Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Peterborough well worth the wait

Little Lake in Peterborough's Millenium Park.
When I was a kid growing up in Newmarket, Ontario, I never spent any time in or around Peterborough. My relationship with the city consisted of turning on CHEX-TV to watch a hockey game not on the regular CBC stations or a football game that was blacked out in the immediate Toronto area.

Peterborough was always that place that I was in a hurry to get through or past or around to get to Algonquin Provincial Park and later, Outlet Beach (now Sandbanks) Provincial Park.

My dad and I almost stayed at a fishing marina outside Peterborough one summer trip, but neither of us was much of a fisherman, it wasn't really set up for camping (although there was a place to pitch a tent) so I voted to go to Algonquin instead and off we went.

Learning to carve a canoe paddle with Russ Parker.
Later on, it was that place that Roger Neilson coached (the OHL's Petes) before beginning his NHL career in Toronto with the Maple Leafs. (A street in Peterborough is named after the late icon).

Of course, all of that was before a group of far-sighted individuals established the Canadian Canoe Museum. It also pre-dated the establishment of many of the great provincial parks like Kawarthas Highlands and Petroglyphs Provicinal Parks in the area.

And it was probably before the local dining scene, craft beer industry, wide diversity of independent coffee shops and many of the other aspects of current life that made Peterborough the thriving but very liveable community it is today.

I'm now finally getting the chance to explore the area and everything it has to offer.
Brewmaster Doug Warren serves up some craft beer.

So far, I've spent two days carving a canoe paddle at the canoe museum, followed by a paddle across Little Lake (which boasts its own huge fountain in the middle of the lake). I also enjoyed several fine meals and sampled some of the craft beers mentioned above.

I expect that to continue over the next few days with another visit to the canoe museum (yeah, I'm a canoehead!) a possible river cruise along the Trent River, and more fine dining (Peterborough actually has more restaurants per capita than Toronto).

So in many ways, I'm getting the best of Peterborough, arguably a better experience than I might have had all those years ago as a youngster.

I can certainly appreciate these kinds of enjoyments better than I would have back then.

So from my perspective, I waited until just the perfect time.

Good things really do come to those who wait...

View of the river from the balcony of my hotel room at Best Western Otonabbee Inn.

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