letters and documents that used to pertain to important people in the area. Two of the most important collections you can find here are the McGrath Collection and the Brock Street Collection of native burial goods.
Peterborough Museum & Archives
Address: 300 Hunter St E, Peterborough, ON, Canada
Phone: +1 7057435180
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm & Sat-Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Website: Peterborough Museum & Archives
10. Peterborough Farmers' Market
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
If you’re in Peterborough during the weekend, definitely stop by the Peterborough Farmers’ Market. It is open every Saturday year-round and offers a wide variety of locally-sourced products, basically everything from fruits and veggies, honey, meat and prepared food to crafts and flowers. Visitors refer to the market as a delight to the senses, which sums it up pretty well. Don’t leave without some baked goodies to eat at home!
Peterborough Farmers' Market
Address: 136 Lansdowne St, Peterborough, ON K9J 1Y6, Canada
Hours: Sat 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
Website: Peterborough Farmers’ Market
11. Petersborough Cathedral
One of the finest cathedrals in England, this medieval architecture is great for people of all ages to visit. You can marvel at its antiquity or even explore inside to be awed by its exquisitely created interiors. Its patterns and ornaments will surely provide you with an overview of the aesthetic sense of the former times. You may also enrich your knowledge by discovering more about its history and how it has been significant to some notable people. Being located next to a shopping center, you may also easily shop after visiting the cathedral.
Address: Peterborough PE1 1XS, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 3pm; Sun: 12pm - 3pm
12. Nene Valley Railway
Nene Valley certainly has something to offer to everyone. Providing plenty of things to do, one will surely have an exciting day as you climb aboard this train. If you are into heritage, this is definitely a perfect activity for you as it will take you back in time. This gives you a chance to ride a steam train while providing you with full knowledge about the train and the railway. You will definitely have a nostalgic experience as the volunteers are dressed in period clothing in all stations. If you want to explore more, you can alight at other stations and see what they have to offer. Meanwhile, children will also enjoy themselves as they have a riverside picnic spot and play area.
Nene Valley Railway
Address: Wansford Station, Stibbington, Peterborough, PE8 6LR
Website: Nene Valley Railway
13. Longthorpe Tower (This is supposed to be in Canada)
If you are into the arts then you will be fascinated by Longthorpe Tower. It displays 14th-century domestic wall paintings from northern Europe, which include some artwork with religious subjects such as the Wheel of Life, the Nativity, and King David. Interesting information is provided to explain the paintings exhibited to ensure that every visitor leaves this historic site even more knowledgeable. Aside from the paintings displayed, you may also explore the 13th-century manor house and see a medieval ‘garderobe’. A visit here will give you a look at how medieval people lived and how they viewed the world. For children, they may get to experience medieval fashion by trying on medieval costumes and helmets at the tower.
Address: Thorpe Rd, Peterborough PE3 6LU, United Kingdom
Opening hours: Sat & Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed from Mon - Fri)
Website: Longthorpe Tower
Price: Adults: 3 GBP (4 USD); children: 2 GBP (3 USD)
Peterborough, Canada: a diverse, lively city with something for everyone
One of the best things about Peterborough is that it has so many diverse things to do that you will never spend a boring minute here. It is a city for sports enthusiasts, families with kids, couples and art connoisseurs alike. No matter when you visit, there will be plenty to explore both indoor and outdoor!
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