The 15 years Sylvia Sutherland devoted to being Mayor of Peterborough will, in the main be considered her greatest legacy to the community.
Sylvia received a grounding in journalism, beginning at the Orillia Packet and Times and, later at the Toronto Telegram where she and Isabelle Bassett became good friends having joined the newsroom at the same time. Sutherland graduated from Ryerson with a diploma in Journalism in 1963, and from Trent University in 1973.
When Sylvia, and husband David Sutherland lived in Norwood in the late 1960’s, Sylvia ran for town council and was elected. David Sutherland was the founding President of Fleming College, to which Sylvia contributed much as well. Her engaging personality and people skills attributed to her hosting a very popular afternoon CHEX TV program.
In all this activity, Sylvia Sutherland developed a love for Peterborough and area – so much so, she considered it her “adopted” home. It was her energy and popularity that inspired her to successfully run for Mayor of Peterborough. Preserving the character of the City through the saviour of many of its landmark buildings from the wrecking ball, was just one of her visionary accomplishments. Sutherland saved the historic Cox terrace on Rubidge Street, and helped preserve the Peterborough Armouries by attracting government monies for that cause.
During the “great flood” of 2004, Her Worship Mayor Sutherland showed stalwart leadership and executive skills of a person worthy of that position. And who will ever forget the resultant “Calendar Girls” fundraiser? Sylvia championed the Market Hall restoration, a proud symbol of our City. Hutchinson House on Brock Street stands as part testament to our historical past through her efforts.
Much of our City’s stature owes its existence to Sylvia Sutherland who saw, in its past, its future attractiveness.