In Peterborough Ontario the Hunter Street bridge crosses the Otonabee River. The west end of the bridge is in downtown while the east ends at James Stevenson Park. It’s in the park that you’ll find the paintings.
Back in 2015 and 2016 two of the arches under the Hunter Street bridge were painted. Nogojiwanong is an Ojibwa word for “place at the end of the rapids” and it was their name for the area that is now Peterborough.
Facing the Nogojiwanong mural, and not visible in the above photo, are three animals – deer, beaver, and lion. Now the town is referred to as Electric City. Why? Because on May 24, 1884 Peterborough was the first town in Canada to have electric street lighting on downtown streets. Power was provided by the London Street hydroelectric water plant, also built in 1884.
The murals on this arch were painted by Kirsten McCrea, with the help of Vicky Jackson (at least that’s what it looks like in the bottom right of this photo).
Bloodroot is a plant native to the Peterborough area. It gets its name from the fact that it bleeds red when the stems are cut. According to the text in the mural (bottom right, below), bloodroot propagates through a process called myrmecochory which is seed dispersal by ants. The seeds have external “appendages” that are rich in food that ants like. Once this food is consumed, the seed is discarded and can germinate.
Photos taken September 2022