Peterborough and Port Perry
Located just 90 minutes northeast of Toronto, Peterborough retains its down-home appeal, while offering an expanse of unspoiled opportunities throughout the Kawarthas.
The Kawarthas Lakes’ region stretches the boundaries of Peterborough, and includes Chemong, Scugog, Pigeon, Rice, Sturgeon, Balsam and Silver Lakes. From mid-spring to late fall, houseboat rentals are a popular holiday mode of transportation, with the Peterborough Lift Lock providing access to the Trent Severn Waterway – one of the most picturesque water route systems in Canada.
Devil’s Elbow ski resort has 14 runs and three terrain parks, and snowshoers can enjoy 8.5 kilometres of trails. Peterborough is also at the heart of Ontario’s network of snowmobile trails.
The Petroglyphs Provincial Park features the largest known collection of Aboriginal carvings. Considered sacred, the sketchings are believed to date back from 900 to 1100 A.D.
The Peterborough Film Festival takes place in late January, Maplefest in March and the Hiawatha Annual Pow Wow in May. Festivals, concerts and studio tours abound throughout the year.
With the eventual opening of Highway 407 in 2020, Peterborough will be even more accessible to the GTA and the Golden Horseshoe.
Closer still is Port Perry, located less than an hour’s drive northeast of Toronto, on the shores of Lake Scugog. As part of Scugog Township, this town has preserved its charming downtown core, which has become a popular tourist attraction, as well as a favourite backdrop for location managers who are looking for the perfect small-town feel for their next movie.
With the lake at the bottom of the main street, residents enjoy picnics, fishing, boating and lakeside strolls. Close by are conservation areas and The Great Blue Heron Charity Casino. The area boasts a vibrant arts community, as well as local breweries, wineries and a range of dining options.
Port Perry is becoming extremely popular with retirees, and builders are responding with thoughtful housing options. Best of all – Ontario’s Greenbelt legislation restricts new development in the surrounding countryside, which means that the chances of sprawling new subdivisions spoiling the idyllic view are virtually nil.