Ontario Agricultural Fairs
by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad)
Judi and I have been traveling across Ontario, visiting Ontario communities and their events. Over the past 11+ years we have enjoyed all kinds of events, but I think our favourites are the agricultural fairs. We have enjoyed them so much that we have visited over 25. We have also become members of the Ontario Agricultural Society and have attended a number of their conventions. I am telling you this because the photos shown below tell our “love” story!
All of the Fairs shown below have been personally visited by either Judi and myself or one of our associate correspondents.
The Ancaster Fair began in 1858 and is still going strong! Its new buildings and fairgrounds are amazing.
The Barrie Fair is now in its new home at the Essa Agriplex. The new fairgrounds are perfect for this Fair that was establish in 1853.
Beaver Valley Fall Fair
The Beaver Valley Fall Fair is held each year at the Beaver Valley Community Centre, located in Thornbury. This Fair was formed in 1870.
Beaverton Fall Fair
The Beaverton Fall Fair is fun event, located in Beaverton at the Beaverton Fairgrounds. The Fair was started in 1853.
Bobcaygeon Fall Fair
The Bobcaygeon Fall Fair was founded in 1858. When we visited this Fair on of the bulls got loose and started to run around wildly, but a handler “stared” the bull down as it was charging him! It was amazing to watch!
Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
The CNE is likely the most famous Exhibition in Ontario. I’ve been visiting the Ex ever since I was a child. The Ex was founded in 1879.
Great Northern Exhibition
The Great Northern Exhibition seems to be home to 3 communities, Collingwood, Stayner and Wasaga Beach. It is located almost in the middle of these 2 communities! The GNE was founded in 1855.
Kingston Fall Fair
The Kingston Fall Fair has been celebrating area farmers since 1830! Judi and I had a great time visiting this Fair.
In 1879 the Galway Agricultural Society was formed and in October of that year, the Kinmount Fair was held. This is unique fun fair with a great parade!
My father’s family moved from Ireland to Lakefield in the 1800’s. The family were the local carriage makers. Somewhere, along the line, I am sure that they were part of the Lakefield Fair. It started in 1854.
Lindsay Central Exhibition
Judi and I love visiting this event, it offers such a variety of attractions. Started in 1854, it Lindsay Exhibition is the pride of Lindsay.
The Markham Fair is an upscale fair located in the north part of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). The fair started in 1918 at the end of World War 1.
Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show
The Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show was formed in 1840. The fair is located in Simcoe and is rank has one of the largest fairs in Ontario. It is also one of Judi’s and my favourite places to visit in the fall.
Norwood Fall Fair
The Norwood Fall Fair is located north of Peterborough and is one of the best fairs we have visited. It was been entertaining fair visitors since 1868!
The Orono Fair is located between Peterborough and Oshawa and “prides itself on hosting family oriented events and entertainment”. The Fair was founded in 1851.
The Paris Fair is located in the beautiful County of Brant and is one of the areas most popular events. The Fair was started in 1858.
The Picton Fair, located in Prince Edward County, has been home to one of Ontario’s oldest agricultural fairs! It was formed in 1831. Our Festival Correspondent, Kevin Stuart, was to lucky “Nomad” to attend this event.
Port Hope Fall Fair
Like the Picton Fair, the Port Hope Fall Fair is one of Ontario’s oldest fairs. It, too, was formed in 1831.
Port Perry Fair
The Port Perry Fair was established 1853 and offers visitor to the fair a variety of fun and interesting events and activities.
The Rocklyn Fair is a great little fair located north of Meaford. It was established in 1867 and hold the ares “best” apple pie baking contest in the county!
Rockton World’s Fair
The Rockton World’s Fair is located near the City of Hamilton and is one of the first fairs Judi and I visited. We had a great time at the “World’s” Fair. The Rockton World’s Fair was established in 1853.
The Roseneath Fair was founded in 1868 and is one of the best and most progressive fairs in the area. Make sure you take a ride on the Roseneath Carousel when you visit the Fair!
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
“The Royal” as the Royal Winter Fair is affectionately known, is the main agricultural event in Ontario. It was founded in 1922 and attracts visitors from around the world. Its Equestrian Events have captivated audiences for years!
Schomberg Spring Fair
The Schomberg Spring Fair is one of the few spring fairs in Ontario. In addition to its unique timing, it is located in the very quaint village of Schomberg! This fair was established in 1849.
Sutton Fair & Horse Show
The Sutton Fair & Horse Show was founded in 1854 and offers visitor to the fair a wide variety of activities and events.
Warkworth Fall Fair
The Warkworth Fall Fair began in 1850 and has been helping the farm community and entertaining visitors for 150+ years! Our intrepid Festival Correspondent, Kevin Stuart, attended this event.
The Western Fair is held each year in London’s Western Fair District. This is an amazing large fair with so many things to do and see! It was established in 1868.
These 25+ Ontario Fairs represent just a fraction of the fairs available for “Fair Lovers” to visit. Each fair is unique to its community and all offer a variety of exhibits, attractions and events.
Agricultural Fairs are truly the “backbone” of Ontario communities! Just look at the dates that these wonderful fairs were established. The two oldest fair we visited were founded in 1831 (Picton Fair and Port Hope Fall Fair), while the “youngest” fair was established in 1922 (Royal Winter Fair). The majority of Ontario fair began BEFORE Canada’s Confederation!
Make sure you take your family and friends to one (or more) of Ontario’s fabulous Agricultural Fairs!