Flood of Black Friday shoppers from locked-down areas feared in Peterborough

·3 min read

With Toronto and Peel Region in lockdown, Peterborough County politicians have mixed opinions about those living in those regions flocking to the Peterborough area to do some Black Friday or Christmas shopping.

Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson said she doesn’t think the average person from the Greater Toronto Area is going to drive to the Peterborough region.

“I can’t see people coming with what our area has to offer. There’s nothing at Lansdowne Place that’s going to attract anybody from Toronto,” she said.

People living in the GTA likely expected a second lockdown was on its way, so most people who have wanted to do some heavy-duty Christmas shopping have probably already done it, or they’ll do it online, Clarkson added.

But Asphodel-Norwood Mayor Rodger Bonneau said he expects shoppers from the GTA will come to the area.

“I don’t know why though. I mean, you can buy so much stuff online,” he said.

Sherry Senis, deputy mayor of Selwyn Township, said it’s just too soon to tell if people currently residing in an area that’s in lockdown will flock to Peterborough city and county.

“I guess it remains to be seen as to whether they’re going to do that or not. I don’t think that initially that has happened, but they’re just starting the lockdown today, so it remains to be seen,” she said.

Senis said she hopes people from the GTA region choose to stay there and shop online, but for those living in the Peterborough region, she said she hopes they continue to support local businesses.

“It’s so convenient for people to go online and shop, but unfortunately you’re supporting the big guys and we really need to be supporting our little guys right now and continue to do that,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic is similar to the Second World War, Clarkson said.

“The only difference is this COVID-19 virus is truly a world war, instead of involving select countries. The whole world is now fighting a vigorous, deadly virus,” she said.

Clarkson said she remembers as a child watching her parents with their ears tight up to the radio, listening to the advancement of their troops.

“My father had been in the first war where they brought the Spanish Flu home and my brother was in the Navy in the second war. Just like that war, many people will be forever without their loved ones, and those who survive, in many cases, will have lifelong injuries,” she said.

“We have survived horrific losses before with no ability to control them. This time, it is within our personal behaviour to positively impact the future. We must take this seriously if we don’t want to have more empty spaces in our lives, or forever damaged family members.”

Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: mlentz@peterboroughdaily.com

Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner