It’s Not Over!
Yes, summer is over but the sun and warmth is not. Fall brings all the warmth of the season, a cavalcade of autumn colours, the smell of fresh baked apple pie, the gathering of family and friends during Thanksgiving and the gentle breezes of Indian summer!
Judi and I look forward to all that fall has to offer, exploring roads less traveled, taking photos and videos of farmers harvesting of corn and wheat, watching as apples are picked off their trees, watch flocks of birds at our feeder and then flying off towards the south and sitting by the shores of Georgian Bay, listening to the waves as they roll to the land. No, it’s not over, the warmth of autumn has just begun!
We hope that you enjoy this month’s INSIDER. We start off with the Nomad blog on “Life at the Midway”. This followed by “From Farm to Table”, featuring two videos, “Farm – Harvesting” and “Table – Food”. Our community spotlight, presented by All-Purpose Realty and Ontario Visited, is about the community of Drayton, famous for its Drayton Festival Theatre. Finally, our guest contributing authors, Sandy Miller, and Fred Young, are from Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. They will talk about rural road safety.
Life at the Midway…
Article by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad) Original Artwork by K.C. (Susan) Caron
Every time I visit a festival that features a midway, I am transported back to my childhood! These memories are quite vivid, as midways played a large part in my past. My first recollections of a Midway are of the long gone. “Sunnyside” which was located in Toronto along the Lakeshore west of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds. I can remember, as a little boy, being taken there by my parents. I was allowed to ride the kid’s rides by myself, but I think the biggest thrill was climbing into the bumper cars with my mother. I’m not sure who had more fun. She loved crashing into other drivers and encouraged me to help her! Later, when I was allowed to drive by myself, my mother would still climb into a bumper car herself. It was always a challenge to see who could out bump who! I think my mom likely won more times than she lost! Another wonderful Midway memory, was at the CNE. As a youth, my friends and I were allowed to visit the CNE on our own. The excitement of trying to win a big stuffed animal as the barkers yelled out “You ring one, you win one!”, the challenge of riding as many thrill rides as possible, to the loud pulsating music and the determination to outsmart the age and weight guessers even though they could win any time they wanted to, all added to the mystic and charm of the Midway. And then there was the “FLYER”! It had been a feature of the CNE forever and it attracted kids, big and small! We all tried to see who could ride the longest with our hands held over our heads. We always fought to get the front car! It was the scariest position of all, and the most fun! When I see the excitement in the faces of today’s kids enjoying a Midway, I see myself. I hear my mother say “Have a great time, be careful and I’ll meet you at the Bingo Hall when you are through”.
From Farm to Table ~ Harvest & Market
Scoop and I love to watch farmers harvesting their crops. We have experienced the excitement a field full of heavy farm equipment, traveling up and down massive fields, harvesting various crops. It’s like watching a choreographed dance between two dancers, the land and the farmers. Sometimes, we will sit for hours waiting for the perfect photo or video. As a result, we have thousand of harvest photos and videos.
The video shown below contains just a fraction of what we have enjoyed.
From Farm to Table ~ The Market
Farmers’ Markets dot Ontario’s landscape. It seems like most towns enjoy the bounty that these markets offer. It’s the Fall when most Farmers’ Market thrive. This is when all the freshly harvested arrives. Judi and I love to explore any Farmers’ Market we pass. It’s like a ritual, that needs to be honoured!
The video shown below shows some of the Farmers’ Markets we have visited.
Ontario Community Spotlight ~ Drayton
This month’s Ontario Community Spotlight, presented by All-Purpose Realty and Ontario Visited, is the Village of Drayton.
Home of the Drayton Festival Theatre
Drayton is an interesting village located in rural Ontario. It has a huge reputation as a leader in community theatre. The Drayton Festival Theatre is located there, along with Drayton Entertainment. Drayton Entertainment operates seven venues across the province – Drayton Festival Theatre (Drayton, Ontario); St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre (St. Jacobs); King’s Wharf Theatre (Penetanguishene); Huron Country Playhouse Mainstage and South Huron Stage (Grand Bend); St. Jacobs Country Playhouse (Waterloo); Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge (Cambridge)
If you are looking for a fun place to visit, and take in a great play, visit Drayton, and enjoy all if has to offer!
Click HERE for the Google Map of Drayton.
Read more about this great Ontario community by clicking HERE.
Travelling in rural areas this Fall?
