Outdoor photo of a fallen utility pole.
A utility pole snapped in half on King Street in Peterborough on Saturday May 21 during a powerful windstorm. (Photo submitted to Peterborough Currents)
Ayesha Barmania  - 
May 25, 2022

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A “derecho” – that’s the name for the storm that swept through Southern Ontario on Saturday. It’s a type of windstorm that forms around severe thunderstorms and moves very fast and in a straight line across land.

In Peterborough, you could certainly see the speed at which the storm blew in. I watched from my home as it took less than 30 minutes for the sky to darken and wind to kick up to a fury.

There were at least two tornadoes embedded in the derecho, according to an Environment Canada bulletin: one that touched down southwest of Peterborough in Uxbridge, and another that touched down in Southern Ottawa. Researchers are still investigating whether there were more.

The storm took down hundreds of trees across the Peterborough area. The Peterborough Examiner is reporting that four people died after being struck by trees in the nearby area.

The storm also took out power across most of the city, and over the past few days utilities crews have been working steadily to restore service to residents. This morning, a Hydro One spokesperson told the CBC that there were still 28,000 residents in Peterborough without electricity.

This morning, Mayor Diane Therrien tweeted that she had declared a state of emergency. The City is providing charging stations and access to showers at several locations today.

It’s been an intense couple of days, and as the city’s lights come back on neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood, residents are assessing the damage. Through it all I’ve seen folks in my own neighbourhood come together to help each other in remarkable ways.

If you have a story about the storm, please send it along. We’ll round up the submissions into a newsletter next week.

In the meantime, I hope you’re safe. I hope you’re well. Take good care out there.


And in other news, the provincial election sneaks up ever closer. My colleague Will Pearson has been interviewing local candidates. Take a listen to our podcast episodes that round up their positions on a few key issues.

Podcast: Who’s running in Peterborough—Kawartha?

Three photos on yellow background

The 2022 Ontario election is coming up fast, on June 2. In Peterborough—Kawartha, six candidates are trying to unseat the Progressive Conservative incumbent Dave Smith, who is running for reelection. Will Pearson interviewed three out of the four major-party candidates in the riding to discuss why they’re running and what they’ll do about some of the biggest issues facing our community.

Listen to the podcast on our website, or in your podcast app of choice.

Podcast: How local MPP candidates would approach policing in Peterborough

A collage of photos of the Peterborough Police station and photos of three people

In Ontario, each municipal police force is overseen by a police services board. Among other responsibilities, police services boards set priorities for their local police service, appoint members to the force, recruit and appoint the chief of police and monitor the performance of the chief.

In Peterborough, the local police board has five members, of which two are appointed by the provincial government. That means candidates running for MPP in Peterborough—Kawartha could be involved in this selection process if they’re elected on June 2.

Take a listen to the candidates’ perspectives on policing and how they would approach their role in making citizen appointments to the police services board in our latest podcast.


Fundraising update

On Friday, Will and I sent an email laying bare a rocky road ahead for Peterborough Currents. In that message we asked for the support of our readers and wow, we are truly blown away by the support that came in. Over the past few days, 55 people have stepped up to support our work! It’s just incredible and we are so grateful. Thank you so much for appreciating what we do. <3

Our goal is to reach 80 new supporters to help us get through this summer, and we just need 25 more to get there.


Photos: Supporters group cheers on ECFC with flags, smoke and songs

Earlier this month, our editorial fellow Dan Morrison picked up his camera and made his way down to the inaugural home game of the Electric City Football Club.

It was a momentous game that set a new record in the club’s league for fan turnout.

Dan is chronicling the club’s efforts to build a football culture from scratch, and in this photo essay, he captures something of the remarkable fan spirit that is building locally.

Take a look through Dan’s photo essay on our website. Or scroll through on our Instagram.


Peterborough’s Greatest Show Ever

A man in costume

In 1988, a production took over the grounds of Del Crary Park and is “a spectacular tale of ambition and artistry on the shores of Little Lake,” according to Bill Kimball, who took part in the show. It’s a show that has a legacy which Bill traces through to many of today’s local arts institutions.

Read about the legacy of The Greatest Show in Bill’s essay, which complements an oral history podcast by artist/academic LA Alfonso.

Read Bill’s essay on our website.


Thanks for reading. Take good care out there.

Ayesha Barmania
Co-publisher, Peterborough Currents

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