Monday, 20 July 2015

On the weekend, a friend took me out to a farm near Caledon, north-west of Toronto to pick strawberries for an hour or so. As a child I had gone to the Okanogan in British Columbia to pick apples and pears from the trees in the orchard fields.

It wasn't much different. Instead of walking into the orchard to find the trees laden with ripe pears and apples, the farm provided a tractor and wagon with benches to take the pickers out to the fields, about 800 yards from the gate.

The scene and trip reminded me of John Steinback's novel "The Grapes of Wrath".

The berry picking went well, as there were plenty of ripe strawberries to be had in the numerous rows. In less than an hour, we had a full basket, and it was back to the gate to weigh in. The cost was $2.50/lb, with the basket coming to $15.00.

Also, at the farm were an assortment of pens of farm animals: a donkey (looked more like a burro as it was smaller than any donkey I had seen before), two goats, and some horses. I apologize for the photo of the goat who wasn't very co-operative as she was more interested in eating the grass at the edge of the fence and any strawberries children happened to drop specifically for her.

As for the strawberries when I got home, were a nice treat -- I must say they are alot better than the store bought ones. Perhaps a bit smaller, but juicier with more flavour.

Photo Credits: ©BEMartin2015

Monday, 13 July 2015

John Scadding's Cabin


Last year, while at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition with a friend, I stopped by to see the Scadding Cabin, located near Lake Shore Blvd. West to the southern portion of the grounds. In 2009 I had written a more comprehensive account of the history behind the Cabin and its exposure at the Toronto Industrial Exhibition held in 1879.


The log cabin, built in 1794, was first owned by John Scadding, a government clerk and close friend to Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant Governor, John Graves Simcoe. The cabin was located on Scadding’s 253-acre property on the east bank of the Don River near where Queen Street and the Don Valley Parkway cross today. Scadding lived on the property until 1796 when he returned to England with the Simcoes.


When John Scadding returned to York in 1818, he sold the property and its cabin to farmer William Smith, who used the cabin as an outbuilding. In 1879, Smith offered the cabin to the 10-year old York Pioneers Association.


In the summer of 1879, the York Pioneers dismantled the cabin and reassembled it at the location of the inaugural Toronto Industrial Exhibition now the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition.


Volunteers from the York Pioneer and Historical Society dress in period costume to explain about the artifacts in the cabin.

At the time I visited, no one was allowed up to the second floor or bedroom area. Considering the narrowness of the stairs to the south it might pose a hazard to someone venturing up them.

Photo Credits: [1} Wikipedia Commons, [2][3][4][5]-©BEMartin2014


1894 Toronto's Industrial Exhibition

York Pioneers

Toronto Plaques