Entries in Peterborough (6)


The Top 10 Opportunities for growth in Peterborough

In identifying the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce got us thinking about the opportunities for Peterborough.  

The province is projecting the Ontario economy will grow by 2.2 percent in 2016, so what can Peterborough do to ensure that some of that growth happens here?

“If you view a challenge as an opportunity to be intentional in your focus,” says Jason Becker, BDO Canada LLP and Chair of the Peterborough Chamber Board of Directors, “then the outcome may be even more rewarding than had you not faced the challenge.”

Here are our  

Top 10 Opportunities for Peterborough:

  1. #TeamPtbo. Build and communicate the Peterborough brand.  Maximize the impact of the engaged group of individuals in our business ecosystem.  
  2. Airport. Ready for takeoff.  Developing the airport was an intentional decision by the City and County. 53,475 aircraft movements were facilitated at the Peterborough airport in 2015. We have existing serviced industrial lots, and 15 companies. The City also purchased the East of Airport Road land last year, which means there is the opportunity for more strategic development in this space. 
  3. Trent Research and Innovation Park. Set the stage for the future. The City and Trent University have partnered to build out the site adjacent to Trent with a focus on Clean Technology Sectors.  Noble Tech Inc. has announced it will build a $20 million plant and be the first tenant at the site.      
  4. Manufacturing. Honour our history, by succeeding in the present.  In the early 1900s Peterborough was viewed as an industrial hub and leader.  While the manufacturing sector has changed, there are 50-60 local businesses with ties to the Kawartha Manufacturers Association (KMA) and the Canadian Manufacturers’ and Exporters (CME).  These connections will help trigger opportunities into the future. Perhaps even recognition as an Advanced Manufacturing Consortium for Eastern Ontario as was announced for southwestern Ontario in the 2016 budget.  
  5. Agriculture and Rural Economic Development. Grow the future. Agriculture is a staple in the Peterborough economy generating over $400 million in economic activity each year. The provincial government has committed to continued support in the 2016 budget through programs such as the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP).  This is essential with the push on food security and food safety.
  6. Nuclear. Power into the future. With the recent reinstatement of the Darlington Nuclear refurbishment we need to revitalize the local Nuclear Cluster.  In doing so, we will be able to capitalize on the opportunity to be a part of the supply chain and lobby for fair and balanced procurement for the project to ensure that there is local opportunity. 
  7. Tourism. Celebrate what Mother Nature gave us.  Our natural and many of our built attractions are connected to our environment.  The successful Travel Media conference in 2015 continues to bear fruit for this sector along with new projects such as the cycling partnership with Shimano Canada and various themed tours.  
  8. Entrepreneurship. Nurture the future.  An intentional and concerted effort has gone into building and creating a sustainable ecosystem for startups and new businesses.  In Canada, small business represents 98% of all firms and created 77.7% of all jobs between 2002 and 2012. This is expected to continue.  Our goal should be creating a framework to ensure these small companies can grow and be sustained successfully.  In the budget the province promised help to scale up small and medium-sized business.  The Peterborough Chamber is on an Ontario Chamber Taskforce examining the needs of business to do so with ease. 
  9. Harmonious Councils. We’re all in this together.  City of Peterborough and County of Peterborough councils need to continue to find new ways to work together to promote the area and create a climate where current and new businesses can flourish.  Just as in the business ecosystem, they must promote the Peterborough brand.
  10. Our First Nations. Partner for the future.  With three First Nations communities in the Peterborough region, we must foster a relationship that creates positive ties between our communities.    


 2015 Year in Review, City of Peterborough

 Fifty Facts About Peterborough, Ont., Canada, Peterborough Board of Trade circa 1900




"A Canada that Wins" is good for Peterborough

October 19, 2015 is the date for the next federal election in Canada.  That is just under 17 weeks away.  Elections are always an interesting time because the process causes the voting public to reflect on the past four years and look ahead with an eye to the guidance required in the next four years.  

