- Posted by: Greg Lister on September 14, 2011
Story by Gary Crallé, Travel Journalist
Take note, Peterborough is reinventing its charms. Beyond the familiar franchise icons dotting the landscape are independent entrepreneurs contributing to a resurgent pride in local history, culture and cuisine. Home grown excellence is exploding.
It all caught me by surprise on a days adventure with a little band of media day trippers from the greater Toronto area. Peterborough touts itself as a respite from the city – which it certainly is. Ninety minutes after our mini bus left Torontos Union Station we were sipping lemonade and munching fresh pastries aboard a cruise through the Peterborough lift lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway.
And not just any lift lock, but the highest hydraulic lock in the world – a giant bathtub hoisting our boat 65 feet into the air. The lock has long been a community claim to fame, but other tourist draws are now also making an appearance.
This was tastefully demonstrated over a standup luncheon at Elmhirsts Resort, a century-plus family property on nearby Rice Lake. Costumed folks from small businesses introduced us to everything from pulled pork burgers and local garlic to cakes, Belgian chocolate and fruit wines, from cycling tours to indoor and outdoor theatre, galleries to wedding cakes, goat milk products to Lang pioneer village. Who knew!
We took turns quick touring the resorts own farm which supplies their gourmet restaurant before whizzing back into town for a time warp decompression through the rightly famous Canoe Museum – a warmly woodsy space offering a unique dose of Canadian frontier lore.
A flock of white birds flew circles around a barn in the early evening sunlight as we took seats in the bleachers for an open air comedy performance. A brief 2 hours later we were on our way back to the big city, having tanned, dined and adjusted our attitude with a pleasant day at leisure in the country.