Little surprises in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

Little surprises in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

Little Lake is really a widening of the Otonabee River and was an important passage from the Kawartha Lakes to Lake Ontario

Many of us move into new communities either for jobs, family or as we age – moving into town. I didn’t think I would be “moving into town” quite yet but circumstances change. Like the rest of the world, I was surprised by the pandemic and the difficulties that it brought but then other opportunities presented themselves. A move seemed like a good thing. 

It’s been almost a year since I left the farm in Pontypool and moved into Peterborough. Interestingly, even though my new community was only 25 minutes away from the farm, I really didn’t know much about it. It was a change for sure. Large acreage, vegetable gardens and flower beds, events to be planned and executed, recipes devised, bouquets made and lots of maintenance. Today I lead a very simple existence with just a few planters to water.  

One of many unexpected surprises and pleasures I found here in town was discovering that the Centennial Fountain on Little Lake is in direct view from our terrace. Beginning in May (this year May 19th) the fountain comes on every day at 11 a.m and stays on through much of the evening for eight months, shooting water 75 meters up into the air. It is the highest jet fountain in Canada. At night, there are coloured lights and on windy days, I might feel the spray when I sit outside. 

I have lived in the Kawartha Lakes now for over 16 years and hardly knew that Little Lake existed. Surprisingly, I now live directly on it. Little Lake is really a widening of the Otonabee River and was an important passage from the Kawartha Lakes to Lake Ontario in former times when steamships passed through the area. When we left the farm, the dogs needed constant walking in comparison to the country freedom they had enjoyed. We walked endless kilometers to explore the locks and trails along the river, the fountain in sight and always a help in getting us back home. 

The fountain was built in 1967 to mark the Canadian Centennial celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian confederation. It was planned and built by the local business community. A donation by General Electric helped pay for engineering and materials for its construction. The pump has specialized parts and nozzles in order to control the water pressure making it one of the only pumps of its kind in the world. Today it is operated by the City of Peterborough and is a feature of the city.

From our vantage point, I watch the water fowl come and go, look out for their babies, watch people paddling and swimming, walking or picnicking along the bank of the lake and stop and look at the goings on. It is a lovely spot and the fountain makes the experience of being an on looker all the more beautiful.

A documentary called Shining Waters featuring the history of the fountain can be found here posted it on YouTube.

I acknowledge I am living as an uninvited guest on the traditional Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg Territory. We are located on the land associated with the Williams Treaty of 1923 and Rice Lake Treaty #20 of 1818
Danielle French
Danielle French

About Danielle French

I founded South Pond Farms in 2008. The property is on the Oak Ridges Moraine in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe Mississauga. South Pond started as a small food delivery business making fresh prepared meals from ingredients in my garden. Together with my family, we restored the barn, the iconic heritage silo and the land to become a destination for authentic culinary experiences, weddings, celebrations, workshops. Inspired from the farm, I also create a line of culinary products and gifts.

In 2021, I was ready to move away from the farm. As much as I loved the land and the country, it was time to let someone else bring their passion to what we had created. My new home is in Peterborough, Ontario where I’m taking some time to write, contemplate next steps, train my dogs, blog about recipes and interesting explorations and unpack!

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Posted on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022
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