~ 10 tips on sharing the road with farm equipment ~
Account Manager, Agriculture
Health and Safety Consultant
As the Fall transforms Ontario into a breathtaking setting of vibrant landscapes, rural areas offer endless activities and attractions, waiting to be discovered by visitors like you. Fall harvest festivals, hiking, fairs, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple picking, and bakeries with seasonal treats – there are so many reasons to visit rural communities this time of year.
Driving through these rural areas can be a peaceful and scenic experience, but it also presents unique challenges, especially when sharing the road with agricultural machinery. This equipment can include tractors, combines, wagons, horse-drawn buggies, and more. During harvest season, farmers are moving larger equipment to harvest, and it starts to get dark earlier making conditions even more difficult.
Do you know the best practices for sharing the road with farm equipment? Here are 10 tips to stay safe on the road.
Yellow road traffic coordination symbol on white
10 tips on sharing the road with farm equipment
- SLOW DOWN! If you see a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign on a piece of equipment, this means it will be travelling below the posted speed. Slowing down and sharing the road is essential. Your life depends on it.
- Be Patient. Most equipment will be out of your way shortly. If you do come upon slow moving equipment, take a deep breath and be patient. When the path is clear make sure that the driver of the equipment can see you before you pass. The same rules apply to driving at any time; do not cross on a double line, and do not cross on a hill or around a bend.
- Closure time. Farm equipment continues to increase in size and speed. Recognize that a car travelling at 88 km/H has ONLY seven seconds to react to the tractor travelling at 24 km/H along the road. Not only are they large, but they also pull substantial weight along the road. If the wagons are full of crops there may be 20 or more tonnes in that wagon. It is important to give the equipment lots of room and not attempt to pass when the road conditions are unsafe.
- Stay alert. Be on the lookout for farm machinery and be prepared to adjust your driving accordingly. Always stay off your phone while driving and avoid distractions.
- Farm equipment operators can’t see you: When you are following directly behind farm equipment, it is essential to stay a safe distance behind the machinery. They will not be able to see you behind them. And you will not be able to see ahead or adjust your speed to avoid a collision.
- Do not expect equipment to pull over to the side of the road: This can be extremely dangerous for the operator. If the agricultural equipment pulls over too far onto the edge of the road it can cause the shoulder of the road to collapse resulting in the equipment going into the ditch or rolling over.
- Driving near horse-drawn vehicles. If you see a horse-drawn buggy, cart, or vehicle, slow down and be extremely cautious. Follow them at a safe distance and only pass when it is safe to do so. When passing, give as much distance as you can. Passing too closely or too quickly could scare or startle the horse, causing it to panic which puts both you and the buggy occupants in danger. Loud noises such as horns, loose tarps, or revving engines can also cause unpredictable behaviours from horses.
- Watch for turn signals. Modern farm equipment often comes equipped with turning signals, four-way flashers and flashing beacons. However, some older machines might not have these features. Pay attention to turn signals and any hand signals from the operator. Always wait until the equipment has completed its direction of travel before attempting to pass. Farm equipment may be larger than it appears. Make sure the driver can see you before you pass. Then follow the regular rules of the road: never pass on curves or hills, when nearing intersections or at railroad crossings, bridges, or tunnels.
- Tractors with wagons, self-propelled implements, and transport trucks require more room to turn. If they are making a right-hand turn into a field or laneway, they may be required to crowd on the Centre line to ensure they can access the field safely. Do not try to pass as this is never good for either party involved.
- Plan your rural trip. Check that your vehicle is prepared for travel. Ensure you have enough fluids, and your loads are secured. Before you leave, review your route. Check for weather conditions and construction areas.
By working together, drivers and farmers can share the roads and contribute to a safer rural driving experience for everyone. Let’s get everyone home safe at the end of the day.
- Rural Road Safety Videos – Traffic incidents can occur in an instant. Watch this collection of Rural Road Safety videos created to keep both equipment operators and drivers safe on the roads.
- Canadian Agricultural Safety Association – Rural Road Safety Resources
- Rural Road Safety Alliance
- Driving tips for inclement weather – Watch this short video to get prepared for inclement weather while driving.
- Wildlife Vehicle Collision Prevention – What drivers need to know to adopt safer driving behaviours and prevent wildlife collisions. Courtesy of the Ministry of Transportation.
Coming soon – ” Our Shaw Festival Adventure”
A few weeks ago, we visited the Shaw Festival and now we are writing a series of articles about Our Shaw Festival adventures. We will post all of the upcoming articles (9) on both our main Ontario Visited website and on our Ontario Event News website and APP. Stay tuned and log onto Ontario Event News for updates!