The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce is part of a network that prides itself on being non-partisan.  As a business network we advocate for a better business climate that allows businesses the opportunity to compete and thrive in their own communities, across the province, the country and at the international level.  That means the Chamber must be flexible enough to work with any elected government to see these goals achieved.  The network prides itself on presenting ideas and different ways of approaching the challenges facing the Canadian economy.  The solutions presented come from the voice of businesses across the country and right here in Peterborough. 

What is the list of business priorities as we gear up for Election Day?  In March at the Greater Peterborough Chamber Annual General Meeting, Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Senior Director of Economic, Financial & Tax Policy Hendrik Brakel gave us a sneak preview of the CCC’s approach to Election 2015. 

"Election years are very exciting from a policy point of view, in that, there are challenges and opportunities," said Brakel. The challenge is that decisions are filtered through an election lens and the opportunity is that the economy is the number one issue and that's the realm in which the business community operates.

"Elections are a very good time to influence government," he added.

The platform presented by the Canadian Chamber titled "A Canada that wins" is based on the needs of every successful business. 

In the following press release issued in May, the CCC made public the priorities the business community wants its next government to address.  

“We are expressing the priorities of our members to candidates across the country in our 2015 federal election platform, with the firm intention of ensuring all parties will be mindful of these issues – and develop concrete plans to address them if their party forms government,” explained the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

By presenting this document early in the pre-campaign stage, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is setting the stage for collaboration with candidates and parliamentarians in crafting forward-thinking, long-term public policies that foster a globally competitive business sector. In order to concentrate efforts, the Canadian Chamber has applied a laser-like focus on competitiveness. It has grouped public policy priorities into the four factors that are critical to business competitiveness:

  1. Access to a powerful workforce
  2. Access to capital
  3. Access to technology and innovation
  4. Access to markets

These four key areas were identified by the Canadian Chamber’s members, from small enterprises to multinationals, as the priority targets for immediate change in order to allow Canada to compete on the global markets. “Canada is racing against the greatest competitors in the world’s toughest marathon—the global economy—and we are losing ground to the frontrunners. Our next government has to provide us with the policy tools to turn this around,” explained Mr. Beatty.

He concluded by saying, “Canadian businesses will have to face many challenges in the years ahead, but I am confident that the next government will hear us. By working together, we can make our country a more prosperous nation, a more competitive nation. We can help shape a Canada that wins.”

An interesting and exciting election is on the way on many fronts for the Peterborough area.  Peterborough riding currently doesn’t have a sitting Member of Parliament and the MPs for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and the current Northumberland riding have decided not to run for re-election.  This means the newly elected MPs will be bringing fresh perspectives to the job.  

With new riding boundaries in place the entire area of the City and County of Peterborough will be represented by three MPs, up from the current two. The Chamber network, of which  the Peterborough Chamber is a member, is effective because of strength in numbers, so it could bode very well for the Peterborough region to have a team of three in the House of Commons.   

The full report “A Canada that Wins” 

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn. 


Brilliant showing for #TMACPtbo

Hearty Congratulations this week to Peterborough and the Kawarthas Tourism.

Staff and hundreds of volunteers organized an incredible 4 day conference for the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC).

Travel writers from across Canada were treated to a dizzying variety of events, activities, and options as we put on our finest effort to showcase all that the Kawarthas have to offer.

The sheer effort in not only organizing all of these activities, but doing a fantastic, knock it out of the park job of it, should be applauded by everyone.

Is it worth it?  Without question- yes! Here is a sample of some of the chatter from Twitter alone!

All this to say nothing of the impact of the stories and articles that will inevitably follow as we send delegates home with such a favourable impression of Peterborough City and County.

Well done everyone!

Stuart Harrison

President & CEO 

Peterborough Chamber of Commerce

In the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and Peterborough Riding there are 1,051 businesses in the tourism
sector, employing 13, 065 people


Peterborough ranks 72nd out of 209 municipalities 

There’s yet another reason to #lovelocalptbo.

