Peterborough Ontario
Peterborough Ontario
City of Peterborough
Chamber of Commerce
City of Peterborough
Peterborough & Kawartha Lakes Tourism


City Hall"The second wave of emigration was launched in 1825. This time over 1800 people made a journey similar to the first one. This time however, the final destination was Peterborough, in the Newcastle District (now south central Ontario). Nine ships carried the passengers on this trip. Before Robinson started the voyage he traveled to the Peterborough area himself to explore conditions, establish a safe travel route and inspect land.

Peterborough at this time was a remote and rugged place with a small population. The area was transformed with the sudden influx of 2000 men, women and children in 1825!

As in 1823, thousands applied for the voyage leaving from Cork. (See image below PCMA exhibit gallery depicting 'sleeping quarters' aboard ship). Prospective settlers had to secure "letters of recommendation" outlining their qualities and usefulness as settlers. Those selected received "embarkation certificates" allowing them to board a particular ship.

Downtown PeterboroughAgain, the ships arrived at Quebec (June 1825). Settlers were loaded onto steamships for a trip down the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario to Cobourg. After a rough land trip to Rice Lake, the settlers made the final leg of their journey to Peterborough by barge up the Otonabee River (a 24 mile river trip).

At Peterborough, families were issued free provisions, tools, livestock and farm land. Families with proud names like: Ryan, Sullivan, Casey, Fitzpatrick, McCarthy, Hannan, Leahy, O'Brien, Foley, and Shanahan settled throughout Peterborough county and thousands of their descendants remain in the area even to this day.

Life was hard for these people. Several died in the years immediately following the emigration. Some families were given poor farm land and had to relocate and of course, the unforgiving Canadian winters were a challenge." Peterborough Centennial Museum