A Day at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (Part 1 of 2)


Affectionately known to many as “The Royal”, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been bringing the “country to the city” since 1922 and continues to be the largest indoor agricultural function in the world.

Running November 2 to 11, 2018, Enercare Building, at the Exhibition Place in Toronto, you will find the best of Canadian and international growers, breeders and exhibitors competing for bragging rights, equestrian athletes and their horses united as teammates showing their skills in an effort to be declared champions…just for starters!  Steeped in rich history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been a beloved tradition for generations, but if you have never come to the fair…What are you waiting for?

The Royal is not just for farmers, cattle ranchers, equestrian competitors or other folk in agricultural related fields.  This fair is for all of us! It is a place to learn and experience hands-on; to be entertained and taste fresh amazing foods.

For those who love all things Equestrian, there are various horse sport performances such as the Breeding Horse Show, Dressage and Indoor Eventing in addition to Show Jumping competitions. While a handful of shows are free with general admission, other performances require paid entry. However, if you purchase Horse Show tickets, general admission to the fair is included so plan your visit accordingly. (See schedule and ticket information on the website at Royalfair.org).

Take in Toronto’s only rodeo at the Ontario Toyota Dealers Rodeo on Sunday November 11, including Bull Riding, Barrel Racing and Pole Bending.  Daily, at the President’s Choice Animal Theatre, enjoy the SuperDogs show, sheep herding and more!

Each day of the show run, you can see livestock including dairy and beef cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas, alpacas, rabbits and “cavies”. What are cavies? Well, that’s an endearing term for guinea pigs!






IMG_0943There is a children’s area at AG-TIVITY CENTRAL, complete with petting zoo where kids and adults alike can pet and feed the animals. Be sure to only feed the animals what they are allowed to eat so they stay healthy and happy. (Animal food available for purchase at the petting zoo).




Learn about “people food” in the Farm to Table Discovery Zone. There are displays and agriculture professionals on hand from Beef Farmers of Ontario, Good in Every Grain, Ontario Vegetable Growers Association and Burnbrae Farms just to name a few.  Have you ever wondered:

  • Should I be worried about use of antibiotics and hormones in cattle?
  • How are the animals cared for on the farms?
  • What is the difference between “grass-fed” and “grain finished” beef?
  • Which kind of eggs are healthier – white or brown?
  • How do they make eggs with Omega 3 or Omega Plus?
  • How do we get different sized eggs (Small, medium, large and x-large)?

You’ll get all your answers here at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair!

Find out about the newly discovered Canadian grown apple variety from British Columbia. Are you concerned about bees and their survival?  Learn how to create a bee-friendly garden, even in the city!  Familiarize yourself with how you can contribute to the city’s tree canopy and how to grow a vegetable garden even if you don’t have a yard. Yes, it can be done! Learn how at the Live Green Toronto booth!

IMG_0985.jpgPick up your copy of “The Real Dirt on Farming” which will give you the skinny on farming coast to coast across Canada. It will address concerns such as:

*What is really being done to make sure our food is safe?

*What’s up with raw milk?

*Soil and dirt – what’s the difference?

*Animal welfare or animal rights?

*Better science for more sustainable food

This publication is jam-packed with great information – you won’t know what you don’t know until you read it!

Food, food…Glorious Food! Yes, not only can you learn about growing it and about the advantages of buying local, but you can also taste lots of great eats at the fair. Among so many choices, taste fresh cheese, fudge and even “to-die-for” gluten-free butter tarts!


If you love to cook, Burnbrae Farms presents the Culinary Academy that offers the opportunity to cook a dish along side some of Toronto’s most prominent professional chefs. Tickets are available for daily scheduled sessions until Saturday November 10. Get them soon though since they sell out quickly.    (For complete Culinary Academy IMG_0971schedule and list of chefs to possibly find your favourite, go to royalfair.org, select “The Fair” tab in the menu, then click on Culinary Academy.)

To get your admission tickets for The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, you can go to the website and purchase on-line or buy at the door. If you are purchasing on-line tickets you have discount options available such as CAA membership discount; or purchase a combination ticket for GOTransit  (go here for GOTransit schedules) and general admission to the show; or purchase Horse Show tickets and get general admission to the fair included; also senior and family packages available. There is on-site parking in the lot across from the Enercare Building at an additional cost if you choose to drive. However you decide to get there, it will be a day well spent! So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip today!

*Join me for Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – Part 2 of 2: Beyond the Supermarket Walls – Farm to Table* Coming soon…




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