Letters: September 2017

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The Peterborough Vortex

Re: “The Pull of Peterborough

I sit here on my little writing spot in the corner of my couch on King St.(near Monaghan) with my mouth open a bit.

I have lived in Peterborough for 41 years and have always called Peterborough , ‘the vortex’.
I gave birth to 3 Peterborouians. One left for 14 years (forVancouver) and just returned and one comes back frequently for long periods from Toronto…to be in this energy. My daughter is raising her 2 kids here after having lived in other places.

As a trailblazer in the healing and spiritual arts, I continue to feel the richness of this quirky town. I have heard that Indigenous Peoples did their spiritual practices in Peterborough. They did not live where they did their practices. Notice that their reserves are all around Peterborough. The energy can be intense, especially at my place where we have a healing centre in the backyard right on the ley lines. Lots of artists, writers, performers and healers live here as you know and I am privileged to have many of them visit the Swan Centre(587 King St.) for various reasons. My partner(who is from Toronto) wrote a book centred in an alternate reality in Peterborough. You might have fun reading it. You are welcome to check us out.


Lilli Swanson



Re: “The Pull of Peterborough

This has been an ongoing discussion between like minded people. I think it is very amusing to see this topic discussed on-line. The reason I have stayed is not logical. There are no good employment opportunities and staying requires sacrifices. I do think about leaving but where in the world is like Peterborough? When I lived in Vancouver briefly, I always managed to find the pocket of Peterborough people. A strange comfort was found in these people. It was as if there was an understanding that Vancouver was interesting but only a side bar from our real lives. Strangely, when I returned, I got my old job back and my old apartment suddenly became available. It was like I never left.



Missed the Mark

Re: “Downtown needs real ambassadors, not a private security team

This article ignores the very real threat of racism, sexism, and overall bigotry downtown. Many times when I’ve been downtown at night, I have heard slurs, derogatory comments, sexual harassment, etc. both first- and secondhand. This is behaviour which does indeed make downtown Peterborough feel unsafe for a large group of people! To blame people’s insecurities on the homeless is minimizing a larger issue and verging on ableist. Yes, downtown does feel unsafe to a lot of people, people who are entitled to those feelings. But no, a privately owned security company patrolling the streets isn’t going to help this.



Personal response

Re: “5 Questions: Buffy Sainte-Marie

I recently did some family history research that seems to support Buffy Sainte-
Marie’s comments in 5 Questions as well as her follow up comment. A family member was involved in vaudeville and circus circuits and went on to work in theatre unions in New York. This same person was involved in meeting with some people who established another important theatre union. While I appreciate the EC’s attempt to avoid a microaggression and discrimination, I actually didn’t read a discriminatory message in those comments. I am not sure how others feel, but my thought is that there would be good business folks and less solid business folks in that community and time. I am happy to share the history piece privately. Really enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks for it.

Becky Rosen

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Solutions Exist—Does the Will?

Re: “Panhandled

Housing First in Canada: A New Approach to Homelessness and Best Practices for Municipal Implementation

Viable, affordable solutions are available. We lack the leadership, compassion, and conviction as a society to implement the changes and do the work to actually end the problems we don’t want to see happening. History proves we are more content to complain and waste money on tangents that do not address the issue realistically.



Back Alleys

Re: “Pedalling in the Patch

What I enjoy about biking in downtown Peterborough are all the back alley bypasses of busy streets. Check them out it is safe way to get around on your bike.

Hank Fisher


Kevin Spacey Indeed

Re: “Peterborough’s Usual Suspects?

Bill Templeman reports a belief at City Hall from some elected officials, a group exists in this community of 50 permanent activists standing in the way of getting things done. He paints a vivid picture of a ‘Hunter Street Bubble’, lost in a seductive realm sucking people into its impression. Templeman dismisses the existence of a co-ordinated resistance to growth projects, but what if such an organized structure existed in the diverse web of connections found in any modern community?

It’s a thought-provoking mind exercise to say the least, imaging governance structures born in 1920’s Europe. A permanent deep-state underbelly, making sure the whole shebang works to its own centred interests. Most elected positions are of little significance as they change every few years. All there’d have to be is some illegalities produced by these ‘usual suspects’, and then we’d have irrefutable proof of fascism. Geez, I thought we only had to live amongst art nazis.

Mike Johnston

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