Our favourite picks for summer 2010
Our own highly selective “picks” of just some of the things that make life such a distinctive pleasure here in the hills.
As much as we love the country, on a lazy summer day there’s nothing quite like a long tall cool one on an urban patio – especially if it comes with live music and fabulous people watching. And now you don’t have to go all the way to Toronto to feel the vibe.
This year The Rose Theatre in nearby Brampton has opened its fully-licensed patio in Garden Square. It’s offering a free folk music series from noon to 2 pm on Thursdays through July and August, as well as Friday night concerts from 6:30 to 8 pm, featuring Dean McTaggart and friends.
But that’s not all. Under the stars on Tuesday and Saturday nights, you can also enjoy free movies on the patio’s huge outdoor screen. Titles chosen for their big-screen appeal include The Sound of Music (June 29), Mamma Mia! (July 24 & 27) and Casablanca (August 24). Bring a lawn chair, buy some popcorn and enjoy. The Rose Theatre Patio is open seven days a week. It’s located in downtown Brampton at 1 Theatre Lane. For the full outdoor music and movie program, as well as details of the theatre’s summer season, visit rosetheatre.ca.
They’re red, sweet and luscious, with a taste that defines the very essence of early summer. The strawberries are in season, and for a few short weeks there is no such thing as too many. Get into the spirit on Saturday, June 26, by starting the day with a strawberry pancake breakfast at the Hockley Village Strawberry Festival. A few days later, go back for seconds at another strawberry pancake breakfast that kicks off the Canada Day festivities at Caledon Village fairgrounds. Events on both days start early, go on through the afternoon and include plenty of family activities.
And don’t forget to pick a few pints – or quarts – of your own, at any of several farm markets in the hills. To find one in Caledon, check out the Grown in Peel map published by Peel Region. It’s a very handy reference source not only for finding strawberries, but all in-season produce at some 30 farm markets in Caledon and points south.
Must Smell the Flowers
One day, eight glorious gardens. Whether or not you are a gardener yourself, there is hardly a more pleasant way to spend a day than taking in the sensual pleasures of some of the region’s finest gardens. Among them are a walled garden, a wedding garden, a shade garden, an artist’s garden and an arboretum – all within a few minutes drive of each other on the east side of Mono.
The Mostly Mono Garden Tour takes place on Saturday, June 26 from 10 am to 4 pm. It’s sponsored by the Dufferin Arts Council, with proceeds to programs in support of local artists. Tickets are $20 and available at BookLore and several other locations.
For details, go to the Garden Tour link at dufferinartscouncil.com.
It’s a plant that looks worthy of a star turn in the comedic Little Shop of Horrors, but the giant hogweed is no laughing matter. If you see one, don’t touch it! Do report it to your municipal authorities.
An invasive plant that can reach a height of 15 feet, its stem and stiff white hairs contain sap that can cause a serious skin inflammation activated by exposure to the sun. The symptoms include painful blisters and burns, and occur within about 48 hours. Contact with eyes can cause temporary or sometime permanent blindness.
If you do come into contact, wash the affected area immediately (as well as your clothes) and stay out of the sun. If symptoms occur, see your doctor.
Must Tap your Feet
It’s been around for 60 years and still offers an unbeatable toe-tapping good time. The Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship in Shelburne opens with a concert on Wednesday evening and wraps up with a fiddle jamboree on Sunday. In between there’s non-stop fiddling, including a giant fiddle parade on Main Street, a fiddle and step-dance show at Grace Tipling Hall, and a Saturday night dance at the Legion. Throughout it all, old-time good fun combines with virtuoso performances by fiddlers from across the country.
The Fiddle Championship, sponsored by the Shelburne Rotary Club, runs from August 4 to 8. For admission prices and program details, go to shelburnefiddlecontest.on.ca.
On Monday, August 2, the residents of Terra Cotta close their streets and open their beautiful village to some 200 cyclists for le Tour de Terra Cotta. Along with the main 108K open race, the event includes a shorter 27K course for first-time racers, triathletes and mountain bikers, and a 9K squirt and peewee course. The challenging closed course laps south from the village around the concession block through some of the most scenic landscapes in Caledon.
The event was founded in 2005 by the Brampton Cycling Club and is now co-sponsored by the village residents.
To see a map of the route, register as a racer, or choose your time to go and cheer on the cyclists, see letourdeterracotta.com. Learn more about le Tour de Terra Cotta and check out the le Tour de Terra Cotta race video!
Walk and Roll Peel
Recreational cyclists might also want to have a look at the new online map produced by the Region of Peel and showing more than 700 kilometres of trails, bike lanes and paths for cycling and walking throughout Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga. Visit walkandrollpeel.ca.