SPARK Showcase Exhibit – YMCA Balsillie Family Branch 2022

SPARK Showcase Exhibit

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Peone Block Norwood Lang - Pioneer Village Museum

Peone Block Norwood Now by Michael Harris

George St At Night Dec 11, 1954 - Trent Valley Archives

George St at Night by Biran Parypa

SPARK Showcase Exhibit
Peterborough: Then & Now


YMCA Balsillie Family Branch
123 Aylmer Street South
Phone (705) 748 9642

Mon to Fri: 6 am to 9 pm
Sat & Sun: 8 am to 5:30 pm
(subject to change)

2022 SPARK Showcase Exhibit

Peterborough: Then & Now

Presented by LLF Lawyers

If the walls could talk.

How often have you passed by an historic building and wondered what it used to be? Or, perhaps you’ve passed it by a hundred times and not given it a second thought? Popping into a restaurant for take-out can bring you across the threshold of a building that was a bank for 109 years of its 160 years! And the people! Who lived in those upper floor apartments above the Bank of Toronto more than a century ago? Where did they work? Who lives there now?

What’s the history of the location where that modern building is? Who back in the 1930s would have imagined that Peterborough City Hall would replace Detcher’s Imperial station in 1951, and that it would still be our municipal centre in 2022?

As the Canadian Canoe Museum prepares to move out of its current location, we look back at its previous life as Outboard Marine. What will the next incarnation be for that block of Monaghan Road?

Lakefield is legendary in the history of Canadian boat building. Maybe the next time you stop into the diner there or to pick up steaks for the barbecue, you’ll look at those buildings on Queen Street in a new, old light, and know you’re walking into the shadows of Strickland & Co from way back in the late 19th century.

Photographs serve to record the stately beauty, the activity, the gritty, the ceremony and the every day. They tell the story of the city and county, the culture, the industry, the people and the community. Through photographs we learn, we reminisce, we look back and look to the future.

Thanks to our local museums and archives, we can take a glimpse into the past of Peterborough City and County, and thanks to our present-day photographers, we can capture the history that remains and the current scenes. Through photography, not only do we see how much change has occurred throughout the area’s history but also how much has changed in the technology with which we can record it. From photography onto glass plates and the very first hand-held Kodaks to today’s high-tech digital SLRs and drones!

Our 2022 Showcase Exhibit Peterborough: Then & Now invites you to look back at Peterborough city and county landmarks (some famous, others much less so) in images from the late 1800s through to the 1950s, and to compare and contrast to the present day.

Thank you to our archive partners: Lang Pioneer Village Museum, Peterborough Museum & Archives and Trent Valley Archives, for researching and contributing the historical images for this Showcase.

Thank you to the intrepid photographers who dug through storage files and ventured out to capture just the right angle to match our historical selections.

Showcase Committee:

  • Heather Kerr
  • Jennifer MacKenzie
  • Janice Matthews


  • Renée Homiak, Museum Curator, Lang Pioneer Village Museum
  • Elwood Jones, Archivist, Trent Valley Archives
  • Heather Aiton Landry, Associate Archivist, Trent Valley Archives
  • Jon Oldham, Archivist, Peterborough Museum & Archives

Contributing Photographers (current-day images):

  • Heather Kerr
  • Michael Harris
  • Brian Parypa
  • Erin Shannon
  • Doreen Small

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