We spent the better part of Day 2 of our Extended Field Trip #001 in Peterborough at the wonderful Artspace talking to some new people, synthesizing some questions from our broad understanding of the city so far, and trying to get a sense of what if anything there is to change about this place.
We also explored some more of the downtown core on foot and discovered some really specific things about the city that are starting to add up and answer our questions about how it is that things seem okay here.
Mapping Peterborough, its residents’ feelings about it, and then comparing those maps of sorts to Windsor is revealing in helping us to understand the very specific view so many Windsorites have of our city. I’m not sure that we’ve been able to articulate this yet, maybe tomorrow when it’s not so late.
Josh hard at work first thing in the morning.
The drawing of our first potential idea: an overly complex lighting rig.
The window at Artspace, it’s colder outside than it looks.
Finishing up the post from Day 1.
On the way to breakfast, a current of water that runs under the downtown, not seen again about four blocks south from here.
Breakfast at the Only, real history here.
On a short walk west of the gallery a row of houses on a non-road.
A telephone pole in the same neighbourhood.
And just a bit further west, the Eco Laundry Room.
A genius business.
The back of the Eco Laundry Room, catching rainwater.
Kitty-corner though is the backend of the ice cream place.
And some local activism of sorts.
Hunter and Stewart, great houses old houses here.
A telephone pole filled with staples and yet not a single poster.
A tag of sorts on the side of a restaurant, one of the very, very few we’ve seen.
The local movie rental place—Have You Seen…
Back at Artspace looking over some plans for a potential project.
Letters made from scrap wood.
Lit with Christmas lights.
Josh at work, typing up the questions we made up for our survey.
The notes from last night’s talk.
Plotting out our general adventure from Day 1.
Linear notebooks are no fun.
The questions that we needed to are down.
Map from Day 2 thus far.
Josh working on some music for a video we’re putting together.
The basement supply of scrap wood.
Iga pulled out some master plans for our review.
Liz and Iga going over the strange geographic boundaries of the area of study.
There are a lot of great documents that have been implemented, such as a public art policy that we’d like to spend some time looking at before we head home.
The public art policy—we should write one for Windsor.
More details of our notes. We also spent an hour or so talking to another local artist / entrepreneur, Mike, who reinforced what we’ve come to find out—just about everyone here has a good grasp on local history and how it’s come to shape the city.
Josh gathering equipment before we head out again.
Readying ourselves to head out to do some interviews. Thankfully the wind had died down making it a lot easier to walk around for a while.
Interviews / surveys went well. Just about everyone we asked agreed to do the interview with us and gave us some great answers.
For the most part, everyone things Peterborough is Ok, that individuals can affect change here, and that the city is (in the best way possible) a small town community.
We’re heading out tomorrow to do some more, hopefully it stays warm.
Eventually we headed back to the riverfront trail to walk a bit further than we had ventured yesterday. This project was municipally funded earlier this decade when there was some significant cash to be had from the federal government.
Cement inlays—I wonder how one goes about making these?
Some banners explaining the walkway.
The ducks behind Harvey’s. There’s something great about seeing wildlife so close to urban edges.
The bridge we set out to cross.
This bridge connects East and West Peterborough, with the East originally being the Scottish settlement and the West being Irish.
Josh taking a photo of the bridge.
Public infrastructure—questionable waterfall.
The east bank.
The bridge itself carries old train tracks, we’re not sure if they’re still in use.
For the age of the bridge, it’s kind of amazing it remains such an open and yet secluded public space. There’s not a lot of graffiti compared to what one might expect for such a space.
The fence is fairly short.
Markers of sorts.
The graffiti on the retaining side-wall of the part of the bridge that carries the train.
Inside that wall.
Some more stencilling, I quite like this one.
Lights that suggest to us that the tracks are likely still in use.
Shopping cart overboard.
Some graffiti on the bridge. There were a number of people that we saw on our walk across the bridge, which seems typical of its use as a pedestrian thoroughfare and accidentally well-designed public space.
Looking west the pathway that crosses over the river entirely begs you to walk or move across it.
Some within-reach old telephone pole—a potentially great site for a sign of some kind for all the passersby.
Another potential location for something so near to the rail.
This infrastructure looks rather new, which feels very strange alongside the rather downtrodden bridge and fence.
A view from East Peterborough looking west. The tallest building looks like it would be a great projection site.
A fallen tree in the river.
On the tracks facing east.
An amazing tree at the river’s edge.
Looking west from East Peterborough.
Someone found some glasses and placed them on a post—evidence of the small town effect at work.
Back in west Peterborough, that tall building that was viewable from across the river is actually within reach.
It would be a great site to project some of the text from the answers to our survey, but nearby power seems scarce. It’s across the street from a Shopper’s Drug Mart and fairly busy intersection, which would make it all the better if we could find a place to plug in our projector. However, we have other ideas that we’ll tackle and the building across from Artspace would be a great projection screen anyways.
Tomorrow we’re hoping for a good turnout for our Townhall style meeting where we’ll try to continue to uncover what it is about this city that makes it work as well as try to figure out how that might be translated back to Windsor.