SAVE THE RIVER ROAD PRESENTATION GIVEN TO
PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL, FEB. 2005
Your worship, Mayor Sutherland, Councilors, Ladies and Gentlemen.
My name is Jim Victor and I live in Ashburnham, Peterborough.
I was born in Peterborough and moved to the River Road just south of
Lock 24 in 1953 when the River Road was gravel. We moved to Nassau
in 1955 where our family operated “VIC’S SNACK BAR”. It was located
where the Trent University Rowing Club is now.
In the early 60’s Canadian General Electric donated a large piece of
property at Nassau to Trent University. Trent also expropriated
many properties around Nassau including ours and we moved into East City.
I worked in Lakefield for 21 years until August of 2003 when I retired.
I traveled to work by way of Armour Road along the Otonabee River to Nassau
then to Lakefield every day. The drive along the river at
dawn every morning was part of my day.
Because of my personal and family connections with the “River
Road”, Armour Rd. and Nassau Mills Road I request that I be informed of
any issues brought before Council that pertain to this area and these roads.
This would be including but not limited to: The Dafoe Subdivision, The
Thompson Creek Stormwater Management Facility, The Auburn North Secondary
Plan, The repairs to Nassau Mills Bridge, and any Memorandum of Understanding
Between Trent University and The City of Peterborough.
I must protest the proposed closing or ‘dead-ending’ of Armour Road
north of the Rotary Trail. There is no sound reason that the road
cannot be left as a through street. It can be used as a feeder street
with a connection to the realigned Armour Road at Nassau, and at the south
end at the existing Rotary Trail crossing.
This stretch of Armour Road is one of the nicest parts of the whole
trip from Peterborough to Lakefield. Some of the homeowners along
here have put docks in the water using public land between the roadway and
the river. There is even a personal swing set on this public land.
Many people stop and have a picnic beside the river. Many people
stop and fish.
There have been many conventions and rallies in Peterborough that have
specifically taken a tour of the River Road from Peterborough to Lakefield.
There was Colourcade, Ride for Sight, Goldwing Owners, Harley Owners Group,
Motor Maids, Triumph Sports Car Club, BMW Owners, Canadian Vintage Automobile
Club, Canadian Retread Rally, Trident Underwater Club Ice Flow Races,
Rally of the Tall Pines, and Tim Horton’s Bicycle Races just to name a
I ask you to take a moment and have a visual of some other roadways
that compare in scenic value to what for years was called ‘The River Road
How about Crescent St. around Little Lake, Highway 507 north of Flynn’s
Corner, Highway 60 through Algonquin Park, Niagara Parks Drive, The Cabot
Trail, The Blue Ridge Parkway, Highway 1 to Key West, The Golden Gate Bridge,
Times Square, and Hollywood & Vine. The list goes on and on.
I don’t have to mention the location of many of these roads because
you have heard of them many times. If you were within 100 miles of
any of these roads, I am sure, you would want to go and drive along them.
“The River Road”, also known as Armour Road, Nassau Mills Road and
County Road 32 is another one that can be included in this list.
By closing this stretch of roadway to through traffic, you are effectively
donating this scenic part of Armour Road to the local residents; for free;
and taking it away from the rest of the citizens of Peterborough and the
many tourists who take this scenic drive.
The City of Peterborough has done a great job along the banks of the
Otonabee River and around Little Lake. By my calculations about 12 Million
dollars have been spent over the years to purchase property and to revitalize
the waterfront. The former K.F.C. property, The Winona Motel site, The
Marble Works, The Johnson Property and Beavermead were all purchased so
that the citizens of Peterborough and visitors could have unfettered access
to the waterfront. It is an ongoing development that is very exciting.
Now, the City wants to close off a beautiful stretch of waterfront.
I am against that. It does not make sense. I would like the
road to remain as a through street as it is now, with connections to the
new arterial road.
I have been informed by the planning committee, that the engineers
say that the difference in elevations between Armour Rd and the proposed
new Arterial Road would pose a danger. As you know Peterborough is
built on seven hills. The engineers have been able to connect all
the streets so far, so I can’t see a major problem when there is only a
difference of a couple of metres in elevation here.
Although the planning of the road closure has been ongoing for some
time, I just became aware of the actual details about a year ago.
The problem is that the closure is included in “The Thompson Creek Secondary
Plan”, “The 1244 Dafoe Drive Subdivision Plan”, “The Auburn North Secondary
Plan” and the proposed repairs to Nassau Mills Bridge. I don’t believe
many people know that these plans involve the realignment of part of Armour
Road and the closure of the roadway that runs right along the river across
from Riverview Park and Zoo.
I am all for progress and I have nothing against a new arterial road
to the proposed subdivision. In fact I agree that a subdivision of
this size would cause traffic problems on this part of Armour Road.
A new arterial road would help solve potential traffic problems; however,
I am against the closing of Armour Road to through traffic along the river.
I would like to draw your attention to “The Draft Plan of Subdivision
Approval for 1244 Dafoe Drive Subdivision 15T-98502”, accommodating in part,
the realignment of Armour Road and to Schedule 1, “Conditions
of Draft Plan of Subdivision Approval.
It reads in part: “The City of Peterborough Conditions and Amendments
to Final Plan Approval for registration of this subdivision File No. 15T-98502
are as follows:”
Item 7, last sentence: “Any design issues related to the Armour
Road realignment must be satisfied prior to Final Approval.”
I hereby request that before Final Approval, this be returned to the
Planning Department and Engineering so that they can address the issue
of using the existing Armour Road as a through feeder street, without a
cul-de-sac, and connecting with the new realigned Armour Road at both the
northern and southern ends.
If a new road must be built, to service the Dafoe Subdivision, that
is O.K. But, please leave Armour Road as it is, for everyone to enjoy.
Trent University is also getting into the act by wanting to close Nassau
Mills Road to through traffic. They even have the audacity to say
that the “River Road” is not involved.
I am sorry, but Armour Road IS the River Road. Nassau Mills Road
IS the River Road. County Road 32 IS the River Road. And any
other name you want to call this stretch of pavement IS the River Road.
In fact when we were installing the driveway at Vic’s Snack Bar, we uncovered
the original Corduroy Road. So it is also a Heritage Road.
Lets protect it.
But call it what you want, I want the public to understand what is
happening to Our River Road.