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Hit boating lifestyle TV show names Peterborough and the Kawarthas as ‘destination of the year’ | kawarthaNOW

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Water Ways TV executive producer and host Steven Bull (third from left) holds the inaugural Water Ways Destination of the Year award with Peterborough County warden Bonnie Clark during an event on May 15, 2024. Also pictured from left to right are Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development director of tourism Joe Rees, Ontario minister of tourism, sport, and culture Neil Lumsden, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, and Peterborough mayor Jeff Leal. (Photo: Ed Ed Middleton)

A few days after the new Canadian Canoe Museum opened its doors on the shores of Little Lake and an international houseboat rental company launched its new base on the Otonabee River, a hit Canadian-made television show for boating enthusiasts has named Peterborough and the Kawarthas the inaugural winner of its “destination of the year” award.

Steven J. Bull, an award-winning broadcaster and comedian and executive producer and host of Water Ways, made the announcement on Wednesday (May 15).

“Peterborough and the Kawarthas caught our eye in 2024 by welcoming the newest base for world’s largest fleet of luxury houseboats, Le Boat, while also opening the stunning new waterfront Canadian Canoe Museum which houses the world’s largest collection of paddled watercraft,” Bull said in a media release.

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“These incredible boat-based attractions add to the already storied history of the region which features the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock and some of the most beautiful and popular waters along the entire 9,500 kilometre-long Great Loop,” Bull added. “This certainly sets the bar high.”

The annual Water Ways Destination of the Year award recognizes communities for bringing world-class boating experiences to locals and visitors from around the world. As the first-ever winner of the award, Peterborough and the Kawarthas will have an entire episode dedicated to its waterways in the series’ third season, Water Ways: Ontario, coming in September.

“Ontario is a fitting launch for our slate of new regional shows — with Florida and the Pacific Northwest planned for 2025 — and will celebrate destinations from Toronto to Temiskaming, and experiences from wakesurfing to walleye fishing, yachting to kayaking,” Bull said.

VIDEO: “Peterborough” – Water Ways

Debuting in 2022, Water Ways is a boating and lifestyle program designed specifically with boaters in mind. The first season featured the Trent-Severn Waterway, including an episode dedicated to Peterborough. The second season debuted on Global TV in Canada last fall, and is also available on America’s Boating Channel and Sportsman Channel Canada.

“This recognition appropriately celebrates Peterborough and the Kawarthas’ thriving boating culture, which has for decades motivated locals and visitors alike to take to its waters to explore the region’s natural beauty and wealth of recreational opportunities on offer,” said Ontario minister of tourism, sport, and culture Neil Lumsden.

“I am proud that Waters Ways: Ontario will showcase the best boating destinations across our province and the small business owners and operators that continue to connect us to the water, benefiting local economies and reinforcing Ontario’s reputation as a choice destination for endless adventure.”

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Rick Layzell, CEO of the Boating Ontario Association, said he is also looking forward to the new season of Water Ways.

“Water Ways: Ontario is set to shine a positive light on the exceptional recreational boating opportunities across our incredible province,” Layzell noted. “Boating Ontario members have a ground floor opportunity to engage with this new series and benefit from the anticipated consumer engagement.”

Joe Rees, director of tourism with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, said it is “truly an honour” for the region to receive the inaugural Water Ways award.

“As the official destination marketing organization for the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County, our team works diligently to position the waterway and recreational boating at the heart of our story,” Rees explained. “2024 is an incredible year for Peterborough and the Kawarthas and this recognition couldn’t have arrived at a more celebratory moment for our sought-after destination.”

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