Raising a family and watching children grow is one of the most joyful aspects of life. There’s no getting around it, though. It is a very expensive endeavour, one that’s getting even more so as time goes on.
If you’re looking for a place for your family to call home, Peterborough is one of the fastest-growing cities in the province for a reason. Nearly everything is more affordable here, especially the housing. However, it isn’t just about the money. It’s about the lifestyle you can enjoy and the many memories you will create over the years.
What are some of the things that set Peterborough apart? Here are a few of our favourite aspects of family life in this city.
The Perfect Blend of Serenity and Convenience
Clean air, extensive hiking and biking trails, and stunning green spaces are some of the first things new residents notice after relocating. For children, it’s a magical place with many parks to play in, creeks to explore, and open areas to run around. For parents, there’s the peace of mind of quiet streets and safe neighbourhoods.
As green and scenic as Peterborough may be, you still have all of the conveniences of a big city, and then some. Downtown, you’ll find everything you need quickly and easily, with dining and shopping options that rival cities twice the size!
Affordability of Peterborough vs the GTA
Housing affordability is a growing concern all over Canada, but Peterborough remains one of the most affordable places to rent or buy a home. According to a recent cost comparison chart, Peterborough is approximately 43% less expensive than Toronto in almost every aspect of life.
For example, in Toronto, the least expensive option is a condo, which currently costs an average of $769,058. Condo life may be fun and exciting in your early twenties, but it isn’t always ideal for raising a family.
In Peterborough, it isn’t unheard of to get a four-bedroom detached house with two bathrooms and a backyard where children can play for under $500,000. And it isn’t just housing that is more affordable. Nearly everything costs less here, including restaurant meals, groceries, transit, clothing, and childcare.
No matter how you look at it, your dollar will go much further in Peterborough, making it easier to save for your child’s education and to enjoy vacations and special events together while they are young.
Want to know more about the cost of living in Peterborough? Check out our detailed breakdown in Living in Toronto vs Peterborough: What’s Better?
Access to High-Quality Education and Healthcare
Education is everything to a child’s success later in life, and Peterborough delivers, from pre-school right through to university and beyond. The city is served by three publicly-funded school boards:
- Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
- Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique centre-sud
Between them, there are over 30 elementary and secondary schools providing public, Catholic, and French education. You can also find excellent pre-schools, continuing education, and after-school programs running from 3 to 6 p.m.
Peterborough is also known for excellent postsecondary education, with respected institutions like Trent University, Fleming College, Trillium College, and Seneca College.
As Canadians, we may have the luxury of free healthcare, but accessing it isn’t always easy. Peterborough is served by the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, a state-of-the-art facility that provides a broad range of services. It is also one of the largest employers in the city, with 2,500 staff members that include 400 physicians. In addition, there are countless medical offices, walk-in clinics, and other providers all over the city.
Career and Business Development
You may hear a lot about young people leaving small towns in search of high-paying careers in the big city. However, Peterborough families often stick together because there are many opportunities right here at home! In 2020, there were hundreds of openings in all sectors, from entry-level positions to healthcare and skilled trades careers.
For entrepreneurial types, you’ll find a wealth of support for your venture. The Peterborough and Kawarthas Business Advisory Centre is invested in your success and ready to help launch and grow your company at every stage.
Peterborough’s thriving economy was valued at nearly $6 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow by 26% over the next decade. And did you know that Peterborough is ranked number one in Ontario for water-tech startups?
You won’t need to look any further for your dream career!
Speaking of business, did you know that Peterborough is an excellent place to invest in real estate? Here are some ideas you may want to consider:
- Stocks vs Real Estate: What’s Better in a Shifting Market?
- The Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Real Estate
- How to Find a Great Tenant
Peterborough is Fun!
One of the best aspects of living in Peterborough is the never-ending list of fun and memorable experiences you can share with your family. No matter the season, something exciting is always on the horizon. Here are just a few events we look forward to every year!
- The Christmas Bazaar at Lang Pioneer Village Museum
- The Santa Clause Parade
- Winter Artisans Show
- Various maple syrup festivals
- Peterborough Musicfest
There is always something going on in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, but you never have to wait for the fun to arrive. Everyday experiences that can become lasting memories include:
- Riverview Park and Zoo. The only free accredited zoo in Canada is open for your enjoyment 365 days a year!
- The Canadian Canoe Museum. Imagine the sight of over 600 canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards on display. What a fun way to explore our history and culture!
- Kidz Playland. Rainy days no longer spell boredom, not when children aged 1 to 12 can run around and have a blast in this giant indoor playground!
Perhaps best of all, you have countless free activities you can enjoy throughout Peterborough and the Kawarthas. There are fantastic playgrounds all over, beautiful parks, beaches and incredible cycling trails for all levels.
Want to know even more about all of the fun activities to enjoy all year round in Peterborough? Check out our previous articles below for some ideas for all seasons:
- Autumn in the Kawarthas: Prepare to Fall in Love!
- The Lakes Near Peterborough You Have to Visit
- Exciting Events in Peterborough in the Spring