Thursday, August 4, 2011

NEWCOMERS: WHY CHOOSE PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO?

“The community greeted us with open arms. Neighbours and co-workers helped us get settled and find suitable daycare for our young children, which made the transition and move much easier. Peterborough has given us the sense of community that we couldn’t find in a larger city. It’s a great place to raise our children” Binu Jain—Peterborough Resident originally from India.
In Peterborough, you will experience all the advantages of city living, while enjoying the benefits of the natural world.  Home to approximately 80,000 residents, Peterborough offers exceptional quality of life, an affordable cost of living, and access to first-rate educational institutions.  An ideal place to start your own business, offering many resources and programs to help you along the way, Peterborough is also the focal point of many immigration success stories.  Beginning in the 1800’s, successive waves of people moved to the area to build Peterborough into the city rich in history and culture that we know today.
“We are a people who believe that our origins matter less than our destinations.  And that where you come from is not as important as where you are going.” Meet Daryl Bennett—Mayor of Peterborough
WelcomePeterborough.ca contains information for those who are either thinking of immigrating to Canada, or who have recently arrived.  It will help you decide if you want to live in Peterborough and how to get settled here.
  • Information about the history of immigration to Peterborough, local weather, and geography can be found in the “About Peterborough” section.
  • For help with immigrating to Peterborough, including what to do before arriving and resources to assist you with settling after you arrive; check out the “Immigrating” section.
  • In the “Living” section, you will find everything you need to know about housing, food, finance health, transportation, and much more.
  • The “Working” section provides important and useful information about finding a job, starting a business, and getting your credentials recognized.
  • To learn about Peterborough’s college, university, school boards, and opportunities for lifelong learning, check out the “Learning” section.
Stories from Newcomers at WelcomePeterborough.ca
After a short stay Windsor, Hua Chen and his wife moved to Peterborough in 2005, where they both attended Trent University.  Originally from Beijing, China, Hua struggled initially with his English but soon made Peterborough his home.  Today, Hua describes Peterborough as a welcoming and beautiful city.  For those looking to further their education, Hua recommends Peterborough’s Trent University, saying that “Trent is small but good because the professors are very nice. They know the students and their needs, and are willing to talk to, and help anyone”.
Rene, an accountant, and Maria Ferrer, a copywriter, immigrated to Peterborough in 1989 from the Philippines to pursue better educational opportunities for their son.  Starting over was tough, but with hard work, both Rene and Maria landed their dream jobs.  Twenty-two years later, their oldest son now travels the world as an engineer and their youngest is now studying at Queen’s University.  They are all proud to call Peterborough home!
Shah Mohammad Yousuf moved to Toronto from Bangladesh in 2005.  After working what he refers to as a “survival job” for a period of time, Shah found employment in Peterborough as a Spatial Data Analyst.  When asked what he likes about Peterborough, Shah had to say that “[the] people are great, helpful, and co-operative. It is a quiet and family-oriented community where I can find quality healthcare and recreation. There are also many different agencies that help newcomers and immigrants to settle here”.  Like all newcomers, Shah misses his family but doesn’t have any regrets about moving to Peterborough.  “I like my life here, and I love Peterborough”.
Since 1971, Jim’s Pizzeria has been a Peterborough favourite.  Owners John and Hellen Kostsovos emigrated from Greece to Montreal in 1959, along with their brothers and sisters.  After a few years adjusting to Canadian culture, the doors of the first Jim’s Pizzeria opened in Belleville in 1969; followed by the second in Trenton in 1970.  After opening the third Jim’s Pizzeria in Peterborough, John and Helen decided to stay and raise their family.  When asked about Peterborough, their daughter Effie says that “Peterborough was small enough to feel safe, but large enough to sustain a profitable business”.
Karma Phuntshok and his wife initially emigrated from New York to Toronto in 1999.  His wife was pregnant with their son at the time, and Karma decided that Toronto was too large of a city to raise a child in.  At the suggestion of friends, Karma and his wife moved to Peterborough, where he found work at a local meat packer.  Karma had always wanted to open a restaurant and in 2004 he opened Karma’s Café, a South Asian and Himalayan restaurant on Hunter Street.  If you ask Karma about Peterborough today, he’ll say that he “loves it here”. Excitedly he claims that “Peterborough has the best services, restaurants, art, and music for the size”.
In 2000, Binu Jain and her family emigrated from India to Canada.  Initially, the Jain family lived in Waterloo before moving to Peterborough in 2005.  Her husband Pankaj accepted work at Siemens and Binu began to look for employment in Peterborough and surrounding area.  With a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and a Project Management Professional designation, Binu was offer a job at Siemens shortly after.  When asked about Peterborough, Binu says “the community greeted us with open arms. Neighbours and co-workers helped us get settled and find suitable daycare for our young children, which made the transition and move much easier.
Peterborough has given us the sense of community that we couldn’t find in a larger city. It’s a great place to raise our children. They are more in touch with their Indian heritage and culture in Peterborough than they would have been growing up in India. Peterborough has become our home, and is heaven on earth. It’s difficult to imagine living anywhere else”.  Binu advises that “there is a positive trade off to moving to a small community, you have more time to bond with your family and contribute to the community. The community is so open and helpful – the possibilities are endless.”
Full length success stories can be found at WelcomePeterborough.ca