Temporary Downtown Public Space Changes

full bike rack

Aerial of Downtown Peterborough

Peterborough, ON – Downtown public space changes are being put in place over the next couple of weeks to create more outdoor space for pedestrians and businesses this spring and summer when stores and restaurants can once again welcome customers into their businesses.

George and Water streets will be maintained as two lanes of traffic with the new patio spaces being created in on-street parking spaces next to businesses that choose to participate. Sidewalks will remain for pedestrian use only.

Installation of the new patio spaces on George and Water streets is starting this week to prepare for when the provincewide restrictions are eased for greater activity, which is estimated to be around June 14.

Portable planter boxes and fencing are being used to separate the new pedestrian and patio spaces from the traffic lanes.

“We’re getting ready so that once the Province eases the restrictions to allow businesses to welcome people into their stores and restaurants as well as to open their patios, they’ll be able to use the expanded outdoor spaces right away,” Mayor Diane Therrien said. “Pedestrians will have more room to physical distance and businesses will have the option for more outdoor space.

“I’m looking forward to when our local retailers and restaurants can once again welcome visitors for indoor shopping and dining and we can enjoy outdoor dining with family and friends on patios at our incredible local restaurants.”

Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area Executive Director Terry Guiel said: "I absolutely love this well thought out plan and believe it's a great example of how to support restaurants while maintaining the needs of pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic and pick up and delivery for our businesses. The City has done a remarkable job supporting the restaurants with the patio delineators they are providing. I can't thank them enough."

“We want people to be outdoors and active this summer, and I am very pleased to see changes in the downtown this year to accommodate physical distancing and expanded outdoor retail and patio space. I’m hoping to see people accessing all that the downtown has to offer and taking advantage of these enhancements that will help us all stay safer as we transition out of the COVID pandemic and into our new normal,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.

The public space changes on Hunter and Charlotte streets will start to be put in place the week of May 31 to June 4. Hunter and Charlotte streets will be temporarily converted into one-lane, one-way streets between George and Aylmer streets to add more patio and pedestrian. Hunter Street will be set up as one-way westbound and Charlotte Street as one-way eastbound.

On Hunter Street, which has a streetscape designed for a patio district, the expanded patios will be on the existing sidewalks with the pedestrian area moved into the closed section of the street. Fencing and portable planters will be used to separate the pedestrian space from the traffic lane.

On Charlotte Street, the patio space will be on the closed section of the street with the sidewalks maintained as pedestrian space.

Businesses are being asked to keep sidewalks on George, Water and Charlotte streets clear of signs or other items  to ensure pedestrian have the maximum space available to physical distance.

Parking has been considered as part of the planning for the public space changes with the preservation of on-street parking spaces, commercial parking zones, and accessible parking spots as well as parking availability at municipal parking lots and municipal parking garages. The City is providing designated free 15-minute curbside pickup parking zones throughout the downtown to support curbside pickup.

Supporting public health measures, including physical distancing, is the overall priority for the design of the temporary downtown public space changes along with supporting business activity by helping to create a safe environment.

City Council approved the temporary downtown public space changes in April after a review of the activities last year and public consultation to help design the changes planned for this year. There were 1,492 responses to a survey with 61% of respondents agreeing that the changes gave them the ability to maintain appropriate physical distancing.

The City is making the changes in collaboration with Peterborough Public Health and the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area.

Visit peterborough.ca/downtownptbo for maps, information on parking, and public health information related to the downtown public space changes.

What’s happening

Getting ready for when provincewide restrictions are eased, which is estimated to be around June 14.

George and Water streets

  • Installation of temporary downtown public space changes starts week of May 24 to May 28
  • Streets will be maintained for two lanes of traffic
  • New patio space created in on-street parking area next to businesses that choose to participate
  • Sidewalks will be maintained for pedestrian use only

Hunter Street

  • Installation of temporary downtown public space changes starts the week of May 31 to June 4
  • Street will be converted to one-lane westbound between George and Aylmer streets
  • Expanded patio space will be provided on the sidewalk next to participating businesses
  • Expanded pedestrian space will be provided on the closed section of the street

Charlotte Street

  • Installation of temporary downtown public space changes starts the week of May 31 to June 4
  • Street will be converted to one-lane eastbound between George and Aylmer streets
  • Expanded patio space will be provided in the closed section of the street
  • Sidewalks will be maintained for pedestrian use only

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For additional 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