John Bowes

“An individual who’ll gamble intelligently while others tremble with insecurity.” That’s a powerful description of a man who’s made a tremendous contribution to business and cultural progress of Peterborough.

John Bowes isn’t one to sit on his hands when opportunity beckons.

As co-founder of Bowes & Cocks Realty, John quickly proved himself to be an energetic and innovative business leader. He developed a brokerage model for selling as well as pioneering the use of computers and nationally franchising the brand name. Over 50 years ago, he was instrumental in organizing the Peterborough Real Estate Board with a mandate to raise, and safeguard professional standards. Throughout his life, John applied the same solid business acumen to his community involvement. As an integral player with Chamber of Commerce, John was instrumental in developing Peterborough Square, Showplace and Beavermead Park. He’s also an early supporter of what would become The Peterborough Summer Festival of Lights. With The Greater Peterborough Economic Council, John chaired a committee issuing a report entitled ‘Peterborough Into The 21st Century.’ The report was a visionary plan to revitalize the downtown core and improve transportation links.

John Bowes put his life story to paper in a popular autobiography called ‘Dreams For Sale:Make Me An Offer.’ As many commented, the book isn’t just a story of one individual; it’s a revealing portrait of a community in transition, from country town to one of the best places to live, anywhere. That’s been John Bowes’ contribution to Peterborough.

Whether in business or community involvement, his work is characterized by energy, commitment and vision.

Until his retirement in 2020, Mr. Bowes was the longest-serving realtor in the Province of Ontario.
Mr. Bowes passed away Easter Monday, April 5th, 2021 at the age of 93.
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