Moneysense.ca is out with its latest ranking of 209 Canadian municipalities.  The rankings consider low unemployment, high incomes, affordablehousing, healthy population growth, access to health care, low taxes, low crime, access to transit, walking & bike paths,  good weather and strong arts & sports community.

Given these criteria where do you think Peterborough would rank?  Do you think year over year the city would have seen a positive or negative change in its ranking?  

The answer might surprise you. Peterborough ranks 72nd out of 209 municipalities and is in the top 25% for the access to health care and easy to walk, bike, and take transit categories.  One could argue that Peterborough should rank very high in the strong arts & sports community category as well.  

So what is the "so what" factor?  From 2014 to 2015 Peterborough jumped 19 places from 91st spot to 72nd, so Peterborough is improving.  In fact a number of the key areas used for the survey have been top of mind in the Peterborough area recently.   

At the Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build ground-breaking ceremony on Monday, June 1, the organization spoke about the City’s dedication to affordable housing and how helping a person with the dream of home ownership also helps the economy. In Peterborough, 75.4% own their own home and 24.6% rent homes.  

According to the survey over 12% of residents walk, bike or take public transit to work.  Awareness campaigns by a number of community groups are intent on seeing that percentage grow.  It was also an area of concern during the Chamber’s Young Professionals Group Policy Forum in November 2014.   

The population (City and County combined) has grown by 1.9% in the past five years and the current Places to Grow Act forecasts a combined population of 173,000 by 2031.  Currently, the province is reviewing four provincial plans including the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.   The government is examining how the plans can better focus on six areas: 

  1. Protecting agricultural land, water and natural areas
  2. Keeping people and goods moving, and building cost-effective infrastructure
  3. Fostering healthy, livable and inclusive communities
  4. Building communities that attract workers and create jobs
  5. Addressing climate change and building resilient communities
  6. Improving implementation and better aligning the plans

There was a public meeting in Peterborough on April 7, 2015 with a public comment period that just closed on May 28, 2015.  The second phase of consultation will focus on potential amendments to the plans.  

The statistics in the moneysense.ca survey also show that over the past five years the crime rate has fallen 16.5%.  Interestingly, the areas that could use some work are areas most in Peterborough would agree on.  It would be nice to see the average median and disposable income increase, and to see unemployment decrease.  There is no simple solution to creating change in these areas. From an economic view, the Chamber of Commerce will continue to push for a business climate that allows business to thrive and continue to change and adapt to the needs of consumers and an constantly evolving economy.  

So how does Peterborough stack up against other comparable municipalities?  Kingston is ranked at 37; Barrie at 42, Oshawa 109 and Thunder Bay 112. Peterborough in the 72nd spot is right in the middle of the pack.  

Peterborough is doing a lot of things right, but there are still a lot to be done.  

It’s not perfect, but our current status is rich with opportunity.  There is
opportunity in our largest demographic, the 55+ crowd.  There is opportunity for the many families with young children in Peterborough.  There are industries in Peterborough that are thriving, from
advanced manufacturing to home renovations to tourism and sports and culture.  

As residents and business owners in Peterborough our job is to recognize where we can improve, never sell ourselves short and remember that success means to #lovelocalptbo.

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn.


Policy Forum 2014: Collaborating for Social Services Success

The strongest theme to emerge from Policy Forum 2014: Connecting the Dots is that groups have to work in collaboration with each other. This theme was an underlying current at the table discussing Transforming Social Services. 

