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Fall Fairs — Which One is Your Favourite?


“Canada’s Largest Four-Day Fair”

If you live in North America there’s a good chance that a fall fair has a special place in your heart. It might be big — huge! — like Toronto’s Canadian Nation Exhibition, or it could be quite small, showing off the best that a rural county has to offer.

For me, Markham Fair evokes memories of good times. During my teens (this is how nerdy I am) the smash-up derby and tractor pull were must-sees . Back in those days we knew a number of the crazy derby drivers, and local farmers entered their tractors in the unmodified class, sometimes straight out of the field after a day’s work! Of course fair food and, in my case, barf-inducing rides were part of the experience.

Later, I took my own kids to the fair. We’d go on the kiddie rides and check out school entries in the contests. It was always a big deal to see who had entered and won in each category. Continue reading “Fall Fairs — Which One is Your Favourite?”

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To market, to market …

Not long ago I got thinking about the time when my grandparents had a stand at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. It was a mysterious, far-away place to me, where truckloads of produce, loaded up the evening before, magically disappeared.

When I was seven or eight, Granny allowed me to go with her and Granddad to the market for the first time. In those days, the north market was a vast building with soaring ceilings and drafts everywhere. Granny kept a little kerosene stove behind their stand for warmth, and I’m happy to have that little heater now.

Continue reading “To market, to market …”