Downtown Vibrancy Project

The Downtown Vibrancy Project, led by the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), Was established in 2018. It aims to improve our downtown outdoor spaces to benefit our community and downtown district, here in Peterborough, Ontario. This is a collaborative project that involves many local partners, including the City of Peterborough and GreenUP.

The goal of the project is to revitalize one site in Peterborough’s Downtown core every year. The project themes were generated by community input. These guiding themes are: people, Public space, landscapes, public art, streetscape, transportation and sustainability.

The project locates, designs, and implements revitalization projects in downtown Peterborough based on community desires and input. The Downtown Vibrancy Project is guided by community generated themes and will strive to improve ecological resiliency, economic stability, community safety and cultural diversity.


Vibrancy Project guiding themes:

+ Create healthy spaces that provide natural spaces within the city that increases natural water filtration capacity and supports native species.

+ Support Downtown Businesses by creating a more livable downtown.

+ Encourage cultural hotspots by creating diverse public space and lively landscapes for the local community and visitors to use and enjoy.

+ Create Connective natural spaces. Continuous green pathways incorporate nature into the daily commute. Nature corridors support eco-resilience, allowing animals and pollinators to reside and move through our cityscape.


The Boro

The Boro is the downtown online marketplace. The Boro is all about supporting the local downtown small business owner and making it easier for the public to find their local favourites, because when you shop at a downtown Peterborough business, everyone wins. Order from that restaurant you love, shop the latest styles and trends, support your favourite local business with a gift card, or even stream a fitness class from those who keep you strong. Find what you need or want, all at your fingertips. This digital marketplace currently hosts more than 140 local businesses.

For every $100 spent locally, up to $48 stays in our community, as compared to $14 when you shop at a box store. Visit the


Downtown Dollars

A new gift card program makes it easier than ever to support local. You choose the value, they choose the gift. What a wonderful way to make someone feel special. Downtown Dollars are great for any occasion, birthdays, housewarming, weddings, a new baby – or for no special reason at all!

Whether you wish to gift a colleague, friend, family member or treat yourself, when you give Downtown Dollars you can redeem from a long list of local shops, services, restaurants and artisans.


How it works: Down Dollars gift card can be purchased online or at the the DBIA offices and redeemed both online and in-store at over 100 local businesses.


Holiday Shopping Passports

Here’s how it works: every time you spend $10 at a participating business, a box on your passport will be stamped. When your passport is filled (20 stamps), complete the form and drop it off at a ballot box at one of the participating businesses. Each completed passport is a ballot for a draw to win downtown money. There are more than 140 participating businesses downtown.

We give away three early bird prizes of $500 in downtown money on the first, second and third Wednesdays of December and give away the $1,500 grand prize on the second Wednesday of January.



Downtown Study of Covid19 Public Space Interventions 

COVID-19 pandemic has a devastating impact on cities around the world and local businesses. To adapt to this new reality, public space changes were made to downtown Peterborough, as in many other cities around the world, giving pedestrians more space to maintain physical distance and businesses more space to accommodate customers.

The DBIA hired Mobycon a consulting firm, to engage the business community and residents on the temporary infrastructure changes implemented in response to Covid19.  Mobycon is a world leader in standards of traffic with a core mission to develop and implement mobility solutions that improve the lives and safety of all road-users – not just automobiles.

Over the course of a few months, Mobycon made a report of its findings to inform recommendations for future Covid19 public space changes.

Read the Report here: 

One City Peterborough

One City Peterborough is a partnership between the DBIA and Warming Room Community Ministries with the support of the City of Peterborough Social Services Division, United Way of Peterborough & District, Wild Rock Outfitters and Cherney Realty.

This initiative takes a two-part approach to making downtown Peterborough a stronger and more welcoming community hub for everyone. One part is the One City Team which is made up of individuals with various barriers to employment who are hired to enhance the downtown streetscape through added cleaning efforts. This team walks through downtown picking up loose litter and cleaning messes in public spaces in the busiest area of the city. The other part of One City Peterborough is the employment of outreach workers who assist people downtown with a focus on helping those facing homelessness, social exclusion, and mental health issues. The outreach workers assist by building relationships and providing information on services available locally. The outreach workers are also available to assist local businesses and the community as a whole by providing services like directions and information regarding local businesses. Both teams are managed by Warming Room Community Ministries.


Win This Space

Win This Space is a contest where entrepreneurs compete to win a downtown storefront free for a year. Participants send in a 1 – 3 minute video which allows our panel of judges to narrow it down to 10 finalists. The 10 finalists then go through a series of workshops on building business plans, creating marketing plans and financial forecasting. Our monthly adopter sponsors generously each cover a month’s rent and our additional sponsors add further value to the top prize with with thing likes marketing expertise, office supplies, advertising, and financial services.

The Win This Space competition is a Peterborough DBIA initiative in partnership with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Community Futures Peterborough and Shorelines Casino Peterborough.

Get all the details at