Ontario Agricultural Fairs

Gary McWilliams
by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad)

“A Moment in Time!”

Experiencing Ontario Agricultural Fairs

Judi and I have been traveling across Ontario, visiting Ontario Agricultural Fairs, their communities, and their events. Over the past 17 years we have enjoyed all kinds of events, but I think our favourites are the Ontario 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.

Ancaster Fair

Earth's bounty displayed at Ontario Agricultural Fairs

The Ancaster Fair began in 1858 and is still going strong! Its new buildings and fairgrounds are amazing.

Barrie Fair

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

Tending the horses

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

miniature tractors line up

The Beaverton Fall Fair is fun event, located in Beaverton at the Beaverton Fairgrounds. The Fair was started in 1853.

Bobcaygeon Fall Fair

Show off their form

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, one of the most famous of the Ontario Agricultural Fairs

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

Dirt flies up at the tractor pull

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

A hard day at the office!

The Kingston Fall Fair has been celebrating area farmers since 1830! Judi and I had a great time visiting this Fair.

Kinmount Fair

Heavy horses pulling a beautiful wagon

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!

Lakefield Fair

Let the cattle judging begin

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

The Hay Maker

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.

Markham Fair

Getting kids involved in Ontario Agricultural Fairs

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

Pulling the Line at the Norfolk County Fair and 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

Four heavy horses pulling a show wagon

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!

Orono Fair

Show off at the Fen-Jen Petting Zoo

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.

Paris Fair

Many Ontario Agricultural Fairs have equestrian competitions

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.

Picton Fair

a demolition derby

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

Who got first place

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

Looking out under the fence

The Port Perry Fair was established 1853 and offers visitor to the fair a variety of fun and interesting events and activities.

Rocklyn Fair

an award winner

The Rocklyn Fair is a great little fair located north of Meaford. It was established in 1867 and hold the areas “best” apple pie baking contest in the county!

Rockton World’s Fair

Horse jumping

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.

Roseneath Fair

a great ride

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

Penned in at Agricultural Fairs

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

Scoop's meets new friends at Agricultural Fairs

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

Kids love to around at Ontario Agricultural Fairs

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 pig race at Agricultural Fairs

The Warkworth Fall Fair began in 1850 and has been helping the farm community and entertaining visitors for 150+ years! Our intrepid Senior Festival Correspondent, Kevin Stuart, attended this event.

Western Fair

Walking the line at Ontario Agricultural Fairs

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!

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It’s time for you and your family to experience and enjoy amazing Ontario Agricultural Fairs!

For more Exploring Ontario, “Moments in Time”, go to https://ontariovisited.ca/videos-and-stories/