For almost 100 years, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, aka “The Royal”, has been a long-standing annual tradition held every November at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The Royal was started by farmers as a way to come together to meet, discuss and showcase their harvest & livestock. Over time it grew into an annual event that provides educational, entertainment and commercial opportunities to the general public.
During our visit to The Royal we recorded a video for our Let’s Discover ON YouTube Channel:
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It was a pleasant surprise to personally witness the popularity as well as domestic and international attention The Royal received through its visitors, exhibitors & sponsors. As a first-time visitor The Royal also gave me a genuine appreciation for the hard-work and the science involved in modern farming and agriculture.
During our one-day visit to The Royal we tried to see, do and taste as much as we could. The highlights for us included the Pizza Pizza Petting Zoo, the President’s Choice Animal Theatre where we watched the Superdogs in action as well as the Burnbrae Farms Food & Lifestyle Stage where we listened to a fascinating presentation on how food was distributed, conserved and prepared during WWII.
You’ve got 2 options:
- Public Transit – The closest station is Exhibition on the Lakeshore West line of GO Transit. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) also provides specialized routes and service to and from The Royal.
- Driving – Pack your patience & wallet as there’s always traffic on the QEW and parking will set you back approximately $15-20 depending on when you visit.
- $25 for Adults, $19 for Seniors (65+), $16 for Children (4-17)*
*The costs are based on our visit in 2016 however they could change in future years.
Important things to keep in mind
- Entry to certain horse shows and competitions in the evenings are not included however you can upgrade your ticket.
- The cost of parking can vary from the week vs. the weekend.
- There are dozens of school groups who visit the Fair during the week.
What you need to try
- A visit to the Petting Zoo.
- Watch a live animal care demonstration. There are specific times to observe the cattle & goat milking process as well as sheep shearing.
- Take a selfie with The Royal’s own mascot Turbo (@turbo_goat).
- Watch a horse jumping competition. The Jockeys make it look so easy but as we found out it takes years of practice to make it to the competitive level.
- The FOOD – There are SO many options to choose from and after all the walking you’re guaranteed to be hungry.
Here’s a quick checklist for your next visit
- Comfy Shoes – There’s a lot of walking if you like to explore like we did so you’ll want to wear a pair of comfy shoes as you’ll be on your feet for most of the day.
- Your Phone or Camera to capture all the fun you’ll have.
- Hand Sanitizer or Disinfecting Wipes however in case you forget there are several hand-washing stations near the animals.
- Mark Your Calendars – The 2017 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs from November 3-12, 2017.
Have any photos or videos of your visit that you would like to share with us? Send them over to @LetsDiscoverON.