Each fall, many farms in the GTA open to the public with hayrides, corn mazes, pony rides, animal petting zoos, corn mazes, fruit and vegetable picking, craft fairs, farmers’ markets, and “haunted” attractions.
Spend a day or a weekend and enjoy the country atmosphere, without having to drive too far. Pick apples or pumpkins, go to a corn maze, or just drive the country roads and look for the changing colours in the trees. Be sure to check out all the farm fall festivals, too—they are all about family fun!
Here are our top 10 picks for fall farm fun in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area
Farms in Downtown Toronto
Farms in the city? Yes! There are only two, but both offer a nice respite from the hustle and bustle—just a streetcar, subway, or ferry ride away.
In Cabbagetown, Riverdale Farm is a fantastic place to take the kids. See farm paddocks, scenic pathways, Simpson House, the Residence, historic Francey Barn, the Pig and Poultry Barn, the Drive Shed, and the Meeting House.
Programs (both scheduled and drop-in) and seasonal events take place in the Meeting House and on the grounds. Hot and cold refreshments and homemade goodies are available in the Farm Kitchen. Admission is free.
201 Winchester St., Toronto; 416-392-6794
Open daily, 365 days a year, this farm on Centre Island (adjacent to Centreville Amusement Park) is home to more than 40 species of farm animals—including cows, ponies, goats, pigs, and sheep—as well as some exotic birds and animals. The resident peacocks are especially popular! Admission is free.
Via the Toronto Islands Ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, 9 Queens Quay W., Toronto or via water taxi; 416-234-2345
Farms in the GTA
Agriculture is still big business in many parts of the GTA, with lots of countryside once you leave the city high-rises. Despite a huge population boom and suburban sprawl over the past decade, you can still find many family farms. Here are some of our faves that are open to the public in the Durham, Peel, Halton, and York regions.
The Archibald family has been growing apples since 1967. From fresh-picked apples, home-baked pies, and specialty preserves, to local honey, cheeses, chocolate, and teas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Looking for a fall family outing? A pick-your-own-apples trip makes for great family time and has become a tradition for many.
6275 Liberty St. N., Bowmanville; 905-263-2396
There is a great selection of fresh fruit and veggies from their fields and gardens being picked fresh every day. Don’t forget to visit the farm market and the bakery for fresh baked goods, and be sure to take the kids into the corn maze.
1805 Taunton Rd. E., Hampton, 905-725-6089
Albion Orchards has been a family-owned business since 1967. As soon as the apples are ready for harvest, you can pick your own right from their trees or purchase them freshly picked in their country market.
In October pick your own pumpkins and in December come back and choose your Christmas tree.
14800 Innis Lake Rd., Caledon; 905-584-0354
This 215-acre farm has been owned and operated by the Downey family since 1920. They have a farm market (with U-pick and ready-pick strawberries and raspberries, maple syrup, preserves, and honey), an in-house bakery (fresh bread, pies, cider, and donuts), an award-winning winery as well as a family play area, a pumpkin fest, and a corn maze.
13682 Heart Lake Rd., Brampton; 905-838-2990
With its scenic view, a beautiful picnic area, a large creative playground, a farm animal corral, and free hayrides, Andrews’ Scenic Acres makes for a fun family day out of town. Starting in mid-September, they have a (not-scary) haunted forest, straw mountain jump, and cornfield walk.
R.R. 5 / 9365 10th Sideroad, Milton; 905-878-5807
Chudleigh’s was established in 1957, and since then, they have been all about promoting farming to the mainstream. Over the years, the farm has evolved beyond “pick your own fruit” to include a fantastic children’s play area, a retail store, a licensed outdoor café, and many exciting events.
9528 Hwy. 25, Halton Hills; 905-878-2725
The Springridge Fun Farm Yard is a great place for families to explore and play. It includes a spider web climber, a pipe slide, a giant sandbox, farm animals, corn trails, straw play, escarpment lookout, a 40-foot Windmill, antique tractors, and a singing chicken show. Admission includes a tractor-drawn wagon ride.
7256 Bell School Line, Milton, 905-878-4908
Since 1998, Brooks Farms has hosted their Fall Fun Festival with train and wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, pig races, a play area, farm animals, zip lines, a corn maze, straw jumps, pumpkin cannons, their friendly mascot “Hewbert”, and more.
122 Ashworth Rd., Mount Albert; 905-473-3920