The policy forum was hosted by the Young Professionals Group (YPG) of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. It was based on an article by best-selling author, economist, thought leader and current Chancellor of Trent University, Don Tapscott. The article called “As Toronto dithers, Guelph sets sights on 21st century” was first published in the Toronto Star on Friday, October 17, 2014. Seven key areas for improving a community were identified: 

  1. Promoting Entrepreneurship to Achieve Prosperity 
  2. Open Government 
  3. Turning Public Safety Inside Out 
  4. Rethinking Transportation 
  5. Creating a Sustainable City 
  6. Transforming Social Services 
  7. Reinventing Local Democracy 

So far in this seven-part series we have revealed the table discussions on entrepreneurship, open government and reinventing local democracy. Entrepreneurship wrapped up with a call for a coordinated strategy. Having an official strategy would allow all interest groups to map out the united front on entrepreneurship the community wants to present to its own residents, the province and beyond. 

Open government revealed six recommendations in total including two quick wins:1.Putting the councillor handbook online as a guide to government for all residents and 2. Using external language vs. internal language to communicate better with residents and businesses. 

The discussion around reinventing local democracy led to a call for community-building activities, such as a parallel council and highlighting Peterborough’s community areas to continue to engage all residents. 

The group at the table discussing public safety came to the conclusion that when it comes to this issue everyone in the community has a role to play. 

Transforming Social Services 

Lynn Zimmer, Executive Director of the YWCA was the table lead for the discussion on transforming our social services. 

The group identified the following as currently happening in Peterborough: 


  • Data sharing/ measurement/ evaluation/proof of outcomes by various organizations which then leads to streamlined & priority based funding 
  • Collaboration between organizations and joint community projects and committees on a variety of issues, from employment to housing and homelessness (Vital Signs, Who Works Where in Peterborough, the 10 year Homelessness and Housing Plan, The Social Planning Council’s Living Wage White Paper) 
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough is seen as an asset though it is still in its infancy 
  • Increase in core funding 
  • Change in United Way funding – they are not sure if this will be positive or negative 
  • One-stop shopping program once a week for services at the YWCA 
  • Progress for various groups: Peterborough Council on Aging, The Mount development 
  • With an aging/aged population the need for services is increasing and there needs to be a focus on this particular demographic 


As a result of their discussion around the current situation, the group came up with one quick win, three short term goals and three longer term goals. 

Quick Win 

The Peterborough Volunteer 
According to the 2014 Vital Signs document which brought together 30 community groups, including the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Peterborough has a high rate of volunteerism at 51.9% compared to Ontario (47.7%) and Canada (47%). So the numbers show people are the power in Peterborough. The group discussing the issue felt there were best practices we could learn from each other to harness and efficiently utilize the giving spirit. They also wondered about a coordinated volunteer management system for the entire city. 

Short-term Goals 

Amalgamation and Networking of Organizations 
This was a theme that was common throughout the table discussion. In his original article Chancellor Tapscott wrote about the Guelph Wellbeing Leadership Group. This group is made up of 22 community leaders from different sectors, agencies and stakeholders within that city. Through this group they are able to pool resources inside and outside government to find solutions. 

This coordinated approach could fuel best practices, recording the experiences of those who have retired from the sector. 

With the current culture of making every penny count, pooling resources would save time and effort and make more efficient use of the taxpayer dollars that go to these services. 

Communicating About the Non-Profit Sector 
Getting the word out about the services available, the volunteer opportunities and the difference these groups are making in the lives of Peterborough’s most vulnerable residents. 

Tapping into Expertise 
The group felt that there is an untapped wealth of knowledge about the social services and non-profit sector in our senior population. They feel that starting an intergenerational conversation could lead to new opportunities and ideas. 

Long-term Goals 

This issue was identified as the most important long term goal, in that an effective, efficient and safe transportation system is needed for clients and employees. The group identified that the more transportation available the more accessible services would be. 

The group came away with a similar conclusion as the policy forum attendees discussing the need for a coordinated strategy to help develop entrepreneurs in Peterborough. Taking a “we’re all in this together approach” to social services could lead to a “Peterborough Wellbeing Leadership Group”, and with the dedicated volunteers in the city and county it sounds like a winning combination. 

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn.