Next phase of downtown street modifications

full bike rack

Hunter Street patios

Peterborough, ON - The next phase of implementing the downtown street modifications to help people stay safe with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic will be completed by Friday, June 26, 2020 with the installation of signage currently underway.

Delineators marking the new divide between roads, on-street parking and expanded pedestrian space were installed last weekend.

By modifying the road layout, the City is creating more space for pedestrians to provide an opportunity for physical distancing – staying at least two metres apart from others – in the downtown, where narrow sidewalks would typically make that challenging or not possible. To do this, some former parking lanes have been converted to temporary sidewalks and new parking bays have been created in the closed through lane.  Signs being installed this week will clarify the parking bay locations, the locations where new loading zones have been established, and new accessible parking spaces. 

The changes are temporary during the pandemic. They were designed in collaboration with Peterborough Public Health and the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area.

Along with the road design modifications, the speed limit in the affected areas has been reduced to 30 kilometres an hour.

There is still plenty of parking available in the downtown. Even with the changes, there are still about 385 on-street parking spaces in the downtown, with 100 of these spaces located within areas affected by the downtown street modifications.  In addition, there are almost 1,200 parking spaces in municipal parking garages and about 400 parking spaces in municipal parking lots in the central area.

For a map of parking lots and garages in the downtown, please visit

For more details on the downtown street modifications including maps of each affected City block, please visit

For vehicular traffic, the changes are largely in the areas of:

  • George Street between Murray Street and Sherbrooke Street, which will be reduced to one lane southbound for vehicular traffic;
  • Water Street, between Simcoe Street and Hunter Street, which will be reduced to one lane northbound for vehicular traffic;
  • Hunter Street between Aylmer Street and George Street, which will become a one-way street with one westbound lane; and
  • Charlotte Street between Aylmer Street and George Street, which will be become a one-way street with one eastbound lane.

The cycling lanes on George Street and Water Street remain in place.

People are reminded to practice physical distancing staying at least two metres away from people who are not from the same household or same social circle. Even with the changes to downtown streets, it is recommended to use a face covering to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 when physical distancing, keeping two-metres distance from others, may be challenging or not possible.

Fast-track application process for outdoors flexible-use commercial space and new or expanded patios

The City has created a new fast-track application process to help business make use of flexible-use commercial space next to their businesses in the areas where there are expanded pedestrian spaces.

Businesses can create a new patio space, expand a patio, or open a pop-up commercial area in front of their building.

“Thanks to Peterborough Public Health, the DBIA, and City staff for working on this creative, innovative way to provide additional space for retailers and customers downtown,” Mayor Diane Therrien said. “We encourage everyone to check out the unique displays and patios downtown while being confident that health and safety is priority.”

Businesses need to provide a drawing of the location and layout of the patio/commercial space, meeting the Province’s directions and public health guidelines on operating a patio during the pandemic, to Brian Buchardt or Nicole Huculiak with the City’s Planning Division.

Along with the approved layout, businesses need to provide an insurance certificate naming the City as additionally insured with $2-million liability.

For questions, please send an email to the above addresses or call 705-742-7777 ext. 1844.

The suitability of the layout of the patio/commercial space will be considered alongside plan for the expanded pedestrian space and the space that’s available for potential commercial uses to ensure physical distancing is possible.

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For further information, members of the media are invited to contact the undersigned:
Brendan Wedley, Manager of Communication Services
City of Peterborough
705-742-7777 ext. 1636