I got a chance to see downtown Peterborough over the weekend. It's very different from downtown Toronto. It is roughly about four city blocks, and they are all one way streets, so you have to go around in a circle to get to the other side. They have some nice used book stores, restaurants, pubs, cafes, ONE movie theatre and some independent shops. I also saw a cute little strip mall in the heart of downtown. There were no condos or skyscrapers in sight. I saw some people walking through doors between the shops, and I noticed there were little apartments above each of the stores. We drove through the streets but didn't get to see inside any of the stores, since majority of them were closed. We went just after six, so they were just closing up. It was quite different from what I remember in the big city. Most restaurants/cafes in Toronto stay open late, till at least 11 pm. And a lot even stay open till 2 or 3 am!
We did manage to find a small coffee shop which was open late. "Open late" by small city standards mean, it was open till 8! It was an independently owned cafe. It was not as cozy as some other cafes I've been to, but still not a bad ambiance. While we were there, a local artist came to hang up some of her artwork in the back room. I overheard her telling a customer that she has some sort of opening coming up. I liked that the local cafe was supporting a small independent business.
It took roughly about ten minutes to tour all of the downtown, before we went in for some drinks. I lived in Toronto all my life, and there are still parts of downtown Toronto which I haven't seen! Still on my list of Peterborough sight seeing: The Canadian Canoe Museum, art gallery, museum and Riverpark Zoo. The Canoe Museum costs just over $10, and the art gallery, museum and zoo are all free! I will be done seeing all of Peterborough in no time!