"My University Town" Peterborough by nickinosaka
Peterborough Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 21 photos
I was a student at Trent University for eight (!) years, so I got to know Peterborough very well. It's a small city of about 70 000 people, which makes the university and its students a major part of the community. It's still a fairly rural part of the province, close to lots of lakes and forest. It's reasonably close to Toronto, and some faculty members even commute.
There is a large Native population here, and if you're not already well-informed about Native Canadians, Peterborough (and Trent) is a great place to get informed. Most of the locals are Anishnaabe (Ojibway), but the university attracts a broader population, so you never know who you're going to run into.
Trent's campus is interesting from an architectural point of view, as the earlier buildings were designed by Ron Thom, who also designed Massey College at the University of Toronto and the theatre of the Shaw Festival. The newer Science Complex looks like a crashed flying saucer reworked into a university science complex, and has some interesting features (like the groundhog breeding ground that was elevated onto the roof so that the building wouldn't disrupt their breeding patterns--Trent in a nutshell). Some new construction broke soil after I graduated, and I haven't seen new photos yet (or been back) so I'd welcome any news/photos if you do visit.
My must-see spots, once I get photos, will include the Only Cafe, which isn't actually the only cafe in Peterborough, but it is the best. The Gordon Best Theatre and Red Dog get a nod for live gigs, and Clancy's (next door to the Red Dog) is a great place to relax over a few pints. The Pig's Ear and the Montreal House are a couple more bars which were popular with the university crowd.
As for non-alcoholic activities, there's enough natural areas to shake a stick at, but you're going to need a really good stick and some ultra-marathon level stamina to accomplish that.
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