As we’ve communicated elsewhere (here and here), 2022 hasn’t been a rosy year for Peterborough Currents from a business perspective. Things are as uncertain for us as ever right now. With our current financial resources, we’re not sure what we’ll be able to accomplish in 2023.
But despite this, we kept producing journalism through 2022. We published almost 50 articles on our website. We published six podcast episodes. And we sent almost 30 email newsletters (our newsletters are regularly opened by about 1,500 people).
And we’re proud of our work! So please take a moment to read through this list. These are the 12 stories we were most proud to publish this year.
We couldn’t have produced this body of work without our supporters. Thank you to the 150+ people who give us money each month so we can continue. Even when we’re worried about balancing our budget, we feel incredibly lucky to get to engage with the community through journalism and storytelling. It deepens our connection to our city, and it feels good to be able to offer something back to the community we love. Thank you!
Do you want to help power more community journalism in 2023? Please sign up as a monthly supporter. We need your help now more than ever.
Okay, on to the stories. We present these in simple chronological order.
Inside the New Canadians Centre’s welcome for refugees fleeing the Taliban
The New Canadians Centre had to act fast last winter to resettle more than 70 Afghan refugees who arrived in Peterborough with almost no warning. In this article, our editorial fellow Dan Morrison took an in-depth look at how the agency pulled it off.
Timeline: Inside Peterborough’s 4-year fight for a safe consumption site
This article was literally years in the making. Our co-publisher Will Pearson started researching it before Currents even existed as a news website. When funding for the Consumption and Treatment Services site at 220 Simcoe was finally approved in February of this year, the Currents team knew it was time to tell the whole story from beginning to end. Co-publishers Ayesha and Will, along with our reporter Brett Throop, worked hard over the next few weeks to bring you this — the most comprehensive account of the story published anywhere.
“This is not optional”: City’s housing agency warns families their homes will be sold in 6-12 months
Peterborough Currents regularly breaks news about the Peterborough Housing Corporation (PHC). In this story, Brett Throop revealed that PHC tenants were being forced out of their homes so the houses could be sold to private buyers — despite the local housing agency saying in 2017 that that wouldn’t happen.
Coming home to herself: Missy Knott talks mentorship and music
Our editorial fellow Leina Amatsuji-Berry focused on Peterborough’s arts and culture scene during her time at Currents. This long-form profile of Missy Knott was one of Leina’s best pieces of work. In it, readers are introduced not only to Missy Knott’s music, but also to the supportive arts community Knott is nurturing in Curve Lake and beyond.
The Greatest Show: The performance that left a legacy through Peterborough’s performing arts history
At Peterborough Currents, we try to tell stories about our community that you won’t find anywhere else. Here’s one! An oral history of one of the most ambitious — and weirdest — arts productions in Peterborough history. The Greatest Show was a watershed moment for the arts in Peterborough, and in this podcast episode, local documentary filmmaker L.A. Alfonso showed how the production’s impact is still being felt today.
Podcast: Who’s running in Peterborough-Kawartha?
We’re never entirely sure how to approach election coverage at Peterborough Currents. We don’t publish daily, and we don’t have the resources to cover campaigns in their entirety. For the provincial election this year, we chose to sit down for in-depth interviews with candidates from the major parties, and we released those interviews in a series of podcasts. We think podcast interviews give listeners a chance to get to know candidates in a more personal way, so that’s one thing we can offer to Peterborough citizens during elections. More than one listener did tell us the interviews helped them to decide who to vote for.
With Peterborough police on hand, city staff force dismantling of encampment in East City
When the City moved to dismantle an encampment of unhoused people in East City this summer, Peterborough Currents was on the scene. We spoke to residents of the encampment to learn why they preferred the park to the City’s shelter system.
Peterborough’s oldest housing co-op is an oasis of affordability. Could more like it help solve the housing crisis?
Our city is full of inspiring people who are making our community a better place. For this story, reporter Brett Throop got to meet one of them: Tiny Budd. In the 1970s, Budd helped found Peterborough’s first housing co-op. She still lives at the co-op today, and rents there are astonishingly cheap. Could more co-ops help solve Peterborough’s housing crisis?
Old public works yard “most likely” one course of Jackson Creek fuel spill, City says
When news of this fuel spill first broke, the City told other media that the source of the spill had “not been identified.” But we’d already obtained documents through a freedom of information request that suggested otherwise. So we asked some more questions of the City, and we got some more answers.
Creek Week walking guides
Peterborough Currents is a digital-first outlet. But we still have a soft spot for print media! That’s why it was so fun to collaborate with local artist Brazil Gaffney-Knox on this project. Brazil turned our articles about local creeks into beautiful printed guides, and you can still buy them at Watson and Lou.
Peterborough Cricket Association back on the pitch after pandemic hiatus
One of our goals at Peterborough Currents is to introduce our readers to neighbours they may not have met before, and to communities they might like to get to know better. We didn’t even know Peterborough had a cricket team when our editorial fellow Dan Morrison pitched this story to us!
Municipal election candidate tracker
Dozens of people ran in Peterborough’s municipal election this year. We knew that Currents wasn’t going to be able to do in-depth interviews with all of them. Instead, we put together this candidate tracker where we tracked every promise that every candidate made in the election, so that citizens could hold them to their word after the election. We were happy to learn that our coverage became a useful tool in high school Civics classes throughout the city, and helped young people to learn about the local democratic process. A win for democracy!