Downtown Has it All

Come out and experience the personality and charm of Downtown Peterborough! From fashion boutiques, specialty shops and country markets, to fine dining, trendy cafes, pubs and nightclubs, live music, theatre, and much more — there's something for every member of the family. Just 60 minutes from the GTA, Downtown Peterborough is the hub of the Kawarthas cottage country. With personalized service and big city selection, Downtown Peterborough offers a unique shopping and entertainment experience, with ample parking, bicycle racks, access to transit and nearby hotels, all within walking distance along the picturesque Otonabee River.

Established in 1981, the DBIA represents about 400 business in the downtown core. Our focus is promoting and beautifying the downtown as well as assisting and advocating on behalf of our members. We are a non-profit organization governed by a board of management made up of members of the downtown business community and a representative from City Council. Though we operate independently of the City of Peterborough, the DBIA is considered a local board of the City. Our core funding is from the businesses within the DBIA boundaries set by the City. All commercial properties within this area automatically pay membership fees on their tax bill.

What Do We Do?

  • Plan, organize, assist and/or sponsor more than 30 events downtown every year
  • Promote downtown through a variety of marketing initiatives, from our multi-million dollar Holiday Passport Program to social media campaigns
  • Provide free outdoor WiFi
  • Assist downtown businesses within everything from grants to help with regulation
  • Lobby on behalf of the downtown business community on matters ranging from municipal planning to labour regulation
  • Provide the downtown with an extra level of cleaning
  • Encourage commercial and residential growth downtown
  • Pursue innovative projects and ideas to enhance the downtown


  • Q: How do I become a member?

    A: All businesses within the improvement area boundaries are automatically members and pay a special levy on their property taxes to support the work of the DBIA.

  • Q: Can I become a member even if I’m outside the DBIA boundaries?

    A: Absolutely. We offer associate memberships for those who are near, but not within our boundaries. Fees for associate memberships are based on the square footage of your business. Please contact the DBIA office at 705-748-4774 or to find out more.

  • Q: I live downtown, am I a DBIA member?

    A: No, DBIA membership is limited to commercial property owners and tenants.

  • Q: Is the DBIA a department of the City of Peterborough?

    A: We are an arms-length non-profit with our own board of management and our own staff.