A Brief History:

The Peterborough LETS Exchange was launched in May 1994 after several months of planning and organizing by a committee of volunteers.

It was sponsored by the Community Opportunity and Innovation Network (COIN), the Peterborough Social Planning Council, Peterborough Green-Up and other community partners.


The system is adapted from one developed in Courtenay, B.C. A down-turn in the local economy in the early 1980's led to a shortage of cash in the community. Through LETS, people found they were still able to work, trade and meet their needs.

Over time the idea spread. There are now more than 40 LETS systems across Canada and more than 250 in the U.K., where LETS has been adopted as an official community development strategy. LETS has been the most successful in Australia and New Zealand, where some systems do hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trading in their local currencies.

From the beginning, the Peterborough LETS Exchange has been one of the fastest-growing and most successful LETS systems in Canada. Its membership now stands at more than 70-80 active members.

The LETS system is managed by a volunteer board made up of members. Administrative work is done by a team of staff who are paid in Green Dollars or hired through employment grants. There are many active volunteers; their energetic support has been vital to the success of the system.